Do any of your difficult children "perform" depression?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by AHF, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. AHF

    AHF Member

    I don't know how else to describe it, though I'm afraid I sound very uncaring. But now that I have set Feb. 1 as the move-out date for Peter Pan--whose latest "plan" fell through, who has been noncooperative and hostile at home, who is not lifting a finger to help himself--he has sunk into near-catatonic depression. That is, he sleeps most of the time (during the last 24 hours, he was awake only from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m.), his speech and movements have slowed, he makes almost no eye contact, he behaves like a mental patient on Thorazine. If he continues with this behavior, the therapist and psychiatrist he's seeing on Wednesday will almost certainly send him to the hospital--which is like throwing Brer Rabbit into the briar patch. Once there, he will quickly grow feisty and demanding until the folks at the hospital call me in and practically beg me to find a placement for him. In other words, the depression is a sort of performance, intended (consciously or not) to produce certain results, at least one of which is to demonstrate to the world how coldhearted his mom is to toss out a suicidally depressed young man. (After all, he's not on drugs, doesn't steal, etc.) I've signed him up for social services and hope that if what I'm predicting happens, I can inform the hospital that he is eligible for those services. But I'm just wondering how unusual this syndrome is?
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    That is interesting. I dont think you are uncaring. I think the opposite, you know him so don't want to feed into a maladaptive behavior (I mean it is not like you dont take him to a psychiatrist or anything). Can you skip the hospital and go straight to a placement somewhere? Or are those the county services you are talking about?

    Sorry he is sinking like that, on purpose or not... Must be tough.
  3. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    I think you make an excellent point!

    My young difficult child has "tried" to commit suicide 3 times that I can think of over the last 3 years.
    First time was taking pills and alcohol, taken to ER, handcuffed, spitting at police resulting in 2 Felony charges "Harrasement of a Public Servent". He broke probation for that crime this past summer when husband and I kicked him out. He is now serving a 3 year prison sentence.
    Did kicking young difficult child out result in him now being in prison...Mommy guilt!

    The second time young difficult child tried to kill himself he was at his mother in law's house and cut deep gashes into his legs (while drunk apparently). This resulted in a hospital stay for 3 days.

    The last time young difficult child "tried" to kill himself was a few months ago at my home. He was drunk again, in the garage, apparently went into kitchen grabbed a knife and stabbed himself in the arm.
    Interstingly enough...He RAN up the stairs and begged husband and I to wake up and help him. He was scared out of his mind...He could NOT control the bleeding. Even husband when he saw what young difficult child had done thought he cut an Artery and had me on the phone to call 911. After the bleeding was "under control" husband took him to ER and dropped him off.

    Here's the thing. Yes, young difficult child gets depressed and has "suicidal ideation"...However, he does NOT want to die...that he made quite clear with last "suicide attempt". But he DOES emotionally manipulate. Has for years and unfortunately I have been a "weak link" in this dept always giving him an ear from me, sorrow from me, tears, and continuing to enable.
    I am only now...beginning to see that I have allowed myself to be responsible for the grand outcome of young difficult child's life.

    I was not able at 18 to say no more and practice "tough love". I continued to hold myself accountable for the outcome....Just as all the authorities had for yrs with husband and I.
    This magical age changed nothing.

    Now, here I am hoping that when my young difficult child gets out of prison in 9 to 15 months (after his first parole hearing) and comes home...that I will be able to implement a new plan.
    The plan is to have him go to a sober house ASAP. He will have to be at least 10 days sober, be voted in by the other addicts that live in the sober house, and come up with $75 to $125 a week to stay there.
    BUT...what if he doesn't want to go, then what?

    I have to get strong enough to not let his "performance depression" cloud my thinking. I have to have an adopted new belief system/philosophy firmly in place so that I do not get sucked into the manipulation again. I really need the support to do the hard things I may have to do. I need the reinforcement on a regular basis as my heart causes me to forget!

    I realize you are not dealing with a sub abusing son but you are dealing with an emotional manipulator sounds like to me.

    It is so hard to let them sink or swim...the "what ifs" just about kill me to think of!
  4. Lourdes

    Lourdes Guest

    That's the way my son acts when I take away the video games.

    Interesting that in my job, which is a group of us handling an overwhelming amount of work, those most overwhelmed with the situation describe themselves the same way - catatonic - frozen - paralyzed - depressed. Then they start self-medicating to cope. Sometimes I wonder if my son isn't also overwhelmed when the games - his life - is taken away. I can't say he is really and truly depressed because if he gets the games back - no matter how much time has passed - he is all of a sudden a happy camper. So, yeah, it seems manipulative.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I'm not sure how realizing that you're probably being manipulated is being cold hearted. However, even if he IS depressed, what does that have to do with allowing him to live with you? You don't have any control over his depression. That would be like saying "hey, my kid has diabetes so he can't live alone". Know what I mean?? He can get treatment whether he lives with you or not, if that is what he chooses to do.

    Depressed or not, if his situation is not uncomfortable enough to make him want to change it, he's not going to want to change it. So if living at home is not helping, then it may actually be hurting his motivation.

    See? Doesn't have anything to do with you being uncaring. And trust me, the professionals know that.

  6. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Ooh yeah. Very familiar. Both of my difficult children have been masters of manipulation with moods/depression/health issues/suicidal threats. In a couple of her overdoses, Youngest actually counted the pills she took so she could tell the ER folks. Oldest used to check herself into the psychiatric unit saying she was suicidal, or suddenly have symptoms of an intestinal blockage and head to the ER (and come back with pain medications) when she was about to be thrown out of somewhere.

    You're not uncaring, you're wise to the manipulative tactics. Don't let this sway you. Lisa has it right:

    If he's depressed, he needs to get help. If he's admitted to a psychiatric hospital, so be it. If he's *not* being manipulative, that's where he needs to be. Don't let the hospital folks beg you for anything..that's not your job, it's theirs. He's an adult.
  7. Tiredof33

    Tiredof33 Active Member

    It took me years to realize that difficult child was manipulative, I admire you for putting the emotions aside and seeing the true picture. They know exactly which buttons to push!!

    "I realize you are not dealing with a sub abusing son but you are dealing with an emotional manipulator sounds like to me.
    It is so hard to let them sink or swim...the "what ifs" just about kill me to think of!"

    I agree and with my difficult child 33 and cutting himself everytime he fights with girlie 37, threatening suicide. One of these days he may accidently do it!

    My difficult child just recent had this big scam going telling me he is homeless and trying to finish college to get money from me. He is not homeless. I know from the messgages and emails from the girlie telling me we can afford to send a monthly check, that he does blame me for his life choices. She sends me emails pretending to be him saying I never loved him and everything is my fault.

    The last calls we the breaking point, I called the police and they asked him are you suicidal, homeless, do you have food? The answers the poilce gave me were no, no, yes. And girlie can not contact me any more.

    My son is very immature and so is girlie, they think at their age they can go to college full time and the parents will support them! He quit his job to go to college. I worked my way through college and raised 2 children.

    It still bothers me or I would not be on this forum, but, I am getting stronger by detaching from his self induced problems. I admire so many of the members here for what they have been through and what they are still doing to help their families.

    Girlie's family thinks I am cold hearted too!! I am lucky that their are no children involved and my husband of 11 years is not emotionally involved - he helps me see the truth - as well as the members here!
  8. AHF

    AHF Member

    Thanks so much -- this support really helps. Peter Pan was actually thrown out of one hospital where he was sent by a psychiatrist for depression. They said that their standards were different and they had to make decisions based truly on whether the person was at risk to himself (and at costs of $2K/night, they should!). Still, he is performing severe depression as I write, and tomorrow is the date I gave for him to leave. These testimonies help motivate me--as does his complete hostility. Depression, as far as I know, is not synonymous with nastiness.
  9. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    My difficult child's are manipulators and when they were not getting what they wanted their behaviors esculated. Whether conscious or uncounsious manipulation is easier for them than actually doing what they need to do to improve their own life. Calling them on it may or may not have positive results. I think we need to always act on the side of caution when they threaten suicide but we do not have to be their care givers or nursemaids. The sooner they realize that manipulation will not get them back under our roof the sooner other placements will become appealing.
  10. Bean

    Bean Member

    This one hits close to home. I agree with that others said about him being an adult. Adults with depression can live full, active lives. And sometimes they can't. But it doesn't mean that they can manipulate their family and hold them hostage because of it. There is a slippery slope there, and I can understand making considerations if an adult child is in need, but is also accepting responsibility for their behavior. But, you probably wouldn't be here making this post if he was. :)
  11. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Why would you discuss him iwth the psychiatric hospital? Isn't HIPPA supposed to stop that? I thought they "couldn't" discuss his problems with you. If he signs a release for them to do so, why not claim HIPPA and say that you "can't" discuss him with them, that he is an adult and needs to work it out?

    I hope you stick to his move out date. Him having nowhere to go is because he does NOT believe you will do it and thus, why should he CARE about your home, your rules, your move-out date or your life? If he is to ever "get it" then he has to leave the day you said. It is the first step of making him uncomfortable enough to grow up.

    Remember when he was a baby? He wanted something on the other side of the room and cried for you to give it to him. At some point you let him cry and learn to crawl rather than carrying him to it or it to him. Same thing for when he learned to walk. If you didn't let him work it out, he would STILL be unable to walk. So this? Is growing pains and he has to figure it out because you are not ABLE to teach him how to do it. He is not ABLE to understand what you tell him to do. Just as if you spoke English and he spoke Greek. You could give all the directions you want, help all you want, but you can't make him do what he needs to unless you let him be uncomfortable.

    If he chooses the psychiatric hospital as his next home then that is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS. If he chooses to use social services, well, the hospital and the shelters have social workers who are PAID to help him figure those out. You? Haven't gotten paid in a LOOOOOOOOOOONG time. So stop doing the work.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I agree with Susie. Please let him figure this out so he wont be depending on his siblings when he is 55 years old. I have a 55 year old preschooler in my living room who cant do a darned thing for himself because he is basically a 55 year old addict who may or may not stay clean for long but we are supposed to help him because he cant help himself. Now my living room is filled up with his junk because he is family and he has no one else.