18 yr old son with depression refuses help

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lostmom75, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Lostmom75

    Lostmom75 New Member

    im not sure where to begin and I am not going to lie I blame myself for all of this. My 18 year old son is depressed per a therapist. He will not go see another doctor to get on medications. We walk on eggshells to not upset him because I'm so scared he will hurt himself or someone else. He gets so angry when he lashes out. In the summer he was selling drugs and it was the first tough love I had to do "stop selling or get out" he did but to be honest if he didn't im not sure I could have kicked him out. I do goto therapy but I need more support. At this point due to the stress I am a walking hive all the time and it is affecting my 20 year old daughter as well. He thinks no one in our home knows except me so when he gets into these states it's all unloaded on me. Sometimes I wonder if he is doing drugs but I can't prove it. I was abandoned by my parents at 13-14 and I believe this is why I have such a hard time with the detachment. His older brother got him a part time job, because it is not what he thought he would be doing after graduation he hates it. Yesterday he must have looked distressed at work and the manager asked him what was wrong. Long story short he broke down at work. Then called me nothing I said made it better and everything I said was taken offensive. He told me he as leaving on a road trip. No money in his pocket, no gas in a truck he paid for but is registered and insured in my name that I pay. I told him if you want to go on a trip do it the right way. He left so I stood in the driveway and he drove his truck into the neighbors fence and left. He did come back and then started texting me how I made his day even worst and that he came to me for help and I make everything his fault. He asked me not to worry but when I say ok I won't worry he gets upset telling me not to make him feel quilty. He has mentioned hurting himself but he knows not to say that to the authorities. There is so much more but here is the some. I feel like I will never be able to stop enabling because I am so scared
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  2. PatriotsGirl

    PatriotsGirl Well-Known Member

    We all do. We are moms...it is what we do. (((HUGS)))
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Just tell the story. Read a few posts to see what people share.

    Depression is a medical condition and nobody's fault. I have suffered from it all my life and am on medication for it. It runs in my family big time. So does anxiety. Those conditions are very treatable with the right help and if the person who suffers WANTS to get better and WILL get help rather than resisting it. That's always a tough one because we can't make our grown kids go for treatment so we kind of have no choice but to leave it to them to decide.

    Is more going on? Drugs? Any trauma in his life? Did he do well in school? What is his life like now? What are you doing about your own life right now or is it revolving around him? Any other kids? Any stealing, violence, lying, that stort of criminal stuff? I have to leave soon, but will be back for a while in a few hours.
  4. Lostmom75

    Lostmom75 New Member

    This is very new to me. There is so much to tell I don't know where to begin. I've updated my post with just yesterday's occcurances but I will try to keep going it's very hard for me to talk to others because it's always just been me and My kids. I sat last night and read a bunch of threads and hence why I joined. School was always a struggle but he maintained until junior year when he had a breakdown at school and they called the state crisis center who brought him to the ER for an evaluation. They couldn't calm him down so they admitted him to a facility. He is a smart kid and was able to convince the doctors to let him go the next day. He started therapy after this - the therapist at that time diagnosed him with PTsd from an incident he had at 14 getting arrested and being beaten badly by the police. My son one day text me saying goodbye and that he was diving his truck I to a wall. When I told the therapist this he said to me "I could see why this is concerning to a mother" my son soon after stopped seeing him. He has gone to a new therapist who thinks my son was telling the other therapist what he wanted him to know "wrapping him around his finger" and does not believe he has ptsd but depression but refuses medicine. As the days go I'll post more.
  5. Lostmom75

    Lostmom75 New Member

    I'm one of the tough skinned people you could meet but I can't be touched skin in this situation and I know that the illness is manipulating me and I need to change it but easier said then done.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Ok, be patient here.

    I'm sorry your son was beaten up. That is NEVER right in my opinion. But (and I ask gently) what things were your son engaged in to get the attention of the cops and why on earth did they beat him? I'm guessing this has really been going on for a while now. Is he a drug user or don't you know. Silly, but many of us did not know our kids were using drugs or we thought it was just sometimes a joint. Boy, did I learn fast that teens are good at hiding their real lives.And I don't know about teen boys, but teen girls can cry at will, I swear they can and, of course, that melts a mother's heart. And, of course, they know THAT too and use it for manipulation purposes sometimes...

    If it may be drugs, remember THAT can cause depression, mood swings, and even violence and many of us have walked down that road. We have about seen it all between all of us.

    You did not cause this, no matter what. You can't cause somebody else to misbehave. It is a choice they make. You can not cause somebody to have clinical depression either and he is the one who has to step up and accept the help. You can't force medications or therapy into him.

    My first bit of advice is to drop the guilt of yourself. I don't care how many times your son tells you it's your fault (or you mom, dad, kissing cousin, favorite aunt, neighbor, teachers, etc.) They are clueless, having never encountered young adults like ours. You son's angry accusations do not make it true. You are a good person, here because you love your son so much. And we'd like to give you some suggestions. Do you have any questions?

    P.S.--We detach with love. We try to not get emotionally involved with our grown kid's dramas. But we still love them.
  7. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    I'm sorry you are going through such a difficult time. It is never easy to watch our children suffer no matter what age they are but this is also where we need to separate the "child" from the "adult". Your son is legally an adult and it has to be his choice to get help. Please understand that this is nothing you did. It is very common for parents to feel guilty when their adult child ends up have serious problems and issues. I'm sure you did the very best you could in raising him and like all other parents I'm sure you made some mistakes too, but that is no reason to blame yourself.
    Keep reading the posts on these pages as there are years of experience here.
    ((HUGS)) to you.
  8. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    Please stick with this forum; it will help you a LOT. When our 33gfg was about 18, he sounded much like your son. The first time he was arrested, a police officer asked us if we thought it might be drugs, husband and I answered with a resounding NO.

    As the years went by, we realized it probably was drugs. difficult child was hiding it well. After he moved out, I found numerous empty whiskey bottles in his room. Our daughter told us about a time he smoked pot in her bedroom through a toilet paper roll and threatened her about telling us. We never, ever once smelled pot in our home.

    Also, our difficult child outtalked the therapists we paid for. He told them what he thought they wanted to hear, not what would get him help. And, they always dismissed him. But, of course they would/could not tell us anything because he was 18+.

    None of this means this is what is happening with your son. My advice (all from looking back), is to keep your eyes wide-open. Do not discount anything and listen to what other folks think. The truth may not be what you want to see, but that does not mean it is not the truth.

    If husband and I had realized that, would have things have turned out differently for our son? I highly doubt it, but I wish we had been more receptive. We remembered our sweet young son and could not see the writing on the wall.

    Hugs, because I feel for you. Depression is scary. I remember calling some # the police gave me to get help for our difficult child. The counseling center could not see him for several weeks and advised me to remove all knives. We put all the kitchen knives in our bedroom. Our difficult child was basically comatose, staring at the walls. He never tried to take his life, but we were very worried....beyond very worried.

    Keep good thoughts, but do not base your reality on what you want to see. And, please, please, keep posting. That will help you tremendously.

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  9. dstc_99

    dstc_99 Well-Known Member

    You can't make your son get help. You also can't protect him from himself 100% of the time. I learned this with my difficult child daughter who is close to his age. Not all that long ago unfortunately.

    Here is what you can do. You can decide what you will and will not live with in your home. You can inform your difficult child of the rules and then you have to enforce them. If they chose not to follow the rules then they have to move. YOU ARE NOT ABANDONING THEM! I completely understand that you feel that way because of your past but your son is a grown man not a 13-14 year old girl.

    I did these things and while it wasn't perfect it did teach difficult child that my word means something. It also taught her that her depression/anger/choking would not stop me from having personal boundaries. She found out how it felt to have mom and dad not provide for her every need. She stopped choking herself.

    I got therapy and strength from my spouse. I got to feel like me again. I stopped feeling like I had to fix all her problems for her exactly the way she wanted them fixed and when she wanted them fixed. I learned that she was using her mental issues to control me and her boyfriend at the time. I learned how not to get mad and run my mouth or get sympathetic and run my mouth in a manner that would commit me to anything. I learned how to say no and NOT feel guilty.

    You get the point.
  10. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome LostMom. I am so sorry you are going through this with your son. Dealing with troubled kids is a uniquely devastating experience for us parents. As you are reading here, you are not alone. Most of us here on this forum have been through what you are talking about on one level or another. It isn't easy to watch your beloved child go off the rails.

    One of the most important things you can do immediately is to make sure you get yourself some support. There are 12 step groups, private therapy, clergy, parent groups and there is NAMI which is the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can access NAMI on line, they have chapters in many cities and they have excellent courses for parents of troubled kids. Getting support can help you maneuver through this maze of chaos and drama that our kids bring to us. Many of us need the help to figure out how to deal with all the feelings that come up, guilt, anger, resentment, sorrow, disappointment and a variety of other strong emotions. It is also helpful to have someone to help guide you through the process of detaching and accepting.

    Your son is young, he may snap out of it. He may not. In the meantime it becomes imperative for you to set boundaries in your home that you will enforce. Without boundaries your life will be dragged around by the whims of an 18 year old erratic, depressed person. Boundaries will provide you and even your son with safety in knowing what he cannot be permitted to get away with. Even depressed and mentally ill people know right from wrong. If he is not psychotic or comatose, then he is able to understand boundaries.

    You may want to read the article on detachment at the bottom of my post. You may also want to read Codependent no more by Melodie Beattie. You will want to arm yourself with information, support, guidance and self care. Most of us have been so depleted by our kids we have forgotten what taking care of US is like. Make that a priority now. You are important too, you will need to nourish yourself and find ways to be kind to yourself. This is a very depleting journey, you will need to put the focus on yourself and begin to remove it from your son. At 18 he is considered an adult. That means in the eyes of the law, you have no power over his choices. That powerlessness if very difficult for us parents to accept. We want to help, to take care of, to nurture and to keep them safe. But, we can't. That is VERY hard for us to take in. It takes time and a lot of support. We make mistakes. We enable them. We go back and forth for awhile. But in the end, for most of us, letting them go is the answer. Letting them go into their own lives, their own destiny, whatever that is, is hard for us, but it is usually the truth of the situation. We have to learn how to respond differently. We have to learn how to say NO.

    None of this is easy. In fact, it is very hard. Which is why I always advocate getting support. I needed a village to help me. Keep sharing your story, as you feel up to it, that will help you to clarify it and receiving others input will help you not feel alone anymore. Get yourself some support and be very kind to yourself. I'm glad you're here with us.