24 year old son severely depressed, I'm at wits end

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by coel, May 29, 2015.

  1. coel

    coel New Member

    I'm new here and this is my first post. I have a 24 yer old son who has been diagnosed with severe depression. He is on medication and sees a psychiatrist. He's always been ADHD and has had trouble sleeping. Also was slightly depressed when younger, but it really didn't hit till he got to college. First semester was fine then all downhill after that. Didn't attend classes, couldn't get out of bed, but since he was out of town we had no idea. He was put on probation several times, did what was necessary then went back to school. Finally they kicked him out. He's incredibly smart in math and science yet suffers from a poor memory (and other Learning Disability (LD)'s). He thinks way out of the box. His problem is ether the class was too easy and couldn't handle it or he didn't like the teacher whatever. He keeps saying he wants to finish collage, but every time we give him the chance, he blows it. This past spring semester he was taking 4 classes at the com. coll. and failed everyone. What makes things worse is that he lies to us. Several times, just like this semester, he told us he was going to classes and doing fine. Kept telling us he couldn't log in to get his grades and that he forgot to sign up for summer school. We were able to log on (his father and I) and saw that he failed every class. Seems like such a waste since he is so smart plus he comes from a family where everyone is educated. This time he felt like it was useless and what was the point of going to class. I guess part of the depression is not realizing what it's doing to himself or that we pay for it and doesn't teem to bother him that we're running out of money. When you ask him about anything his answer is usual ok (which usually means shut up) or I don't know. He has worked off and on, usually seasonal jobs and last summer he worked at a recreational area. Could have done that again but due to budget cuts that was out of the picture. He says he's looking for work, but with his short resume I'm sure that's a hindrance and the jobs he apply's for I don't think they want someone with college since they know he won't last long. Suggested volunteering, but he doesn't seem motivated at all. He doesn't drink and doesn't do drugs which we know for a fact. He's quiet though will see his friends when they call him. Now I'm going downhill because I'm at wits end. I have no idea what to do. It kills me to see him like this especially missing out on this period of his life, watching him just play on his computer (I just took that away as well as his tablet, doctor said that's his escape out of reality), or lay in his room and do nothing. Did therapy too, but now we realize he has probably lied to everyone, not just us and he even said he probably did. We're all seeing his doctor next week, but I just wonder what's next. Right now I have a love hate relationship with him and like I can't even enjoy anything any more (and all usually falls on me since my husband has aspergers though he denies it and doesn't believe me). Thanks!

  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi and welcome. Glad you found us... sorry you had to.

    A couple different angles come to mind from your post.

    Does your son have a therapist? A psychiatrist really just handles medications for mind disorders - he needs direct personal therapy to deal with depression. Medication alone will not cure depression. You have to change how you think. For this to work, he has to want help, though.

    If you suspect your husband has Asperger's... what are the chances your son also has some of those traits? He seems just a bit out of step with the real world, which wouldn't be unusual for an Aspie. And often they are smart but can't figure out that sometimes you have to fit in with the system. (But MOM, they keep breaking the "rules", and I can't do that.)

    Has he ever had a comprehensive evaluation? If not, or if it was some time back, I'd be pushing the psychiatrist to recommend that he be tested, and to point you in the right direction. Not because YOU think he has Asperger's (trust me, doctors don't like it when parents diagnose) but because "there HAS to be something more going on, and we need to know what we are dealing with".
  3. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member


    Good, good thinking, mom.

    Was the volunteering at an animal shelter? If that hasn't been suggested for him, that may be a place he could help, and could heal. They so desperately need people to socialize with and pet and hold and walk and love the dogs or cats or parrots who find themselves there.

    If those abandoned or abused creatures can stay adoptable, then one day, maybe someone who could love them will see them and love them and take them home.

    That could be a good, no pressure place for your son to begin, maybe.

    I am so glad you posted in. There is strength and wisdom here you could hardly believe exists in this world of ours that has gotten so darn cold.

    Holding good thoughts for you, and for your son, coel.

  4. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Coel.
    I am so sorry that you are all going through this.
    I agree with-Insane--I see Asperger's in there. I would definitely get him into therapy, even if you have to bribe him.
    My son has Asperger's AND a mood disorder, probably bipolar, and it is a rough life. I have to keep my hand on his back all the time (and sometimes my food up his bottom).
    Cedar has some great ideas, too. Aspies are usually great with-animals. And it's great therapy. And there are no expectations, no pressures.
  5. coel

    coel New Member

    Thank you all so much for your great and concerning replies. He was seeing therapist, but she did no good. I think the main reason for that was he wasn't honest with everything. After reading some other threads, I suggested he volunteer at an animal shelter. He took his application there, but said it could take up to 2 weeks since they have so many volunteers. Also applied to a wildlife rehab place and some parks. He's interested in environmental planning so I told him to check out to see if there are any companies that do it where he could volunteer. Doubt he did that.
    I asked the doctor if he was aspergers (has been seeing my son since 9th grade and didn't think so because he is social and in a way caring. Whereas my husband is the complete opposite which makes this even harder for me. He actually said if any one in my family is aspergers, it's my husband.
    My son and I had a long talk this morning which is something he never did before and hopefully he wasn't lying but I don't think he was. He's stuck in a cycle and can't get out of it. He told me his biggest problem is that he does lie and doesn't understand why. As for classes, he says he stands at the door and jut can't get himself to go inside. Again he doesn't know why. This even happened with the classes he liked. Later he'll berate himself because he knows it's what he needs and then just figures why try. That's the cycke. It's something he ingrained in his mind because he was always til he was smart and when he talks, he sounds like a sciences dictionary. We have a meeting with his psychiatrist this coming Monday. Actually, I was planing to leave town tomorrow to get my daughter (youngest child) from scholar where she just graduated from but stayed another month. If I did that, it would be only my son and his father going to the meeting. Now I have 2 dilemmas. Do I stay to ratted the meeting also and spend less time out there with friends or go to the meeting and make a quick trip out o get her. The other dilemma is understanding why my son thins he screws up all the time, makes startup decisions, berates himself then gives up. He still wants to allege, but he can't even go back-to the cc since he failed all the classes he was taking. He has really made things bad for himself and I'm at a loss as to what to do. It's with me 24/7!
  6. SeekingStrength

    SeekingStrength Well-Known Member


    I am so sorry your son (and you) are dealing with this. Our youngest son dealt with severe depression for a year or so. One night I insisted on taking him to the hospital. I was very scared. He told me about his suicidal thoughts. They did all sorts of tests (no drugs in his system). He, also, is, very bright.

    He started seeing a therapist and psychiatrist. The psychiatrist had him on so many medications (cocktail), that our son was not himself. We took him off of them, slowly, and he did much better. The therapist was good and the two of them made a plan of baby steps, #1 , #2, #3, to get him going again and our son actually did them. (He seemed to really like her). The therapist gave our son #'s to call if he ever got suicidal thinking again. She told him there was probably no reason for him to go to hospital because it is in his medical records. I was too scared that day to even think along those lines.

    One time, she called and wanted a meeting with son, dad and me. We were worried about what she might tell us, but it turns out it was just so son could tell us he wanted to drop out of college and was afraid to tell us, fearing our disappointment. We felt like jerks. Our son stayed out 1.5 years before deciding to return. He has done great since returning to school once he was ready. He is on schedule to graduate this December at age 26. During that time, he worked at a Subway, then moved on to a pretty hip pizza joint in town and slowly gained traction. I will never forget his training at Subway. He almost go fired. He was just so depressed and messing up everywhere. It was painful to watch him trying.

    Added: his last semester of college he dropped out in late October, costing us major $$. This was before he decided to take the hiatus.

    All of this is to say, once we pulled way back on any expectations and just were there for him to breathe and take small steps, things got much better. It did not happen quickly. The difference in our son now and then is remarkable.

    by the way, the psychiatrist diagnosed our son with Aspergers. I kinda thought it might fit until our daughter, a psychological examiner, said there was no way. Our son had speech problems early on (aged 2-5). He talked a LOT, but it sounded like gibberish. These days, there is nothing that even looks like Aspergers with him.

    There are way better days ahead for your son. Believe that.

  7. coel

    coel New Member

    I can tell by the "voice"of your message you sound so relieved and happy. Wish I could get there one day. The reason we kept sending him back to school is because he told us he wanted to go. Even now he still wants to go, but his options are going to be limited. That's what scares me. He'll be living at home forever trying to get back into college, LOL! He says what is keeping him from doing it are the negative thoughts in his head. He can't go to class then gets upset about himself. Very low self esteem. It's like he gives up without really trying. Actuary anytime a doctor or therapist would give him suggestions that may help, he never did any of them. I guess that's what we need to work on, or at least the doctor or a better therapist than we had before. Still I am confused, but I see a glimmer of hope when I read a message like yours! Thank you!
  8. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Have either of you read Brene Brown's books? I am spacing on the latest title. Brene Brown researches shame. She names the concept of being afraid, acknowledging and doing it anyway: leaning in.

    Her work has been helpful to me.

    You can check her out on YouTube, and on TED talks.

    Another book that might be helpful is McKay/Fanning's Self Esteem.

  9. JulieAnn

    JulieAnn Member