Adult son "doesn't need counseling".....


New Member
This is my first post and I'm glad to have found you.
I was awakened at 1:30 in the morning 2 weeks ago hearing my son's ex-girlfriend yelling on his speaker phone "what did you take?!?!?" He took a half bottle of Advil, and laid on his floor waiting to die. Since he wrote a suicide note there was only the option of him being involuntarily committed or him signing in for a voluntary commitment.
I called 911 and the ambulance took him to the ward of the hospital. 12 hours later they finally got a bed for him.
He has always been a funny, yet quiet kid, my youngest (his sister is 3 years older). He made some poor decisions, more to do with money and spending it but he told the in-staff counselor he had ruined his life. He's all of 21!!
He was released after a week, telling the counselor at the hospital he would follow up but he hasn't and now says he won't.
He says he doesn't need help. In the meantime I'm feeling like I want to just lay around all day in a depressed mood. I have contacted a therapist because I really need someone to talk to.
Depression runs in my family, but I have no problem taking medications for it; I'd rather feel alive than miserable. He won't see anyone, and refuses to even try medication.
His father died from alcohol poisoning. The depression is on my side of the family.
At this point he has a job and is paying for his car, I think part of the problem is he hasn't found a career, something that he could do well with. He said college wasn't for him, and that was his decision but in his note he referred to himself as the 'non-college going son, who is a big disappointment'. I've never indicated he was a disappointment, I just assumed he'd find his niche in his own time.
Now he is in his room, not wanting to talk to me at all and not really caring what I think. He's not belligerent, he just says he doesn't need counseling.
I'm seeing how all advice basically talks about detachment and not coddling him...its just so sad to remember how he used to be.


Well-Known Member
Does he take drugs, pot included? It is a good sign that he works and pays for his own car.

I learned from being in a hospital for my own severe depression that, or so I was told, the same gene that causes alcoholism causes depression. Like you, there is no way I would ever stay depressed and not use medications and go to counseling. That's why I thought of pot. So many disturbed young people ironically won't take an antidepressant (maybe because there is no kick to it...just helps you feel normal) but are all in about pot, which definitely affects your ability to think fast, your motivation and who knows what else that haven't been found out yet. It took a long time for scientists to figure out that cigarettes kill you. I am just waiting for updates on what pot can cause..

Hugs for your hurting heart.

Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Hi Kepi,

I'm so sorry for what you are going through. I'm glad you were there for your son but I'm so sorry that he put in that position.
It's such a fine line to walk when you want to help your son but don't want to enable him.

The article about detachment at the top of the PE forum really spells it out. It's not something that happens overnight, it takes effort but many here have successfully detached from their adult difficult children. Detaching does not mean we don't love them it just means that we will not allow them to hold our emotions hostage.

You are important and deserve to live your life and be happy.

All you can really do for your son is to let him know that you love him and present him with information that will help him. He has to want it for himself, that is the only way he will change.

I'm glad you found us here. Within these pages are years of experience and advice.

Hang in there and let us know how things are going.


Well-Known Member
Hi Kepi,

Want you to know I am reading along and thinking about you and your son. Please stay with the forum and post all you want. This is scary for you and having Conduct Disorders will help a lot.



Active Member
Hi Kepi, Reading along here as well, keep reading and posting! I joined not to long ago and it has helped me so much just knowing your not alone in your pain...



Your doing all you can. If he won't go, go for yourself.

This is all scary and yes, depressing. Keep posting, you will gain strength, and I pray your son does too.



I know exactly how you feel. My 24 year old son has made the same decisions and is still in a state of uncertainty. He attended college for awhile, but felt it wasn't for him but he looks at himself in a bad light because of it. There has been so much emphasis on college for young people, that those who don't go,feel inadequate. He has tried medications but hasn't found anything he will stick with except, of course, pot. I am glad to hear your son has a job because mine is still struggling with that issue. This forum has been very helpful for me, especially the detatchment part.



I hope your son finds work that helps him. Strange that my sons fast food job gives him purpose and surrounds him with people. intelligent well read guy has no problem making burgers and working with the public. It's the best therapy and the only he will go to!

He's clean...and we can only do one day at a time. He even has a hard working clean girlfriend...yes...we all saw college where now we only want him to create his own life.

Blessings to you..we all do whAt we can.