Clinically depressed 22 year old son, saying he has suffered enough, refuses help

Desperate mama

New Member
My story or I guess my sons story, started when he was a toddler, he had major separation anxiety,we had to rearrange or find new jobs to accommodate child care, it had to be me or my mother in law, he literally would cry for days when we tried babysittters.
They literally had to pull him out of my arms every morning in kindergarten for 4 months before it got easier. Before middle school, one of his good friends did something sexual towards my son,( that I found out about later, ) starting middle school was a nightmare, had to remove him from our county school, to the next county over, and there he seemed to thrive, at least for a little while!
High School was not good, he only did what he had to do to graduate, always asking to be home schooled, I was constantly questioning him if kids were mistreating him or bullying him, but I always got the answer no, he just hated school!
Since he graduated, it's been a battle of ups and downs, it's like a cycle, he sees a psychiatrist, and has been diagnosed with clinical depression, and has tried every medicine you could think of(of course keeping him on any medicine for any length of time was something else) he's tried herbs, religions, martial arts, nothing has helped. Or he doesn't stick with it!
Recently we found liquor in his room, and for three nights I got no sleep just setting up talking to him, he states he is an alcoholic, I don't know how he has kept this from me for he lives in my home, but when he goes to the local service station/ liquor store, for cigarettes or dip, he has been buying alcohol and hiding it,till we are in bed.
He states he is tired of suffering, he takes xanax, and as I advised him how dangerous it was to mix with alcohol and how it suppresses your breathing how he may not wake up some morning, he just states "that would be ok", he told me tonight he would rather have cancer than live with this.
Me and his father have advised him he cannot bring anymore liquor into our house, he has not showered all week, states he is angry because he doesn't want to feel this way anymore, but is refusing any help, he doesn't want to contact his pshychiatrist, doesn't want to start therapy again.
He texts me while I am at work stating he doesn't know what to do but everything I reccomend he refuses, and states he just need his mom!
I dont know what else to do!


Active Member
I would commit him if possible. He is sinking.
I would contact his psy doctor and tell him about the drinking. Thats probably why the medication isnt working because he is screwing it up by drinking.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
My heart truly goes out to you. He is a sensitive soul and clearly in pain as you are. He does need help and not the kind of help a mother can provide. We are adept at hogs and bandaids but not so much psycho therapy. My son is an addict with Conduct Disorder. I could look back and see a million reasons why this is so. The reality is we haven't caused their illness we can not control it nor can we cure it. We can help them but must not enable them. Enabling them will bring them closer to their demise. I am learning and growing with new found strength to do what is right for my son. I wish you the very best with yours and pray you find the strength to do what is right to get him the help that he needs.


Roll With It
I am sorry you have to endure all of this. I am assuming your son is over 18 at this time? Is he working?

I know it is hard to see him as an adult at this time. I believe he knows this and likely is manipulating this and you/your husband.

Please, I am begging you to start attending alanon meetings. Not the same meeting at the same time/place. Go to different meetings in different times and places until you find ones that have dynamics that feel right for you. Even meetings in the same place but at different times or on different days will have different dynamics and may or may not feel right to you.

Going to a family support group gives your loved one a 30% greater chance of success of recovNering from addiction. This means that if you regularly go to alanon or the equivalent for narcotics anonymous, your son will have a 30 % better chance of beating his addiction. It will mean you have the tools to help him when he is ready to tackle his addiction, and that you are able to stop enabling him far earlier than many parents of addicts are.

Back when he was in school, if you could have done something to give him a chance to raise his grades from 60% to 90%, would you have done it? Especially if it only took an hour 2-3 times a week? Now imagine that this could do more for him than just give him a grade on a report card. Imagine it could actually help save his life, could actually even help give him a longer and better life?

Would you be willing to give up an hour a couple of times a week to do that??Especially if it could maybe even help your life???

Alanon actually can do this. I truly believe alanon or narcanon can help you figure out how to help you figure out how to best help your son. If they cannot, maybe one of the family groups run by NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness can. I believe these are free (if you are in the US).

I do believe that you are not going to get your son to follow your rules or do what you want without a great deal of problems. If he is living with you, and you are paying his way, then he likely is not going to want to change anything until he absolutely must. I would insist he pay his own bills by a set deadline, and I would not pay them after that point. If I have misunderstood the situation, and he is supporting himself, then I apologize for that.


It just feels hopeless when you don't know how to help. I really wish I had the answer for you but I really think our children need to want and seek help for themselves. Often we do things for them thinking we can help but we make it worse. It feels so unfair!

I have a similar situation to you but my son doesn't live at home anymore. Of course this doesn't stop you thinking all the time about how they are, if he's drinking or taking drugs or even if he is still alive, but it does give me peace and quiet sometimes. The advice of others is crucial to me, knowing that it isn't selfish not to destroy your own life over the challenges adult children like ours present. Sometimes I don't feel like doing anything, just want to curl up in bed and ignore it all, but I force myself and have times when I forget. So essential for my well being. One of the members told me that ruining my own life will not improve his, so simple but so true. I hope things improve for you and that you find some strength and happiness x


Well-Known Member
I am reading along, Desperate Mama. Perhaps your son has been self-medicating to cope with his discomfort around other people? Then it becomes a vicious circle. The alcohol is a depressant, leading to even less likelihood that he will push out of his shell and deal appropriately with situations he finds uncomfortable.

The psychiatric medications he is on won't work appropriately if he is drinking, and unfortunately the effects of any antidepressant pale in comparison to the immediate "buzz" that comes from alcohol.

Then the whole seratonin-dopamine receptor system gets out of whack, and alcohol becomes something they NEED just to feel "normal." Ugh.

We went through many years of this with our son. We are still going through it.

If he is talking to you about it and acknowledging his drinking, that is a good sign. I agree that his psychiatrist needs to be on board with what's going on.

Can you convince your son to go to detox and get the alcohol out of his system, then "start fresh" with some new prescriptions to help with his anxiety?

Desperate mama

New Member
Thank you all, for all the advise, and thoughts, as far as I know he hasn't had any alchohol since Wednesday, he seems to be better today. Although who knows what tomorrow will bring! I feel so hopeless and helpless sometimes, when I first found this forum and read some of the story's it was like I was reading our story and it's helped me so much to know, that what my son and our family are going through is not the singular incident that I thought and felt is was.
I know other families have these issues but I felt so distraught and alone, I guess it's like I told my husband, it doesn't matter what you go through there are always others that go through so much more and have it much worse than you are. It's just so hard when your going through something that breaks your heart every day, I wake up every morning and he is the first thing on my mind, and always the last before I go to sleep at night!
But today has been better and hopefully tomorrow will be too! We'll take it day by day like we have been doing for 5 years, and I'm gonna try to talk him into letting me go into his next psychiatrist appointment with him, so I can let his Dr know more about what's going on, again thanks for all advise I plan on being a regular to this forum it's helped me to deal, so much better than I was.


100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

Just caught up on your story. So sorry you are dealing with this.

My son too self medicated from a young age and we really did everything to help him. He is almost 22 and still struggling and I see no end in sight.

The only good thing he has going right now I feel is that he is in a very good rehab with great people and hoping that the talk therapy will help him. I feel that is what he needs most of all and these young men are least likely to agree to get! I think men in general do not want to seek help as they may see it as a sign of weakness? I'm not sure but that is something I think about.

I also think about my son first thing when I wake up and last think when I go to bed and IF I get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night. Ugh. Exhausting!!

I think seeing a psychologist to "talk" things out along with the psychiatrist would be helpful for your son. That is what I had started but my son went off the rails anyway but it's worth a shot.

Good luck and keep us posted.