depression is back

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by tryingtobestrong, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. So for 4 days my AS seemed to be doing better. Seemed like the depression was getting better. Not sure if it was due to his birthday last week or what but the depression got worse again. Missed an IOP at the end of week and can't miss anymore or will get removed from the program. Self harming (cutting) is back. I want to tell the IOP about the cutting but fear they will tell him I told and try to commit him. He is not doing it to take his life just to release the emotional pain.
    I know if i suggest sober living he will fight it. I have to let him come to that decision on his own but just not sure when that light bulb will go on. If he gets removed from IOP for missing too many meetings, then he has nothing. He is still sober and got his token today at AA for 60 days. He is just so down on himself and feels he will never get passed his guilt and shame.
    I know I am to just ask "what do you think you could do to help with the depression? Be among others going through this just like you when you come home from work and on weekends?" But I guess I know the answer. AS always gets angry when we bring it up. I just don't know why AS won't give it a chance.
    He has to take control of this. He is on anti depressants but I just don't know.
  2. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I’m sorry Trying. This is so hard to watch them in pain. But it’s great news that he’s 60 days sober! Does he feel any kind of pride or happiness in that?

    S was a cutter. She was never committed for just cutting. It was recognized that this was not an indication of suicidal intention but a separate symptom of its own. But perhaps it’s not your role in his recovery to report this either? I would encourage him to be honest with his own therapist and enlist their help in getting through the depression. But I think perhaps it’s best to leave this in his hands. He is at a point he needs to take an adult role in his recovery. As frustrating and heartbreaking as it can be, we can’t do it for them.

    Antidepressants can take a while to kick in. If he just started them, perhaps they will start kicking in soon. If not, he should explore changing his prescription. But again this will require him to be honest with doctors and therapists.

    Hang in there trying. I know this has been a rocky road.
  3. He has been on the anti depressants now for 55 days. They just added Wellburtin a week and half ago. I know that the first few days of taking that one he seemed to be doing better but then it went downhill again. Not sure if his birthday was a trigger or not. Mentions the guilt and shame of what was done in the past with a long term relationship and that just weighs on mind and deepens the depression. Feels like a piece of garbage, etc. I said not to let those negative thoughts back in.
  4. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    It sounds like he’s coming to terms with a lot. It’s good that he Is still able to recognize the harm his past actions have caused - recognition is the first step to making better choices in the future. But you’re right that he will have to work past this and move forward with a focus on the future. None of us can change the past. All we can do is make amends whenever possible and do better in the future. Is he working through these feelings with his therapist at all? It may take some time. Two months is not really very long to come to terms with such big issues.

    Perhaps there are steps he can take to feel he is making amends, if not directly to the person(s) he feels he has wronged - if that contact may be unwanted - but maybe in a symbolic or pay-it-forward kind of way. Penance is not a concept much in favor these days, but psychologically I think there is something to the concept. We needs ways to move forward from wrongdoing and restore our self concept as good people who are capable of doing good for others. Taking some form of action may help him more than simply trying to shove those thoughts away.
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Hi Trying

    I know how hard this is. I am dealing with something similar. I went back and I read your first thread. It sounds like your son has made progress. Being sober is a huge deal. These things do not turn on a dime. If I think about my own life there were no quick fixes for deep pain.

    Your son like many of us made his well-being contingent on the actions of another person--and when she left him, he had few resources to restore and maintain it. That is very similar to many of the mothers who come here about their difficult children, myself included. I made my ability to protect my son and to help him thrive central to my own sense of self. I do not think I am the only one.

    I see now that this is a huge part of the problem for me, and for him too.

    Your son is ahead of me in life in that he is confronting this sooner rather than later.

    No other person can or should be the reason that we live. He is learning that. And no other person can take away the pain of a loved one...or should. I wish there was somebody who could take away my own pain. But I recognize that that person is me. There are no shortcuts.

    By entering the program and achieving sobriety, he took a big step. That must be scary to him. One thing you might ask yourself is why he inflicts upon you this blow by blow account of his suffering. As I understand it he is not in your area. Are you sure he is back to cutting himself? What role would it play for him to tell you about this self-destructive behavior?

    I do not know what you can do if he chooses to discontinue the program. TL, another poster here, has a son who has made multiple attempts to become sober, and she has found a way to keep herself not only sane but thriving, despite her son's relapses. Her son, like your own, keeps trying, despite depression.

    The thing is this: how do we as their mothers survive this, a process over which we have not one iota of control? It only gets harder for me, but I think that is because I am setting boundaries that I have not set before. There must be some kind of unconscious calculus in me, that if I suffer with him that I can somehow protect him. And by withdrawing or setting a boundary I have upset the apple cart. I am hopeful that I can learn to be self-contained and at the same time connected. It is a learning process. And a living process.

    Take care.
    • Winner Winner x 2
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
  6. Copabanana- I am sure he is cutting himself. He told me that he has cut his legs. Sometimes they bleed and come through his pants. When we face-timed, I could see him wincing in pain as he moved and his cat walked on him.
    I reminded him that he cared about himself enough to get treatment for his alcohol problem, why not let the counselor know how he has resorted to self harm again. So what if he has to go to a mental hospital. He feels he deserves this pain after how he treated his ex all those years while in addiction. It is literally like running into a brick wall trying to talk to him.
  7. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    I hope your son can find a way out of his depression. He needs to forgive himself. If he talked to his ex he would probably be amazed at how little they think about him When people feel guilty about something toward someone else it is like they think the other person is thinking about them constantly
    there is a quote...
    Olin Miller > Quotes > Quotable Quote
    “You probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of you if you could know how seldom they do.”

    Could he speak with his ex and perhaps get closure on that so he can move on?
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
    • List
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Trying I was just reading about PAWS syndrome which means post-addiction withdrawal syndrome which can be protracted.

    The idea behind this is that stopping addictive behaviors means there are all kinds of unpleasant rebound type changes that occur to the body-mind, that feel terrible. I am wondering if he is not trying to respond to these icky, horrible feelings, and is ascribing them to guilt. I do the same thing (not cut, but give names or make stories to explain to myself to what is really a body-mind kind of horrible feeling. Beneath the stories may be a real neuro-chemical-biological process that is a result of quitting a compulsive behavior that itself has altered body processes and stunted or suppressed normal processes. Part of recovery is recovering these normal capacities.

    I was encouraged to read about this because I am feeling bad now too, for different reasons.

    I know that have to tread gingerly with him, but I wanted you to understand that however much it is not good he is cutting, he may be doing so because he is provoked by something in himself that will pass, and that he cannot control.

    I will try to get some links to describe PAWS.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  9. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Here are some symptoms of PAWS (I will look for the brain and bodily changes that underlie it.)

    Although everyone experiences PAWS a little differently, the following are commonly reported symptoms.

    • Anxiety and panic attacks
    • Depression
    • Suicidal thoughts
    • Irritability
    • Sudden mood swings
    • Fatigue
    • Lack of motivation
    • Insomnia
    • Inability to concentrate
    • General cognitive impairment
    • Memory loss
    • Difficulty solving problems and thinking clearly
    • Obsessive thoughts
    • Fluctuating energy levels
    • Extreme drug cravings and obsessions
    • Anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure from anything beyond use of the drug)
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • List
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  10. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I got sidetracked and stumbled upon this beautiful poem from the book Why we Love: the nature and chemistry of Romantic Love By Helen Fisher

    Fires run through my body--the pain of loving you. Pain runs through my body with the fires of my love for you. Sickness wanders my body with my love for you. Pain like a boil about to burst with my love for you. Consumed by fire with my love for you. I remember what you said to me. I am thinking of your love for me. I am torn by your love for me. Pain and more pain. Where are you going with my love? I'm told you will go from here. I am told you will leave me here. My body is numb with grief. Remember what I've said, my love. Goodbye, my love, goodbye. (An anonymous Kwakiutl Indian of Southern Alaska transcribed from the native tongue in 1896)
    This is why I am putting this poem here. While the PAWS syndrome speaks in terms of the science of the effects of quitting, there are emotional responses to the loss of a drug, just like the loss of a person. And there is a similar grieving and recovery process. People are in love with their drug.
  11. Smithmom

    Smithmom Active Member

    I can comment on anti-depressants for unipolar depressives only. Each person's chemistry is different and effectiveness is different. It often takes a lot of trial and error to find the right one or combination. But when the right medication and dose is found it is usually effective in that dose for years. The chemistry is more complex for bipolar people. Typically I believe that ADs alone are not sufficient

    Having said all that, ADs alone are not the answer. The real answer is a combo of medications and psychotherapy. That could be via rehab. But it needs to happen. You can't make it happen.

    Just stay strong. Keep to the boundaries.
  12. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    I remember my son getting into the vortex of not feeling good about things he had done and using more then feeling worse, and on and on.

    Could he maybe write the ex a letter explaining how he feels and how sorry he is? Maybe he wouldn't even have to mail it. We all know how helpful journaling is...
  13. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    I would say definitely don't mail it, unless he is 100% sure that contact would be welcomed. She may prefer to have no contact. But writing it would still be a useful exercise.

    I think we all need a path back to redemption when we have done something wrong, no matter how big or small. For my son in recovery, that has meant acts of service as well as dedicating his life towards something bigger than himself - his family, his community, young people who are heading down the same path he was on. He needed to not only acknowledge the pain he caused but also take real actions. I think the only way to stop feeling like a bad person is to start doing things you can feel good about. Perhaps he needs concrete ways to reorient his self-image - and his relationships with friends, family and the community - into something more positive.
  14. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Hard to do though when substance abuse is involved unfortunately.
  15. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    It is, while the substance abuse is still happening. But I think it can be very powerful in the recovery process.
  16. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    My son graduates from his 13 month program next month.

    I hope someday he shares it all with me but I will not press him.