Don't know what to do with my son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Robert44, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. Robert44

    Robert44 Member

    new to forum. 1st post. Son is 18 . Already didn't make it last year in college. supposed to go again this Sept. I''m not sure if he's ready. He recently got clean from all substances on his own. the problem is that he can't make it through a day without getting depressed. He doesn't want to go to any doctors or take any medications. basically has no friends now to hang with since they all just smoke everyday. He gets very frustrated with life and is very negative. He's very naturally smart. thanks....
  2. MommaK

    MommaK Member

    He is definitely in an uphill battle on his own. Not saying he can't overcome it, but without some help it will be difficult. Has he tried to see anyone in the past or is the depression new now that he's clean?
  3. Weary Mother

    Weary Mother WEARY MOTHER

    My 46 year old daughter also wants no help and doesn't take her medications regularly, will not get therapy for depression, addiction etc. She also says she wants no friends, keeps making the same bad choices when she does find a friend. She was offered college upon graduation, did not want to go. Now her life is on a path of starting over and I am trying to let go, with love and let her find her own answers.
  4. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member


    Does your son attend any support groups? AA/NA?

    When he attempted college before was he still using? If he was, this time around college may help. Maybe he will meet some new, "clean" friends.

    I think a lot of substance abusers struggle a bit after getting clean. I thin it takes a while to learn how to negotiate the world when you aren't "numb." Remember, for so may years they avoided feeling by keeping anesthetized. Now there are actual feelings to deal with and depending on when they started using, these may be things they never dealt with.

    Also, according to AA/NA you have to give up "People, places, ad things"to maintain your sobriety. I guess that can be pretty lonely when your only people are users.

    Encourage him to try to be social at school. Join study groups or activities. Hopefully, he will make some new, healthy friends and will start to feel better.
  5. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis


    He does seem smart, he's clean! Now he needs to find a activities that he really likes. I would encourage him to join clubs, attend outings etc.

    He may even want to have a counselor...not medications, but someone to talk too.

    Good job...hope he keeps moving forward!
  6. Robert44

    Robert44 Member

    Not new.He's had depression for years. He said he's not going to anymore doctors and not taking any medication. He's supposed to leave for college next week. I was hoping he would have some support system in place when he goes. Guess not. As i said he already tried college last year but he couldn't make it and had to come home. Frustrating and sad that he won't go to the doctors and get help. He thinks that he can handle it on his own but he ends up sad angry and depressed every day. I thought he hit rock bottom and he was ready to get help. I hope he can make it but I have doubts. he's too depressed and has trouble functioning.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Are you sure he is clean or are you going by what he says? They lie about that a lot. Like if he used heroin it is unlikely he could stop on his own. Pot maybe, although that can become incredibly psycologically addictive.

    Its funny how our kids will take risky, mind altering drugs with obviously no supervision, but refuse to take supervised medication that does not get them high but does help depression. Very puzzling.

    Street drugs often make depression worse. I tried pot as a teen and it made me depressed, spacy and nervous...I did not smoke pot for long as it scared me.

    I hope it works out. I have had drpression since childhood and it totally does impede how one achieves and functions. It is so important to get treatment. Oh well.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2016
  8. Robert44

    Robert44 Member

    @Sister's Keeper Thanks all for your replies... Appreciate it.. He is clean .. threw out all his stuff. Sister's Keeper good suggestion about joining study groups etc..... He needs to make friends that are clean.
  9. Robert44

    Robert44 Member

    @SomewhereOutThere Yes he's clean. I helped him get rid of everything. He just did pot. He has also been home with us all the time. I hope he changes his mind and goes back to the doctors. This is all we talk about in the family. All of us are having trouble functioning. I do worry about side effects from medications also. I wouldn't want him to get on something and then he gets a bad side effect and then he would have another problem to deal with. thanks
  10. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    Plenty of people stop heroin and other opiates on their own. Believe it or not, opiates are not the worst of drugs to withdraw from.

    The withdrawal is basically a case of feeling so awful you wish you were dead for a week or two. That's not the hard part. It's the depression, anxiety, and cravings after that are hard to deal with. Yes. It's easier to get through with the support of others, but people do decide "That's it. I'm done." and quit and stay quit.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    GN, you sure teach me lots and lots. Im glad you can kick drugs on your own. My daughter used meth...I knew you vould kick that but not anything else. This should make all moms with drug abusing adult kids feel better. Its hope.

    Robert, I wish all goes very well :)
  12. MommaK

    MommaK Member

    He could have been self medicating with the drugs. Unfortunately that does tend to happen more than we know or like to admit. I'm glad he is clean. Medications are not always needed. He could state to a doctor if he decides to go that he doesn't want medications. They can help him learn coping skills, but it will take longer and will be a hard fight.
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Mild depression doesnt always need medication.Severe depression usually does, although at timeit goes away on its own. I went threw that. But it does tend to revur and get worse each time. I was near suicide when I finally found medications that worked for was set to beg for electroshock therapy.

    Anxiety can be helped with good therapy. Depresdion, not so much. I had a decade of god therapy and still my depression remaoned.
  14. agingrapidly

    agingrapidly New Member

    Hi Robert: My son is also returning to college after being on medical leave for depression. Then we found out he was smoking heavily. He does take medication for depression, but claims it does not work (but can't really know due to smoking). Since we need to finance his education/living we are making him go to a therapist and addiction counselor. Right now we told him if he doesn't comply we won't give him money. Don't know if it will work, but trying.

    I hope it goes well for him (and you!).
  15. Robert44

    Robert44 Member

    @agingrapidly Wow that's exactly what happened to us. He left on the medical leave for depression, Lost a lot of money cause he stayed over a month. couldn't get the tuition back only the housing. He did quit the pot on his own after smoking for 5 years. Like I said in my post he now has no friends cause all they do is smoke. Really worried what's going to happen when he goes in Sept. He did try different medications in the past but he was always smoking too so just like you really can't tell if they helped.I am happy that he quit but I'm concerned that he won't go on depression medications and that he will go back to smoking. He hasn't gone out in 2 weeks. He does get depressed so it's concerning. Well best to you and your family....
  16. GoingNorth

    GoingNorth Crazy Cat Lady

    None of this will work if he doesn't buy into it. All he'll do is comply for the monetary reward. You'll know when he's ready to change because he won't need to be paid to do it.
  17. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Hi @Robert44 -- If you have a NAMI chapter near you, or near his campus, you might check out their peer-to-peer groups, or even online support groups for teens/young adults, which can feel less threatening or stigmatizing than face-to-face meeting with initial strangers.

    I think for young men, and especially those struggling with a mood disorder, the transition years between high school and the young adult years can be some of the toughest they ever face. Lots of changes, new stressors, pressures, expectations, possible loss of their previous support group of friends -- those years have proven overwhelming for both my boys, even when living at home and going to school locally. We have readjusted expectations and are trying to come to terms with a different path, though still focused on achieving self-sufficiency and financial independence in the end. Though I concur that without medication, our experience has shown that therapy will only go so far for depression.

    Have you considered having him try community college locally before attempting to go back to his old campus? It would certainly save you money and could possibly help keep him feeling supported and connected to family, prevent him from isolating himself further, which can exacerbate depression, and still allow him to work towards positive goals of passing courses and earning transferable credits towards his degree.
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  18. Robert44

    Robert44 Member

    @gcvmom Hi, Just read your other post. It's amazing that so many of us go through similar experiences. Every post I read I can relate to. He does not want to go to community college. He agreed last night to go back to the doctors. seeing one today. We don't have much time as were leaving for college next week. Keep on plugin. thanks
  19. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member


    Is his school nearby so that he can follow up with this doctor or can you find him a doctor near the campus or can he follow up with campus health services?

    The thing with anti depressants is that you don't see effect for 14-21 days and in that time dosages need to be adjusted.

    Psychiatric medications are an inexact science. In that a medication that works for you may not work for me, or an adequate dose for me may be too low for you.

    Finding the right medication/dosage/combination can be a process that takes time and patience. Many young people give up because they don't have immediate effects. Antidepressants don't work like that.

    Substance abusers, especially, are used to immediate gratification. Your son needs to be aware that this will be a process.
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  20. Robert44

    Robert44 Member

    @Sister's Keeper He knows that already that it takes time to figure it all out. His mom is Bi Polar and went went through that with her. He of course has no patience. Hasn't agreed to go on the medication yet anyway. We're goin to the Dr. later and we'll see what he says. I can't make him take the medications. I won't be there in college to remind him to take them. It's not a good situation. He's goin next week and we don't have all this figured out. The school is 3 hrs away so it's not close. Thanks