Hello! I am new to this site. I found you all by googling about adult children and depression. I'm grateful to have found you all and it is so awesome that this place exists. It is a relief to find compassionate and experienced folks at a time when you feel so alone. So...thank you, in advance! I have read a whole lot here before creating my account. Although our situations are not identical, the concepts you speak of are all very helpful. Already, I feel I have a tad bit more clarity about what's going on in my household. Naturally, after reading about everyone else's experiences, I would like to give it a shot and share a bit too. Let's see if I can share some of the important details in a brief 'first' post. My step-son is 22. Right after high school he went into the military. About one year ago he came home for a visit during the holidays-- or so we thought. But after months of stringing us on with excuses and lies (even after the many times that we confronted him about our doubts), it turned out he was actually kicked out of the military and apparently was so afraid to tell us. How we found out: we dropped him off at the train station to (supposedly) return to duty. We thought perhaps that he actually did have a job to return to despite our disbelief due to many months of excuses and lies. However, he returned a couple days later. He had a breakdown and finally told us that had decided he was going to take his life. He had been sleeping out in the streets and came close to ending his life but could not do it after all. Naturally, after that, we showed him lots of support, love and patience. We assured him that his family was there for him and that he was welcomed home while he 'recovered' and got back on his own feet. We had motivational talks with him but didn't push too hard too soon. We knew he was dealing with a lot within himself that he wasn't ready to address out loud and soon we started noticing signs of depression (sleeping all day, awake all night, not showering, avoiding people, never leaving the house and let alone the couch he sleeps on, etc.). With time and a few chit chats from his dad, he seemed to be feeling a little better. Although, we noticed he was totally avoiding any serious business that needed attention and a lack of effort to plan or even think about his next move. He had shared with us his fear of the real world and it apparently had him so paralyzed as he was totally complacent on our couch. That is, until we literally drove him to the local community college and had him enroll in school and helped him with some paper work to access some money that he didn't have access to so that he could pay for school expenses. Well...this acces to his money eventually became the funding for his now reoccurring weekend binge drinking episodes. Things became so uncomfortable and stressful and even hazardous on the weekends because he would get pretty wasted. Thankfully we have never had to deal with blatant disrespect or aggression or verbal inappropriateness but he would pass out, have slurred speech, loss of balance etc all around his young siblings. We eventually, told him that alcohol and drinking was not allowed in the house. However, he disobeyed the rules and three weekends in a row continued to binge drink. Only on the weekends (that we are aware of). During the week he goes to school and seems to be responsible about school but yet still doesn't do much of anything else with his time. We also had a serious talk with him and communicated new conditions to live with us: therapy (or some time of professional guidance), a job, continue to go to school, and handle some important paper work re military. This was about 3 weeks ago. He has made little to no effort on any of this. His mom told him she could get him a job and he could stay with her but it requires a driver's license and therefore is no longer an option as he refuses to get his license (or is afraid to drive as he puts it). So, we're back at square one. So, today we will have another serious talk. He must show progress on the conditions within the next month and progress must continue or he will need to find another living situation at the end of January. We'll see how it goes but he never has any input and it ends up feeling like us lecturing a teenager, so I don't expect any difference today. I have shared the rough and basic details and haven't even addressed the emotional and psychological affect it has had on my husband and myself. We both have tried to maintain our lives separate from our son in order to keep sane and healthy. But it has recently worn me out. At first I was all in, trying to connect with him, checking in, finding resources of various types for him, etc. and he seemed to be at least a little open and willing to help himself. But after we communicated our conditions, it went downhill and he's back to being closed off and giving no effort. This has me fed up. At first, I allowed my concern for his safety and mental wellness, to influence my approach to him with caution (basically not being able to "detach" for several of the common reasons, as you all discuss). But recently I have been feeling more stressed and more avoidant of the simple access of my own house because of him and therefore triggering my own anxiety. It has been an emotional roller coaster as you all know yourselves! I am a bit afraid of the future outcome of our new ultimatum and can't help to think that we are making a damaging decision because I can see his pain and struggle and I feel that deep down inside he wishes things could be different but he's stuck. And you know how painful that is as a parent and how part of me feels like he needs us to keep fighting for him. Ugh!! But he isn't accepting our help and he isnt helping himself, so something needs to change for his wellbeing and ours. I went to a Alanon meeting and will attend a NAMI family support group to help myself and hope our son will find it somewhere deep within himself to seek help too. If you've reached this far in my post, thank you for reading! This simple act of sharing in a safe place with such empathetic people, is a much needed and appreciated release. I welcome whatever comments or advice you want to share. But mainly, I just thank you for listening!