out of ideas - feeling hopeless


Active Member

I am feeling simply desperate, and hopeless today. More and more, my difficult child is turning into a lump, a coach potato, and an unmotivated being. He has no desire to do anything, but watch tv and play games, and I am freaking out. How am I going to get him out of the house in the next couple of years when he has no desire to get a job, do school work, or even help a bit around the house??? Consequences, don't do anything but fuel him into a rage, and rewards are only minimally effective.

He has been kicked out of every private and public school I can think of, with me homeschooling him between times. It has almost been a year of homeschooling now (actually an online HS), and he has developed a phobia of even the mention of going to "a class", not to mention getting "a job." I know some of this is due to his repeatedly failures in schools, his repeated rejections from his peers, and his overall issues - but it also seems as if he has just given up on life in general.

Other variables in this scenario are that in the last month he has completely titrated off of his Effexor, and my Dad, (his grandpa) was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer, with a very short time to live. The Effexor seemed ineffective, but now I am wondering....and of course how does anyone deal with the impending death of a loved one, especially a difficult child. His grandpa and him always had a rocky relationship, which I think makes it harder for difficult child. He has said he is mad at him for the rocky parts of the relationship, and mad at him for dying, but yet he really loves him.....it is hard......and he was the "father figure" for many years.

Anyway, any advice would be so appreciated! Yes, I have read Explosive Child, although I am considering re-reading it - and yes, I do think some of this has to do with being a teenager.........but good golly, I think it SO much more than that. He refuses to talk to a counselor, but I am working on changing his mind about that as of late. Besides that how do I get him motivated when he feels like his whole life he has failed, when he hates everything, and when he says he just does not care? It was so much easier when he was little and I could just scoop him up, put him in the car, and take him where I felt like it was he needed to go. :frown:


New Member
Sounds like my DEX lol!

Seriously though, I cant offer any advice or words of wisdom but can only send prayers that he will sit up and decide to make a success of himself. I think most teenagers are unmotivated and lazy to an extent ( a wise person once said that nailing jelly to a tree was easier than raising teenagers) but our difficult child's seem to take this to the extreme!

:: HUGS ::


Well-Known Member
Oh, I am so sorry about your dad! That's awful. And so very sad.

In re: to the rocky relationship, if there's any time to heal, it is now. Is there any chance they can talk? Read the newspaper together? Is your dad still able to speak? difficult child needs to realize that he has to get over his anger right now, at least FAKE IT, and after your dad is gone, difficult child has the rest of his life to be angry. You dad is probably on antidepressants right now, so this may even out his personality enough to leave an opening.

In re: to motivation, my difficult child is much younger (10) but was totally unmotivated last yr. The counselors and teachers all agreed we needed to get his attention, and that he was being pushed a bit too hard, so we held him back in school. THAT got his attention! He didn't believe we'd really do it. We also took away the computer and TV (literally removed them, while he wasn't home) but now he has earned them back. He has to earn nearly everything. (And now all we have to do is unplug the mouse... much easier than totally removing the hard drive.)

Is he failing in school to the point where he could be held back? (Ooops, I just read the kicked out of school part...)

Have you taken away the computer and TV? (Expect a major meltdown when you do.)

What can he do that is relatively simple that will help his self esteem? (I mean, simple chores like taking out the trash, so you can offer a simple, "thank you, that really helps my back," etc.)

Does he have a driver's license? There's a carrot and stick for you. :smile:

Good luck.


Active Member
He's feeling bad about himself and admitting to it - that should be enough leverage to get him to talk to a counsellor. Hunt around for someone with a good reputation for working with adolescents and be prepared to give difficult child some say in whether he continues with that person or changes. But some form of counselling should be able to be insisted on.

This is sounding a lot like agoraphobia. If it's not, it's heading there. And you're right to be concerned and want to do something about it. Is it possible that the resistance to seeing a counsellor isn't just resistance to going away from his home environment?

As for school phobia - it could be with good reason. difficult child 3 does attend the occasional, small, class in the city, but he knows he can always refuse. He also knows they watch him like a hawk to keep him safe. Kids like ours are bully magnets. They know it and it's often a major reason for school avoidance.


Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
Is the psychiatrist keeping a close watch on his lithium levels?

When N was feeling much that way, I finally began to reach her by explaining to her (many times) that she didn't have to feel that way. That your average person does not feel that way. And that she had a right to be happy and to feel good. Then I got into the nitty gritty of teaching her about bipolar. How when you either manic or depressed it really does alter how you view yourself and the world around you. What you see is a skewed version of what is really there/happening. We went into the physical aspects of the disorder, and that led to me explaining how her medications worked to stabilize and suppliment the chemicals her brain needed to function properly. The same way a diabetic needs isulin. Or an epileptic needs their medications to control seizures.

Then I'd have the psychiatrist explain it to her too so she knew I wasn't just making it up. psychiatrists nurse also took the time to reinforce this. Fam doctor did too. And so did easy child who is an RN.

(we still reinforce this when we think it necessary)

I figured I had nothing to lose since N will be living with her dxes the rest of her life. She would need that information. And it did help. The more we talked the more she began to open up and tell us how she felt and asked questions.

I know girls and boys react differently to such an approach. But it might be worth a try. N wasn't very receptive at first. It took awhile. But I still drug her to the psychiatrist and therapist for every appointment. Still made sure she took her medications properly.

I know when I hit the depression it seems to throw all of my anxieties into high gear. The worse my depression gets, the worse my anxiety gets. I avoid leaving the house. I avoid people, including family. And it only gets worse from there.

I've noticed the same with N. And we both have the anger when depressed. (as well as when manic)

If you can drag him in, I'd drag him in. A good therapist or psychiatrist can usually get a pt to say something while they're there. And sometimes that can get the ball rolling.