Silence is golden! or is it??

Hi There,
I have posted on here before about my depressed difficult child who is currently living in hall of Residence at University. He refuses help and medication and frequently has sucidal thoughts (which he tells me about)
for the last few weeks he has been sending me text messages albeit sometimes worrying and strange, but nevertheless at least I know he is ok (ish). Now he has gone quiet, and I am in a state of panic that he has done something worrying... I have emailed the student Welfare officer at the University but as yet she has not got back to me. Now this could be a power thing as he seems to relish the idea of me worrying about him. I just am not sure... He knows that with my father and my grandfather having committed suicide, so knows that it is a subject close to my heart, but I just can't help being beside myself with worry.

How is it possible that less that 1 year ago I had a normal, confident son. Now he has just fallen to pieces, a former shell of his old self. How could 1 bad relationship!!! change someone SO MUCH...
Has anyone else had any experience of such a desperate change??? and is there ANY hope that he might (assuming he survives) change back again as he once was??? or am I just being an optimist??

Scent of Cedar *

Well-Known Member
I have emailed the student Welfare officer at the University but as yet she has not got back to me.

Other than telephoning the Student Welfare Officer, you have done everything that can be done for right now. Take a deep breath, and give yourself the gift of time. If you do not hear from the college within the next few minutes, who could you call, next?

There must be someone who can check his room. What about his dorm supervisor?

Has your son begun using marijuana or other mind-altering substances while away at school?

Thank you SOC Good advice. I really don't believe that he has been taking drugs of any form.. Its not just me kidding myself, he said to me tried a joint once and that he didn't enjoy it and that he dosnt even smoke cigarettes, said he had tried them, generally he seems disinterested in it. An old mate of his has apparently got himself addicted to Heroin and my difficult child said to me what a fool he was (his old friend) to get mixed up with it. So I can only assume that he is telling the truth. He dosnt tend to lie to me, he is secretive though and often keeps things to himself, but I genuinely think that his change is not drug related. It would defiantly make more sense if it was, and many a times I have wondered.


Well-Known Member

I think I remember you posting about this a few months ago?
I'm sorry you are still suffering and worrying about your son away in uni.
I think being away at uni for the first time can be difficult, especially for those who may be feeling insecure or homesick or have doubts about their course.
I think I would telephone the Student Welfare Officer, rather than waiting for a reply to an e-mail. If there is no response I would keep on phoning until I got through to someone who would listen to me.
Do you know the name of your son's personal tutor? As well as his lecturers, your son should have a personal tutor who should be aware of how your son is getting on generally.

I note that you say that this could be a power thing, with your son wanting you to worry about him. This could be true. I have experienced this with my difficult son and also with my mother (who is a very difficult person). Probably many more parents on this site have also experienced this. I think the advice is to phone the police if there are any actual suicide threats. (MWM was it you who says this? I think you posted some very good reasons for doing this, but I can't remember the details). Not hearing at all is such a worry. My mind rushes off in its own direction when this happens and I seem to have no control over my thoughts of panic and sadness.

I would try phoning the university again tomorrow and do not be put off. Even though you have had no direct threats of suicide, you have valid reasons for getting someone to check on your son as he has been having suicidal thoughts and you need to have peace of mind. There must be a students' medical officer or nurse that you could contact with your worries also?

It's pointless to say "don't worry" I know. Worrying is what mothers do best!

Let us know how you get on.
Thinking of you.

Are you in the UK?
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Tanya M

Living with an attitude of gratitude
Staff member
Oh DS, I'm so sorry you are going through this. That "not knowing" can be so hard. If it were me I would continue to call the Student Welfare Office until someone can help you.
How far away is the Univ. from you? Could you possibly drive there to see for yourself?

((HUGS)) to you.....


Well-Known Member
Can one relationship problem cause this? Not likely. BUT... it can be the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. We don't know how close to "the edge" someone else is. Many can seem to hold it together, even though they are one step away from disaster, until some form of "disaster" happens.

Hugs. It's bad enough dealing with "our" kids when we can have them at home. I can't imagine going through this when they are "away".
Thank you for your kind and as always wise words. I will ring the student welfare officer tomorrow, when she will be working. Strange I dread his text most of the time, wondering what disaster is looming, but when he ignores me it is even worse. If he just said I am fine but dont want to chat it would aleviate my fears but then I guess that would be an ideal world with a matching ideal son too. InsaneCdn I had never thought of it like that! That may be so true, he was never the easiest of children/adolesence. Lets hope that perhaps he can turn araound as quick as he turned this time.


Well-Known Member
Here I go again.

Could he be using drugs? Nothing makes a person who is prone to depression more depressed like drinking and other drug use. I have depression and have had it all my life and the drugs other kids could experiment with and be ok afterward were a death wish for me, including pot.

A relationship's breaking up can make somebody temporarily sad. If it lasts too long out of the ordinary then it is clinical depression and needs treatment. At any rate, whatever is going on, I am so sorry. I am tending towards thinking he is telling you the truth. I felt horrible 24/7 until I found the right medication and learned that I needed to abstain from all extra substances, even if my peers could drink and smoke pot and be ok. It was not ok for my mental health.
Thank you everyone. Well the Student Welfare Officer saw him on the steps outside his halls of Residence yesterday morning. She didnt speak with him though. At least I know he is alive, which is a weight off my mind. I feel that he is possibly playing mind games with me. Purposely not answering my text just to make me worried. It is not like we had words or anything, last text we had between us was plesant so I have no reason to understand this sudden silence. Who knows what goes on in their minds, but at least I now know that he is not lying dead somewhere. The Welfare women said she would look out for im and say hello next time she saw him. I will not keep texting him, but now wait for him to break the silence which he instilled. Thank you all again for your support.

I have now started seeking help for me, to learn how to cope with my difficult child, and learn the best way to deal with him.
Thank you once again


New Member

I do have one suggestion. My daughter (not the difficult child) went to a distant university, and sometimes, no often, did not reply to my texts or emails or answer her phone. I used to feel a panicky sense that she was "slipping away", and wondered how to stay closer to her. Another parent suggested I arrange, with my daughter, a locked-in time every week for a phone call. In the end we settled on 8 pm on Sunday nights, and, on my daughter's suggestion, we skyped rather than phoned. I put a reminder in the calendar ap to contact her, and once we'd done it a few times, it became a routine. I felt so much better once this weekly contact habit had been established. Would your son consider something like this? (You could bribe him with a reward.) I too have a suicide in my family. It does change your perspective. Good luck!