Wants ex girlfriend back or wants to die

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Worriedsick, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    My 18 year old son continues to spiral downwards since his girlfriend broke up with him over 2 months ago. He's been admitted twice to hospital. Once for trying to overdose on pills, second time he talked all day about killing himself. He's been to 3 counselors, acupuncturist, he was in an Intensive Outpatient Program that he stopped going to. He was on Zoloft for 2 weeks but the side effects were bad. It's been over 2 weeks now that he's been confined to his bedroom. He refuses to contact his friends or see family. I'm a single mom that lives with my dad and my son. He has frequent anxiety attacks where he paces, rocks and continually says he wants his ex back. He's says he's sorry and wants a second chance. I repeatedly tell him he needs to work on himself. I feel like I'm in a vicious cycle. I've been reading about detachment. Will this work in this case? I'm afraid to leave him alone for too long. He seems like he has abandonment issues. I have not gone to work in 2 months! I'm trying to keep strong. Can someone who is depressed and keeps themselves isolated drive themselves crazy?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If he is a danger to himself (threatens suicide) I'd call 911. He needs to be looked at by a psychiatrist.

    Hugs. I'm so sorry.
  3. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    Our system sucks- he's been admitted twice and they release him after one day-
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You're right. It's horrible. I'm sorry.Does your son do drugs, which may be making him worse or is he mentally ill but free of drugs? by the way Zoloft was awful for me too. I had to keep trying to finally find a compatible antidepressant. It can be a long process and you have my empathy and warm wishes.
  5. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    No he is not on drugs. When he starts pacing, rocking and continually talking to himself about getting her back, it looks like he's on drugs though. It's difficult to watch.
  6. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I have not had experience with your exact situation but something similar. And there are a number of parents on this forum who have experienced the same.

    You have already received good advice. Every single time he expresses that he feels like or wants to die or to kill himself, call the police.

    At the very least this establishes a record.

    You are not a mental hospital or a treatment facility. You cannot harbor an adult who is acting symptomatic, nor is it helpful to him if you do so. He must get treatment, and he must be in an environment geared towards treatment.

    There must be conditions. For his good, and your own he should not be permitted to veg or to withdraw or to act inappropriate or self-destructive in his room or in your home. If there is drug use involved, that goes double.

    I suggest you become involved with a professional to get support and to make a plan to deal with the situation. It is harmful to everybody. You can also seek out an Alanon group near you as well as a NAMI group, for support, tools, and information on how others have dealt with similar situations.

    You will receive a great deal of support and excellent counsel, here.

    Welcome. Keep posting. I am sorry you are facing this. But you do not have to do so alone.

    The more you cater to his weakness, there is a risk this will reinforce it. His illness, whatever it is must be confronted. But, he, not you, must confront it.

  7. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    Thank you. I signed up for a support group therapy session but it won't start until January. I will double check with NAMI. The last time I looked, I believe they didn't have anything until January also.
  8. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    How about a private therapist of your own to guide you through this? (Although I know you said you haven't worked in a couple of months, don't know if this is feasible for you).
  9. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Worriedsick, I would be vary hesitant to apply detachment to your son who is very depressed and obsessing over his lost love. I have dealt with break-ups with both my daughters over the years and it was a very serious problem. At that age they think they will never find love again. They obsess over it and convince themselves they cannot go on without them. It takes a lot of patience and understanding a sometimes professional intervention to help them through it.

    Have you suggested to him to go talk to someone who can help him through this breakup? I don't want to frighten you but he sounds like he needs to have professional help in dealing with his emotions right now. I know it's easy for us parents to say they will get over it but I found these breakups to be very difficult, especially with sensitive kids.
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  10. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    Yes I've gone a couple of times to seek help. I've also joined a couple of these forums online for support. It helps knowing I'm not alone.
  11. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    He has on going appointments twice a week with a counselor. He's been through 3 other counselors. He refused to go last week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed he will be willing to go tomorrow.
  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    He needs to go to the therapist, and he needs to do much more to heal himself.

    I agree with Nancy and the other posters. This is a process. Baby steps. First, he needs to be stabilized. But that requires that he go to a therapist.

    In time, I think your son might benefit from clearly defined conditions for living with you. Like treatment. The status quo is only hurtful for him, and you. Part of his suffering is the feeling he has lost everything. There has to be at some point steps by him to have a life. You need to know too that you will have a future.

    I think this might be something you can work on with NAMI, a therapist or Alanon. How to introduce this to him, and how to do it. Or perhaps, you can talk to his therapist. About participating with him in some of the sessions, and how to deal with it if he refuses to attend the appointments.

    Right now, he has a lot of power and he is not using it well. His weakness and his fears get to drive the situation. That is not good for him or for you.

    What about working with the County Mental Health Department in your community? In some communities there are voluntary crisis treatment settings that lead to longer term residential treatment, which lead to satellite apartments, and eventually independent living. What about exploring in your community what kind of resources may exist?

    What kind of activities and relationships did your son have other than this girl? Was he thinking about college or work?

    You deserve a life. You deserve peace in your home. If you want to work or have a social life you deserve that too. You need to feel you are working towards that. You are his mother. Not his caregiver.

    Right now, he is calling the shots. Not good. As long as it continues, it reinforces negatively that he stay ill. Because there is a pay off: Control and power, gained through acting poorly.

    A good therapist and the resources you have already sought out will help you get control over the situation.

    You need to understand that I did not do this as soon as I needed to and I did not do it well. I wish I had.

    Keep posting. You are doing really good. This is very, very hard. I am glad you found us.

    Take heart. You are not alone.

    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015
  13. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    I'm working on the being stronger part. I feel like I'm teetering on the fence though. Part of me knows he's in control but the other part of me is terrified that he will lose it again and attempt suicide. ( I had to call 911 twice and have him admitted)
  14. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    WorriedSick, I revised my above post again, so you might want to scan it.

    Many of us have had to deal with the risk of suicide and suicide threats. I have.

    My son has been hospitalized a number of times for danger to self. He has frequently threatened suicide to gain power over me, to retain power in my home, or to get something he wanted.

    Nobody can be sure our children will be safe. But many of us have realized that we have to act from our strength and our hope that our kids will get better and stronger.

    First, is the need to call 911 every single time he makes a threat or you fear that he will hurt himself. Make sure to remove from the house anything he could use to spontaneously hurt himself.

    My son once grabbed a bottle of my medicine and swallowed a handful of pills. He had to have his stomach pumped. He was not suicidal. He was manipulative and angry. He wanted control.

    I would not make decisions unilaterally about how to do this. I would do so with a therapist, ideally. But if you look at it one way, if you spend your days and nights fearful, it almost suggests and reinforces the idea that there is risk and danger. Is that how you want to live?

    There has to be a way to change the atmosphere to one of risk and emergency to the expectation that things are getting better and will.

    If it were me, I would try to go tomorrow to the County Mental Health Adult Division and to talk to a counselor. There will be somebody there for intake, who deals with urgent situations. You do not need to bring your son. You might call first and see what the procedure is. There are thousands and thousands of young adults in this situation. That can and do get better. We need to find a path.

  15. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    My son says he's been depressed his whole life and his ex was the first person to bring life& purpose into his life. He was supposed to go to community college near his ex's college. He was to start 1 month before her but had a severe anxiety/paranoid attack. I had to drive 5 hours to pick him up after a week. His ex broke up with him a month later via Skype. Most of his friends are away at college. He feels like he's been abandoned by everyone.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    He could not know this. Does he have memory at infancy, 2,3, or 4?

    All of us feel that falling in love brings new life and hope and possibility. And when we lose our beloved, we despair that we will never again feel whole.This is the stuff of great literature, of opera.

    In some ways this is an opportunity. Your son seems to have a certain dependency. He put too many eggs in one basket. College, his life, cannot be contingent on one person. It sounds like the girl realized that he was using her as a life raft, and got afraid. As well she should have. Your son will learn that he has to build himself and his life, and not depend upon others to do so. Now he has a chance. That anybody else would do it for him was a fantasy. It could never have worked.

    My own son has been devastated too by broken romances. When he has hit obstacles, he seems to break down, instead of picking himself up. So in that way they are similar. Every time my son comes up against something hard, he seems to want less, not more.

    It causes me a great deal of pain, too. But that does not change the reality that this does not work and is no way to live a productive and meaningful life.

    You are in a crisis situation now. But little by little you will work your way out of it. Eventually our son must find his own way. Now, he needs a hand. But there needs to be conditions too, I think. For that, I would get help. Counsel to help you know how to do it.

    My son eventually applied for SSI and was granted it for mental illness. He has the financial means to live very meagerly. He spends too much money on marijuana. But I have learned that it is his life to live. Not mine. He is doing better, little by little, but it is not me that will get him there. It is him.

    If our sons have problems only they can overcome them.
    My son has severe anxiety, too.
    That is a feeling, not a true thing, because he certainly has not been abandoned by his Mother.

    There are people, all kinds of them, that work themselves out of very serious situations. The person I am concerned about is you. You deserve more, too.

    Start trying to find as many resources for your son and yourself as you are able. The record of treatment will help your son, in time, qualify for SSI benefits if he is unable or unwilling to work. There are apartments that are subsidized for people like my son. There are treatment programs and satellite residences where they get treatment and support.

    You are not a treatment provider. Let us take this one step at a time, so that you feel you are supporting your son, but at the same time working towards some future where professionals are involved, and your son makes the kind of life he is able.

    There is a lot of hope. Today is just today. Depression is a very difficult thing on a person who is suffering. The symptoms make one feel that they cannot do anything. Their motivation is affected. Their self-esteem, too. Depression is highly treatable. It is very possible that he will work himself out of this. What he says, the fearfulness, the negativity, the despair are products of the illness. It is not necessarily a fact. When the illness is treated hope returns.

    My son is improving little by little. I suffer too. All of us want our kids to thrive. It is hard not to feel guilt, that it is our fault or responsibility. I learned late that my son's life is neither my responsibility, or is it my fault that he chooses to live as he does.

    Keep posting. This is hard stuff. Take care. Get support and try to take care of yourself, too.

  17. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    Thank you for all this info. Yes I take it one moment at a time.
  18. rebelson

    rebelson Active Member

    How is your son doing?
  19. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    He's been taking a few classes at a community college. He hasn't spoken to me for months. I hear through friends that run into him that he is polite & social towards them. That takes some weight off my shoulders. I still go day by day. This has been a real long year. Baby steps. Thank you so much for your concern.