Wondering what I did! feeling suicidal again!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Desperately Sad, Nov 6, 2017.

  1. Hi there, its been a while since I have posted here. Things have not changed that much in that time. My 23 year old son still suffers with depression and refuses to take medication.
    He is now binge eating which is making him put on weight, which adds to his depression as he has a low self esteem, which is meaning that he won't go out now, and then makes him starve himself which then leads to a binge, etc etc all of this makes his depression worse. I feel that he is spiralling downwards and I am just a spectator! I try everything I can offering healthy meals, offering advice, give him space, but let him know that I am here if he needs me, but alas he won't listen to me or anything I have to say. He achieved a good degree at university, but now won't apply for any jobs as he says that he won't fit into his suit (which I brought him). I give him no money, but he does not go out so his expenses are low. I keep sending him jobs (email) and dropping heavy hints that he needs to contribute but I know he is in a bad place at the moment and I don't want to pressure him too much. He has been suicidal before and I fear that we are heading down that road now! What can I do to stop this spiral?
    Now here comes the crunch, I have already had my father and grandfather commit suicide, and face people through my work who commit suicide ( I work in the Emergency Services) so it is VERY close to home for me. I am sooooo worried that he will commit suicide.
    I am sitting here wondering what on earth I did wrong with him. He is from a stable family and I have always been there for him. I give him space but support him.. where o where did I go wrong??
    Any advice welcome.
  2. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I feel for you. What a terrible position to find yourself in.
    The three Cs come to mind you didn't bit cuss this, you can not control this more can you cure this.

    If your son does not get help you can not force him into care for help. This is the state of limbo many of us find ourselves in.

    NAMI is a good support group for people dealing with family suffering from MH issues.

    Keep posting and let us know how you manage.

    Stay strong and be good to yourself.
  3. L
    Thank you so much for your reply. I am in the UK so not sure if we have NAMI, but appreciate your reply and comments. I know that compared to others my problems are small, but never the less I am still struggling to not feel responsible for this mess.

    Take care of yourself too.
  4. Jabberwockey

    Jabberwockey Well-Known Member

    Your son is potentially suicidal. There is nothing small about that. Yes, some have bigger problems than others but that doesn't make their problem more or less difficult to deal with. I have no advice to give having never dealt with anything like this beyond get yourself a therapist. Even if they cant help you sort out your problems, just getting it off your chest can help.
  5. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome DS. I'm sorry you find yourself in this situation with your son. I can understand your concerns about suicide.

    I've learned that that question you pose has no answer and serves to keep us stuck in guilt trying to find the reasons this has happened to us. Many times there are no answers, as trite as it sounds, it is what is is. What we have to do is learn to accept what we can't change, control or fix. I know, not an easy thing to do. However, for me, it is the way to find peace.

    I believe the way for us parents to find some kind of solace in these devastating experiences we've been given is to first, take care of US. To learn to put ourselves as the priority by nurturing ourselves and taking care of our own needs. Often as we put all our energy into saving our adult troubled kids, we become depleted and used to not taking care of ourselves, everything goes to our kids. It is a recipe for depression, anxiety and fear.

    I found some solace in reading books by Pema Chodron, who is a Buddhist nun who specializes in teachings about living in uncertainty and chaos. I also found solace in books by Eckhart Tolle who teaches about living in the now and acceptance of what we cannot control. I have a great deal of mental illness throughout my entire family, I understand how desperate we can become in trying to help those who either cannot or will not help themselves. So, I had to learn how to accept what I can't change........or I would have gone crazy along with them.

    Meditation helped me as well. If you are unfamiliar with meditation, you can find help on YOUTUBE. There are 2 men from the UK who do meditations that I enjoyed, they are 'the honest guys.' Deepak Chopra also has some good guided meditations on YOUTUBE. I found them all to be helpful.

    In terms of finding help with your own anxiety, I found acupuncture to be a great resource in keeping my mind/body/emotions in a relaxed and peaceful place.

    I think it would be beneficial for you to stop looking for what you did or didn't do to cause your son's depression. It isn't your fault. You didn't do anything to cause this. If it's a genetic factor, which it clearly is in my family, I began looking at it as a life lesson for myself and for my daughter.....we both have learned a great deal in navigating ourselves thru this. Seeing it that way took me out of the victim stance and gave me a fresh perspective of doing my best to learn and change. I see it as a spiritual opportunity for growth, awareness, acceptance and finding peace in the midst of the 'stuff' life can throw at us.

    Keep posting, it helps a lot to write down our feelings, our stories and our fears. Hang in there. Get yourself some support. You're not alone.
  6. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    On my list!
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  7. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

  8. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    LBL, when I was running thru my home after being told to evacuate ASAP during the California Wildfires, I only grabbed one book, When things fall apart, Heart advice for difficult times, by Pema Chodron. I've read all of her books a number of times and joined in a few of her courses, her words help me to stay in my heart, open and accepting during the most turbulent times in life.

    She teaches tonglen, which is something I'm practicing during meditation. In the practice, one visualizes taking in the suffering of oneself and of others on the in-breath, and on the out-breath giving recognition, compassion, and succor to all sentient beings suffering in the same way. As such it is a training in compassion. It is a practice that helps me on this board where there is so much suffering.

    I find her voice and her words soothing and helpful. I hope she can offer you solace, peace and serenity.....especially in the midst of the path with your son. She was a huge support to me during the difficult times with my daughter.
  9. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I practiced with some of her YT meditation today. I am so so tired. My brain is spent. Thank you for introducing her to me. I am finding I connect very much with her teachings. Very grounded and practical minded.

    I am learning this Leafy. It is very connected to Pema Chodrons teachings as well.
  10. kenazfehu

    kenazfehu New Member

    I have no solutions for you. I am posting to acknowledge that we've all made parenting mistakes, I am sure. I know I have. The important thing is that I was doing the very best that I could at the time, and we really can't ask more of each other than that. It often seems that I've raised a very messed up son, but I also raised a daughter who stayed in school for a master's degree and makes more money now than I do. If I were a total waste as a parent, wouldn't my daughter be messed up too? I don't know. Sometimes I remind myself that when I decided that I wanted to have children, I imagined that I would accept them as they were, however they came to me. I still struggle to do that, just as I would struggle if one of them had been deformed or mentally delayed or suffering from a debilitating disease.
  11. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

  12. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    I posted a local support site for you. Also if you feel toe son is a harm to himself can you have him placed in care against his will? It is a challenge to do here. We have tried with my addicted son with no success.
  13. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

    Welcome back.
    DS: Will your son see a psychiatrist? Depression is so painful. Medication could help him. Also, some vitamins might be helpful like Vitamin D3 and a B Complex. We have a relative that had major depression. Began taking these vitamins and a low dosage of an antidepressant and very quickly did significantly better. Your son will need to be evaluated for Bipolar illness though and if that is the case, likely will not be able to take an antidepressant. The vitamins should be ok though.

    Will he consider therapy?

    Consider at least short term therapy for yourself if you are not going already. This is very taxing.

    RE: I too will look into this author you have mentioned. Thank you. :)
  15. Bless you all, thank you so much for all your suggestions and replies, I will look into all of them and certainly try and find some help for myself, at least since my son is at the moment refusing any medication or treatment. For the last 6 days he has been shut away in his bedroom 24/7, and only ventures out if he thinks no one is around for food. I have had a couple of short text from him in 6 days most of these mentioning how he is feeling numb and empty and that he cares about no one or anything. He also says that he is thinking about suicide most evenings!. I have replied that I think he needs professional help which I am happy to pay for, I also said that I cannot control what he does or does not do, but I am here and would like to help if I can. Am I right in thinking that part of this is attention seeking as he went outside the other night and sat outside in the DARK in an outside office, we have for 3 hours, when I asked if he wanted to chat etc he said he wanted to be left on his own. Since we do not bother him in his bedroom, why would he not sit in there as normal rather than sit in the dark in a cold out door office, if not for attention??

    I think I know what I have to do, I just cannot make myself NOT care! that is the problem.
    Thank you all once again, I really feel that this is the only place where people understand what I am going through!
  16. Following on from this it has now looking like he is now not eating.he has not eaten in over 24hrs so I guess that is the next weapon in his artillery !
  17. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Welcome DS,
    I am so sorry for your hurting heart. This is a very tough situation.
    Not caring. I had to think about this one. That is really not the matter. We all care about our d cs, whether they are with us or not, be it mental health issues or drug addiction. I think our challenge is more over caring to the point that it may cause us to lack in the area of self care.
    We become so embroiled and enmeshed in their circumstance, that we figuratively, eat, sleep (if the body allows) and drink in it.
    It pervades our daily thoughts.
    I think it gets to a point where our d cs look at us and see us in such a tormented state, they give it over to us.
    We go through this stage of guilt, trying to figure out what we have done in the past, to bring their circumstance about.
    It is a vicious cycle.

    Nothing. We are all imperfect humans and could pick out many instances in raising our kids where we "shoulda, coulda, woulda.' The fact is, they grow up and come in to their own.
    Please hold on to this DS.

    We are all attention seekers, aren't we, from the moment we are born.
    I think he is probably keenly aware of your anxiousness over this.
    What if you were able to be calm and focused on what you need?
    That is what you ultimately wish for him to do, to focus on his needs to get healthy, get help.

    I think we are our kids greatest models.
    They react more to what we do, than what we say.
    Especially young adults.
    They go from adoring us as kids, to downright examining us as teens.
    Self care, is not selfish.
    Finding ways to protect yourself from going down into an abyss of intense emotion over your sons illness does not mean that you don't care.
    It means that you understand the fruitlessness of you going down along with him.
    His depression must be very, very painful to witness. I am so sorry.
    Try to draw back a bit, so that you can replenish yourself.
    You are important, you matter.
    LBL that was from Eckhart Tolle.

    Reading about mindfulness and being in the present is interesting. It can seem rather "otherworldly" at times.
    I think that this world we live in is so fast paced, add on our d cs and their drama, it becomes difficult to breath at times.

    Anxiety and stress is so bad for our health, mind, body and spirit.
    We all need to find ways to lift ourselves up.

    I hope DS, you are able to find something to hold on to for your peace of mind.
    Even if it is as simple as a nice warm bath, a cup of tea, a song that helps soothe your soul.
    A walk.

    Start with the small things.

    Warm hugs to you, and welcome.

  18. Thank you everyone of you. You really are a great source of help. So many people just don't understand. I guess each and everyone of us can empathise and understand, each other because of the struggles that we have faced.
    Today is my birthday and I have spent most of it crying, because I am so scared of what he might do. I am reading some of the books mentioned earlier and trying to practice some 'detachment' in he hope of finding some inner peace. On the up side DS has now had something to eat !

    Rome wasn't built in a day, and I guess that it will take me a while to learn to adjust my thinking pattern. In the meantime I will keep you posted.
  19. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

  20. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Happy Birthday DS. Another day of life. Please get up and do something nice for you. Your worrying over what may be, does not do a thing, but bring you down.
    I think depression is contagious, really, I do.
    Emotions are contagious.
    Instead of worry and dread, give yourself a huge dose of peace and contentment. Hard to do in your present situation, I know.
    But, if you look at it from the outside, instead of being so close up, so tuned in to what to your son is doing, eating, not eating, sitting in the dark........etc.
    Your son is depressed, maybe suicidal, this, in turn causes you to be fraught with worry about what may happen to him.
    You become depressed, crying on your birthday.
    It is like a dark cloud over your house.
    I had this dark cloud as well, except it was the frenetic drama of drug addiction and chaos.
    It enveloped me.
    I was frantic, thought it was my responsibility to fix it.
    I went deep into the swirley whirley of it, sacrificing myself and my home.
    You may think, but this is different, my son is ill.
    Yes, he is ill.
    So are my two, ill with addiction, perhaps in some sort of psychosis, placing themselves in dangerous places and situations. Oh, Lord, if I thought about the "What if's" of this, in the negative sense, I don't think I would still be here. At, times, I do, then I say a quick prayer, it calms me.

    Here's the thing:
    They are the captains of their ship, and will do what they want, no matter if they are here with me, or not.

    Your son is also the captain of his ship, as you are of yours.

    Rather than dwell upon the absolute worst case scenario, try to imagine your son coming through this storm. Try to think on the positive, that he is still alive, still finding ways to nourish himself.

    Then find ways to nurture yourself.

    Lift up and make your rising above the situation, the contagion in your home.
    Cause an infection of positivity.
    Find some quotes that inspire you, put them on your fridge, your mirror, your calendar, your car dash.

    Paint an accent wall in your room a beautiful color that gives you comfort.
    Buy some artwork that inspires peace in your soul.
    Watch a movie that is inspirational.
    Get some essential oils that are rejuvenating, lavender, spearmint, rose oil, patchouli.
    Listen to some soothing music.
    Or, take a drive and blast some rock.
    Treat yourself to a nice dinner.

    Nothing changes, if nothing changes.

    There is hope, and time.

    You are hoping your son will find a way to lift his spirit, whilst going down the abyss, yourself.

    It is the oxygen mask on the airplane example.
    Parents are instructed to secure theirs, then their childs'.

    If the parent passes out from lack of oxygen, how can they help their child?

    What will the sacrifice of your joy, show your son?

    Envision a ladder, out of the swamp of this that is enveloping you.

    Climb slowly, one hand grasp, one foot, then another.

    If you have faith in a higher power, pray.


    All of the little things you do, is a shining example to your son, that he is capable as well.

    Take it one step, one day, one small thing at a time.

    I do hope you are able to breathe and relax today, DS.


    P.S. Thanks for adding a signature, it helps to have a little idea of your family.