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dont know what to do for my son ...long thread(15 Posts)
I posted a few months ago about my ex now living alone . Well he was found dead. Sudden massive heart attack. The families all got together. His kids all bonded in their grief despite the dad not wanting any of them to know or ever meet each other while he was alive.
My son was devastated by his dads death even tho he was never supported emotionally or financially by him but he was the only dad he had .
Two months later my sons best friend hung himself . Again son devastated .
Now only a few weeks later his girlfriend has broken up with him.
I cant believe it. Everyone is shocked Ok I don't believe you should stay out of pity but this was so sudden . She was hinting about marriage a few weeks before all this. They had been dating for over a year and seemed very close.
She has just got a new job in a male dominated profession so suspect she has found someone else at work.
My son is very depressed . He has seen his GP who has prescribed anti depressants and son is on a waiting list for counselling .
What can I do as a mum ?
He wont talk to me just says to leave it and he will be ok .The next thing he is crying but pushes me away.
Ive offered to have him stay with us for a while . He will stay the odd night but just sits in silence on his phone .
I have taken him out for drives , for meals , shopping...anything to occupy him for a little while and do something different.
Ive spoken to his half sisters and friends to keep an eye on him as I'm afraid he will go down the path of his friend .
I have called MIND who were no help at all to be honest . They said as he is an adult and refuses help there is nothing they can do .
Where do I turn ? How can I help my son without pressuring him ?
I am glad he has met his brothers and sisters but angry at the mess his dad left . I do not voice this to my son btw .
I'm sorry for what you and your son are going through.
At least your son is on anti depressants and the waiting list for counselling, i'm sure with the passage of time, he ll start to recover.
I do not think there is anything you can do, I expect he does not want to talk about it, and it maybe he does nt want to be distracted.
I think you have to be patient and accept you can't fix this.
I feel for you and your son so much.
It's awful feeling so helpless as a mum isn't it?
All you can do is be constant in your ongoing love and support on a day to day basis. Listen to him, just be there.
ADs will help, but can take a couple of weeks.
Wish I had a magic wand! Perhaps it was all too much for his girlfriend to cope with. How old is he?
Don't be worried about contacting the GP in the meantime if you need to.
Can you pay for private counselling? Get him seen asap?
You seem to be doing all the right things, but I can see how you would feel helpless because it never seems to be enough. Dealing with mental health issues as a 'bystander' is very difficult, as you can't make people do things they don't want to, even if you know it might help. Getting him out of his room is good. Does he do any sport or could he join a gym? I know of people with severe depression who have been helped by getting physically active - even if it's the last thing he feels like doing at the moment.
Sorry, what an awful situation for your son.
When my husband was depressed I spend hours scouring the internet and reading endless books to try and find out what I could do to help him get better. In the end I had to accept there was nothing I could do except be there for him and be kind and supportive. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Getting out of the house at least once a day is really important and in my unprofessional opinion good films and tv can provide a good distraction.
Being there for him is a really big thing. Don't underestimate it.
If you can get him private therapy that may speed things up. Does he like reading or music, something to engage him.
I would recommend he comes to stay with you. Even if he sits in silence (and you can handle it) being around people may be good for him, so he's not totally isolated.
Do you say anything when he's silent on his phone at your house? It's best to say nothing. Just accept him as he is.
He's processing a lot of stuff and is probably numb. Bless him, such a huge amount to go through.
Get him interested in a dog? I know, stupid idea, but it would get him out
and dogs are so loving and gorgeous
I agree that just being there is very important.Could you drag him out for a walk in the countryside (especially nice at the moment with all the Autumn leaves!).
One of my DC has in the past gone through some very tough times emotionally, threatened to kill himself etc. At a loss for anything else to do I said well come for a walk with me now, you're not losing anything by putting it off for a couple of hours. So we went for a long walk and to be honest we both felt a lot better and calmer. There is something very beneficial about gentle exercise in a natural setting. We do it regularly now and sometimes he will come and say I've had a hard day, can we go for a walk. We both enjoy the quiet time together (we don't usually talk much, just a few sentences here and there). It's even better with a dog of course.
Worth a try? If he wouldn't naturally come, you can always say that you'd like to walk in the woods, but would feel more comfortable with someone with you.
Ultimately could you get him to join a local walking group with you (and then you gradually step back a bit)? It's hard, but after a period of grieving he needs to start building a new friendship group and move on. You can't tell him that, but you can put him in the position where circumstances make that start to happen.
One other thing to consider might be volunteering - especially around a big fundraising event, maybe for a heart charity? Something where there are lots of people involved and it has a certain momentum. Again I think you sign up for it then say, we desperately need more people for this, it's just until March (or whatever) drag him along and get him involved. Hopefully it will give him new connections and a longer term involvement in something outside himself.
If it's possible I'd book him in immediately with a counsellor who specialises in grieving- look up on the BACP for one in your area. The NHS wait could be months and most of it is limited to 6 sessions with no choice over who you get. If you can afford £45 a week for him, I'd go outside the NHS.
I'm very anti ADs in cases like this because I've heard from so many people, professionally and personally, how they just numb things but don't allow real processing of emotions. However, it's your GPs call. But there is a drive at the moment to stop giving out ADs especially to young people.
Is your son working? If not, I'd go with all the other ideas that somehow he needs some structure in his week- volunteering, helping around the house, something.
Could you watch films together? I'm sorry if that sounds trivial expecially seeing what's happened but it's more together than him on his phone and films often help me process emotions at a safer distance iyswim. Also you could ask him to do it for you. Maybe young men respond better to the idea that they are providing support rather than needing it themselves?
I'm so sorry for what's happened.
Walking also a great suggestion. I think there is some evidence that men and better at receiving emotional support that comes at them obliquely rather than face to face. There counsellors that offer sessions done while walking for that reason.
I wouldn't bombard him with suggestions, chivvying him along. Just get quiet and 'be' with him.
I'm a huge fan of ADs when things are very bad. He has a huge amount to deal with, bless him. ADs are a modern miracle imo.
thanks for all your suggestions.
A dog is out of the question. he not home much and he hasn't the funds either. Not fair on a dog.
I'm trying to hold back on advice or suggestions .Just listening , taking him out etc. He wont stay here long as I live in another city which he doesn't like.
It will take time .
I just cant believe his GF who has abandoned him in his hour of need .She professed to love him ,wanted to get married etc etc but at the first time of stress buggers off. I suppose its good that they weren't engaged or had kids etc.
He is getting better slowly .
My DS2 (then 25) went through a very, very bad time and was subsequently diagnosed with anxiety and PTSD. He did move home, though, he really had no choice (lost job). Someone above mentioned paying for private counseling. If this is at all possible, please do so. The fact that we got mental health help for him right away and insisted on him going was paramount in his recovery. He's still at home, but he's working full time and is making plans for his future.
Probably easy for me to advise, since I'm in the US and if you have insurance you don't have to be put on a waiting list, as I've heard of in the UK, especially for MH help. I think that's terrible.
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