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need advice asap re 20y ds am getting desperate

(72 Posts)
mrsfuzzy Fri 05-Aug-16 09:10:52

posted on here for traffic as am getting desperate as to what to do will try not to drip feed, deep breath, here goes;
has been out of work a year post college, signs on does the very mim of job searches, help around the house, doesn't really speak to rest of the household [4 sibs older teens / one is 21] unless its about gaming -spends hours and hours on gaming angry. doesn't wash unless pushed, doesn't go out unless he wants something from the local shop i.e food, has been to the gp and put on 'time to talk' phone counselling as hates talking face to face, but gave that up after five or six sessions as'it's not helping' probably won't take prescribed tablets unless pushed. no friends, drugs and alcohol isn't the problem.
was very chatty as a child, but has grown quieter as he has got older and more with drawn, i think it's depression but he won't talk to gp and as i said before unlikely to take meds anyway.must be doing the very bare mim for job search as not sanctioned yet [it's only a matter of time].
as a family we are trying to support him as much as we can, pointing out jobs, college courses, voluntary work etc but it all goes over his head. he went to an interview the other day [his first] and seemed interested in the job but when he came back he had a faint whiff of b.o -hadn't showered and was wearing the same clothes from the previous day.
he is paying a small amount of rent from job seekers which we agreed on and he is comfortable with.
the shite has been hitting the fan though recently due to the lack of inactivity on his part, 2 sibs are in college and working part time, they contribute to the finances [through choice] but are increasing annoyed that he does nothing all day except game. 1 sib is looking for part time work whilst in college and dh works f/t but has health issues so needs to cut back, i am so worried about ds, everyone has been so patient with him but it's like talking to a brick wall and now recently it's a case of enough is enough.
what do we do ? have asked him on many occasions if there are problems - no, gives same answer to ds3 [ they are close], have tried to help with the job applications on line etc [he is v. tech savvy] but does not push himself to do more. it's making me so unhappy for him and the rest of the household v.sad. please help us

Salmotrutta Fri 05-Aug-16 09:18:47

Oh dear - it sounds very hard.

You say that he might have depression but won't see the GP? That's really difficult because you can't physically drag him there sad

How would he respond if you said he needed to contribute more of his JSA?

mrsfuzzy Fri 05-Aug-16 09:31:57

salmontrutta i'm so grateful someone has suggested that, he pays £100 pm [his choice] i will ask him i think he'll be ok with another £20 pm, at least if he has less money it might get him nudged in the right direction as a small step.

whateveryousay Fri 05-Aug-16 09:32:41

Cut off his internet? Sounds harsh, but may prompt him to at least visit gp? Sounds like he currently has an 'escape' from life with the immersive gaming, so cutting this out may force him to deal with 'real' life? 💐

Can you give him time scales to work to. Sort of like an ultimatum? Eg, your rent will be going up in 6 weeks time and actually stick to it by putting rent up? To try and get him to get a job.
Maybe involve him with tasks such as he has to help making the evening meal for everyone.

I have someone in my family exactly like this. I'm not sure how it is dealt with but it's a tricky situation especially if he is suffering with depression.
By the sounds of not washing, turning up to an interview in yesterday's clothes etc, he has given up on himself and lost self confidence. Is there no way you can get him to volunteer work? There might be places around that offer hands on experience for things like wood work that sounds like it could be quite interesting

mrsfuzzy Fri 05-Aug-16 09:39:56

what pepper thank you so much for your input, i really am quite teary [in a good way] at your responses, simple things that i'd never really thought about doing [yes, most of this will come down to me sorting out smile but once i show this to family i know they will get on side.

VioletBam Fri 05-Aug-16 09:52:06

I went through similar at this age minus the gaming. The gaming is part and parcel and I agree, stop his access for most of the time.

My Mum stopped giving me any money...the thing that helped me also was getting a dog. I know that sounds flippant but it really did.

Laiste Fri 05-Aug-16 10:09:12

I agree with the 'tough love' idea OP. It's hard when it's your own kid, i know (trust me i know - i had a lazy 19 yo DD until a year or so ago).

Withdraw privileges, as pp have said. Privileges include internet access, choices of food and any money you give him for anything else he can idle time away with basically phone, games, ect. See what happens. Nothing written in stone. You can re-think if you feel any of it is making things worse.

However stick to your guns for a little while - give it a chance. He can't sit at home gaming if there's no games.

GertrudeSmellsDivine Fri 05-Aug-16 10:13:37

How would he respond to the suggestion of doing voluntary work so that he has something for his CV? It would also get him out of the house and give him something to get out of bed for?
flowers for you.

SillyOldUncleFeedle Fri 05-Aug-16 10:20:43

OP I have been thinking about your post and whilst I could write a lot of stuff you could try yourself to intervene with your son I don't think that addresses the problem. He sounds like he is possibly very depressed and he is in a high risk group. MH service provision for young men is inadequate and it is not his fault if what is offered is not helpful to him. MH services are chronically underfunded and staff are burnt out and undervalued.

If I were you I would contact my GP and express my concerns. You can talk to them as a concerned parent. Do you have any concerns about risk?

Earlier this year there was a govt paper called the Five Year Foward Paper or something similar and it outlined the problem of MH service provision for young men.

It is really tough. My heart goes out to you but in your situation I would be speaking to GP. Don't give up and be prepared to complain if you don't get what he needs. MH probs can be really stressful for carers too. If he is turning up to interviews in dirty clothes that sounds like he's really struggling.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Fri 05-Aug-16 10:21:52

He could be medically depressed, but I think anyone with those habits would be feeling "depressed" anyway - self care and leaving the house / socialising are really important to good mental health and it becomes a very vicious cycle when they start to be neglected.

Gaming addiction is a very real issue and I think forcing him to cut down / stay off games completely for a while will make a big difference to his self esteem.

dotdotdotmustdash Fri 05-Aug-16 10:25:47

It sounds like the cycle of addiction. Gaming causes social isolation leading to depression leading to more isolation and so on and on...

He needs help with the gaming addiction first before you can figure out if the depression is free-standing or connected to the addiction. It's a tricky situation and more and more common in young men unfortunately.

Birdsgottafly Fri 05-Aug-16 10:29:16

Tough Live doesn't cure depression, it could make him Self Harm or Suicidal, though.

If you were dealing with someone who was just in a rut, with lots of bad habits, then tough love would be the way to go.

He's an Adult and needs treating as one, so no threats, actions without discussion.

Ultimatums, are fine though, after you've spoken to him. They can include stuff like, seeing the GP, carrying on counselling, admitting that he has Social Anxiety and being part of the recovery plan.

Don't compare him to his Soblings and tell them to lay off him, until you know if he is depressed.

They may be stressed, but even so, they're having a much better life than he is.

LunaLoveg00d Fri 05-Aug-16 10:34:27

Sounds like my cousin of the same age. Left school at 16 and has done nothing since. Sits on his Xbox all day, won't leave the house. Doesn't sign on, has no qualifications and no plans for his future. Mum says he was anxiety but he won't go to the GP - and why should he when Mum and Dad are happy to carry on paying his food bills, mobile bills and buying him Xbox games? At least OP realises there is some sort of problem here.

OutwiththeOutCrowd Fri 05-Aug-16 10:37:11

Mrsfuzzy, It sound difficult for you and for masterfuzzy too.

I think I'm a bit reclusive myself and have a tendency to procrastinate - so I really understand that it feels easier sometimes just to hide away in familiar surroundings and not push yourself out into society. Deep down though, your DS will not be feeling good about his hermit lifestyle, and I'm sure he has a lot to offer to the wider world.

My thoughts were also running in the volunteering direction for him. I was wondering if he might be interested in helping out with CoderDojo. They run free computer coding classes for kids and are always looking for volunteers. There are lots of CoderDojos throughout the UK.

As your DS likes computers, it might be a first step.


Laiste Fri 05-Aug-16 10:37:51

Tough love doesn't cure depression definitely. However removing the ability to carry on spending the day gaming needn't be used in isolation from anything else. OP can still talk to him. Engage with him. The OP sounds empathetic and well attuned to her son and his situation. I can't invisage her marching into his room and slinging his console out of the window of anything.

CheeseCakeSunflowers Fri 05-Aug-16 10:41:17

I may be completely wrong here but there are a few things you mention which have me wondering if your DS might have ASD. It might be an idea to read up on the subject and see if any of it sounds familier. Here is something you could look at

EliCon Fri 05-Aug-16 10:42:15

He's definitely not feeling all right atm, and the gaming is his solution of finding a better place, as the current one is obviously not comfortable. The rest is just a result of this. Have there been any conflicts in the family, is there anything that could make him feel like he's not treated equally, is there maybe a girl problem?

MrsMac2014 Fri 05-Aug-16 10:42:22

Hi fuzzy, I feel for you.
First of all can you have a heart to heart, tell him that the time he spends gaming is too much, try to agree on a time that is agreeable to you both. Like two hours at night if he has had a productive day. And if it needs to be said obviously you need to go over the showering everyday routine, clean clothes. Re-iterate to him that he can make a difference to people by volunteering or could he organise to raise some money for a charity that is close to his heart.
Exercise is also helpful as a mood improver is there a sport or activity that your son likes or used to like, this is also good way to meet people and make friends also. Could some of your other children encourage him to do this. Whether it's a walking group, pottery group, art group, basketball / badminton/swimming if you have facilities near you. we have a remote control plane flying club near us. I didn't know that existed! It might not suit him but what I mean is there are all sorts of groups that we don't even know about. We also have a heritage site near us and they have been advertising for volunteers for archiving, gardening, marketing, craft and outreach. I agree with violet, responsibility for a pet is a good thing, or even dog walking for a working or elderly neighbour. Does he like animals? Do you have a rescue centre or dogs trusts near you. Or if he is tech savvy what about helping people with computer issues. Or do you know anyone who needs help if they have a business, do you know anyone who could act as a mentor, someone who could give him advice. I know how you feel, It seems such a waste to be spending all his time gaming, if he spent this time on a project it would be great. But you and I know that, it's getting him to realise that too.
My kids are younger, but they would spend all day online if I let them. But when I say to them how many hours they've spent on it it does shame them into doing something else.
Good luck, let us know how you and he get on XX

IceBeing Fri 05-Aug-16 10:44:20

I think a key point is that seeing GP about depression isn't the same as taking anti-depressants.

I wouldn't take AD's again either, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't go to the GP and sort out other more appropriate treatment.

Separate out diagnosis and treatment from the idea of drugs which may well not be appropriate. Then see if he will give it a go.

Throughgrittedteeth Fri 05-Aug-16 10:46:12

Oh OP I'm sorry this is happening, sounds like complete shit. I do agree completely with Birdsgottafly

From experience when my depression was at its worse tough love from my DM made me suicidal. She only knows tough love though so it was only when I was a crumpled heap that she realised that being mean wasn't working. I really had no idea to begin with that I had depression and thought I was going mad. DM did ease up on me in the end but only once my DB laid it out for her that she was making me worse.

It's a desperate feeling not being able to get yourself out of a situation like that and everyone around you getting irritated and impatient with you. I can completely see your other DC's point of view but I think if you handle this properly they will all know that you are there for them even when things get tough.

Good luck OP flowers

Rubies12345 Fri 05-Aug-16 10:50:44

Maybe he could work part time to start off with? Supermarkets are always hiring. Would applying for a part time job be less daunting?

liletsthepink Fri 05-Aug-16 10:51:37

I agree that you need to cut down his internet use. Is he staying awake at night because he is gaming? If he isn't sleeping that will be making his depressions worse. You should definitely shut down the Internet overnight if this is the case.

Insist on him going to the GP by saying no internet or computer at all unless he gets help. One of my friends had similar issues with her DC and she found that getting tough but in a loving way was the answer.

You sound like a wonderful Mum and I'm sure your DS will be ok once he has professional support for his gaming addiction and depression.

GummyBunting Fri 05-Aug-16 10:58:18

Is gaming something he can look into career wise? Has he contacted studios asking about apprenticeships or work experience?

Domino20 Fri 05-Aug-16 10:58:31

As suggested above, a dog. Getting a dog changed my life, walking every day and keeping to a routine because the dog needs to. The exercise improves health all-round and people in parks dog walking get to know each other. I'm not suggesting that you just rock up with a puppy but involve him in the decision and above all else no one else is/should be responsible for dog care/walks. It's even possible to spin into a means of self employment by offering animal walking/sitting services.

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