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Talking to possibly depressed ds without making things worse

(19 Posts)
shroeder Tue 04-Apr-17 17:23:47

ds, I think is depressed, he talks to me about his feelings over and over but rejects everything I say until he gets angry and throws things or hits himself.
It has got to the point when I dread talking to him at all, no matter what I say he always becomes upset and eventually so do I.
We are trying to get him help, but until then I have to live with him.

shroeder Tue 04-Apr-17 18:36:58

He is nearly 18 btw

NolongerAnxiousCarer Tue 04-Apr-17 20:47:04

I'm wondering if rather than talking he just needs you to listen. Let him know you love him. Don't try to fix things or give him answers if thats not working. Talk about normal stuff, do normal stuff, normal routine is good.

Rockhopper81 Wed 05-Apr-17 00:00:48

I agree the listening suggested above - for me personally, this is key.

I love my parents dearly and we're very close - I'm staying with them whilst I'm unwell at the moment - but their nature is to want to 'fix' things for me, it's their way of helping. And I totally, 100% understand this - despite being far from childhood, I'm still their daughter and they want me to be happy. They're getting better at just listening now and my mum will actually say, "I'm not sure what to say, I wish I could make this better for you, we will always be here". It helps a lot.

Would he see the GP? My friend came with me to the GP - where I promptly burst into tears and struggled to speak - but having that support was invaluable to me.

What does he say about his feelings? That might sound odd, but he might be trying to work them out himself and that can cause so much anger - I've never broken anything, but I've thrown a fair few 'safe' items around (soft things) around in my time. It's like a build up of energy you don't know what to do with - I'm the least fit person I know, but I swear I could go out and run a mile when I feel like that!

Shroeder Wed 05-Apr-17 10:25:23

Ds talks about how ugly and stupid he thinks he is.
He asks me questions and gets wound up if we don't answer, if we disagree with him and if we try and talk about something else. It really doesn't seem to matter what I say he ends up in a state.
He is convinced being ugly and stupid are his problems.
He has an appointment with the GP but says he wont go.

Shroeder Wed 05-Apr-17 10:33:27

I would love to be normal with him, but he always brings things round to how awful his life is.
He says he doesn't want to feel better about being stupid and ugly.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Wed 05-Apr-17 18:20:11

The GP does sound like the way forward if you can get him there. Having said that I felt similar at that age, for me leaving home, going to uni and meeting a group of people who I felt accepted by made a huge difference.

PinkFlamingo545 Wed 05-Apr-17 19:30:55

He asks me questions and gets wound up if we don't answer, if we disagree with him and if we try and talk about something else

For now, don't disagree with him, if it will lead to arguments and don't try to change subjects, let it be led by him - Temporarily. You are the adult in this situation, he is a vulnerable young guy who feels like shit

He does urgently need to see a GP - and Op it is your responsibility to get him there, and get him to see that he does actually need help before things escalate. This depression will severely effect his ongoing development and moving into adulthood, he needs YOUR help

Get him to a GP by any means necessary - bribe him if you have to.

Find the route of his issues why does he feel so ugly etc?

Please make an emergency appt tomorrow - don't dismiss this or leave it as if he is depressed he is not in the right state of mind to decide for himself if he needs help - that is your job

shroeder Wed 12-Apr-17 12:30:46

He has been to the gp and is being referred , but he can't remember who to, some sort of acronym starting with an 'I'?
I am so proud of him for finally going.

bugattiveyron Wed 12-Apr-17 12:32:51

I'm wondering if rather than talking he just needs you to listen. Let him know you love him. Don't try to fix things or give him answers if thats not working. Talk about normal stuff, do normal stuff, normal routine is good.

That's what works for my Ds who is about the same age. That and going out for short trips each afternoon, a coffee and a short walk usually. It's hard though.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Wed 12-Apr-17 14:11:10

Iapt? Thats the step into councelling and talking therapies, cbt, etc in a lot of areas. It stands for something acessing psychological therapies I think. That s reminded me DH and I used to go for a late night costa hot chocolate when one of us was stressed. Should revive that habit.

shroeder Wed 12-Apr-17 16:14:16

Thanks, that's probably what it is.

dementedma Fri 14-Apr-17 20:05:54

Came on here looking for help for dd1 aged 26. Maxed to her eyes on anti-depressants, been seeing a counselor for over a year for anxiety and OCD but no discernible improvement. Sleeps most of the day. No job, no life, no anything. Sick of providing listening and caring and feel I am enabling now. All of my suggestions to help her are ignored. Dh is fucking useless and won't rock the boat. At what point does tough love kick in? She can't spend her whole life like this!

NolongerAnxiousCarer Fri 14-Apr-17 21:19:04

dementedma 'tough love' doesn't help, depression, anxiety and ocd are illnesses not choices. It would be like hoping someone would stop having heart disease if you told them to buck their ideas up! She is engaging with treatment, if she feels the treatments are not helping then she needs to be going back to her GP and asking to try something different either medication or therapy wise. Has she tried cbt? I've heard that can be effective with ocd. If the GP is not getting things under control she could push for referal to a psychiatrist. Both anxiety and ocd can be very disabling. I speak from experience regarding the anxiety.

Supporting someone with mental illness is hard. Maybe you need to look at what you need to do so you feel less overwhelmed yourself. Do you need to set some boundries to protect your own mental health? With mental illness recovery is a marathon rather than a sprint, so you need to look at what ammount of support is susstainable. Also educate yourself about her conditions, the Mind website is good as are the TED talks on utube regarding mental health.

Remember whatever you do, however hard you try you can't fix whats wrong, you can only be there for your daughter to support. Don't expect whatever you say to make things better, because its not that simple.

dementedma Fri 14-Apr-17 21:24:28

Thanks carer. I think i need some help on how to cope and how to deal with it. If I say nothing am I being uncaring? If I suggest things, am I pressurising..And being uncaring? Can't win.
Sorry to hijack OPs thread.

NolongerAnxiousCarer Fri 14-Apr-17 22:29:56

dementedma the best person to ask about what she needs is DD. How about having a chat with her about how she would like you to support her and in turn how much support you feel able to give.

Depending on the type of therapy she is having she may be happy for you to both meet and discuss with the therapist how you can help. If shes having talking therapy this probably isn't appropriate, but if its more problem focussed then they might agree if DD is comfortable with this. If she has a CPN (community psychiatric nurse ) they are normally very happy to include family members in plans for staying well, so long as she is happy with this.

If I'm honest though I wouldn't want my DM involved in this way. I also know that DH is happy for me to be very involved in his care plan, but not for his parents to be. I would rather have her just keep the normality ticking over. Chatting about normal stuff, having a coffee, going for a walk. These everyday normal things can be so important when you are unwell. Just keep on letting her know she is loved.

For yourself make sure you are making time for yourself. Take time to do the things you enjoy. It's easy for someone elses illness to consume us. The most important thing when we are looking after someone else is to look after ourselves. If we go under we can't support anyone else.

dementedma Sat 15-Apr-17 08:46:33

carer thank you. The last paragraph made me cry. It is so mentally exhausting and I think many people don't realise. I appreciate your comments

NolongerAnxiousCarer Sat 15-Apr-17 10:19:38

No problem its something I've learned the hard way. Its also a ballancing act I don't always get right. I've had plenty of experience on both sides of mental illness unfortunately.

schroeder Sat 15-Apr-17 11:12:10

One of the things I am so aware of is how fragile mental health can be. I have walked away from ds sometimes when he is bad, because I need to keep well too: how much worse would things be if I was ill too?

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