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Concerned about depressed friend who says he is asexual

(3 Posts)
chocolatecake2015 Thu 02-Jul-15 07:10:27

Hi everyone

I hope this is the right place to post.

I was wondering if anyone can give me some advice.

I have a cousin who has confided in me that he is very depressed. He says he thinks he is asexual and that he has been turned off of 'love' because his mother is a narcissist. He is quite young, only 23.

He seemed to be very obsessed with a girl his age and they then had a fight, I don't know the details but I got the impression that she wanted to have sex, and he did not want to. He then lost all of his friends who all happened to be connected to that girl. Now he is isolated.

I really want my cousin to get better, but after he started taking medication, he became much worse. Last time I spoke to him, he looked like he was struggling to focus, unkempt and somewhat distraught, and it was really disturbing.

I have always thought my cuz was actually gay but that he is very uncomfortable about really accepting it, given his traditional, ethnic upbringing. I may be way out of line, but I suspect his 'asexuality' is a construction to help him deal with being gay. I have told him I fully support his sexual preferences whatever they may be and his parents have told him that too.

I may be wrong, maybe he is truly asexual, but whatever it is, I just want him to get better.

Unfortunately he is VERY dependant on my aunty and uncle, he has never had a job, doesn't know how to drive.. and they have sheltered him his whole life, giving him an allowance etc.. They love him, but it looks to me like they enjoy having their 'baby' with them at home. They know he is depressed and are trying to help him with all their heart, but I fear he is weak and will be stuck in their home forever.

Any tips on how I can help?

cdwales Thu 02-Jul-15 11:27:54

You are quite right to be concerned! Young men are particularly vulnerable to powerful depressive waves and sadly they have the energy to act.
It is sad that young people seem to feel obliged to label themselves sexually these days. It is not a helpful trend in terms of emotional development...
If I was his parent I would want to hear him describe these feelings churning within him and reassure him that they were actually normal and use examples to widen his perspective on how different people react and cope differently when assailed by them. Also try to convey the truth - unknown to young people - that time passes and things change! Perhaps remind him of something he was manic about 6 months or a while ago and now has trouble even recalling usually does the trick here.
Talking in dribs and drabs and at his pace is ideal. Commenting on how he appears to you to be feeling invites his response (clarification) and above all accepting (not taking offence or being shocked by language or opinions) but there are more institutional paths - anti-depressants from a GP are often cited. Undoubtedly the right one (that suits his system) in the right dose can be an effective cushion slightly distancing him from the full force of his emotions and giving space to think rationally and make observations (eg about the possible reasons for the behaviour of others). Sadly GPs will typically prescribe their favourite in a smallish dose and not review its effects - and they anyway take several weeks to build up before they can be assessed. If he chooses to use this assist do make sure it is reviewed every week at home. It is not possible to chop and change these drugs rapidly but identifying the possible effects is also a way in to talking about feelings and thoughts - which are his and which prompted by the effects of the medication?
The other assist is counselling/psychotherapy and this is essentially talking. Mindfulness is a useful technique currently favoured. Alas the waiting lists are often years long and young men and former soldiers who might be suffering PTSD are not given any fast track - at least this was the case in my area when I finally came to the top of the list in 2012...
do not be afraid to talk about suicide (but avoid the outdated term 'commit') as The Samaritans are wonderful and botched suicides involving paracetamol are no fun in hospital... also there is the useful adolescent impulse not to do anything that grown-ups expect...
All the best.

chocolatecake2015 Fri 03-Jul-15 00:36:03

Thank you cd wales. Your advice was excellent. It is hard for me to understand why he puts so many walls up and why he is letting a fight with friends and sexual identity issues destroy him . I might try to transfer this thread to LGBT children and see how parents have coped with anyone depression issues.

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