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When someone you love is depressed
Old 02-03-2017, 07:21 PM
  #1

Hi friends,
My adult child (23 years old) began suffering from depression about 3 years ago. We've had quite a few ups and downs including drug arrests, quitting college, etc. He doesn't live at home with us so keeping an eye on him is a bit tricky. Here's my question.....are there any really great books or blogs that I could read to help me understand him better? I'd like to be able to support him emotionally and know the right things to say to encourage him. Honestly, I feel my own emotions getting the best of me when I think of how heartbreaking and disappointing this all is. He isn't the person we ever imagined he'd become. I feel myself running out of steam and feeling disappointed and even grieving what was supposed to be. I don't have any support groups in my tiny area for parents coping with adult children with depression. Just wondering if there are any of you in the same boat and whether you have found any reading to be helpful? Thanks for you input!


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Old 02-03-2017, 09:11 PM
  #2

No help here from me, but I bet there will be someone on PT that will be able to offer advice. Praying you find help for both you and your son.
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Old 02-04-2017, 04:06 AM
  #3

You might find something on the NAMI website that would give you some insight.
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Old 02-04-2017, 04:29 AM
  #4

I don't know of any books, but there must be something out there. You might be able to get information from your local health department or doctor. I hope you can find something to encourage you and help you to help your son. Having raised four children, I can relate to your post. Sometimes are hearts are broken, but there is always hope.
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Old 02-04-2017, 04:53 AM
  #5

The best explanation I've ever heard is Depression means can't, not won't.

Quote:
He isn't the person we ever imagined he'd become. I feel myself running out of steam and feeling disappointed and even grieving what was supposed to be.
Unconditional love means accepting someone as they are, not as you'd hoped they'd be. That's not a criticism. We all have certain expectations and it is really tough when life interferes with what we had wished for our kids. I get it.

Is he seeing any one to treat the depression?

Hang in there, mama.


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You mentioned drug arrests.
Old 02-04-2017, 05:39 AM
  #6

Is there an al anon group? They often have groups even in the smallest of towns. They can be hard to find. They may be able to help with resources.
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Sending up prayers
Old 02-04-2017, 05:56 AM
  #7

As a mom with a young adult sons, I can empathize. When my older DS was suffering from depression as a sophomore in college, I found great support on PT (especially from Hideeho )

A resource that helped me deal is this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Setting-Bound.../dp/0736921354

I hope it helps you find some peace with your situation. Letting go of our hopes and dreams is a form of grief, and it hurts. So glad you reached out to us. (((Beau201)))
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This is what I've been thinking
Old 02-04-2017, 06:01 AM
  #8

Both my adult DDs have gone through or are going through some tremendously difficult life situations.

I worry about both, but the one that concerns me the most is already going to a psychologist for counseling and has for about 3 years now. I worry about how much she can stand, if or when she will break. I've been thinking about making an appointment with her psychologist myself. I'd like to ask him what I can do to help her.

I know that will probably put him on the spot since how could he tell me much without betraying the Dr/patient confidentiality?

Since my DDs have kids, I do what I can to try to relieve their stress - help with the kids, fix suppers, pick up whatever slack I can.

It's different with a son who is much younger than my kids. I am also wondering if he is seeing a counselor. Is he working? Until you can find something more substantial, I encourage you to have him over for a meal as often as you can. Be on the lookout for ways you can show your love to him. When you're out shopping, maybe you'll run across something you know he needs at his house or something you know he would like. I don't mean to buy tons of stuff -- just be on the lookout for ways you can demonstrate how much you care about him.

Bless you for being there for him. He needs you.
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There is hope!
Old 02-04-2017, 06:36 AM
  #9

My son started showing signs of anxiety and depression when he started high school. I'm sure some of it was there before then, but we didn't recognize it.

We were able to get him on an antidepressant. He started counseling to help him develop coping skills for the anxiety and depression. Things were rough for a while. I cried and worried and mourned for my child. Things slowly improved, but we felt like our son was gone. That happy, smiling, loving life child was gone. I couldn't look at old pictures of my son and then look at him in the present time because it broke my heart.

Fast forward two years and my son seemed to be slipping away from us. I was losing all hope. Fortunately, his counselor recognized that either his medication wasn't working as well anymore or he was slipping into a deeper depression. We were able to increase his meds and that made all the difference. My happy, smiling, loving life child is back!

Normally I can read about a topic and be good to go. With my son and his depression I just couldn't do it. I needed a counselor to help me understand and cope with it. I now understand my son so much better. I can read him better, and better get him to communicate better with me. There is hope, but sometimes it takes a long road to get there. Don't give up!
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I have been through this with my DD,
Old 02-04-2017, 06:36 AM
  #10

but she was very proactive in trying to sort out her own needs for meds, exercise, changing friends and roommates, etc. She finally found a combo of drugs that works for her, but it took maybe five years. I would have steered her towards a more nutritional solution, but she wasn't into it.

Does he have health insurance and is he looking into meds? The whole B-Vitamin complex is in Brewer's Yeast and would probably help him, too. Also, Vitamin D, Calcium, and Magnesium.

I know he probably won't listen to you. Does he have an actual diagnosis, e.g., Bi-Polar or a personality disorder?


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Old 02-04-2017, 08:08 AM
  #11

It's hard to know which came first, the drugs or the depression. I agree that you should find an Al-Anon group. There are more of them than Nar-Anons and they usually have members whose loved ones have drug, not just alcohol, problems. You need to learn survival skills from them.

I believe we should spend a lot more money on mental health issues. I also believe that too often we get so caught up in the argument that depressed people who use drugs are just self-medicating and all should be forgiven. I think the drug problem often came first and major mental health problems are the result of the drugs. Has your son been to rehab? It doesn't work unless he wants it to-and he'll hate it anyway until he's clean enough to think again.

I hope your son is seeing a psychiatrist or some type of qualified mental health counselor. Primary care physicians hand out anxiety and depression drugs like candy. Painkillers too.Those can be dangerous and just as addictive and deadly as illegal drugs. Xanax addiction often replaces addiction to illegal drugs.

He is out of your house and legally an adult. As painful as it is, you need to learn to survive whether he does well or not. Find an al-alnon group. There are online groups if you are really, really rural.
http://www.al-anon.org/electronic-meetings.

There are also nar-anon groups online. http://www.nar-anon.org/. If you're looking for something to read, their literature is excellent.

The joke (only funny if you've been there) is that the difference between al-anon and nar-anon members is that al-anon members still have their jewelry.

Wishing you and your son peace and health.

Last edited by Cassyree; 02-04-2017 at 08:45 AM..
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Old 02-04-2017, 09:20 AM
  #12

Quote:
I also believe that too often we get so caught up in the argument that depressed people who use drugs are just self-medicating and all should be forgiven. I think the drug problem often came first and major mental health problems are the result of the drugs.
But what about depression in those who've not used drugs?
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Book recs
Old 02-04-2017, 09:43 AM
  #13

My husband has suffered from mild to moderate chronic depression since he was a teenager.

I suggest the following books:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/03160...2vL&ref=plSrch

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/00600...g8L&ref=plSrch

(((Hugs)))
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Response to question.
Old 02-04-2017, 09:54 AM
  #14

I was talking about people who have used or are using drugs. It often goes hand in hand, as in the case of the OP.

There are certainly other forms of mental health issues that are not related to drugs.
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Old 02-04-2017, 10:02 AM
  #15

Quote:
I was talking about people who have used or are using drugs. It often goes hand in hand, as in the case of the OP.

There are certainly other forms of mental health issues that are not related to drugs.
I misunderstood; I thought you were linking drug use as a cause of depression. Thanks for explaining.
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Chicken or Egg
Old 02-04-2017, 10:18 AM
  #16

One of many articles.

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/conte...mentalillness/
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Old 02-04-2017, 06:13 PM
  #17

Yeah, I totally get that. But depression happens in those who've not used drugs. That was my only point.
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book about depression
Old 02-04-2017, 06:58 PM
  #18

I work with high school students, so I wanted to learn more about what it feels like to have depression since it is quite common. I read this book and it helped me understand. It's more teen than for your son's age, but it still might be helpful.

https://www.amazon.com/Monochrome-Da...57Q6QWAJ1AKY2C
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with sincere gratitude
Old 02-04-2017, 07:48 PM
  #19

Thank you all! Your suggestions, insights, tips, and words of encouragement literally have me in tears! I didn't expect so many responses and private messages! Your support means so much to me! From the bottom of my heart, thank you dearly
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Old 02-04-2017, 08:43 PM
  #20

I have been dealing with mental illness in my child for 6 years, and now addiction. I sent you a PM!

Welcome to PT!

Nancy
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