Hi, new here

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Endoftherope, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. Endoftherope

    Endoftherope New Member

    I am so grateful to have found this site. I don't know others in my day-to-day life that are going through what I've been through (and continue to go through!).

    Son, 20, diagnosed with depression his senior year of high school, got into trouble with the law for using marijuana, resulting in suicidal ideation, which led him to ER, then to 2-day psychiatric ward stay. Went on Zoloft and was fine for a month, then went off medications and continued to self-medicate with marijuana. He's been accepted to colleges, but lasts 1-2 days and then quits school. Had a second episode of severe depression and suicidal ideation when he went tried to quit marijuana, which led to ER and psychiatric visit for a week. I really thought that was the "rock bottom" and that he would turn things around. Unfortunately, he got right back on weed and has stopped his medications again.

    He is currently living in an apartment that his father finances, has no desire to work or take classes. Claims he is learning online. Wants to start his own CBD oil business while he continues to self-medicate with marijuana. Even went so far as to purchase land for his "farm", with plans, but from past experience he doesn't carry through with his ideas. We have weekly lunches/ check-ins, and he is very negative, angry, and a big, fat know-it-all. His behavior to me has been borderline abusive. He is my son, and I love him, so I continue to keep the communication lines open.

    Son, 18, recently diagnosed with depression and has stopped doing any school work. He attends a prestigious school and has had straight A's until this year (senior), but I noticed it isn't senioritis--it is more than that. Doctor and therapist agreed and diagnosed him with low-grade depression. He is on medications, but doesn't feel any different (it's been about 3 weeks). He questions "why even try?" "What is the worth of school/college/work?" He has no positive outlook on his future or school. Says he feels like he has been on a hamster wheel for about 7 years now and college doesn't look fun at all. He says he will go to college, because he doesn't want to end up like his brother. However, this son is obviously stuck in a depressive mood that he just can't seem to get out of. This son has been my PERFECT CHILD, my "golden child", he has been wonderful, compared to my older son-who always rocked the boat and was difficult. I am VERY concerned now that this sweet younger son has fallen into depression too. He has no joy, no passion for life. He rarely laughs anymore and it breaks my heart. I see him on the verge of tears constantly. I just feel so helpless. Why, why this child too?????!!!!

    Me, divorced mom. Imperfect parent, but I've given everything and made decisions for the benefit of my sons. Or so I thought. I walk around with guilt-I did something to make them this way. I have my own past of anxiety and depression but I've learned how to cope over the many years and I no longer need therapy or medication. I am trying to do everything in my power to get my sons out of their funks. Nothing is working. I keep busy with my career, my two dogs, exercise, meditation, yoga, and a vast amount of passions and hobbies. Life, to me, is a gift. My sons see life in the opposite light. I am heartbroken.

    Their father is a work-a-holic. Always has been. Doesn't believe in psychology, therapy, medicine, or mental health. I've had to seek help for my sons against their father's wishes. It has been a battle from day one, fighting against him and for them to get better. He throws money at the boys, whereas I try to take the holistic, healthy approach--encouraging therapy, medicine if needed, exercise, etc.. Over time it seems like they resent me just as much as they do him.

    I am reading these stories and it helps me. I don't feel as alone.
    Thank you for this site. I look forward to learning, healing, and continuing to move forward no matter what...
  2. Beta

    Beta Active Member

    Welcome to this site. I too have been helped in knowing there are other loving, caring, parents out there who's kids have fallen into trouble of one kind or another. I don't have a lot of wisdom to offer, but it's obvious from your post that you are a caring and involved Mom. You have done the best that you could do for your boys in a very difficult situation. I, and others here, know the heartache you are feeling right now. There are times I still feel in shock at the situation with our 29YO son. I just wanted to respond and welcome you. There are some seasoned, wise parents on this site who are very generous with their time, and they will respond soon. Check back and keep posting.
  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Depression is not because you were a bad parent. You were a good, loving parent. But depression is inherited and is easily treatable. Anxiety is too. But you need to agree to treatment.

    Pot. I used to think pot was better than alcohol. Then a friends son with issues admitted to daily pot use which sent me on a research binge bringing me to a forum called Reddit. They have tons of firums for every issue so I typed in "Pot Users--Any bad experiences related to Weed?" A sub forum with a ton of answers to this question popped up, all pot users talking about the terrible problems they had and many had quit. Some stopped daily use. Others kept using daily saying they know its bad for them but they dont want to stop. Some couldn't stop and claimed addiction. None were non smokers.

    I got a huge lesson from those who know best.

    Pot use is not good if you use it every day. So pot may be the oldest one's problem. Are the sure the youngest is drug free?

    Keep posting. Good people here.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  4. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    You will read a lot here.
    Don't absorb things you read here and think that your son is doing the same thing. Try to keep perspective on the situation.
    I had to step a way from this site for a while becasue I found myself thinking more negatively of my son than what he was actually doing.
    He is still spends money unwisely and needs help due to over spending but he isn't spending it on drugs or alcohol, unless he has a way to get money that isn't being deposited into his account. I can see the money that goes into and comes out of his account.

    Your older boy, the dad needs to really ask himself if he wants to still be throwing money at the man and him not working and taking care of himself in 10 years. that's what it will be if he doesn't have to support himself.

    Your younger boy. Will he talk to a therapist. Can he put his finger on anything that makes him happy? Sounds silly but what about a pet? Since your younger guy sounds like he is scared to turn out like his older brother he really needs something to lift him and show him he doesn't need to be that way. Maybe his first semester of college needs to be electives and easier classes maybe he can go through the offerings and find something that makes him want to go to college.

    I feel bad for all these kids that are having such a rough time in high school and transition in to adulthood. I think things are a lot harder than when I was that age. Heck..I went to college, married my college sweetheart and down the yellow brick road we went. Didn't get to the rabbit hole with the wicked slide till the youngest turned 16.
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  5. overcome mom

    overcome mom Member

    From what you have said It definitely sounds like your boys have depression. It may manifest it's self differently in each of them. If your older son feels better smoking then I sure he is wondering why he should stop. He needs to realize that his life is not what he wants it to be and he can use a different drug ,that won't effect his motivation like pot does, to help him feel better. The important thing is HE needs to realize it. Sounds like your husband must be giving your older son a lot of money if he can buy land. I agree with Tried out that if he can live without working why work? Some people are more motivated than others and of course smoking weed takes away a lot of people's motivation. What does your ex husband think he son should be doing?
    With regards to your younger son he may have some depression brought on by his situation. The pressure of school can be enormous and the thought of working so hard in high school only to get out and then have the pressure of college is just to much for some kids. Plus it is always scary to start something new. I worked at a University for a long time and found that for some kids having a gap year like they do in Europe before starting college is a good thing. If he has something he is interested in could he volunteer ? As you know not all medications work for everyone he may need to try something else if it doesn't start working soon. Remember to take care of yourself, you being healthy will only help your children.
  6. 200Meters

    200Meters A real bustard

    Hi Endoftherope!

    I'm kinda new here myself and am a bit leery about dispensing advice especially since our boys do not suffer from depression or similar disorders. But I do know that having your heart put through the wringer by people you care for so desperately is an awful experience. If you need a place to vent & people to vent to, you've come to the right place.

  7. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Hi and welcome:

    My son was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and conduct disorder at age 15 which brought me to this site. I know how heartbreaking it is when you want to help but you don't know what to do or how to help them. It took us years to even figure out what we were dealing with to be honest.

    My son's pot use led to other drugs unfortunately. I smoked a lot in my past (mostly teenage years) also but it never took over my life as it did for my son and many others that have an addictive type of personality. I have shared this with my son because I wanted to be honest with him and not pretend I was perfect.

    Agree that you and his dad need to get some type of plan in place for older son so that this isn't allowed. If he is getting everything he needs, then why would he work? That is how some of them think at that age. He isn't motivated to do anything and being set up the way he is, he has no reason to change.

    Does either boy have friends or girlfriends or anything? I agree that therapy would be a good thing but I find that guys usually aren't receptive to the idea of this, especially at their ages. It's hard for them to open up. My son wasn't a fan and it didn't stop him from his bad behavior either.

    I think a lot of what is going on with this age group is the maturity level is very low. Especially for boys. My son has matured a lot due to all the interventions we put in place but I still do see a lot of immaturity in many ways and he'll be 24 in August. By that age I was married already for a few years and had a child at 25. No comparison.

    It sounds like you are a great mom and none of us are perfect so don't blame yourself. I did that too at first and then I blamed my husband for his parenting ways and it just really doesn't help and sometimes there just isn't a "reason" why these things happen. I had to let the search for the reason go because it was consuming me.

    My advice is to possibly see a therapist yourself to try to help you to deal with all this - since you are alone and it is very difficult to deal with all of this alone. I saw someone that specialized in addiction which really was a great help to me and I'm sure there are many therapists that have experience with depression. My therapist gave me advice that I was able to use and also taught me self care which is very important when you are going through such stressful situations.
  8. Crayola13

    Crayola13 Active Member

    Clearly, the depression is hereditary. They both need treatment,regardless of what their dad thinks. It's hard to convince some people that psychiatrists are real doctors.
  9. Endoftherope

    Endoftherope New Member

    Pot is definitely an issue—especially when he tried to quit and spiraled into depression which led to his 2nd psychiatric ward stay. Only to go right back to it upon his release. He smokes daily-and I’m certain it’s the reason for his lack of motivation, as well as the fact that his father gives him money to live off of. My younger son claims he doesn’t drink or smoke, no drugs, and I believe him.
  10. Endoftherope

    Endoftherope New Member

    My younger son has found a therapist that he really likes. However, due to the popularity of this professional, we can only get him in every couple of weeks. Every bit helps, though, and I’m happy he’s found someone he can trust! He does have a beloved cat and I have two dogs that he enjoys spending time with. He has close friends too, but says he craves deep conversations that he just can’t get with his friends. He’s never had a girl/boyfriend and has little desire for one, or so he says. I’m hoping he will find some good relationships at college, but he’s not one who forms friendships too easily. He’s so sweet but a bit socially awkward. He has a lot of maturing to do, that’s for sure.
  11. Endoftherope

    Endoftherope New Member

    I think the answer to my older son is, let him figure it out himself. He is stubborn and won’t listen to my advice. His father argues with me over everything, so there’s no hope in working together and forming a plan for the older son. Older son will have to hit rock bottom at some point to learn and hopefully grow from his mistakes. It’s difficult, as you all know, to sit back and let your adult child go down a destructive path. I’m starting to erect some boundaries, as I’m done “saving” him from his mental health crises. He’s choosing pot over healthy therapy/solutions to his depression/anxiety. I can’t help him if he can’t help himself!!

    As far as younger son, I think he’s so upset about how his older brother is living that he thinks he Should go to college so he doesn’t end up like his brother. He’s a very bright young man, and I think it’s the right decision, however, he’s having a difficult time with the upcoming changes (new school, new town/state, new Friends, roommate, more studying, etc) he’s a bit overwhelmed. He doesn’t want a gap year he says and his father is against that idea. It scares me a bit to know he’s depressed AND going into a “scary” (for him) new environment that will be stressful. You hear things about depressed college freshmen... and thoughts of that haunt me. I want his mental state to be healthy before he goes away in August, and depression doesn’t necessarily have a quick fix, as I’ve learned.
  12. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Why cant he go to a near by school and sleep at home? College in a dorm is not for everyone.

    Has he ever been specifically tested for Asoergers Syndrome?

    Once the boys are 18, they don't have to listen to parents. Of course oldest loves the way his father lets him have so much for no reason. But you cant force Dad to stop. Too bad.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2019
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    My experience with my only son, now 30, is comparable to your YS. Except different. So. Our situation does not relate.

    Except for this: they will have to work this through themselves, I don't see anyway around this. We can make suggestions, we can assist and support. But we can only lead the horse to water. Their Dad is as much a factor in their lives as are you. He will do what he will do. The same for the kids.

    There are people who have depressive tendencies their whole lives. They find a way to deal. Either through psychological help, or art or excercise or spirituality or meditation or somatic therapies or whatever. The thing is we find our own way.

    Will your ex veto college for YS? That would be a real pity, if this is the case.

    As far as a gap year, or not, I will throw something out. Hopefully he will be able to go to college and have no Gap. If father blocks this, there are exciting things he can do that would fill his time and be meaningful. Great Britain for example, has programs called "foundation courses." That are just that. They do not involve formal matriculation but establish a skill level in a chosen field. You can even do this online. I looked into Art foundational classes, for example. Language courses are another option. Even overseas if this is an option. And Community College, locally, or online classes.

    But, the immediate concern is that son is depressed. There is time for son to get stable. Perhaps knowing that he has exciting options, and the freedom of choice to define himself, might touch something in him, his motivation and his joy.
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
  14. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    How far away from home did your son apply/accept college enrollment? Maybe he is just stressed and getting cold feet about the future. Gap year--I'm not a huge fan of that, it too easy to get out of study habits and not get back into good ones. Maybe you and your son can take another trip to the college of choice and spend a couple of days there and in the town where it is and really look around before he is going to stay? The more you visit a place the more friendly it seems.
  15. BloodiedButUnbowed

    BloodiedButUnbowed Active Member

    Hello EOTR,

    Our families have some similarities. I am the stepparent to two young men, one 18 and the other 17, and I recognize them in your children's stories.

    While we do have *some* legal recourse when our children are under 18, once they cross this milestone age, they are considered adults. This presents us with a very difficult choice if they are struggling as both your sons, and mine, are doing. And it is a burden made even heavier when our co-parents are not on the same page. My wife and her ex-husband, her sons' father, are a textbook example and it sounds like your ex is also not on board with you. I am sorry. This issue has hurt my stepsons perhaps more than any other, as their father has stonewalled W's and my efforts to get these boys help.

    My own YS made a suicide attempt two years ago that came within five minutes of completing. Since then he has gotten more help than his older brother. He is at least, still in school, for now.

    We can do nothing. Unlike you, we are not in touch with either of our sons at the moment, as they refuse all contact with us. But we are alike in the sense that we are faced with having to adjust our own behavior and expectations toward, and of, these adult children.

    My oldest stepson is not housed in his own place but he does live with his father, is jobless, and not attending school, and smokes a great deal of marijuana. YS suffers from bipolar depression and a debilitating physical injury he sustained as a result of his suicide attempt, which causes him chronic pain. He is slated to enter his senior year of HS in the fall. We will see if he makes it that far or drops out. He appears to be on a path to the latter. Either way, W and I are utterly powerless to do anything other than watch and if an opportunity to intervene ever arises, to take advantage in the best way we know how.

    Blessings to you, I know how your heart must hurt.