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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Support for parents struggling with their sons situation, What can we do if he won't seek help?

Topic: Support for parents struggling with their sons situation, What can we do if he won't seek help?

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. Jamie&Sally
    Jamie&Sally avatar
    1 posts
    30 January 2022

    Hello , My wife and I are struggling to find help and support to assist ourselves with our sons situation.

    He is 19 years old and recently was dumped from his girlfriend , he doesn't work due to not having any confidence in his own ability and has been suicidal over Christmas and also suffers anxiety. He stays in his room all day long and drinks everyday and has recently also starting using dope and vaping for his anxiety. his room has been transformed into graffiti covered walls of his pain and angry words. We have tried to offer him help and when suicidal he was found by the police and assessed by a psych at the local hospital but refuses to let anyone help him and or talk to anyone. He won't talk to us and it is painful to watch, the situation is affecting us both and we feel like we are helpless and watching our son implode before our eyes.

    We really are at our wits end and need some help, it seems there is assistance out there for those that seek it but what if they aren't at that stage yet and are crying for help but don't see it's value.

    We cannot sit by and watch our son do this to himself, Please help us.

  2. Sophie_M
    Community Moderator
    • Works for beyondblue moderating these forums
    Sophie_M avatar
    6811 posts
    30 January 2022 in reply to Jamie&Sally
    Hey Jamie&Sally,

    Thank you for being a part of the Beyond Blue forums today. It sounds like you're in a very difficult and stressful situation having to manage both your stress and the concern you have for your child’s safety. We can hear how much this situation is affecting you but please know that our community is here to support you. Hopefully a few of them will pop by and offer you some words of kindness and advice.

    If you feel that it would be beneficial to talk about your feelings with a counsellor, please, contact the Beyond Blue Support Service anytime on 1300 22 4636 or get in touch with us on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST here: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport.

    Please let us know how you are whenever you feel up to it.
    1 person found this helpful
  3. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    2123 posts
    30 January 2022 in reply to Jamie&Sally

    Hi Jamie&Sally,

    Wellcome to our forums!

    I’m sorry that your son is going through this and yourself and your wife, I understand it would be really difficult.

    Can you sit in your sons room with him while he is in there? Maybe just sit with him and let him know that you are there for him and willing to help him once he’s ready for help.

    Maybe you could calmly talk to your son about the changes you have seen in him.

    You can only encourage him to seek professional help, he could start at his gp they could do a mental health plan together this will enable him to see a psychologist.

    Let him know that he can recover from what he’s going through but he needs to seek professional help.

    Maybe you could offer to go with him to the gp ?

    Just try to be calm and listen to him without judgment.

    Maybe you could offer him Beyond Blues number… 1300 22 4636 he could speak to a trained councillor when he is ready.

    I also understand this would be hard for yourself and wife, please also seek support if you feel you need it.

    You can only encourage him to seek help and love him.

  4. Summer Rose
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Summer Rose avatar
    1735 posts
    30 January 2022 in reply to Jamie&Sally

    Hi Jamie&Sally

    Welcome to the bb forums. I am very sorry to hear that your son is so unwell and that you are both in so much pain.

    I understand your fear, frustration and anxiety as I care for a child with anxiety and OCD and we have been through rough patches where she has resisted help and I feared for her life. It’s not easy, I know.

    Even though your son is refusing treatment, I highly recommend that you and your wife seek the services of a mental health practitioner. This person can guide and coach you on how best to support your son. You will both need to be on the same page to provide effective support, which is why I suggest you both go.

    I would also suggest you have a look at the bb ap, Beyond Now. It’s a suicide prevention safety tool. Even if your son won’t engage, it will help you both to have a look and to think about a number of important issues and be prepared. On the same note, you can take some practical steps to enhance home safety (eg remove sharp objects and prescription drugs) and/or enter the numbers in your phone for local emergency mental health services.

    If your son isn’t working, I’m wondering how he can afford drugs, alcohol and vaping? If you have control in this space, I would encourage you to use it. Obviously none of those activities are going to help.

    As you already know you can’t force your son to speak with a professional. Not even to speak with you. But if you can engage him in a shared activity (eg a walk, cooking, a drive, a meal, etc) you will have a space and opportunity to talk.

    Let him know he’s loved and that you are there for him. Don’t push. If he opens up about anything just listen and try to keep him talking with open ended questions. Create as many opportunities as you can.

    Can you think of any other person you trust to try and engage with him? An Uncle, cousin, neighbour or friend? When my daughter was really struggling an older cousin played a key support role. Just a thought.

    I think you might need to be really patient but persistent. If you know why he’s refusing help (eg stigma, denial, etc) it will really help you to tailor your messages.

    I know you love your son and you want “him” back. Please know that this is possible with love, effort and eventually the right treatment. Hang in there.

    Please post any time. Our community will walk with you.

    Kind thoughts to you

  5. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    2123 posts
    30 January 2022 in reply to Jamie&Sally

    Hi again Jamie&Sally,

    I really feel for you and I wanted to stop by again to hopefully provide you with some insight for what someone may go through within themselves when experiencing severe anxiety…….. I have a lived experience of severe anxiety OCD which I have now recovered from after a long journey and hopefully my words will help you in some way.

    When experiencing severe anxiety I believe our minds can take us to places that we never thought that they would, it’s a very scary place to be.

    Our thoughts can become very intrusive our minds race and it’s exhausting….. everything seems to go so fast ( in our minds)…

    Anxiety can make you feel like you are going crazy and your whole world has been tipped upside down ( in my experience).

    Our nervous systems can take a battering..

    You say that your son writes on his walls with his pain….. do you think these words could be coming from his anxiety?

    When you said that your son doesn’t talk to you………… maybe he is finding it hard to navigate his way around his anxiety and it’s symptoms inside himself and he doesn’t know how to explain his anxiety induced thoughts…….and feelings…..

    Please let him know that he can tell you what is going on inside his mind and you won’t judge him….

    He needs you both now more than he ever has before…………. Keep trying and encouraging him to see his gp …….. let him know that what he’s going through is temporary and he really can recover from what he’s going through.

    He just needs to take that first step and ask for help…… 🙏

  6. geoff
    Life Member
    • Life membership is awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    16437 posts
    31 January 2022 in reply to Jamie&Sally

    Hello Jamie&Sally, I'm sorry for the situation you're in, but can I suggest you ring Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 on behalf of your son, then somebody may hopefully come out and talk with your son, then they will be able to establish a connection with him, not only being a friend but also being a counsellor as they will dress in casual clothes and not indicate they are trained but want to be his friend.

    Best wishes.

    Geoff.

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