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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Depression or self indulgent? Could it be both?

Topic: Depression or self indulgent? Could it be both?

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Mum to TJJ
    Mum to TJJ avatar
    2 posts
    31 December 2017
    My 20 year old son won’t come out of his room(Uni student on Christmas break). He will talk to me and has agreed to go to the Dr with me to find out what is going on. He was extremely athletic, football, gym etc, until he had a knee reconstruction five months ago. He also has a shoulder injury that he is seeing a specialist for in the beginning of February. I feel like he has depression but also part of me feels like he is being self indulgent (teenage behaviour). I feel very frustrated! I work with people with disabilities and here he is, a healthy young man with his whole life ahead, he has injuries but they will heal, I can not get him to see the big picture! He says if he can’t play football what’s the point of anything? I have suggested he try other physical activities he can do until his injuries heal but he isn’t interested in trying anything! His sleep is all over the place his eating habits are atrocious even though the fridge is full of healthy food and I cook from scratch every night. He knows how important physical activity and diet are for mental health yet he isn’t interested in helping himself? As his mum who loves him to bits, I am very sad and very frustrated!
  2. MsPurple
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    MsPurple avatar
    1621 posts
    31 December 2017 in reply to Mum to TJJ

    HI Mum to TJJ and welcome to the forums.

    I can understand how frustrating it can be to see your son struggle. It can also be frustrating because you can see a healthy 20 yo boy with his whole life ahead of him and it can be hard to understand why he is this way. With depression it can cause you to not see the future. It can make the future look so grim. I am not that great at explaining it so I'll attach a link to Stephen Fry explaining depression and how blank it can make the future can feel in the eyes of someone with depression https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcPRF9slENI

    I thought I should also let you know about a youth mental health servivce called headspace. Maybe see if your son will see them as he may feel more comfortable

  3. MsPurple
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
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    1621 posts
    31 December 2017 in reply to MsPurple

    Sorry for the short message. My housemate came home and needed to chat so I sent what I had written

    headspace is a youth mental health service seeing people aged 12-25. It is a free (or low cost if seeing a psychiatrist through them) and they have a great team. I suggest seeing a GP for a mental health care plan (needed to see a psychologist under medicare, otherwise you have to pay for it all) and maybe asking them to refer to headspace or another psychologist you think will help. I suggest going to a headspace near university. I found headspace was really helpful for myself. I felt intimidated going to a psychologist whereas with headspace I felt comfortable. Now everyone is individual so if he wants to not go through them or feels comfortable seeing a private psychologist (or one that bulk bills) then that is also a great option (one I know do). Either way they can help support him.

    Also just try keep doing what you are doing. Encouraging him to eat (don't over push it) and just be there for him. Even if he isn't opening up to you, he will still appreciate the effort you are putting in (maybe not now but in the future he will). Also let him know that no one chooses to have a mental health issue. No one would ever choose to have this. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain. He has nothing to be ashamed of.

    Hope this has given you more information

  4. Mum to TJJ
    Mum to TJJ avatar
    2 posts
    31 December 2017 in reply to MsPurple
    Thank you so much
  5. Georgiegirl
    Georgiegirl avatar
    11 posts
    1 January 2018 in reply to Mum to TJJ

    Hi Mum to Tjj. Im new here too.

    My son is an elite athlete & has had some serious injuries. Depression in athletes is common. 1 IN 5

    As a young child he was very ADHD and we used sport to manage his behaviour. This taught lots of lessons such as routine, discipline, safety etc in an environment he enjoyed, doing something he was good at and this made him feel good about himself. He was accepted in a social group who had things in common. Consider there are alot of negative connotations for kids like this throughout the day.

    Each person in our family is good at something and not so good at other things. Ive always encouraged them to do the things they're good at because this makes them feel good about themselves. My daughter can sing pitch perfect which i understand is a rare talent and plays the guitar. She is beautiful to listen to. My son the athlete likes to sing but I dont like to listen to him sing.

    The things they're not so good at I encourage to have a go and make an effort but I dont focus on the more negative.

    My Jj had a bad crash, first race of the season in warmup and broke his collarbone. The fracture was messy and took 3 months to heal. He couldn't go to gym. And his time at gym was important to him because the gym instructor was a mentor to him and it was a big part of his routine and he made friends in that group.

    This also put him off the bike for the entire season & also made him feel down. Achieving makes him feel good about himself, not winning. He loves the feeling he gets riding. Even the pain in his legs.

    You see the kids with bad injuries and when they come back to racing you can see the fear. Some get over it and some dont. I believe that PTSD from surgery/injury is common.

    Perhaps TJj is worried about his shoulder, knowing what to expect from surgery. A shoulder injury is serious (so my GP told me last week about mine). There aren't many sports where you only use your legs or jobs either. Even walking uses your shoulder.

    Football gives Tjj a social group to belong to and structure to his life, fun and probably an outlet to stresses of uni. Stress is exhausting, hence the need to rest.

    Disabled or not disabled, we all have different things that make us happy. We are all different. Tjj is disabled by injury & these are significant injuries that could very well be lifelong.

    If Tjj is not exercising as much, his body probably isnt demanding too much food right now. Maybe ask if there's something he feels like.

    Nice to meet u

    GeorgieG

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