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Topic: Our 20 year old son

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. km70
    km70 avatar
    6 posts
    8 January 2019
    Our son left home not long after finishing school 2 years ago and has traveled extensively since so we haven't seen a lot of him. About 6 months after he left he told us he had depression. He has just spent over a year living in Perth (we're on East coast) and I became so worried about the way he was talking/feeling I suggested he see the GP about a referral to a psychologist. The GP told him to "man up" (unbelievably) but still prescribed him anti-depressants. He delayed booking into a psych so I asked him if it would help if I found and booked one which he agreed to. After about 4 sessions he decided to come home. It transpired that he'd "put on a show" for the psych and made out he was ok (although scored severe anxiety and depression in the test she gave him). He told me he'd thought about suicide a few times and that it all started with being bullied in year 12 (which I was completely unaware of - he's always been very good at putting on a show). After a few months on the meds he decided they weren't working anymore. He was agitated, defensive, argumentative and was drinking more than I thought was healthy but I bit my tongue. He wanted to get his meds upped and was going to go to the local medical centre (sausage factory) but I managed to talk him into going to our family GP practice where one of the doctors specialised in mental health. He went today and while he was out I found a notebook on his bedroom floor. In the middle of it he'd written that he wanted to die and that we tell him we love him but we don't really, we're just saying what's expected of parents. That he is the son his father always wished he never had. That since he was bullied he's felt worthless and the constant need for attention and validation is driving him crazy and he doesn't go a day without staring at the ceiling fan in his room and thinking about suicide, that he drinks too much to try and get up the courage. He said he has no true friends and no-one would notice if he stopped breathing.
    I'm beside myself. I shouldn't have opened it but I'm glad I did. When he got home I asked him how he went and he said fine and the dr had upped his meds and referred him to a psych. He sounded pretty chipper. I'm at a loss at what to do. Should I contact the GP or psych in case he hides the suicidal thoughts?
    Sorry for the long post but I'm at my wits end.
  2. jess334
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    jess334 avatar
    242 posts
    9 January 2019 in reply to km70

    Hi KM70,

    Welcome to the forums.

    It can be really hard caring for someone with mental health issues. Especially when that person is a child of yours. I understand the need to want to fix the problem for him.

    I think your son probably wanted you to read that notebook. I did that too when I was a teen. I didn't know how else to communicate how I was feeling and I didn't want to tell mum direct because I thought it would make her feel worse. So I would write it down somewhere and leave it out hoping she would read it.

    People who want to hide their thoughts are much better at it. And if he truly didn't want help he would never have told you how he was feeling.

    I do not know if it is appropriate for you to talk to his psychologist. They obviously won't be able to tell you anything about his sessions because of confidentiality. But if your son finds out you were talking to them behind his back that might make him feel untrusted and unable to be open with them.

    You can always suggest that he contact BeyondBlue or Headspace or Lifeline if he is being troubled by suicidal thoughts inbetween appointments.

    I hope the medication increase and the psychologist helps.

    Kind thoughts Jess

    1 person found this helpful
  3. km70
    km70 avatar
    6 posts
    11 January 2019 in reply to jess334
    Thanks Jess. I was thinking to let the psych know about the notebook without discussing it any further more so she can be aware and press him a little if she feels its appropriate. Since I posted he said he told the GP "everything" and intends to do the same with the psych so I've decided to leave it to him. Thanks again, I appreciate you taking the time to reply :)
  4. ozkate62
    ozkate62 avatar
    1 posts
    29 January 2019 in reply to km70
    This is like reading my life right now. I am at a loss as to how to help my son. It breaks my heart to hear him crying and feeling useless - which he isn't. I pray that the medical teams can help him.
  5. smallwolf
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    smallwolf avatar
    2401 posts
    29 January 2019 in reply to ozkate62

    Hi km70 and ozkate62,

    Welcome to beyond blue. The stuff below can still be relevant even if your friend/child/other is getting professional help (I hope)...

    As a son (late 40s) with a mental illness...there are times I won't tell my parents everything about what I am thinking or even my wife. Part of me is protecting them from the thoughts in my head, and the other part of me knows I will eventually get over it. But I am also able to tell my psychologist or psychiatrist everything. I know that can be difficult for some people. There is also that feeling of shame or embarrassment in how we feel in not being able to cope. And I think that is mainly because we might think that out of all of our friends we are the only ones that are weak. But after I spoke with some people after I started to see a psychologist (this part is a long story) it was only then I found that other have had similar experiences, but it not talked about. And the flip-side is not knowing how other people might respond.

    But one thing that you can always do is talk to them and support them. Sounds cliche,but ask them if they are OK? And when you ask that question, if the other person is open enough, be prepared to listen without judgement. Alternatively, if you have a chat with them (you both care very much about your children) about the situation from your perspective, what to hear or what you can see in the other person, how it break your heart to see them this way. I know (from experience) these conversations can be difficult, and at the same time builds understanding, and the parent/child relationship gets stronger? (You don't need to reveal what you might have found.)

    We can be our own worst enemies in this area. And admitting we need professional help can be difficult, yet gentle reminders and telling them if they want to chat you are available to listen. You probably do this already, and if so, remember you are doing all that you can. Some links to check out...

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-support/have-the-conversation/talking-to-someone-you-are-worried-about

    https://au.reachout.com/articles/6-ways-to-help-a-friend-with-depression

    Peace and comforting thoughts,

    Tim

    1 person found this helpful

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