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Meltdown, over 18, and thoughts of harming himself.......

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  • Meltdown, over 18, and thoughts of harming himself.......

    I have approched WH before on infidelity issues, you were of great help. The issue facing our family now is far more delicate. My older son returned home, left his girlfriend, his job.... He was feeling squeezed, confused, and depression had/has a deep hold on him. He graduated with a dual major in Sociology/Psychology. Once home he took me into his confidence, something he has rarely ever done.
    During this conversation he shared information with me, of a harmful nature. (self destruction) We sought help, but were in the process of moving across the country. He experienced another bout last evening, far worse than before. Both my husband and I have been attempting to help him, and get help for him. He has had several therapists and one in our previous town. (he had 3 meetings with him, before we moved) We have mentioned seeking aid several times since the move. But he analyzes himself and thinks himself into a mindset. Then if something upsets that, he crashes. (has happened several times before, while he was living away from home, he states) I do not know if this runs deeper, if it occured while living at home....? It is a very frightening thing to view, and a feeling of helplessness. We see our son in pain, and do not have the training to help him. I could really use some helpful advise on how to assist him, to get therapy, check for chemistry..... But then, how can one make sure he continues what to me, (untrained) may be a lifetime of care??????
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  • This is a toughy!

    "You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink"

    Until he is ready to really help himself, there is little anyone else will be able to do.

    Please define, if you can, what you mean by "self destruction"? Doing physical harm to himself? Others? Substance abuse? Alcohol abuse?

    One thing I would do..tonight...is secure any weapons, hunting, sport, target, etc. that may be in your home.


    • Olympia I am sorry.

      The fact that he has studied to try to treat his own problem means he's serious about living and serious about beating it, that coupled with opening up to you..

      Is he on medication for depression?

      Therapy takes quite some time, to sort out the confusions, the reasons why life seems to be all drab, horribe, not worth living for...

      If you mean "cutting" for self harm then he feels "release" peace.

      Do you know what is bringing him down? Why he feels worthless? Why he can't cope with life?

      He can't rely on his own physc abilities, when it is you, it's deeper than what you can possibly do....

      Given that he has self harmed again in a short space and worse, is there somewhere that he can be placed into for a week or so to evaluate and be monitored, watched over?



      • Wow, I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. Doctors don't treat themselves, therapists and counselors don't counsel themselves. We are often good at seeing what others need but it can be very hard to truly see ourselves or those close to us. Is there anything in particular that seems to trigger this?

        CW does make a good point and I've discussed with a family member who is a psychologist that many people go into this field trying to find answers to their own issues. Perhaps a local college counseling dept could provide some referrals to someone that could help?


        • Aw, I'm sorry Olympia. I don't know what I can say other than what the others here have said already, but I just wanted to extend my thoughts and sympathy and I really hope things will be ok with your son. I too have dealt with family members with mental health issues, including depression and other things, and it's never easy. Just be there for him, and all you can do is hope he seeks the help for himself.


          • He is a very patient, caring individual. Has a very soft spoken way about him, and would never intentionally cause harm, verbal or otherwise to anything. Never judgmental. As for the harm I spoke of, it has been directed towards himself. But, he states that he does not follow through with it due to the pain it would cause so many others. (typing this tears me up...)

            While he was living away from home he stated he was self medicating and drinking heavily. To kill the pain and to feel something..
            Since being home he has taken a few asprin, and had a couple of beers.... So, for now, he has control over that aspect.. (but, could be due to being home)

            As for getting into the field; due to issues that he has, I have often thought about that. I asked him about it when he graduated. He stated that may have been part of the interest, but more in the line of helping others.

            As for triggers....??? We have thought about that and asked him. It does not seem to be any one thing. We, (hubby and I) thought perhaps cognative therapy.... But again we are not professionals, and I do not want to say or do something that could bring about additional trauma.

            Ultimately; Love, support and non-judgmental delicate conversation, and alot of listening is what we have provided. He needs professional evaluation and checked for chemical inbalances. And possibly medication.
            But since he is 24, this remains his decision. It is very difficult to watch and not be able to assert a solution. I am of the mindset, that if something needs addressed, address it! It is difficult not being able to do something... sooooo difficult.
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            • Become his therapist...He appears to be able to and want to talk to you and he's opening up...

              By that I mean:-

              Maybe, do the reverse physcology, plan things that he doesn't expect daily that will incorporate him, Dad and Son time, family time with things that either would be of interest or fun, getting him involved in things that therefore, takes him away from thinking for a while and at the same time, seeing that things can be interesting or fun....

              He is a soft gentle soul who likes helping others but maybe this has got him into trouble as a child/teenager and even now with his ex, maybe she was able to walk all over him more so, due to his nature...

              Maybe he hasn't the direction he wants and doesn't know what that is, if only he could see acceptance does come, in the right circles and so avoid the wrong ones, people that don't "get him" who he is, the way he thinks...

              Where could that be?

              What are his interests?

              Where can you in-corperate that into his life?

              We wuv you
              PUT A LITTLE 'LIKE' IN MY SOUL!


              • It may be beneficial for him to do some volunteer work. Helping others, feeling that we can make a difference can really lift self esteem, give a sense of purpose and value to your life. For some people that can be actively helping individuals, for others it might be something like building trails for the park service. Some good hard labor and time in nature can be very healing.


                • Thank you ladies.

                  Yes, we have been looking into volunteer work. We have been involved with such things before and have been looking into organizations since the first week of arrival.
                  He excells when working with others, helping where ever he can. But when it comes to himself, I just do not want him to put himself on the back-burner... Involvement is important to him, but his mental/emotional health needs addressed as well. Outdoor activities are not an option, as he has horrible allergies. But thank you for the suggestions, ladies. It is greatly appreciated.

                  Thank you, CW... message received and it warmed my heart!
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                  • Hey O'

                    I know this is killing the both of you. The feeling of helplessness especially when its one own I can only imagine.

                    Can I expand a bit on something CW mentioned? He seems to be able to confide in you but that you don't know what to do or say. Is there any way for you and your husband to meet with a therapist in order for the two of you to learn how to notice triggers and skills that may help you to get through to him about his need for his own treatment?


                    • Pretzel,

                      Yes, we may do that again while we are in our new locale. We had one with the therapist in OH. But, our son had only 3 sessions with him, before we moved. So, Yes! We have been considering doing that again.
                      As the circumstances have changed. We have a waiting period for insurance to kick in, but have been obtaining info. Thank you...
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                      • You're welcome.

                        Hopefully you'll find someone again.


                        • Where we live the choices are limited. But hopefully he will find one that fits his needs!
                          Thanks again, Pretzel!
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                          • Update.....

                            Things are improving. Aid is in place, and volunteer opportunities.
                            Such an improvement felt by all. Thanks you ladies and gents, from the heart.
                            Reading the responses made me realize I was doing and thinking in the right direction....
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                            • Glad to hear it Olympia. Speaking from experience, depression can be a lifelong battle, and it always helps to know loved ones are by your side no matter what. I hope things continue to move in the right direction for your son.


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