Depression Community
10.6k Members
Avatar universal

How do I help my son?

Without writing a novel, my 20 year old son tried to commit suicide last month by overdosing on pills.  The hospital would only keep him overnight much to my distain.  He has been depressed for the past 2 years, refused to seek counselling and took anti-depressants sporadically.  Because of his age we couldnt force him.  He would'nt hold down a job or go to school.  The jobs he did have would last a week, then he'd quit.  All he wanted to do is play on the computer and sleep.  We tried kicking him out but that didnt work - he came back with his tail between his legs, promising to be better but of course that never lasted.  Removing the computer and internet did nothing either.

The day after his attempt and his release, he was of a new mindset - promised to get a job, had big plans like traveling and buying a new vehicle, agreed to go to counselling and take his meds, also cut down any computer time.  Well, for the first 2 weeks he took his meds regularly, quit gaming and was on the computer for only an hour a day, and went to one counselling session.  Now, a month later, I see him going back to his depressed state.  He wont go back to counselling, says he doesnt need it, has no interest in future plans, sleeps too much or not at all, his hours are all screwed up, spending more time on the computer again and doesnt want to go out anywhere.  The first 2 weeks after his attempt, I took 2 weeks off work to be with him - I made sure he went out every day but now I have to go back to work -  I can't babysit him.

The counselor that saw him the first time called me because she was concerned that he didnt show up to his second appointment.  Without devulging much due to privacy, she said he was depressed and in need of counselling.  She also said he was very manipulative and was just saying things that she wanted to hear.  She is right, he is very manipulative and has no apathy for anyone or anything.  He has never had trouble accepting anything monatary or material - would rather do without something than work for it so  it's been very difficult to determine whats depression or just laziness with him.

We have offered up so many suggestions from part-time school, work, fitness membership, a trip away somewhere to recharge but he is showing no interest.  My husband and I are at a loss of what to do now.  I know he has to want to do this on his own but it's causing so much stress in our lives - my marriage, my 15 year old daughter - we have no idea how to help him anymore.  If we ask him to leave, he has nowhere to go. He has no friends and we have no family around for him to go to.  I am scared he will attempt again and this time succeed - the guilt would eat me alive.

Suggestions are appreciated.
6 Responses
Avatar universal
Wow. He MUST get some counseling. Maybe an intervention type thing would work with him. If he saw all his loved ones around him, along with a professional surrounding him at home and doing/saying whatever it is you do in an intervention, he would feel the love and support of everyone all at once and feel overwhelmed by it (in a positive way) and agree to go. It really doesn't sound good, and as a mom of two boys myself, I can relate to how I think I would feel. It must be horrible for you and your family.

I would get some information on an intervention and how to prepare and do it right away. I, too, would be terrified that he would attempt suicide again, especially if you don't know why, it would really require some in depth counseling to get at the root and provide some meds along with learning new behaviors, etc.

Again, let me state, that I would NOT WAIT. I would do this RIGHT AWAY. I hope this helps some.
Avatar universal
We dont have an intervention option in our area.  We live out of town and the crisis intervention team does not go where we live (in Canada)  How stupid is that?  :(

Our only option is to call 911 and have police intervene to take him into the psychiatric ward of our local hospital under the Mental Health Act.  This is what we had to do last month when he tried to commit suicide.  They only do this if he shows 1) harm to himself, 2) harm to others, 3) suicide note stating his intention.   Right now there is none of that but I dont see any improvement.  

I have made an appointment for counselling myself in hopes that I can convince him to go with me.  Whether we sit with the counselor on our own or together will be an option if he goes.  

As a side note, my husband has not been much help in all of this.  He totally shutdown when this all occured, pretty much threw himself into his work and left me to deal with it all.  So needless to say it's all on my shoulders.  I'm sure my son is getting tired of listening to me talk continuously so hearing advice from someone outside the family would definitely help.  He's never been a trusting individual so this is all extremely difficult.
483818 tn?1232688372
ok so i just typed out this whle long thing and now I am a little upset that i erase it so I do not want to go through typing it all out again. But I am 22, I am bipolar and have borderline personality disoder. I go through what your son is going through. Talking to someone who goes through what he goes through helps a lot. I dont lik counselling, and dont like taking meds.I find understanding the illness helps me the most. I was suicidal for years, but have not attempted in 4 years. I still have te bad thoughts, but would never act on them. Maybe if your son as t talk to someone his own age that has th same kind of problems that may help. I understand what you are going through asI have watched my mother go through the same thing. Maybe next time I will go into more detail, the detail I put in and was eraed :( I ill add you on here, and maybe you can send me a message, and I will get back to you.
483818 tn?1232688372
Also, interventions do not work the same way with people who are depressed, I feel like it pushes us away, and makes us uncomfortable. Knowing that people around me love me has not helped me at all. It has not made me want to do things that i know i should do. What has helped me the most is my mother understanding what  go through and not pushing me to do things, just being there when I need her the most.
Avatar universal
Feel free to email me with any help or suggestions.  I just dont know what more to do for him.  He has one friend he met last year who has kept in contact with him but he's just pushing her away.  He has always had a hard time socially.  The other male friend he had disowned him about 6 months ago over an online romance - they both were after the same girl apparently.  

I have checked into support groups for his age but there is nothing available.  I know that he would benefit from talking to someone his own age and not to me.  I mean does a 20 year old boy really enjoy spending all his time with his mom?  Tonite, as tired as I am, I'm taking him to see a movie just to get him out of the house - he reluctantly agreed to go.  

A counselor I talked to a few months ago said to leave him be and see how he manages.  Well, he managed to attempt suicide.  I just do not know what more to do for him.  
483818 tn?1232688372
Ok, here is my suggestion, he wont like it, and you probably won be all that fond of it... call a mental hospital and tell them he has attempted suicide and you fear he will do it again... they will pick him up and keep him for up to a week to watch him... in that time he may see the other crazy people and realize he isnt all that crazy... it worked for me... i felt crazy while i was in there, but I was told I wasnt that crazy, ad when I left i left believing that I was not all that bad off. I brought myself in though and could leave at anytime. If you call, he cant leave unless they let him leave.

P.S. If he would be willing to talk to me, I would talk to him, I wouldnt lecture him, or push anything on him,I just know how I would react, I would treat him the way I would want to be treated, I will senda personal message wth my email so he can add me to msn if he would like
Have an Answer?
Top Mood Disorders Answerers
Avatar universal
Arlington, VA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
15 signs that it’s more than just the blues
Discover the common symptoms of and treatment options for depression.
We've got five strategies to foster happiness in your everyday life.
Don’t let the winter chill send your smile into deep hibernation. Try these 10 mood-boosting tips to get your happy back
A list of national and international resources and hotlines to help connect you to needed health and medical services.
Here’s how your baby’s growing in your body each week.