DS is depressed and in denial.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-12-1998
DS is depressed and in denial.
Fri, 03-08-2013 - 12:47pm

Many of you already know our story of angst with our DS, 19, freshman in school.  No motivation for school, acts like he's depressed but says he's not.  Always has lots of friends, although ones that I'm not crazy about.  Anyway, since he was 14 he changed.   He used to be loud, smiling, laughing, full of life.  But then in 8th grade things started to fall apart, and got worst thru high school.  Anyway, things are bad in college, he's on academic probation and i KNOW he wants to succeed..but he CAN'T.  I 100% think he is clinically depressed and has been for awhile.  He just is adamant he's not, so we kept hoping he'd mature, grow up and whatnot.  But things are worse.  I know he's skipping classes.  He's home right now on spring break and is in bed until noon, then says he's tired at 4.  He has gained 30 lbs in 1 year (stress eating I think), he got caught shoplifting last fall in a major department store, he's unmotivated, he never smiles, he's withdrawn from his immediate family, I'm sure he's filled with guilt.  when you look google teen depression he's the shining example.  so, after 5 years of being wishy washy, walk on eggs around him I finally brought the subject up kindly, but loud and clear yesterday.  He was irritable, wouldn't engage in conversation (he's not a talker anyway, but part of it was defiance).

Really, if he could have shot daggers at me he would have.  After the discussion he went to his room and I woke him up after 2 hours.  His father had a discussion with him last night and he was more respectful (of course, don't we Moms get the crappy attitude?)  He denies there is anything wrong, acts like he's being punished, doesn't offer up much in discussion.  We told him when he comes home for the summer, (whether he's excused from uni or not), we would like him to go to therapy and even perhaps med, but first see what's wrong.  You could tell he would, but that he was being forced. 

Anyway, I'm going to find a doc and go visit him myself first.  We really don't know what else to do.  The Vyvanse he is on for ADHD (which he's not inattentive) really isn't working.  It is a stimulant, so it does "wake" him up whenever he takes it, but it isn't doing much else.  We are at our wits end.  He has such a blah, sluggish personality.  It's like he hates being around us, avoids us at all costs.  He really don't like being around someone like him, either, if truth be known.

anyway, I just needed to vent today.  Anybody else been in this situation?  Con


iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2004
Mon, 04-01-2013 - 1:34pm

Hi con, oh boy, so so sorry to hear this.  I have been MIA for a very long time with ivillage but I remember well the problems this son has brought you over the years.  I think you are headed in the right direction.  I would offer up a few possible things though that might help you long term.

First of all, if he's depressed, let the Dr's diagnose, I know you can't help but want to pigoin hole him as this or that, but let a competant physciartrist diagnose and then take him off or anything that has not been working and put him on what will.  Also, when he goes, send him back to his regular DR. and ask for a drug testing to find out if he's been self medicating with anything.  He probably has.  Then insist that he address this as well, but be prepared that he won't do much of anything, because as you know, at his age, if he's not seeking treatment it may not work at all.  LOVE that you will go to see the psych first.  Give him your perspective, it probably will not surprise him at all.  But then you need your own therapist I think to help you learn how to set boundries with a depressed adult son.  You may have to ask him to live elsewhere, and you may have to fund it for a bit.  You may have to ask him to live elsewhere and you may decide not to fund it at all.  IF he communicates better with your DH then let him.  You can back off, in fact, I'd recommend it.  This may be a long term problem and the sooner you get some professional guidance on how to deal with it in the best way for you the better off you may be.

Mostly Con, I feel complete sympathy for you.  He's not well.  And you feel as his mother, and rightly so, that you need to fix it and save him from himself.  But our resources and power are minimal once they grow up.  We need never stop, but we need to be realistic and set boundries and learn just how little we may be able to do.

Hugs and more hugs and find an outlet, a friend, a confident, a therapist, someone that you can talk to so you can begin to create a space where you can go and let your concerns be heard and then find real life strategies for how to deal with him and your life.

All my best...