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Unread 04-02-2011, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Depressed son = depressed mom

My 15 year old son has been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and it is greatly affecting my health & well-being. His depression started around the age of 9 or 10 and has gradually gotten worse as time has gone on and things in our lives have changed.

I went through a divorce in 2007 and that's when it got really bad. We used to live in a nice subdivision surrounded by kids that he went to scholl with. He had many friends throughout grade school and was socially accepted and comfortable. I took him to a psychiatrist and a therapist at the age of 9 because his father and I were concerned that he had ADHD. He went through about a year to a year and a half of counseling, but it didn't really help him much.

The summer before he was to go into 6th grade and move to the middle school with all his friends, my marriage ended and we moved to another part of town. Of course, I had to put him in a new school where he knew no one. Going into this new school where he knew no one was extremely hard for him and due to the trauma of my divorce and our quick move, he became depressed and started to withdraw. Withdrawing the way he did made him sort of an outcast, even more so being the new kid in school. This made him the target of bullying and isolation. The bullying stopped in 7th grade, but he never made any friends. He went all through 6th grade without one single friend. Then the same thing in 7th & 8th grade. Once he was in 8th grade he became a complete social outcast and was completely isolating himself due to a fear of rejection.

The last month of 8th grade was a breaking point for him and his depression was so bad due to feeling so alone and rejected that he became suicidal and his father and I decided to hospitalize him. Fortunately, the school was extremely understanding and they froze his grade and he was able to take that last month of 8th grade off. At that point, his grades were mediocre at best. 6th & 7th grade, his grades were excellent, believe it or not.

His hospital stay was only 3 days long and after being released, he went through 10 days of out-patient therapy for 4 hours a day. He continued to see a psychiatrist, a counselor, and take a daily anti-depressant.

Now he is a freshman in high school and nothing has changed in fact, things are worse. He is still very depressed and isolated. He still does not have any friends or social life whatsoever. He will talk to kids at school, but will not take it any further. He is so used to isolating himself for fear of rejection that he doesn't know how to approach anyone or continue to make any attempt at socialization even after they've approached him. He is convinced people hate him, think he's a freak, and can even read his mind. He is horribly afraid of rejection. His social anxiety is so bad, he won't even eat in the lunch room. He says he's too nervous to stand in line to buy food or approach anyone at a table. He spends his 20 minute lunch period on a bench listening to his iPod by himself.

He also says he hates to see the kids at school happy because he's so unhappy and alone. He says seeing happy people makes him extremely angry.

Last summer he spent every day in the house. He had no one to hang out with or call. Every day it was up to me to entertain him; take him to lunch, shopping, movies, etc. The same thing when he went to his dads twice a week.

The counselors at the high school have been great and are working with us to try to remedy the situation, but it's so bad that no one can help him, but HIM...and he refuses to make an effort. He would rather be miserable than attempt to socialize in any way to change his situation.

School is ending in 2 months and I'm scared to death. He is so unhappy and alone that it's making me crazy. I don't know what to do with him anymore.

He now refuses to take the medication. I found out a few weeks ago that he hadn't been taking the meds for about a month because he started having some erectile dysfunction problems and it started to really scare him. He read on the internet that it was irreversable even though, the doctor assured him that wasn't the case. The doctor tells me we'll just have to focus on the therapy part of treatment because we can't force a 15 year old to take a pill.

Anyway, this is seriously affecting my day to day life and I'm now at a complete loss. I work from home with an internet business so I'm home for him every day when he gets home from school. Every day, he says, 'what are we going to do today?'. It is completely up to me to entertain him and I can't do it anymore. It's costing me a ton of money that I don't have. My business has been suffering and I'm too the point where I need to find another job, but I'm afraid to leave him alone every day because of the depression and suicidal thoughts. Every suggestion I make for extracurricular activities he has to shoot down. He refuses to try anything new. Again, I can't force this 15 year old kid to do something he doesn't want to. He's bigger than me!

This is also affecting me socially. Again, I'm afraid to leave him home alone very much. I'll leave him maybe once a week at the most, but then I feel guilty for having a social life when he's at home with no one to hang out with. He does not have 1 single friend. Also, his dad gives me grief if he finds out that I went out and left our son alone. He doesn't understand because he only sees our son once or twice a week. He can do whatever he wants. I can't because I'm raising our son alone.

I'm also to the point where I'm actually embarrassed by the situation. As bad as I feel about that, I can't help it. I've been invited to hang out with people where my son is welcome, but whenever I've taken him anywhere with others, he always has the worst attitude, that it literally scares people away. When people try to talk to him, he will act depressed, mean, standoffish, etc. Eventually people just walk away from him. This is terrible, but there have been times when I've introduced him to a new friend of mine and when they try to talk to him to get to know him, he'll tell him that he has no friends, etc., and then I get embarrassed. I know that is so horrible and I feel like terrible mother. I should not be embarrassed by my son! I love my son to death. It's very hard because not everyone can relate to the situation.

Anyway, I'm at a complete loss. He has nothing to do during the day on weekends so he'll just sit in his room unless I find something for us to do. I cannot entertain him 24/7, it's impossible for me and I have to have my own life. I am sacrficing things I want to do out of guilt, shame, and now my own depression due to his circumstances.

I don't know how I'm going to spend the 3 months of summer with him stuck in this house all day every day depressed, angry, and with nothing to do, but sleep and play video games. I'm depressed, not to mention going broke, and I'm to the point where I'm about to give up. His father has mentioned taking him to see if he would be happier living at his place, but I know this would not help. Our son doesn't want to live with his father, plus, his dad works 2 jobs and one of the jobs requires him to be gone for 24 hours at a time.

I'm a 40 year old single mother with a severely depressed teenager who is going nowhere in life....and now I feel as if I'm going nowhere. I want to live my life. I've been divorced for 4 years now and I'm ready to find someone to be with again. I've been casually dating someone for the past few months although, we only see each other once a week at the most, I'm ready to have 'the talk' with him and hopefully, take our relationship further. Unfortunately, not only do I feel guilty for having a relationship when my son has no life, but I'm embarrassded to bring this man around my depressed son.

I know that I need to snap out of it and be healthy and happy for my son, but I honestly don't know how else to help him. Doctors, counselors, and meds can only do so much.
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Unread 04-02-2011, 08:08 PM   #2
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Default Re: Depressed son = depressed mom

I wish I could provide an answer for you...just know that you are not alone. I have a severely depressed 16 year who's social anxiety is so severe that he is homebound. I try my best to take it one day at a time. It is okay to take time for yourself, it will help re-charge your battery. I know it's easier said than done. I don't really have any advice because we are still in the middle of this ourselves. Just know that you are heard and welcome to PC
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Unread 04-03-2011, 04:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Depressed son = depressed mom

I feel so bad for both of you! I was a very depressed teenager not that long ago, and I have carried the depression and other things into my adult life, which just seem to get worse everyday. The one thing that I noticed in hindsight that made me feel better was when someone would actually do something I liked to do, now that may sound crazy, but it really isn't. You can take him out to movies and dinners, whatever, but you cannot buy his love. This is the one thing that was attempted on me by my father. It didn't work. I see that your son likes to play video games, now I never was a gamer per say, but I did enjoy a few good Madden football games. Maybe you should un-announced come in and sit next to him and ask if you could play also. Now he probably will discount this as "yea right," but just keep insisting. The stimulation of teaching someone else how to play his game, will make him feel self worth & confidence. I've seen alot of crap i used to do as a teenager, all in hindsight though. All you can do is love him, support him emotionally (mother's best traits) and let him know, that he is truly loved. I know in my past "love" wasn't a word that we used in my family very much. Maybe before you go to bed, do something that you haven't done in a while,(not saying you haven't) Maybe just give him a quick kiss on the forehead and let him know how much you love him.(memories from childhood tend to jumpstart the thinking process, at least for me) From previous experience, he will be very standoffish to this initially, but don't let it get to you. The one thing that always helped me, and got me to talk, was my mother constantly reminding me that she loved me for who I was, I never got that from anybody else in the family. I understand 100% of what your beloved son is going through. It is not easy at all, and you just can't "perk up." Its a struggle, but from my experience these are the things that I know helped me in the past.
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Unread 04-03-2011, 08:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Depressed son = depressed mom

Thanks to both of you for your kind words. I'm praying for the day that my son finds something in himself that makes him happy and makes him believe that he is worth something. I tell him I love him everyday. I tell him he is smart and worth so much more than what he thinks other people think. He is such a smart young man and has so much potential and I guess all I can really do is try to help him along in the best way I know possible.

This is all so hard and I can only handle so much at times. He knows that his illness is making me unhappy and it kills me to know that he feels bad for me feeling bad. Sometimes it feels completely endless like a viscous circle.
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Unread 04-06-2011, 03:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Depressed son = depressed mom

What's happened in the last few days? Any progress with him? Let us know, we are here to support you!
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Unread 04-06-2011, 11:10 PM   #6
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Default Re: Depressed son = depressed mom

Nothing too new except that he has informed his father and me that he hates women. He says the girls at school are very mean to him. They call him ugly, stalker, and pervert so now he is angry with women in general. He says he has a very sexist attitude toward women and that he often feels as if he wants to hurt them.

His father and I are now discussing sending him somewhere this summer. Possibly a camp or a group home of some sorts. We are both at our wits end with him. He makes no effort to change his ways and attitude. Therapy and psychiatry has done nothing for him.

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Unread 04-07-2011, 06:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Depressed son = depressed mom

Sorry to hear that, we've been down that road so many times. It is hard to know what is best. Parents can only do so much, no matter how much we try. Ultimately, it's up to the child to want to change. It's hard for me to say that because I wish I could just rescue my son from his turmoil. You are in my thoughts
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