What do you tell an adult son who is depressed?

@Hatley (164670)
Garden Grove, California
November 25, 2009 7:55pm CST
I guess once a mom always a mom but my son spent a little time with me today and I realized from the way he was acting, that he was really upset.He would not tell me that as he has a way of keeping it all in. the thing that is upsetting him is that his time is up where he is currently sponsored in the middle of December. so far he has been told he may have to move to Montebello which is in Los Angeles co.on the other side of Long Beach or to Midway City which is a heck of a lot closer.He would not come out and tell me this upsets him,but I know him better. His dad was like that too, he would clam up when worried and I would literally have to pry it out of him. LIke I told my hubby a burden shared is actually halved as a lot of times two heads are better than one.Should I have made a remark that he should not get all upset because knowing him he would work something out that would be okay? Its so hard to know what to advise a son who is fifty.
9 people like this
24 responses
• United States
26 Nov 09
I live my life constantly fighting depression. Im 47 and have 3 kids 10, 8 and 5 and I have custody. All you can tell your son is it is up to him to find the answers. There is no one that will wave a majic wand and make his life better. I am also not a proponent of believing AA or treatment will make him better. He has to fight spiritually to find his way. Find something he believes he can do well. Make webpages, write, Collect art what that can occupy his interest can help. Tell him to read this scripture Deat. 30:11-15.
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
hi sourceseeker thats so true ultimately we each must find our own way. He is a computer buff so he does find solace there, he has his own webpage and has' had it for years., the trouble is he is out of work and seems nobody is hiring computer programmers which blows my mind. will know more tomorrow.
@jerzgirl (7996)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
26 Nov 09
Hi, Hatley - Happy Thanksgiving!! I think the first thing you need to do is validate his feelings. Let him know that it's perfectly fine to be upset at being uprooted just before Christmas and that you understand that all the things happening this year would be enough to make someone feel bad. But then remind him how he's always risen above it all in the past and that you have confidence in him that he'll find a way to do it again, that you know he's capable of not letting it beat him, that between the two of you, you're sure you can come up with a solution or at least the beginnings of a solution. Everyone needs to know that their feelings have legitimacy - that the things going on around them are not fun things and that almost anyone with the ability to feel anything would be feeling bad. People who are told they shouldn't feel bad or that feeling bad is wrong will more often feel guilty on top of feeling bad and try to hide those feelings. Then, those feelings just eat away at them inside until one day, if not released legitimately, they could come out in a very negative way. If he is sponsored under a state program, are there counselors available through that program? Since he has no income at the moment, I'd think he'd be eligible for programs like free therapy and would be approved for vocational rehab (where they help people get back to work through counseling/training/etc, depending on what's needed. It might be worth looking into those things. Good luck with Robbie. I've been where he is and still have some problems - but it was a therapist who told me she understood why I felt the way I did and didn't blame me at all who started my ability to rise above those anchors I'd allowed to weigh me down. It wasn't overnight, but just being given permission to be angry made such a difference!
2 people like this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
hi jersygirl I will ask him about all that, as its so hard to be a man and be out of work,it really does something to ones self worth. I will see him Tuesday and know more then about where he has to move to.
@jennybianca (12915)
• Australia
26 Nov 09
What is the sponsoring that will require your son to move? Thats the part I dont understand. Deprsssion can occur at any age. At 50 years, your son may feel moving is a bit much. Has he shown signs of being depressed for 2 weeks or more? Is he eating properly? Is he sleeping properly? If this depression continues, please encourage your son to visit a Doctor. Other than that, trying to get him to talk is good. Be as supportive as possible.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Nov 09
hi jenny its a California government agency that is trying to help men in this jobless situation so they have an address while looking for work,but seems theycan only stay at one place for a year.who would ever have thought that he would not find a job in all this time. I think his age is not helping either. I will be as supportive as I possibly can as he needs my support and my love.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (48680)
• United States
26 Nov 09
I wish I knew. I wish I was familiar with the "system" he's in, but living in a different state...they all have different regulations, different ways for distributing shelter and aid...I'm so sorry, Hatley. The best thing you can do is what you're already doing. Just being there to listen, and being the caring person you are. In the meantime, I'll be praying for him and you.
2 people like this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
26 Nov 09
thanks AmbiePam thats what i am going to do is just be there for him,listen and let him tell me what he will and know its going to be okay.thanks for your prayers will do some of my own too.
1 person likes this
@fwidman (11517)
• United States
26 Nov 09
Sometimes the hardest part of being a parent is to know when to let the kids work things out on their own. I am sure that if he thinks you can help he will get around to asking you, in his own time and in his own way. I hope that all works out well for him
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
28 Nov 09
hi fwidman this is the best advice I have seen yet.yes its hard to let go and let him work out things in his own way but I know that is what is best. he will be to see me next tuesday and we will know then where he is moving too.
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@fwidman (11517)
• United States
28 Nov 09
Thanks for the best response, Hatley
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
fwidman thats right,you have to let go and let him 'work it out. me too, I hope he gets to move close to me instead of far away.
@ilyzium (1206)
• Canada
26 Nov 09
Hi Hatley, I'm sorry to hear that your son is going through that, must be difficult for him and for you to see him this way. Yes, some men have a really hard time opening up about what is bothering them or they feel that it's not "masculine" for people to see them be upset, which is far from the reality. My advice is to just be there for him when he's ready to talk. You can try to now talk to him, tell him that you know he'll be find because he's a survivor and everything will work out, that he'll make the best decision. Also that you love and care for him and you'll always be there for him. All the best to you. :)
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
28 Nov 09
hi ilyzium We will talk again this coming tuesday and he will know by then where he will be moving.we both hope it will be the closer of the two places as that would be so neat.
@ilyzium (1206)
• Canada
28 Nov 09
Aw well I hope for you both that he does wind up moving closer to you. I'm sure he will though. Anyway have a nice day. :)
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
28 Nov 09
hi ilyzium it does look like its going to be a lovely day with sunshine and blue skies. I am just going to wait out myson, as we will know tuesday where he is going to go. for today I am really happy. better than being sad huh?
@gabs8513 (48717)
• United Kingdom
26 Nov 09
Hi there Hatley I am glad you managed to get him to talk, my Son is like that to I just sit and talk to him or just let him talk We will then talk through the problem Sometimes it does them good just talking about it, as it lightens it a bit and then also they will start thinking and take action, I am sure he will be ok, no matter how old they are they will always get depressed and worried and there seems to be no light You have both been through a lot over the past year and of course it will scare him and he is wondering when will it end when can I settle down and all this will go through his Head Just be there for him, give him advise if he wants it listen to him and it was good that you got him to talk as that will help I hope it works out for him I really do
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@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
hi gabs he is coming to see me again tuesday and he said then he will know just where he will have to move to then we both can talk about it and I do hope its close. but we will see.
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@gabs8513 (48717)
• United Kingdom
30 Nov 09
Hi Hatley Let me know how it goes and I will hope he will be closer to you
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@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
hi gabs he is coming to see me tomorrow so will know more'athen will let you know too.hope he will be close to me. hugs to 'you and Gissi.
@MsTickle (24962)
• Australia
2 Dec 09
Families can be funny like that. I have one daughter who will tell me her problems and how she's dealing with them...or not. The other daughter does not tell me of problems with her kids. I think she doesn't want me to know for some reason or else she doesn't really care and just accepts things as they are. Her kids are spoiled and can do what ever they want. Her 20 year old son did not do any school work when he was at school and now won't work. He sits at home. His aunt has tried to help him with work but he lied his way out of doing the job. Her daughter is happy not to do well at school. She boasts that she is not bright but that she has lots of friends. This is all wrong to me ...but what can we do Hatley? We have to let them go their own way because they are adults. Butting in to my daughter's kids behaviour would go down very badly and alienate them more than they are now.
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@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
4 Dec 09
hi mstickle yes once they are grone its hard to know how much to pry. my friend nelda's adult son just tells her everything that bothers him but both my hubby and my son were ones to keep it to themselves as though they felt if I did not know the bad news or the problem it would not bother me, they neither of them realized that I already knew something was wrong, so tell me the truth so I can quit imagining even worse things. most times their news was not nearly 'as upsetting as what I imagined up in my own mind.
• United Arab Emirates
26 Nov 09
I think, men in general are like this. They talk less, and they don't show their emotions. The prefer to action. But, if you give them more time, they will open up when they're ready. So, just wait for your son to talk to you. Don't force him, as the more he will not open up. Act as if everything is alright.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
28 Nov 09
hi you really do know my son and yes I believe you are right.us women are the ones who will always talk things out and sometimes when married to one who holds things in, the woman who always talks does come up short.
@laglen (19782)
• United States
26 Nov 09
I think it would be good to atleast offer the ear!
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
28 Nov 09
yes it would and I will do just that next tuesday when' he comes to see me. hope he will get to move to Midway City as thats close to where I am.
@PeacefulWmn9 (10424)
• United States
26 Nov 09
It's hard to know what would have been best. I think, as you know your son, you should go with your gut instincts, and speak from the heart. Karen
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
28 Nov 09
hi peacefulwmn9 yes I will do that when I see' him on Tuesday and we will know then where he' is going to move to.
• Australia
26 Nov 09
Hi Hatley. Naturally, you are feeling somewhat upset, but the one thing that should cheer you is that you and your son enjoy a close relationship. He KNOWS you care. He KNOWS you are there for him. Just as you sensed that he was upset, he would have sensed that you knew and he would know that you understand. He probably gained confidence just from spending time with you. Maybe next time he visits you can ask a couple of leading questions that would open the door for him to broach the subject. You are there for him and he knows that.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
28 Nov 09
hi cloudwatcher yes thats the best way is to let'him just talk and I will listen.he is going to let me let me know this coming Tuesday. hopefully he will move close to me.
@zhuhuifen46 (3486)
• China
26 Nov 09
For an adult son in depression, the best way is to tell him if he is in difficulty he can come home for help. As long as he has the last resort, he would not do stupid things.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
hi zhuhuifen thats are big trouble there is no home, thats why he is in gov. sponsored housing for men and I am in this retirement center, but he does come here to visit me and that' I think is what worries him, how far away willhe be from me and how easy will it be to come see me?. we will know tuesday.
@paula27661 (15899)
• Australia
26 Nov 09
Depression can happen at any age and knowing that he has your support is paramount. It is such a shame that he is having such a difficult time finding a job, he must feel so demoralised and overwhelmed at the prospect of having to move; I know I would be! He probably does not want to burden and worry you. Perhaps it may be worth explaining that if he moves he may find a job a lot easier and life will improve all round. Will he still be able to come and see you if he moves away? If his depression continues please advise him to see a doctor and in the meantime give him as much love and support as you can.
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@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
hi paula that I think is what is gnawing at him, worrying' about how far away he will have to move and how easy or hard it will be for him to come see me, I think he wants to see me as much as I want to see him so we shall see.
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@amyson (3509)
• Philippines
26 Nov 09
hi hatley,well,if your son is upset it is better to give him spaces and make situation calm.give him time to think alone and when situation is ok then that is the time to talk to your son.males especially really do not open up the things that they bother of and instead they actually kept on themselves.they rather to ask help from their friends than to their parents and i think that is always the case.when things calm down sit down and talk to him..clarify all the things that worried you.good day.
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@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
hi amyson well I will see him Tuesday and he' will be able to tell me just where he must move and I think that will help both of us cause we are both wondering just what next.
• Philippines
26 Nov 09
hello hatley.. ive never had a son but the way you are telling the story, your son seems to be very depressed.. have you tried having a heart to heart with him? it always works between me and my mom or my dad.. whenever im sad they talk to me.. eventhough they know i like to keep things to myself, they still encourage me to go on and move forward..so that i wont dwell in the sadness that is happening..
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@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
hi theonehush yes we will have a heart to heart talk come Tuesday when he comes to see me and we will then know where exactly he will have to move to 'and I do hope it is close.
• India
26 Nov 09
I think you understand your son very well and are a very caring mother.You have taken the right approach and I think he needs a little comforting right now and a little affection from you showing you really care and are there for him will help him open up and release the pent up tension in him.Good luck!
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
hi abhikmjmdr yes he will come to see me again day after tomorrow and I will know more about where he has to move and that will help both of us to relax knowing the facts.
@lindiebiz (1013)
• Canada
26 Nov 09
Tell him that you understand how he feels and would appreciate it if he can share it with you. A problem shared is a problem solved and sharing his problems make it easier to solve. Assure him of your love and that you will always be there for him.
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
lindiebiz thanks I will do just that and it' will be better then for both of us, not knowing is so much worse than knowing as one can fix 'most anything.
@riyasam (16578)
• India
26 Nov 09
maybe he will open up if you spent some time with him,maybe you can indirectly encourage him by telling that GOD WILL GIVE US THE GRACE AND THAT TILL NOW HE HASNT LET US DOWN.
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
i am hoping tuesday riyasam that I will know 'just where he is going to move to then we will 'know better how to handle things. lol.
@CatsandDogs (13964)
• United States
26 Nov 09
If he won't tell you what's bothering him then all you can do is be there for him. You can try to pry it out but it may cause resentment so it's best to wait it out and let him come to you on his own. No matter what, you're his mother and he loves you dearly and doesn't want to burden you with his problems but what he doesn't know is that you want to be burdened because you want to know and may know of a solution. I have a similar saying that I tell my husband. I've told him that that's why God made couples, if one doesn't think of it, the other one will. I wish you and your son all the best!!
1 person likes this
@Hatley (164670)
• Garden Grove, California
30 Nov 09
hi catsanddogs yes you are so right. I really must just be'there and sooner or later he will say whats bothering me.we will know tuesday where he will move to and that should relieve a lot of the tension.