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  #1  
Old 7th September 2018, 21:44
worried mum worried mum is offline
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Default asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

Hi I'm new on here. I have a 21 year old son who lives at home and he has depression, self harms and has sad. we are an open, loving, supportive family and we talk a lot. he's had some counselling and is on meds ( although I'm not sure he's up to date with them ) . we try and talk to him a lot and ask if there's anything we can do to help him. I do sometimes feel like we're nagging at him ( to clean his room, as it smells terribly, to clean himself, take pride in himself etc etc take meds ) he is a very beautiful person with the kindest heart and everyone loves him. I struggle to see how socially anxious he is, I actually wanted to cry for him yesterday as I watched him cringe and go into himself around strangers. it was hard to see. and it pains me as a parent to know I can't 'fix' him. I feel like we do the best we can but I also feel like there's probably more we can do or say to help and support him? is there anything extra we can do please ? so sad for him at the moment . i tried to get some help in the chat room earlier and was told that maybe I shouldn't focus on how it makes me feel and try to understand how it makes him feel, trust me I try so hard.

Last edited by worried mum; 7th September 2018 at 21:44. Reason: correct grammar
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  #2  
Old 7th September 2018, 22:00
Quick Quick is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

I wonder if something might have happened to him?
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  #3  
Old 7th September 2018, 22:07
newbs16 newbs16 is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

It sounds like you're a great parent and you just want the best for you son, maybe you could encourage him to go to the doctors and get some help. Unfortunately I haven't got any advice to give but well done for posting and being such a kind and caring mother.
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  #4  
Old 7th September 2018, 22:15
biscuits biscuits is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

Hello,

I think you're absolutely right to help him to get into a routine and to maintain his levels of self-care. Depression can rip all that from you. Overcoming depression and learning how to cope with social anxiety is a long, long process so it's important not to put too much pressure or yourself or your son.

You're coming across as a very caring and supportive Mum and sorry that someone told you not to focus on how it's making you feel.

Have you looked online to see if there are any parent/carer support groups in your local area? Here is the website for MIND MIND. Down the left hand side of the page there are a few items and I hope they will be able to give you support. This website might be helpful too http://www.moodjuice.scot.nhs.uk/for...forSomeone.asp
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  #5  
Old 7th September 2018, 23:48
worried mum worried mum is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

thank you biscuits and means. sometimes us parents just need to hear we're doing our best. I will definitely look into a local support group. sorry didn't get the other posters name but yes, there are reasons behind his issues ( which we know about) thank you all again for replies. any help is much appreciated
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  #6  
Old 7th September 2018, 23:50
worried mum worried mum is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

sorry meant thank you also newbs 16
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  #7  
Old 8th September 2018, 11:10
worried mum worried mum is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

hi Hermann Hesse. thank you for your kind reply and suggestions. When me & his dad discuss it with him he says his meds are helping and he's taking them regularly ( which we don't believe. but short of policing that every day not much we can do there ) thankfully he has a job, strange hours and he's ALWAYS tired. I think a lot of the tiredness comes from depression, he goes to work full time. but works behind the scenes so doesn't get 'seen' which he's happy with. his sleeping pattern is erratic, he's overweight and eats terribly. we encourage him by cooking healthy meals but what he eats in private is beyond us. he does have friends but doesn't see them regularly. thankfully he has us, a loving, supportive mum and dad and 2 older siblings who all care so much about him. I think as a mum I just feel guilty and wish I could do more.
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  #8  
Old 8th September 2018, 12:37
Aelwyn Aelwyn is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

I'm very sorry you're having to deal with this, it must be extremely difficult for you and your family.

Some good advice above, and I was also thinking that getting out into nature is known to help with depression, any chance of getting him out somewhere peaceful? I know that it can lift my mood if I feel down.
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Old 8th September 2018, 15:39
worried mum worried mum is offline
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Thumbs up Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

thank you Aelwyn. very good advice. I find going out for a stroll in the woods or by a river is fantastic for my mood. we live in a lovely peaceful, pretty area. will suggest a walk with us soon. thanks
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  #10  
Old 8th September 2018, 18:28
healingsoul healingsoul is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

Hi, I'm 24. I don't know the severity of his SA and depression and therefore won't have the best advise.

However, in the job I just left, I met a colleague who was so supportive of me that I can call her my aunt. She definitely hasn't cured my anxiety or depression however, she helped me be less anxious, have moments of not being depressed and to feel more confident.

How did she help me?

She was honest with me and told me how I looked scared in certain social situations, however she didn't judge me harshly 99% of the time for being anxious. In fact, one day I was depressed at work and she didn't judge me for it, unlike most other people who would. Maybe your son doesn't want to be seen as he feel that most people may negatively judge him.

She did advice me to look people in the eyes and that I should get help or find support for my anxiety, but never told me to be less anxious, or to speak more or anything.

Now that I have left the job as I am starting a new college I really miss my aunt (colleague), feel I probably formed some attachment to her. But I have also learnt that for me to be happy and manage my anxiety I need social support. On my last day of work, I was feeling a bit unmotivated to work and as soon as my aunt said Hi to me, I suddenly felt more motivated to clean the student accommodation I had to clean. I have learnt that positive social support motivates me or makes it 10 times easier to do a task or favour for someone.

I don't have the solution but maybe helping your son may start with finding him hobbies, positive social reinforcement and not judging him for being anxious. I know it is not a direct approach but feeling positive would probably motivate him to do more and be less depressed overall, if he is anything like me.
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  #11  
Old 8th September 2018, 18:46
courageous courageous is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

I'm sorry to hear that your son seems to be struggling at the moment. It must be such a worry for you and your family. I agree with all the great advice given so far. You mentioned that your son had received some counselling in the past. If it helped perhaps he would benefit from some more. CBT(Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) has been shown to be effective in treating SAD. If there's a long waiting list for NHS services in your area then Anxiety UK offer therapy services at reduced rates, (face to face, over the phone or via web-cam). The referral process is approx 2 weeks so it's pretty quick in starting. I volunteer there so I know how much it can help. https://www.anxietyuk.org.uk/ Best wishes to you and your son.
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  #12  
Old 8th September 2018, 18:49
healingsoul healingsoul is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

Quote:
Originally Posted by HermannHesse
I don't know his situation, obviously. It's good that you care. At 21, it isn't yet game over for him. Some thoughts:

1) Is the "medication" actually helping, or is it hindering, keeping him stuck in the same funk? In some situations, medication is a perfect way of not ever addressing the problem. Sort out the basics - diet, exercises, etc - before opting for pills. Does he exercise, does he eat well?
I completely agree
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  #13  
Old 8th September 2018, 19:10
worried mum worried mum is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

wow. so many kind, supportive comments I'm overwhelmed
THANK you all from the bottom of my heart. so much appreciated. I am a very positive person and also quite confident, despite being I overweight with a very dodgy eye, I love myself and am very happy in my own skin ( I personally don't give a shit what people think of me but that's taken me a LONG TIME to come yo this self happiness. and I do try and use my positivity and lots of love towards him. and never make him feel bad for feeling the way he does. thank you all again for supporting me x
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  #14  
Old 8th September 2018, 19:17
healingsoul healingsoul is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

^Nice that you are responding, it shows that you really care.
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  #15  
Old 8th September 2018, 20:07
HaveANiceDay HaveANiceDay is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

If he is tired a lot, that may well be depression but it could also be due at least in part to diet. For many years I used to get very sleepy at work, particularly after lunch (in meetings colleagues used to kick me under the table to wake me up!) but that stopped when I cut out bread from my lunch.
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  #16  
Old 8th September 2018, 21:29
anewyear anewyear is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

@worried_mum Good to hear that you’re talking with him and it sounds like he responds to you. However, what does he say about the situation? Does he recognise there’s an issue? Has he given an indication that he wants to or feels ready to change the situation?
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  #17  
Old 9th September 2018, 02:03
A lump of Excrement A lump of Excrement is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

Hi worried_mum, would you be comfortable sharing the reasons behind his issues, which you know about? I think we'll be in a better position to give some advice. As social anxiety is so broad and affects all types of people to varying degrees it's best to give tailored advice.

Some people may need a push and be given opportunities, for others this could be the worst thing you could do.

There's plenty of us here with experience of SA so I'm sure you'll find something that will help your son move forward on a positive step. It's great he has a job and friends. That's a very strong foundation to build a better life and he's young enough to have not let years of burnt bridges go by.

Now is the time for him to get on a positive track so you're doing the right thing helping him.

To echo similar to what other members have written in this thread, start with the basics if you haven't already. Encourage a healthy sleep routine, food, exercise and things that will help him feel good about himself. And a manageable goal. For example, does he want to lose weight and if so just a week or 2 of healthy sleep, eating and exercise could mean he loses a few pounds. That confidence boost could do wonders, which can lead on to him meeting up with his friends he doesn't see regularly and just experience a little burst of life.

This could start a positive snowball effect rather than the negative one he's in now. Where bad sleep and eating leads to low mood and higher weight making him feel worse than he already feels.

I'm just mentioning this because you've talked about his lifestyle, which doesn't sound too healthy. I'm not thinking this is the root of his issues at all. But improving his lifestyle can give him the motivation and strength to tackle the deeper problems.

Is there a healthy hobby he once had, such as sport or something that would get him out in the world, that he's lost touch with that you could encourage too? To rekindle something like this can really help if it's something he loved and was confident doing when he was younger but he's since lost the opportunities or hasn't prioritised time to do it for a while.
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  #18  
Old 20th September 2018, 23:12
lostfairy lostfairy is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

it sounds like he knows you're there for him which im sure already helps
hes lucky to have supportive parents such as yourselves in his life.

its a bit of a horse to water thing unfortunately, you could recommend and encourage significantly but it has to be something he wants and comes from him which makes me ask what is he passionate about?
getting involved in something you enjoycan be intrinsic and vital to mood lifting etc although finding that motivation can be easier said..

does he even like his job?
is there anything he'd rather do?
maybe steps towards that if applicable/possible.. something to consider. having fulfilling options available might help.



he doesnt see his friends regularly....
are they people he trusts and understand him? are they supportive etc?
there could be meet up groups in the area with others that share/have things in common with..

i doubt he needs to be fixed, maybe just needs to find more kind hearted people he can relate to?
maybe pop him in the direction of this forum where theres a wealth of support/support/information available which he might find useful
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  #19  
Old 21st September 2018, 18:27
Moksha Moksha is offline
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Default Re: asking for help to help my 21 year old son please

Quote:
Originally Posted by worried mum
Hi I'm new on here. I have a 21 year old son who lives at home and he has depression, self harms and has sad. we are an open, loving, supportive family and we talk a lot. he's had some counselling and is on meds ( although I'm not sure he's up to date with them ) . we try and talk to him a lot and ask if there's anything we can do to help him. I do sometimes feel like we're nagging at him ( to clean his room, as it smells terribly, to clean himself, take pride in himself etc etc take meds ) he is a very beautiful person with the kindest heart and everyone loves him. I struggle to see how socially anxious he is, I actually wanted to cry for him yesterday as I watched him cringe and go into himself around strangers. it was hard to see. and it pains me as a parent to know I can't 'fix' him. I feel like we do the best we can but I also feel like there's probably more we can do or say to help and support him? is there anything extra we can do please ? so sad for him at the moment . i tried to get some help in the chat room earlier and was told that maybe I shouldn't focus on how it makes me feel and try to understand how it makes him feel, trust me I try so hard.
Hi. God, my own mother could have written that when I was 21! I remember her saying that she once left for work and saw me close the curtains as she drove away. She said "It was as if you were shutting the world out." I also used to upset and worry my father. Whoever said that to you in the chatroom was being callous and cruel. It upsets you because you love him.

My first piece of advice, however, is do NOT shame him. I was consumed with toxic, soul-destroying shame throughout my teens and twenties. And my parents only made it worse by constantly worrying and making comments. All I wanted them to do was go out, have a social life and give me some space. But avoid tough love as well. Social anxiety is real and crippling. He isn't just "being silly" or a "bit shy". I would have given anything to be rid of this condition when I was young. I knew it was destroying my life, but it was simply too strong.

I'm afraid you also need to be realistic. He isn't likely to be transformed into a chatty, confident, outgoing kid by a few CBT sessions. Does the condition run in the family? I'm convinced genetics play a part in all this. The good news is that SA diminishes over time. I'd say my SA hit its peak at 18 and then slowly reduced in intensity. Now, at 41, it is nowhere near so bad.

My advice:

- Make sure he knows you love him, but give him space. If he feels watched, it will increase his shame and destroy what self-esteem he has.

- Encourage him to find a passion something he can turn to, like the guitar, writing poetry, playing tennis...anything.

- Get him into therapy of some kind. But don't expect miracles. The key is finding a good therapist and this is easier said than done. Many therapists are jaded, bored and only in it for the money. So shop around and find someone good.

- Don't rule out medication. This isn't the answer in itself but it might calm him enough to help him get out there and practise. The key is exposure. Quite simply, the more time he spends around people, the more his confidence will grow. And pills can help you over that initial hurdle. But be wary. He needs to be around kind, gentle people. How about volunteering for a charity, for example? If he goes to work in a competitive sales office or estate agents, etc, he is likely to meet loud, obnoxious idiots who will only make his SA worse and leave him feeling alienated and outcast.

- Always take things slow. Small steps, that's the key.

- Take full advantage of the internet. I was a teenager pre-internet, so had no idea what was wrong. He is lucky. Find out everything you can about SA and encourage him to join sites like this and chat to other people with the same problem. People on here often arrange meet ups. In many cases they meet a new partner someone who gets them.

Good luck. Feel free to PM me if you like.
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