How can I help my adult son who has major depression, PTSD and anxiety?

This is my first post here. My son sleeps 12 hours a day (but not really sleep as his mind races). He is on a new sleep medicine but it is giving him headaches so he goes back to the doctor on Friday... He recently lost his half-brother (last December) to suicide, and his father in March a year ago to esophageal cancer. He took care of his dad for about a year going though the heartache of that disease. So he suffers from PTSD as well. He tries to get a job, but due to poor work history and his sleep issues it is so difficult. But this has always been a problem. He sleeps so late into the day... and has for many years. He was in the Navy for 3 years and doing well at first, but then got involved with someone and even quit the Navy. He says it is too difficult to do even the smallest things... call his therapist for appointments, go to grocery store, do laundry, etc. and now that he is 30, he feels he is a complete failure. His therapist recommended he go to a two week outpatient program at the health center but he balked at that. I can't force him. What can I do? Would a family intervention be advisable? I'm nearly his only contact at this point, other than his doctor on occasion and maybe a therapist every now and then. He said the last time he felt good was when he was working out and going to therapy, but then he got a night job and quit that. so I suggested he get back to that plan for a while and not worry about work...( I can help him.) I believe he's had depression for a very long tome, and now it's just developed into major depression with anxiety and PTSD. Any and all help is appreciated. God bless you and heal all those suffering here.

4 Replies

oldestnewest
  • Working in a group home has really helped me with my motivation to get up and go do what ever it is I need to do. You can try having him apply to one. If it's a group home for mentally disabled people he won't have to be at work until 2pm at the earliest so that will help with his sleeping into the afternoon.

    Sleeping is a touch one for me too. Try getting a humidifier and diffuser with a lavender or mint scented oil. They help to relax and also help make the room smell good. An emotional support animal may help too.

  • Thank you for your advice. Good suggestions. I give him aromatherapy candles.

    To invigorate (favorite scent is key lime) but a diffuser for sleep ...is a great idea. Thanks again.

  • Can you express your concerns to his doctor privately? Lacking motivation is a common symptom and it is wonderful that you understand and do not judge him for it. Yet you are also right, I think, that he needs to be doing something, anything, to feel more involved in life and better about himself. Maybe he needs a change in meds. Maybe his doctor needs to be more firm about a different treatment plan that does involve a lot of outpatient activity, like a daily program of partial hospitalization. I'm sending warm thoughts your way and hope you find some answers soon!

  • I'm in the same boat as your son, at 48. Although I hold a job, I've been missing work due to my severe depression. I'm on a short leave right now, to go to outpatient therapy. I balk at that too. My daughter has pushed me though, she's a mental health therapist herself.

    I think what your son needs is inpatient therapy. There he will meet with a psychiatrist for new meds, and attend therapy.

    The last thing that I would suggest is to make your son come to the realization of what will happen when there's no one like you there to take care of him.

    I can empathize with him. I'm suicidal, and depressed every day. I don't want to leave the house. My daughter is pushing me, from 1000 miles away.

You may also like...