Help With Son's Social Anxiety - Anxiety and Depre...

Anxiety and Depression Support

73,946 members71,856 posts

Help With Son's Social Anxiety

autodesk profile image
12 Replies

I have anxiety and depression, and so does my 20 something son. He gives me more anxiety then anything else in my life. He has social anxiety and just lost 2 of his best friends because of his actions. They don't understand his anxiety. It is killing him and now he is more depressed and starting to use some drugs to suppress him feelings. This isn't the first time this has happened. Does anyone have any advice on how to handle/deal with his sorrow/hurt so I don't sound condescending or hurtful? I hate what this is doing to him and just want to help him.

12 Replies
Nicesomebody profile image

Hi Autodesk, this must be tough for him and for you to see him struggling. Have you thought of therapy? You might want to check this option to know where does he stand in the anxiety scale and what kind of treatment will work best for him. There is an app called headspace; it might be useful for him.

I hope he gets better.

autodesk profile image
autodesk in reply to Nicesomebody

Thank you! I will check that out. Unfortunately he wants my help, but when I suggest something it is right for him, that is what he will tell me even before he tries it. He has had some therapy but he thinks it doesn’t do anything for him. He wants to see a psychiatrist to try some anxiety meds again like cymbalta, which he has taken in the past. But never stayed on it. He takes Xanax which I don’t like, but he says he only uses it for social situations when he tries to go out. I know he has addiction problems with it. My anxiety tells me he can’t do it. He will just keep taking more, and then get more depressed and anxious when he is not taking it. I know what that med does. It is a short term fix but he thinks he can manage it because it will give him a life. He feels like he doesn’t have a life. He does take 2 classes at college and was working out every day. Today he has class, but I don’t know if he is even going to make it. He hasn’t worked out or taken a shower in 4 days. He is also smoking some oxy’s too. Hasn’t slept much. We have been down this road before when we had to Baker Act him and put him in rehab. But he isn’t taking anyway near the amount of meds like he was before. He is using the meds to cover up and try to forget.

I feel lost again and not sure where to turn to change the path he seems to be on. Thanks for listening.

the best thing you can do is to be supportive, empathetic and let him know you love him and suggest he get help. learning about anxiety and having him

see a doctor would help him greatly.

Dance10 profile image

Hi he needed to do something that can have busy in his mind do walking or running or meditation or yoga.embrace himself and comfort him and also medatition is really good in our mind or read books get some 20 walks fresh air is good.

Tillyray profile image

Hi. I am so sorry to hear both you and your son are having to deal with this. I can relate to your situation as I live with anxiety and can suffer from bouts of depression, and my son has ocd and anxiety which he accommodates and it stops him from living a more normal life.. It's difficult enough living with these conditions ourselves, but as a parent it is heartbreaking to see our children suffer...

From my own experiences I do understand what it is like and can empathise with my son. But seeing that he hasnt been able to do things because of his mental health problems, out of worry for him I've often panicked and been overly encouraging,suggesting for him to do social activities when he must not have felt he was ready and able to. This would frustrate, anger or upset him. I have also done the same in asking him to get Doctor or counselling help. None of which has ever achieved anything but to cause an episode of increased anxiety and upset for us both...

Learning from this, but still desperately wanting my son to be helped, I have taken a different ' easy going' approach. I have drip-fed every so often in a casual manner, about him going to see the Doctor 'because he'd feel better' and 'everyone has mental health issues it's nothing to be embarrassed about'.. I've found mental health charity sites with teenage forums upto age 25, and Facebook groups which I've written in a list and just said 'they look good, have a look' and left it at that, quickly changing the subject.. With love and support every step of the way, always letting him know he can talk to me anytime, but without the pressure, it has all got easier... We can now enjoy watching a film, having a chat and a laugh together. A day out without him being fearful and anxious would not have been possible a few years ago.. My son hasn't been for help, but he is willing to look at forms of help online, and I believe him visiting the Doctor to 'chat about it' is now imminent..

My son suffers flare ups of ocd and there are difficult times, but on the whole things have got much easier..There is no time limit you can put on these conditions, so no point in putting yourselves under pressure which only adds to the strain and stress. Its likely to be a continuing process of learning and managing of symptoms to keep them under control.. Focus on the good and not the bad, with every better day lived and enjoyed in the moment. Try not to worry or focus on the problems. Distractions, fresh air, exercise etc, all help to take each day at a time until it gets easier, and better.

Remember to look after yourself and perhaps speak to your Doctor about the affect this is having on your own health, and also if you should become increasingly concerned about your sons drug use. They should be able to help and direct you to other services. There is also local carers groups you can attend for support.

I wish you and your son all the very best xx


autodesk profile image
autodesk in reply to Tillyray

Thank you for responding. Please read what I just wrote back to Nicesomebody. I try and my husband try to help. He blames us for everything. He is very angry. I have left a message with NAMI on Friday to see if there are any support groups where I live. I need to talk to others with the same issues. Just talking helps me feel a little better. Thanks!

Tillyray profile image
Tillyray in reply to autodesk

I know just how hard it is. I hope you can find the help you both need. It's often a long road, so its important that you get support which will make it easier for you to support your son.

Sincere best wishes xx

autodesk profile image
autodesk in reply to Tillyray

Thank you!

sarengeti profile image

I have found joining the Toastmasters very helpful. It’s everywhere and it’s inexpensive. 💐❤️🇺🇸

autodesk profile image
autodesk in reply to sarengeti

Actually he was on his high school speech and debate team for 4 years. He was a really good speaker. At the beginning of 11th grade he was punched in the face and had a metal plate put in over his eye (orbit). That lead to pain and medications for many years. I still don't know if that has anything to do with the anxiety he has now. We had the plate taken out 2 years ago and he got off the medications, but still took others to self medicate.

I am in Toastmasters and that is the reason I joined. It is a great way to learn speaking skills. Thanks!

Jacaroo profile image

@Autodesk Trying to encourage and support young adult children is very challenging! I have an adult son who struggles with depression and medicating himself to relieve his symptoms. He has also lost friends or opportunities because of his actions. Although it's heartbreaking, I have to believe that facing some consequences for his choices and actions (that he does have some control over) is helpful in the long run. Allowing my son to face some natural consequences is HARD!!!! It seems like your son is living at home? Are you paying his bills? One thing we did for our son is to ask him to actively participate in his own health and go to counseling and the doctor to get help. Since we support him, we told him that we are investing in him with the plan to make him successfully independent one day. So, that means he has to also “work” towards this goal with a job, school and figuring out his health (things that you feel are important). We also told him that living at home meant that he couldn’t self-medicate to solve his problems. We love him and want what is best and sometimes that looks like we are mean, but it’s tough love. I agree that you should consider behavioral therapy (counseling) and potentially a psychiatrist for beneficial medication.

I would highly suggest you read a book about creating healthy boundaries. I can find you a link to a good one if you need a suggestion. Also, I know that going to a counselor myself helped me talk through what was reasonable to expect of my son. I was too wrapped up in my feelings of loving him and wanting him to get better that I couldn’t see that I was enabling him in some ways. It seems as though going to a counselor yourself would be a wise woman to help you! I am a woman of faith in God, so I pray for him often and try to encourage him that along with these other healthy things he needs true HOPE.

Be strong, momma!

autodesk profile image

Has anyone ever used Buspar to help with their anxiety? My friend uses it and said that it works wonders for her. Supposedly better then Xanax. Anybody?

You may also like...