my son is depressed

Hi I am new to this site so please forgive me but I do not know who to turn to and I hope someone can help me help my son.

My son and his wife split around 9 month ago and he has come back home. He has taken this really bad and has been depressed on and off. He moved back home and left his life in London behind.

I thought he was feeling better as he found a new job and started meeting friends from work to socialise.

I have arrived home from work today to find my son in his bedroom with empty paracetamol packets. He admitted taking around 20 tablets but they only seem to have made him sleep.

I have asked him to talk to someone or see the doctor but he refuses. He has also quit his husband and myself are at our wits end as we do not know what to do. My son needs help. I would be grateful if anyone can offer any advice and I am sorry for putting this on other people. Thank you in advance.


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8 Replies

  • I'm so sorry to hear that, what a worry for you all. Firstly please stress to him that trying to overdose on paracetamol is a really bad idea. The danger isn't death but high doses of paracetamol are extremely damaging to the internal organs and can cause liver damage which will only add to his problems.

    Could you suggest that he tries talking annonymously on this forum? You can assure him he will find others who have been through or are going through the same or similar things. I know from experience how debilitating the depression from a break up can be.

    Even if you can't persuade him to visit his gp himself I would suggest you call his doctors with your concerns as they will be the best people to give you advice and help you in dealing with this difficult situation.

    I really feel for as I know how much worry I have at times been to my mum and dad.

  • Thank you so much for your reply. My son has not registered with a doctor here yet but I will speak to mine tomorrow to see if he can help or see my son. I'm worried as we are going on holiday next week and I am worried he may do the same thing again. He has had a lot to deal with since splitting with his wife his granddad (my father) was found dead on new years day at home then my husband had a major operation. I think all this did take his mind of his problems but now everything is sorted he has time to think again. Once again thank you so much for your reply it means a lot

  • No problem. I wish there was an easy answer. He can and will get through this though. I've been there myself more than once and I've never believed it at the time but things will get better. Take care.

  • Hi I am sorry to hear of your sons problems.  I would disagree though as paracetomol in a high enough dose can cause death.  20 wouldn't though.   I know of someone who took a massive dose and woke up in hospital.  He had changed his mind and desperately wanted to live but he had done such severe liver damage he died 3 days later.    That's very sad.

    Your son needs to see his doctor for a firm diagnosis.   Taking so many pills is a red flag that he is ill and needs treatment.   Unfortunately you can't make him if he won't but offer to go with him and do the talking.  He is lucky to have you.    You can also make it a condition of him living there that he seeks treatment.   Let us know what happens please.  x

  • Hello

    Paracetamol is on of the more dangerous drugs over the counter to take an overdose with. The patient can perk up after a while, after overdose and within several days the medication can have severe life threatening effects as the drug damages kidneys etc.

    The contraindications can be slow and severe, leading to upwards of forty eight hours to appear. Sometimes by that length of time the damage is done

    I do not know for sure how many He has taken, so would advise you to call 111 and take advice, there is nothing wrong taking advice from the medics.

    I am not a GP so I always bow to their knowledge in cases like this


  • thank you for your advice I will contact 111

  • Hi,

    As someone who returned home after a split, I sympathise with your son. Even if the decision was his, the act of returning back to the parental home can feel like you are such a failure. It makes it hard to go out there and begin again. The thing that hurt me most was that my father had a lot to say about how he never liked my ex (not that he had the decency to say at the time), and given that I was already feeling insecure about my ability to judge people, this made me feel as if everyone had just been waiting for the inevitable split and might be talking behind my back. It was humiliating, embarrassing and depressing. It would have been better if he had stayed off the subject and respected my ability to cope. My father then, in his 'wisdom' talked a lot about how I needed to get a job and bounce back quickly. I did follow his 'advice' as in my insecure state I decided he must be smarter than me if he had known my ex was going to be such a sh*t, but it was too soon. Given the living at home thing, and my insecurity, the job did not go well. Losing it over something silly further eroded my confidence. Maybe I should have taken a break and gone away for a while and had some fun.

    The daft thing is, the whole experience had been part of life, a learning experience, and I had no real regrets.  Ok, it did not end well, but at least I was not still stuck in a bad relationship.

    Of course, your relationship with your son may be very different, but what I had come home for was a little breathing space to consider my next move, and to be back with people I loved and who I could trust, but not to rehash the breakup or be told what to do.  There were other family reasons too, but I won't go into that here.

    I do not know what you should do next for your son, but maybe you could try asking him what he wants to do, and try to avoid being critical of him in any way.

  • I feel very strongly for you. Even when they are grown up they are still your kids and I'm not surprised you're both at your wits end.

    You've got some good advice already i think and i can't add much. You're right to be worried. Try and be ultra careful not to antagonise him at all in any way by intruding too much ( you and your husband are his best friends in this situation) but he does need some help. Be aware he might find your consulting a doctor about him ,an unwelcome idea,.so try and work out a plan with your doctor that ensures he is not upset about this.

    You know him better than we can so possibly you could let him know how worried you both are ,if he does n't already know this. Maybe a possible approach is to say that you saw the doctor for yourself as you were so stressed ,and you more or less admitted the reason for this stress to the doctor. I know that's a bit dishonest but needs must.

    Its a rare parent who does n't get some stress like this from their kids even when they're grown up, so I'm sure that eventually ,as in most cases ,this will all come out right in the end. We'll be rooting for you.

    best wishes Olderal

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