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Hi Pamela, I'd like to help you with your question.
Before I respond, I wanted to clarify your situation. Right now, you have your younger son and his family living with you. Your older son, Jeremy, is on his own with his girlfriend. Jeremy is having financial and emotional difficulties and has just now started to tell you and his girlfriend about it. Is this correct?
My other question is about what symptoms Jeremy is having. Is he having trouble sleeping, using alcohol or other drugs, does he feel depressed, etc?
You're welcome. I am sorry that you are going through this.
It sounds like your son is struggling with many different emotions. But the one that sounds like is bothering him the most is not living up to his expectations. He is decompensating so badly because he expected to be able to hold it all together. Now that he has not, he is acting out by trying to hide what is going on. This has a lot to do with shame and guilt. He feels if he hides it, then others won't see what is going on and he won't have to feel ashamed and guilty.
Accepting help is part of admitting he is guilty. In order to accept help, your son would need to say something is wrong. So instead of facing the guilt and shame and getting help, he avoids getting help as well so he won't have to face his problems.
The first step is getting him to understand that this can happen to anyone and that he is going to be fine. He needs to know he is accepted and that he is still seen as strong and capable. Men focus their worth on being able to provide and being the "strength" in their relationships. When they cannot, they feel worthless. Some men take this more to heart than others.
The next step is finding help. He and his wife can contact the local United Way for resources for counseling and financial assistance. There are utility assistance programs as well as help finding affordable insurance. The local community mental health center can help him finding low cost/no cost counseling so he can have support emotionally.
Once your son is willing to get help, he should start to recover. However, setting limits in the meanwhile with how he treats you and other family members is a good idea. He needs to know that there are limits and understand that while you are there and supportive of him, you are not going to accept his abusive actions.
He may also want to talk with his doctor about some short term anti depressant medication to help him until therapy starts to work. This will help him cope and work to improve his situation. Right now, he is overwhelmed and therefore unable to function well.
I hope this has helped you,Kate
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