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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5099
Experience:  Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
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my 24 year old son has become estranged. I think he is having

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my 24 year old son has become estranged. I think he is having trouble but dont know how to help him. There is naturally a lot of history here. Product of divorce, spoiled, just recently lost grandmother (2008) and Aunt (2011) who were close and supportive. He married in 2010 and still married. I converse with wife. I was just texting with her and she said he says things like God hates me. This has upset me terribly.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.

Hi! I believe I can be of help with this issue.

I can imagine how frustrating and worrisome this situation must be for you. You are clearly a loving and caring mother. And that you have such a good channel of communication with your daughter in law is wonderful and unusual. She is signaling to you that he's depressed. The depression sounds as though there's more than just some chemical imbalance involved. It sounds as though his emotional/psychological/spiritual self is trying to cope with his past and present and is not harmonizing well.

And this is actually the key to my answer to you that you need to consider and think about. Today, if he goes to a doctor, the doctor will want to immediately prescribe an antidepressant to improve the mood chemically. This is relatively cheap and quick and so is the standard procedure. But it does not change the dynamics in the person's life that caused the downward spiral.

This would be best done with a psychologist or psychotherapist. I don't know if his statement is implying that he's a religious person. If so, then there are religious therapists readily available today.

As you can tell, I am trying to recommend a course of action that steers clear of you trying to step in and make things better for him. I think this would have a much better chance of alienating him from you more than even before. He's not ready to see the relationship with you in a healthy perspective. That needs to come in as part of his getting better in therapy rather as the mechanism of his getting better.

Therefore, I would urge you to communicate with him through his wife that you love him and you are looking forward to when he might want to get together for coffee and chat or whatever he might like, you taking them out to dinner, or whatever.

At the same time, you can communicate to your daughter in law my sense of urgency for him to have professional intervention.

Here is the web address for Psychology Today's therapist directory. You can sort by zip codes and when they see someone who seems like he/she might be helpful (they show you a photo of the therapist!) look at the listing and see if they list depression and in the areas they work with and psychodynamic as well as CBT therapies in their orientations. Interview the therapist and make sure his/her values are similar to you and you feel confident and comfortable with him/her.

http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/

Good Therapy is a non profit directory. Same idea as the one above:

http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

Here is one of the bigger directories of Christian counselors. In the above directories you can see if they are religious people but here they are certainly going to have that orientation:

http://www.aacc.net/shop/ccn/ccn_disclaimer.php

Okay, I wish you the very best!

Please remember to click the green accept button because: even though you have made a deposit, I do not get paid for my time unless you press ACCEPT. Feel free to continue the discussion as my goal is to get you the best answer possible. You can continue the discussion even after pressing ACCEPT. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
What you have described is almost what i have concluded. Sprituality was not something i have considered all the way. He attended Catholic schools since kindergarden. There may be some residual Catholic upbringing that is precipitating some of this but i dont think all. Thanks for your comforting analysis.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
From his background you describe, it could be that his statement that G-d hates him may be a code phrase for:


I hate myself.


Many times young people have a hard time dealing with their emotional "fallout" from youth that they bring as baggage to adulthood. For a time in late adolescence and early adulthood it can be locked away and "buried" but it then leaks out and is difficult to ignore.


However it is in his own life, he is ready to do the important work in therapy he needs to do. And it will help him a lot.


I wish you the very best!


Please remember to click the green accept button because: even though you have made a deposit, I do not get paid for my time unless you press ACCEPT. Feel free to continue the discussion as my goal is to get you the best answer possible. You can continue the discussion even after pressing ACCEPT. Bonuses are always appreciated! If I can be of further help with any issue, just put "for Dr. Mark" in the front of your new question, and I'll be the one to answer it. All the best, XXXXX XXXXX

Dr. Mark, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5099
Experience: Dr. Mark is a PhD in psychology in private practice
Dr. Mark and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I spoke with his wife about seeking therapy and she indicates he will not go. So how can we get this horse to water?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am re-writing the last passage. I spoke with my son's wife about seeking therapy and she said he will not go. How can we get the horse to water?
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 2 years ago.
To tell you the truth, this horse sounds like he's just hunkering down in his stable and refusing to look at anything outside of his own fixed self-harness, let alone getting out of the stable to the water!


Getting him out of his depressive state to even see the possibility of positive outcomes in his life is a true challenge here. Two possibilities for his wife to try:


One is to find a therapist she thinks is smart and sensitive and see if she can get him to go as part of couples therapy to this person with her. The wife needs to present it as her realizing that they are both having some issues individually and together and that she wants to do this and wants him to do this with her for her.


The other is to see if a priest who is smart and sensitive can get involved in talking with your son. I don't know how practical that is, but if it is at all possible, he might be able to get your son to get over the stigma of going to counseling.


I wish you the very best! Dr. Mark

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