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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5776
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My husband has stated for years that our one son (who has an

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My husband has stated for years that our one son (who has an identical twin) carries himself as "Little Lord Fontleroy."
I defended him, but have recently noticed that he appears unemotional over anything that should be more emotional i.e. gratitude for large gifts (in the thousands), physical contact with immediate family members (hugging without warmth - almost as if it is just a mandatory movement). He has friends but no one very close. He has had girlfriends in the past but has broken up with them, even after being very close. His behavior appears to be getting worse, but I am not sure. He lives and teaches in another state, but spent the entire summer either with his grandmother or here. Does it sound like a problem? I have mild depression and take medication, my father committed suicide. Could it be depression or something else?
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It sounds like your son could possibly have depression. When someone shows little emotion or attachment to others, they could be experiencing a lack of joy about their life. This is manifested through their reactions to people and events in their lives.

Your son could also be reacting to something that happened to him. If he suffered a trauma of any sort or even if he was treated poorly as a child by someone (possibly his father, based on his feelings about your son, or another relative), he could be experiencing a blunting of his affect in order to keep his true emotions from emerging. Many people who are deeply hurting will keep their emotions repressed because they fear letting them out will be too overwhelming.

Your son would benefit from a mental health evaluation. Do you feel he might be willing to see a therapist? If he is, either you or he can ask his doctor for a referral. Even if your son just gets an evaluation, at least you will know what might be going on.

But if your son is not willing to talk to someone, then you may want to alert his regular doctor to what you are seeing and include the information about your family history with depression/suicide. Some doctors can ask more specific questions when they see their patients and determine if they might be depressed or if something else is going on. Your son's doctor might not be able to let you know the results, but at least your son might be more willing to talk to someone if his doctor suggests it.

Also, keep providing support for your son. Let him know that you notice how he reacts to others and in social situations. Even if he denies there is a problem, let him know that you are there to talk with him if he wants to. Being supportive may not feel like a lot, but if a person knows they have someone to turn to, they may take advantage of it.

I hope this helps you,
Kate
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