Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective.
I believe that I can help with this situation.
Your son's prior circumstances of disappointments and heartbreaks, and his current behavior (lack of motivation, uncommunicative, terse, loss of ambition, inability to respond to your warm regard) is typical of and indicative of deep depression.
Not only his past lack of success, but the current severe economic downturn and lack of employment opportunities, and his dwindling savings, are all exacerbating the problem.
He has large goals, but the opportunities may not be there. I know first hand as I have a daughter, who despite an honors degree in biology had been forced to take jobs beneath her training.
You must try to hide your moods on the phone when you call, practice at being upbeat, look for employment opportunities to encourage him, and be positive and. He is already feeling down and even if cannot cheer him, you could at least avoid being an extra weight.
Make your phone calls brief and don't let him hear any more sadness as this may make him feel responsible and just pull him further down.
He could really benefit from some counseling, but that might be prohibitive in cost, and he may not like the suggestion.
I do have a wonderful workbook that you could send to him and he may look at it in the privacy of his own space.
Please give me a moment while I get the link:
I have a second book in mind from a very different but also effective theoretical approach that he may prefer:
Dialectical Behavior Therapy has a touch of Zen Buddhist philosophy in it.
If you send him the books without comment he may pick one up and see himself in the text and begin to work on himself.
You cannot force him as he will just rebel, and that is part of his depression.
However, he will eventually start to reach a point where he needs to make some changes or just make some money, and this will help to self-regulate him.
You can lead him to the "water" but he will have to take a drink when he is ready.
You must also work on yourself, as you are become anxious and depressed and you might take a look at the Marra book for yourself and gain a bit of expertise in dealing with your son.
He needs you to be strong for him.
Yes, I want to be strong for him but it is hard watching him not help himself.
Yes it is hard but you must gain strength for him and for yourself as both. You are a parent and you have to model behavior for him.
Don't think about how hard it may be to do it, think about strengthening yourself.
how much should my husband push or make strong suggestions? he is better able to deal with this than I am
Very little. You know by now that pushing doesn't help.
true that....ok. You are just confirming what we thought. We actually know all this! Thanks.
The harder you push him, the more he resists.
Then do your best to put it into action. I would get the second book for yourself. It will make you stronger and be in more of a position to be a positive force.
Your son learns from you both and he needs to see that he can be positive and courageous.
ok. my husband is all that, sometimes I have wondered if he doesn't think he can ever be as courageous as his dad. Is it ok to just update him on siblings and what we are doing when we talk since he doesn't offer much?
Absolutely. Ignore his lack of conversation and fill in the blanks with chit chat and then say you have to run and do such and such. Leave quickly on a loving note and spare him the agony of not having to talk when he might not be in the mood.
Short and sweet, to sum up.
You have suddenly left the chat after more than 1/2 hour.
I know that I have been helpful and given you good information and support.
ok. I also was doing that right. thanks!
I'm glad you are back.
I didn't mean to leave the chat....I will take your suggestions and work on myself.
I think that's all I need
I know you have the intelligence to do so. You must work into this.
I shall keep all of you in my prayers.
Elliott, MAE, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC
thanks should I just mail him the book without saying anything?
ok. that's all thanks!
You are most welcome. I wish you success.