Son had depression...how can we help? ?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by John72, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. John72

    John72 New Member

    Our son (25) single is suffering from depression..In November I paid for a doctors visit. He prescribed med. and he took them for about two weeks. Didn't go back for followup with Dr. He said the medication wasn't helping. He will hardly talk about the depression or generally anything.. It is tough on us to see him this way..but what can we do...Doesn't he have to want to change or help himself?
  2. minkanyrose

    minkanyrose New Member

    You are right He does have to want to help Himself for you to help.

    usually depressed people don't notice they are depressed. Those around them see it though.

    My son is 24 just married a year ago and depressed has been for years he didn't like counselors so refused to go. I had to sit back and wait and watch for him to hit bottom before he would get help.

    He almnost lost his wife but she agreed to hang in there if he got counseling so He started in Dec on meds now and getting it all out.

    He feels better now and can see what he was doing where as before everyone else had the problem.

    I let him know I loved him very much before he started counceling and that i would not put up with his out burst so if he had one I asked him to leave. as far as if Isolation is involved keep getting him involved as much as you can if he won't go out invite friends over keep him connected.

    He will get tired of depression one day and seek help but until then you can't force them to take meds.

    hope this helps. good luck
  3. netnut

    netnut New Member

    It is very difficult to watch our kids when they are dealing with something like depression. My 20 year old son has been diagnosed with bipolar since he was 13. Just last nite we had a huge rage from him due to some issues with his babys mother. He was just awful.

    Its true that a person cant be helped until they want the help themselves but you can talk to him about what you are seeing and how you really hope he will seek help. You can tell him about websites that have messageboards or chat rooms that deal with depression so he can see he isnt alone.

    I hope your son decides to follow thru with treatment.
  4. Catseye

    Catseye Member

    I just told someone else about the precursors to neurotransmitters in our brain. These are the chemicals that make you feel good. You don't realize you feel good all the time until you feel bad, then you get to see how your body takes care of you and makes you feel good or you wouldn't want to live.

    These are some of the things your body uses to make neurotransmitters; it either gets them from food or produces them itself:

    TMG trimethlyglycine - an amino acid
    phosphatidylcholine
    phosphatidyl serine
    5 htp

    You also have to have a good supply of vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium. And enough protein. If he eats well, takes these and is STILL depressed, I would take a good look at diet and supplement with easily absorbable forms of vitamins, minerals and an amino acid blend.

    good luck

    karen

    I don't think there's any problem mixing these, as I am, but one at a time is always probably best and definitely don't take with antidepressants unless the doc says okay![This Message was Edited on 01/01/2007]
  5. chloeuk

    chloeuk New Member

    I have to disagree with others on the he needs to want change/help himself..the only thing that needs changing is his brain chemicals...depression is caused by a lack of brain chemicals that can only be replaced with medication...the thing is that meds for depression take a while to work...usually at least 4 weeks so the 2 weeks he tried will not have been long enough for him to see a change. There may also be other reasons for his depression...or a reason why meds dont help...for me that was a b12 defiencey, once I had a shot my anti depressants started working when they werent before.

    The thing with this question of wanting to change or help himself is that this isnt something he can just change or have a positive attitude to or be stronger or pull himself together, people with severe depression can not make decisions themselves AT ALL...even whether or not to take meds...if he is a potential risk to himself then the age thing goes out of the window...how depressed is he?? has he lost alot of weight, withdrawan from all of his friends...has he given any of his pssessions away, has he lost interest in things that gave him pleasure, does anything give him pleasure, has his sleeping pattern changed...have you talked to him about self harm? alot of those questions are hard to ask...but I would rather ask them difficult questions than have a suicide attempt...this is something to take that seriously...dont ever give up trying to help him...because what he wants is help whether he will admit it or not.

    Chloe
  6. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    Why don't you try a therapist who does "cognitive therapy"

    Below is some info I found on depression and cognitive therapy... (I am also depressed and have tried this and it did help me. I plan on going back to my therapist soon).


    Depression

    What is depression? Depression has a variety of symptoms, such as loss of energy, loss of interest in activities and in life, sadness, loss of appetite and weight, difficulty concentrating, self-criticism, feelings of hopelessness, physical complaints, withdrawal from other people, irritability, difficulty making decisions, and suicidal thinking. Most depressed people feel anxious as well. They often feel worried, nauseated, dizzy, and sometimes have hot and cold flashes, blurred vision, racing heartbeat, and sweating.

    Clinical depression is not the same as grieving after the loss of a loved one through death, separation or divorce. Feelings of sadness, emptiness, low energy and lack of interest are normal during grief. Anger and anxiety can also be part of the normal grief process.

    Clinical depression differs from normal grief in that clinical depression sometimes may occur without a significant loss. Moreover, depression may last longer than grief and includes feelings of self-criticism, hopelessness and despair.

    It would be an unusual person who said that he never felt "depressed." Mood fluctuations are normal and help inform us that something is missing in our lives and that we should consider changing things.

    But clinical depression is much worse than simple fluctuations in mood. Clinical depression varies from mild to severe. For example, some people complain of a few symptoms which occur some of the time.

    Other people, suffering from a severe depression, may complain of a large number of symptoms, which are frequent, long-lasting and quite disturbing. Because there are various degrees of depression, the severely depressed patient may wish to consider a number of treatments in combination.

    Who Gets Depressed?

    Depression is not something that happens to people who are "unusual" or "crazy." It is everywhere. Along with anxiety (which occurs more frequently than depression), it is the common cold of emotional problems. During any given year a large number of people will suffer from a major depression. 25% of women and 12% of men will suffer a major depressive episode during their lifetime. The chances of reoccurrence of another episode after the initial episode are high.

    The reason for the sex difference in prevalence of depression is not entirely clear. Possible reasons may be that women are more willing to acknowledge feelings of sadness and self-criticism, females are undermined from an early age by being taught to be helpless and dependent, women control fewer sources of rewards than men do, and their achievement is often discounted. Another factor may be that men "mask" or hide their depression behind other problems, such as alcohol and drug abuse.


    What Are The Causes Of Depression?

    There is no "one" cause of depression. We view depression as "multi-determined" - that is, it has biochemical, behavioral and cognitive components. We will examine each one.

    Loss of Rewards. Have you experienced significant losses in your life recently - for example, loss of work, friendships, intimacy? The behavioral model of depression emphasizes the importance of reinforcement in the onset and maintenance of depression. There is considerable research evidence that people who suffer significant life stresses are more likely to become depressed - especially, if they lack or do not use appropriate coping skills.

    Decrease of Rewarding Behavior. Are you engaged in fewer activities which were rewarding in the past? Depression is characterized by inactivity and withdrawal. For example, depressed people report spending a lot of time in passive and unrewarding behavior - such as watching television, lying in bed, brooding over problems and complaining to friends.

    They spend less time engaged in challenging and rewarding behavior, such as positive social interactions, exercise, recreation, learning, and productive work.
    Skill Deficits. Are there social skills or problem - solving skills which you lack? Depressed people may have difficulty asserting themselves, maintaining friendships, or solving problems with their spouses, friends, or work colleagues. Because they either lack these skills or do not use the skills they have, they have greater interpersonal conflict and fewer opportunities to make rewarding things happen for them.

    New Demands.: Are there new demands for which you feel ill-prepared? Moving to a new city, starting a new job, becoming a parent, or ending a relationship and trying to find new friends can be sources of significant stress for many people.

    Lack of self-reward. Many depressed people fail to reinforce themselves for positive behavior. For example, they seldom praise themselves or they are hesitant to spend money on themselves. Many times depressed people think that they are so unworthy that they should never praise themselves.

    Some depressed people think that if they praise themselves that they will become lazy and settle for less.
    Exposure to helplessness.: Depression may result from continuing to stay in a situation in which you cannot control rewards and punishments. The individual may feel sad, tired, loss of interest, and hopeless because he believes that no matter what he does he cannot make things better. Examples of helplessness are unrewarding jobs or dead-end relationships.


    Exposure to continual punishment. This is a special kind of helplessness - not only are you unable to get rewards, but you find yourself criticized by others and rejected. For example, many depressed people may spend time with people who criticize them or hurt them in various ways.
    Although each of the above factors may make you prone to depression, they do not necessarily have to result in depression.

    One may experience a loss in life but reverse the loss by increasing rewarding behaviors, learning new skills, redirecting attention and energy into new goals, and asserting yourself.

    You are also more likely to become depressed if you think that you are entirely to blame, that nothing can change and that you should be perfect at everything.

    These interpretations of stress and loss are the "cognitions" or thoughts that you have about yourself and your environment. Cognitive therapy is specifically focused at identifying, testing, challenging and changing these excessively negative views of life.


    How Does Thinking Affect Depression?
    There are other causes of depression that have to do with the way you think ( your "cognitions"). Some of these causes of depression are described below:

    Unrealistic expectations. Many depressed people have unrealistically high standards for themselves and for other people. They believe that they (or others) shouldn't make mistakes, their job should be free of conflict or should be fun all the time, or that their marriage should be completely happy.

    Another group of depressed people have unrealistically low standards - they continually accept less than they could probably get elsewhere.


    Automatic thoughts. These are thoughts that come spontaneously, seem plausible, and are associated with negative feelings like sadness, anxiety, anger and hopelessness. Examples of these distortions in thinking are the following:

    Mind reading "He thinks I'm a loser"
    Labeling "I'm a failure. He's a jerk."
    Fortune telling "I'll get rejected. I'll make a fool of myself."
    Catastrophizing "It's awful if I get rejected. I can't stand being anxious."
    All or nothing "I fail at everything. I don't enjoy anything. Nothing works out for me."
    Discounting positives "That doesn't count because anyone could do that."
    Maladaptive assumptions. These are the rules or philosophies of depressed people. They include ideas about what you think you should be doing or your theories about life:
    "I should get the approval of everyone."
    "If someone doesn't like me, that means I'm unlovable."
    "I can never be happy doing things on my own."
    "If I fail at something, then I'm a failure."
    "I should criticize myself for my failures."
    "If I've had a problem for a long time, then I can't change."
    "I shouldn't be depressed."
    Negative self-concept. People who are depressed often focus on their short-comings, exaggerate them, and minimize any positive qualities they may have. They may see themselves as unlovable, ugly, stupid, weak, or even evil.

    What Is Cognitive-behavioral Treatment?

    The cognitive-behavioral treatment of depression is a highly structured, practical, and effective intervention for patients suffering from depression. In cognitive-behavioral therapy the therapist initially attempts to focus on current symptoms and current thoughts and behaviors. The therapist and patient evaluate the specific level of depressive and anxiety symptoms using standardized, valid self-report forms such as the Beck Depression Inventory, the Symptom Check-List, or the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Scale. The effectiveness of the therapy may be monitored by referring to these initial measures of symptoms and other goals which the patient establishes with the therapist. For example, the patient is asked in the initial meetings to specify a number of goals he wishes to attain - such as, increasing self-esteem, improving communication, reducing shyness, or decreasing haplessness and loneliness.


    How Effective Is Cognitive-behavior Therapy for Depression?

    Numerous outcome studies conducted at major universities throughout the world have consistently demonstrated that cognitive therapy is as effective as anti-depressant medication in the treatment of major depression. Within 20 sessions of individual therapy, approximately 75% of patients experience a significant decrease in their symptoms. The combination of cognitive therapy with medication, in some studies, increases the efficacy to 85%. Moreover, most patients in cognitive therapy maintain their improved mood on follow-up two years later. This advantage of "maintaining gains" is due to the fact that in cognitive therapy the patient should not only reduce his symptoms, but he should learn to understand the distortions in thinking and behavior which are associated with the depression and learn self-help rather than dependence.

    Are Medications Useful?

    There are a variety of medications that are quite effective in the treatment of depression. These include prozac, paxil, zoloft, effexor, tofranil, wellbutrin, elavil, nardil, parnate, lithium, and several other medications. It takes two to four weeks for you to build up a therapeutic level. Some medications may have negative side effects and some of these side effects may decrease over time or they may be handled with combinations of other medications. In some cases, patients with severe depression may wish to consult their physician about the possibility of electro convulsive treatment (ECT).

    What We Expect from You as a Patient

    Cognitive-behavioral treatment of depression requires your active participation. During the initial phase of therapy your therapist may request that you come to therapy twice per week until your depression has decreased. You will be asked to fill out forms evaluating your depression, anxiety and other problems, and to read materials specifically addressing the treatment of depression. In addition, your therapist may ask you to fill out forms weekly that evaluate your depression and other problems that are the focus of therapy. Your therapist may give you homework exercises to assist you in modifying your behavior, your thoughts, and your relationships. Although many patients suffering from depression feel hopeless about improvement, there is an excellent chance that your depression may be substantially reduced with effective treatment.



  7. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    I hope that I don't offend Barrow here but depression is a serious matter if not handled correctly. If handled correctly (I mean with medical help and a good psychologist or therapist) it can be controlled if not totally erradicated. I would NOT play around with vits, amino acids, etc unless advised to do so by a medical professional. Some people think these things fix all problems and they don't. Depression is nothing to experiment with. Maybe the counselor that he went to just wasn't the one for him. You need to feel comfortable with a therapist. I know from experience. I suffer from depression and have seen several therapists. Some I went one time to and never went back just as your son did. While he/she may have been a totally super therapist it just didn't fit for me. Possibly try another for you son and see how it goes? And... Please let him know that alot of the antidepressant meds take around a month or so to work.
    Peace,
    Bob
    [This Message was Edited on 01/02/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/02/2007]
  8. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    Darn it, that's a tough one. It's SO hard to help our grown children if they don't want our help. I was reading an article yesterday that there are almost as many depressed men as there are women but they often show their depression in anger instead of sadness.

    Why was it necessary for you to pay for his doctor's visit? (I've done the same thing, by the way.) Is he out of work or did you think it might get him there quicker if he didn't have to spend his own money? It's so hard to know when we're helping too much, isn't it? I remember when kids left home at 18 and that was the end of their parent's responsibilty! What's changed? The kids or us?

    I've been through this with my oldest son and I just gently kept encouraging him to see his doctor. He finally did. Now he's taking the antidepressants that he gets from a drug rep friend instead of by prescription and I'm very concerned. So now I'm "gently encouraging him" to find a counsellor. I suspect he won't but I'm a mother, I have to try. And you're a father, you have to try too.

    I suspect the drugs prescribed for your son weren't the right ones for him. As you know, there are others and he needs to be encouraged to keep trying.

    I really wish you the best in this. And welcome to the board. I see this is your first post.

    Marta
    [This Message was Edited on 01/02/2007]
  9. chloeuk

    chloeuk New Member

    my experience of depression and link to vits is real...I was being treated succesfully for depression in the past but since being dx with cfs/fms my meds wouldnt work..when it was discovered I had a b12 defiencey I had a shot and my meds started working again..there is def a link between b12 and depression...but I have to say I dont believe that the b12 alone would have helped me.

    From my experience of anti depressants, they all are not ssris...I have found that the only one that works for me is the older style tryclics..elavil.
  10. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I tend to think that once kids get to be in their mid teens and above, parents will have no more luck getting them to do things that they're not inclined to do than they would getting a slight acquaintance or friend to do anything.

    I wish this weren't the case, but I've never observed any evidence to the contrary.
  11. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    I am not trying to stop you from giving advice in any way. As for vitamins, they are fine also. But in several occasions you have interviened <sp> with your vitamin, mineral, suppliments when someone was talking about something serious such as heart problems, and like the one in this thread, depression. Who knows how depressed this young man is? If he was posibly going to harm himself, he needs professional help and possibly needs it soon. If he plays around with suppliments, etc and does not see a doc who knows what might happen. The same with the person who was asking about heart problems. Maybe if you made it clear that you are just sharing what WORKED for YOU it would be better and not endanger someone's health. You claim to know more than most doctors so someone new here might really think that is true and not see a doctor when one is needed. If I offended you I am sorry.... Oh, and by the way my doctor has me on vitamins and sometimes minerals when called for but he diagnosed the problem as a medical professional and knew that there was nothing serious going on in me before he did. I am sorry that you have had problems that the doctor did not fix to your satisfaction but there ARE good doctors out there. I have two in my family and several as close friends and it really upsets me when you are always bashing doctors. The ones that are close to me almost literally worked themselves to death to get through medical school and are now very good doctors and truly care for their patients and do what is best for them.
    Bob

    [This Message was Edited on 01/02/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/02/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/02/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 01/02/2007]
  12. BobinGermany

    BobinGermany New Member

    Hi,
    I did not mean that vitamins would not help depression. The B-vitamin that you are using is fine. There are probally some suppliments that would help people also. But I assume that you saw a doctor to get your meds, right? That is all I am trying to get across. When someone has a serious problem such as depression or something like heart problems they need to be seen by a doctor. Not just start experimenting with stuff because it worked for someone else. In your case, I think that what you did was perfect. You first got diagnosed, got meds and then got additional help from vitamins. And you are totally correct. All anti-depressants are not SSRI's.
  13. kriket

    kriket New Member



    Just don't ignore it and try to sweep it under the rug whatever you do. Depression is very serious. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may be very helpful to him as it helps to get to the root of the cause and it helps you learn how to look at things in a different way.

    I suffer from depression and was ignored by family members for way too long while growing up. That's why I say just be there for him. It will mean more than you will ever know.

    Kriket
  14. chloeuk

    chloeuk New Member

    I wish the orignial poster would come back and answer some of the questions on this..

    I want to just give my experience of depression both first hand and also with a close family member(sister) My sister became ill after the birth of her second child, they called it pyschosis..it happens to 1 in a 1000 mums after giving birth, she started acting strangely and went back to her childhood, talking and acting like she was 10, also not recognising she had a child..she was hospitalised and has been unwell ever since, my nephew will be 11 this year. She is now dx bi-polar with mood disorder and when she takes her meds she is well, when she doesnt it is very bad..and like most who are bi-polar the high makes her think she is fine which is why she stops taking her meds.

    I have also been suffering with depression since the birth of my second child, I though am not bi-polar, I am clinically depressed, I have have periods where it has been so bad that I have been hospitalised but I have also had extended periods where I didnt need meds, I have been on almost all anti depressants but have found the only one that has worked is elavil(amitriptlyne) which is a tryclic..I have had some hard times over the years, which I felt caused the depression but after the last year I had when I was dx with cfs and fms I dont think that is the case...I was not depressed when my symptoms were at their worst but have since become very depressed..I started the elavil again and it wasnt working as well, thats when my b12 was tested and I began treatment and only then did my meds work...my point is that this isnt something you have to want to getter better from...this isnt something that a dog can help..or for that matter excersise( I know it helps) but it doesnt stop you from being so depressed that you no longer want to live or give you the energy you need to brush your teeth..DEPRESSION is AS REAL as CFS OR FMS....I woul dhave thought that this groupl as a whole would realise from the way we are made to feel oke we are hypochondriacs that there are other illness's out there that are also judged the same way..it makes me so angry that people dismiss depression as a choice or a pity party as those that think cfs is in your head.

    and lastly it doesnt matter if the person is 12 or 32 if they are so depressed that they are a danger to themselves then you can get them help...because the alternative is death and drs tend to take that seriously..if indeed they are a good dr
  15. John72

    John72 New Member

    Thanks to all of you that have shared your thoughts..
    I have been checking in to read them, but haven't left many comments, since I was looking for other opinions on what we can do for our son. See the fact is he doesn't seem to care at all. At least that is what comes out. Hoping he will seek help, but until he does there is little we can do but offer encouragement. As far as taking medication or any of the natural ones, he is not interested. Like I said before, it is hard for us to watch someone and they don't care to even try to help themselves....Bye for now..and again thanks for all of the replies...
  16. AllWXRider

    AllWXRider New Member

    and have been on every antidepressant out there.

    Later, I got CFS from, in part, Epstein-Barr Virus and Cytomegalo virus. A weakened immune system but I found out that these are common viruses according to the CDC.

    I just got my Hair Analysis results back, and I'm high in Lead, Cadmium, Antimony and Arsenic.

    Lead is real bad for depression, depressed immune system and brain fog.

    Can you get a hair sample from your son? I got a $60 kit from 1to1vitamins and it included a paper scale, postage paid envelope, instructions. You can look at the results on a secure website.

    Knowing its toxic metals made a big difference in my self-esteem...I'm not a nut-case, I have toxic metals and I'm chelating it out...I have HOPE!