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Depressed And Angry Nineteen Year Old Son

by Enna

My nineteen year old son is very depressed and at times he gets very angry that I'm too frightened to talk to him. I get worried that one day he might do some harm to himself. I don't think he will hurt anyone in the family but he could end up doing something to himself.

He takes antidepressants which seem to help a little but there are times when he seems overwhelmed by it. He finds it very hard communicating and this impacts alot on him finding work. He spends a lot of his time playing computer games at home.

I'm worried about him but don't how to help him.

Please help me.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello Enna, and thanks for telling your story here. Your son is an adult, and it's time for him to move out and make it on his own. In my experience with these situations, the longer he stays at home with you, the worse things will get.

Take a look at this page on tough love. You may have to consider taking the difficult action of making him leave by a certain date, no matter what.

The difficult bottom line is that you cannot help him. Your efforts to do so will make things worse. He has to help himself, and you have to let go no matter what he does. The only way he will respect himself and start making progress is if he becomes independent and starts to support himself.

Staying in your home with you paying his way, playing video games, being angry and taking antidepressants will only make things worse. It's up to you to break the cycle, and making him move out of your home and support himself may be the only way to give him the nudge he needs.

Believe in him. Do not see him as handicapped or wounded. That won't do him or you any good.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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