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My teenaged son is struggling with depression and is totally pushing his dad away (we're divorced). His dad seldom sees him and doesn't really know how to communicate with him. How do I help my son?

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Asked by funmom99876 at 10:13 PM on Apr. 13, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (10)
  • Make an appt. for him to see his doctor for depression. Counseling will help him, too.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:16 PM on Apr. 13, 2009

  • You need to get him into counseling ASAP. Call one first thing in the AM. Keep all lines of communication open and do not leave him alone.

    Answer by m-avi at 10:18 PM on Apr. 13, 2009

  • I have long battled depression myself. After years and years of not getting help I finally had a break down. I now take good care of myself and take my medication. I am on Lexapro now. In the beginning though I went through about 6 different medications before I found one that worked great for me. EVeryone is different. He needs to see a psychiatrist and get medication and help. I see mine every month now but in the beginning I was seeing him weekly then bi-weekly and now monthly. I'm doing great and have never felt better.

    Answer by surferwifeof3 at 10:48 PM on Apr. 13, 2009

  • I agree with getting him into counseling. My oldest son finally told his father to go to hell last Nov, and is FINALLY doing better. HIs father was totally unsupportive of the person he is, which is immensely important to Chris. Chris is bi-polar, which causes alot of depression issues as well. I asked him your question, and here is what he had to say..
    "Always be honest with him, so he KNOWS he can trust you. Let him talk about his negative feelings about his dad, but dont encourage only the negative. Remind him of the positives too. Start doing projects with him, even if it is only cooking dinner." I think the reason Chris pointed out cooking dinner together is because its something we do together when I know he's upset. Men (and most teen boys) do better talking in side to side manner, rather than a face to face one. They don't feel so put on the spot if they are not looking at you, so they are more likely to open up.

    Answer by mystica97 at 8:28 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Continued..
    I think the reason he said that about the always being honest thing is that I've had a 100% honesty policy with my children for many years. They know that if they ask me a question, I will do my best to be honest with them. I also have found that my ability to apologize is really important to them as well. They like to hear we are human and screw up:)
    I hope these answers help. He needs you right now, more than the counselor even, because he needs to be able to trust and depend on one of his parents, and from the sound of it, you are the only candidate in the running.
    Any questions you may have, feel free to msg me:) I sincerely wish you all the best of luck in this difficult situation.

    Answer by mystica97 at 9:09 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Get him in counseling now. Do NOT wait. Make sure it includes sessions that the parents can come to and learn how to help your son. When I am depressed I push people away too, tell dad that it probably is because of the depression not something he did. Best of luck.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:31 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • I agree on the counseling. My dad was distant and still is. He rarely calls me and it isn't involved with being a Grandpa. At 28 it STILL bothers me and I'm still in counseling. It frustrates me to no end and the only outlet I have is going to counseling....

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:54 AM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • My husband and I are recently seperated, caught him with a 19 y/o girl and my dh is 41! Yes, that's right, been seperated since Oct. 08. My children are 12/16 and my daughter is very depressed, my son has some anger issues. Please get your son to a psychiatrist and/or therapist for help and like in my situation, it's good for you to let your son know that you are there no matter what and that he can talk to you and you will get him help in whatever way possible. Our children are most important and honesty and communication is key.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:09 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • Thank you all for great info! This is a bright, artistic kid who is going through hell and is dragging his family through hell right along with him. I've got him in counseling (Just started 2 weeks ago) and am trying to be there through thick and thin. At times, he pushes us away really hard (figuratively) but I just keep reassuring him that I'm not going to let him go. It's exhausting and at times I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    "When you're going through hell, keep going!"

    Answer by funmom99876 at 10:36 PM on Apr. 14, 2009

  • If you are not already in a church setting, get in one. Once that is in place, talk to your pastor about what is going on. Find someone in your family that can and will be a positive influence in your child's life. Pray and never give up. God is with you even when you don't feel him. I'm praying for your family.

    Answer by domiano124 at 1:16 PM on Aug. 22, 2009

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