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Military Families Military Families

My son is depressed and wants to quit how can I help him?

Posted by on Jan. 4, 2014 at 8:09 AM
  • 18 Replies

My soon to be 19 yr old son has made it through bootcamp and is in AIT in Texas. He was home for 2 weeks for the holidays and went back Thursday he called me last night and told me he wants to quit he said he doesn't like what he is doing and thinks he made a mistake joining. He wants to be home with his friends(not the best group of kids). I just don't know what to tell him or how to help him get through this. I hope someone can give me some advice. 

by on Jan. 4, 2014 at 8:09 AM
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Katkinson
by Kristin on Jan. 4, 2014 at 8:35 AM
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Well, I don' know how I'd feel about quitting.  That's a very fine line. One one hand, he pledged a commitment and fighting in his corner to get him released will only teach him that it's ok to not follow through with things.  YES< I know he is an adult, but he's still your child and you do still set the standard for what is acceptable and what is not. 

On the other hand, if he's really depressed ( like diagnosed clinically depressed) he has no business being in the military. 

If I were you, I'd make sure he went to go see someone.  I'd be in favor of him staying if a professional feels it's something he can recover from. .. especially since you say his friends back home were a crappy group. 

There was a time when I didnt want to do it, too.  I was in A school, away from home and very homesick.  Everyone gets down sometimes.  I can tell you that I'm very glad I remained in and honored that contract. 

Has he been in AIT long???.  That's a sad time.. . when you first arrive somewhere. . . .you don't really know anyone ( or the area).  We had something called the Single Sailors Program.  He might have something similar.  You could go on outings with other people, most were new to the  area as well.  does he have something similar?

I'd look into getting his mind straight and prepared for success rather then on how to "get him out". 

take it for what it is, just my opinion!!!  Of course the first step is to get him seen.  He may have severe depression in which case the best place for him would proabably be out of the military. 

veronicad48
by on Jan. 4, 2014 at 9:03 AM

I don't want him to get out I want him to talk to someone. I know he is not clinically depressed I quess I should have used the word homesick and sad to be away. He went through this when he first got to bootcamp but pulled out of it and did a great job. He enlisted before he graduated and had to wait about 3 months to get into bootcamp he was very motivated and seemed happy about the decision he made but he had really never been away from home before. He had only been in ait for about 3 weeks before he came home for the holidays and I think he is just having a homesick issue right now but I don't want him to make any stupid decisions just because he is sad about being away. Is there any way I can make sure he sees someone or make someone there aware of his thoughts? I will ask him if there is a group like the one you mentioned that he can look into. 

Katkinson
by Kristin on Jan. 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM
1 mom liked this

Um. .. not without talking to his superiors ( as far as making him go see someone) and you don't want to do that. . he'll likely catch hell for his mom stepping in. 

Being gone for the first time is hard on everyone.  I'd just have a conversation with him and tell him there are CONFIDENTIAL RESOURCES on base he can use.  In his case ( if you are certain he's not severely depressed) I'd tell him to go see the chaplain.  Their doors are always open.  Talking will help him out. 

 

As far as the single sailors program, the first place I'd ask around to find info about that would be what we ( Navy) call the Fleet and Family Service Center.  Every branch has their own names for everything though. . .and obviously his program wouldn't be called "single sailor".  So ask him if there is a resource center for soldiers and their families.  That would be the same thing.  They will at least be able to point him in the right direction. 

In the mean time, encourage him how you can.  Send him uplifting cards and letters, let him know you;re proud of him, and plan a trip over there for a aweekend if you can-- something he can look forward to. 

He hasn't gone to his first duty station yet. .. it'd be a shame to throw in the towel now!  There are so many neat things he can experience, not to mention if he fulfills his commitment, he essentially gets an education paid for. 

darbyakeep45
by Darby on Jan. 4, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Kristin has amazing advice...totally agree with her!  I wish you and your son the best!

USAFamily
by Melissa on Jan. 4, 2014 at 10:35 AM
1 mom liked this

He can't just quit. Just stay positive with him and discourage him from making a bad choice (like going awol or something). This too shall pass and he will find his groove. Whatever his enlistment is, it will fly by and if he doesn't want to reenlist he will have the choice to quit then.

Elle.tea.22
by Bronze Member on Jan. 4, 2014 at 10:37 AM
Tell him the military is nothing like the training. Also kindly remind him he put his name on the line voluntarily and he should honor his word even when he doesn't like to. Because at the end of the day his word is all he had.
jas_momof2
by アニメの雌犬 on Jan. 4, 2014 at 10:55 AM

What they said!  Good luck to him...

anchorgurl
by Silver Member on Jan. 5, 2014 at 10:02 AM
2 moms liked this

 Transitions are hard, whether it is college or the military.  Encourage him to talk to someone and to get involved.

cocoroo
by Coco on Jan. 5, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Honestly, if he were my son, I would tell him to suck it up and honor his commitment.  My son graduated basic last Feb, graduated tech school in the spring, and left for Germany last summer.  He was homesick.  He spent this Christmas without family.  He is dealing with it.

usmclife58
by Nikki on Jan. 5, 2014 at 1:15 PM
3 moms liked this

This is how I feel. This isn't just a summer job or something. He signed a contract, and that is not just a little thing. I think he will like it better once he gets past the training part. Then he will have more freedoms and options to things.

Quoting cocoroo:

Honestly, if he were my son, I would tell him to suck it up and honor his commitment.  My son graduated basic last Feb, graduated tech school in the spring, and left for Germany last summer.  He was homesick.  He spent this Christmas without family.  He is dealing with it.



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