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demonomania
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Nov 11, 2004 11:44 am
Posts: 387
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:42 pm 
 

I have been reading this thread over time as a bit of a voyeur, but as of recently this issue has hit close to home. My son has been on a steady decline for some time now - the magnitude of which we just realized because he had to be hospitalized last week due to a panic attack. Looking back, it started with him going to college a few years ago and has progressed to the point where, as parents, we're at a loss.

As background, he is my wife's son from her first marriage. After her divorce, we got custody of him and his sister, but not before some damage was inflicted by his biological father and stepmother. He came to live with us and seemed to be doing fine - flourishing even - he was socially well-adjusted, and got great grades. But after one year of college, he decided to join a frat and things went downhill. He grew very arrogant and aggressive, and shifted his focus from class to his appearance, his clothes, his status, etc. He definitely picked up a very negative view of women in general.

We realized things were going off the rails when he got into legal trouble for some very bizarre behavior (which I won't discuss here). Turns out he was also failing all of his classes. Long story short he became very isolated from his prior high school and college friends, and his "frat friends" evaporated. We noticed his response time to basic interactions became extremely slow. Though he was living out of state near his school in an apartment, he was not permitted to go on campus, and his social life all but disappeared. He was sitting alone in his apartment sleeping odd hours, smoking cigarettes, playing video games. We were worried.

Fast forwarding again, his counselor warned us that he might be suicidal. We rushed over to help him, had to call 911 to have cops break down his door, and faced with the police he had a panic attack. After ten days in a behavioral health unit, they permitted us to bring him home. But he is still distant, slow, at times aggressive. And once a certain hour of the evening rolls around, he becomes noticeably detached, has trouble responding, then gets to a point where he says he needs medication (Adavan (sp?) and Zyprexa (sp?)) and he needs it quick. We've been trying to taper him down, per the BHU's instructions.

So far the diagnosis is anxiety and depression. Of course it is taking forever to schedule an appointment with a psychiatrist to have him attend sessions and get re-prescribed some sort of medication. Adding to the stress is that he is borderline obsessed with returning to his college classes, but it is clear to us that he is not ready - he can barely function at the local grocery store, let alone in the relatively high-stress setting of a college course.

So, anyone else out there with the anxiety/depression combo? Advice? I'm sure most of you aren't parents, but some input would be most appreciated nonetheless.
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MikeyC
Official Greeter of Broken Hills

Joined: Wed Jun 14, 2006 5:16 am
Posts: 13828
Location: Australia
PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:36 am 
 

I have both, although my anxiety is quite manageable. I think that you're doing the right things as a parent (even if he is not your son) and sometimes it can take a while to really notice the signs, and by then it can be too late. I hope you can get an appointment with a psychologist soon and he can be on an upward path again. Must be hard to watch someone you care for fall so fast and so hard.
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PvtNinjer
Veteran

Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:45 am
Posts: 3788
Location: Canada
PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 12:21 pm 
 

MikeyC wrote:
Man, that really sucks to hear. I hope you get to find some meaning to your life soon. I know life can be a real kick to the balls but fingers crossed you find a path that makes you happy and fulfilled.


thanks man, I'll admit it probably sounds worse than it is, and slowly but surely I feel like everything is coming together. I'll take my almost two months of sobriety as a win and hope for the best.

I recently found out that my ex is seeing someone else which really sucks because, as stupid and pathetic as it sounds, I always hoped we would get back together once I got my shit together. The amount of grief I felt was absurd, literally crying at the gym haha. But I think the grief was just over what she represented for me: my ability to have a loving and healthy relationship with someone who believed in me and pushed me to do better. Seeing her move on is rough because it's like I'm losing that (even though I already did like almost a year ago) but of course I just have to tell myself that I will find all of that again with someone else. Letting go can be tough, though.

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Nahsil
Clerical Sturmgeschütz

Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2006 2:06 pm
Posts: 4546
Location: United States
PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:28 am 
 

demonomania wrote:
So, anyone else out there with the anxiety/depression combo? Advice? I'm sure most of you aren't parents, but some input would be most appreciated nonetheless.


Some anti-anxiety meds can have "rebound" anxiety effects (even if you're not addicted) for some days after, and withdrawal effects if you get addicted, Ativan is one of those (a benzo). Definitely watch out for it, it can help tremendously in the very short-term in terms of panic attacks and whatnot but can make things worse in the long-term if used frequently and dependence develops.

What's up with his counselor situation? Still going? How does he feel about them? If they aren't helping or he doesn't like them, may want to look for a different one, "therapeutic alliance" or fit between therapist and client is one of the most important factors in whether therapy is helpful (I'm a pre-licensure therapist).

What's your relationship with him like? How do you react to his weird moods and stuff? Does he trust you and your wife, talk to you guys about what he's going through? Sounds like he had some kind of identity/developmental crisis during his time in the frat, could be a throwback to the difficulties he faced before yall got to him, I dunno, but I'd definitely want to explore what he's been through and what he's going through (and/or hopefully get the therapist to do that with him).
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Southern Freeze
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:10 pm
Posts: 648
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 4:20 am 
 

Id been on anti depressants for 16 years, eventually I started meditating alot and seeing psychologist. I started to feel a lot more in control with my emotions and decided to go off the meds.
It took me three years to wean off them. Doctors don't tell you the fucking endless nightmare they are to get off. They don't even know how to get you off them, I got my info from googling. It made quitting drinking and smoking seem like a walk in the park.
I think that shits ruined my brain.

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Timeghoul
Metal newbie

Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:00 pm
Posts: 88
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:35 pm 
 

Quote:
I'm 41 days sober. I have been smoking weed here and there but I haven't had a drink or done coke for just over a month. Honestly the drugs are hardly the hardest part, it's coming to grips with a life devoid of any meaning and purpose other than doing drugs, feeling more alone than ever, emotional as fuck, some days happy as can be and the next crying for hours about ex girlfriends and wasted life :lol:. I feel like an alien a lot of the time, totally disconnected from others, even at meetings. I feel lost, alone, I don't really know how to have fun or enjoy life without substances, so all I really do is go to work, go to meetings and go to the gym. Just trying to take it one day at a time and not worry too much about figuring my life out, even though I wanna just snap my fingers and have all the good shit I once had. I lack any sort of sense of self, so it's all very scary and confusing but I'm hopefully figuring it out. I have to admit though, it's really hard.





That's cool. Congratulations. I'm a little late to respond, but I hope you are still on track. For me I would track my progress on a calendar on the wall. I would look at it and go fuck, I am 12 days in sober. That's so far, I can't fuck this up now. When the number got bigger, it was harder to turn back. I wasn't on harder shit, but alcohol was still a bitch to quit. Once I started seeing a mental health specialist, she told me your meds wont work correctly with alcohol. I wanted to really give it a go of trying to be better. That was a few years ago. I'm on next the next level of messed up, but because I want my meds to work I never drank again. I think about drinking all the time. It would be a nice temporary escape, but I've reached the point of being tired of my mental illness. If the meds aren't working, I could get them adjusted at some point and I wont have alcohol to impede the process.
I've reached rock bottom, beyond rock bottom. All my friends and family are long gone. Bridges not only burned, but completely fucking nuked. Loneliness after a few years will make you want to blow your brains out, desire change or both. I realized I have to make some changes and losing alcohol was a start for me. I still don't have any friends or family, but alcohol is not there to destroy any relationships that I have in the future.

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Southern Freeze
Metalhead

Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 11:10 pm
Posts: 648
Location: New Zealand
PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 2:54 pm 
 

I think having a social life's the hardest part. When I stopped drinking 6 years ago I moved 5 hours away to rural area from everybody who was fucked off with me from my drinking, or just anyone that reminded me of drinking. I think you definitely need a year or two of being by yourself to recover, but eventually you need to build a social life again.
I myself built massive walls around myself and got so disconnected with the world I've started to not know who I am any more, especially now that I've stopped the meds. I think the meds were holding me back though, kind of just making me be happy about the whole isolated and alone situation.

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