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Guilt


Grounded

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This post is somewhat about me but not ... Its about my son. I have suffered for years with anxiety/depression/panic attacks and mild OCD, and so did my father since I can remember as a child..  I have 3 grown children and I know that they all at some point have dealt with anxiety and I felt very guilty that I may have passed my genetics on to them, but my oldest son I knew that he had social anxiety, and some depression as well but I did not know how bad.. I recently found out that he had opened up to his brother about 'not wanting to be anymore' when he was drinking and he is not a drinker at all so that part really surprised me but the fact that this is something hes thought about for awhile and not telling anyone has really hit me hard, I don't know where to even start to try and help him since I'm not in the greatest position either. I am really worried because he hasn't and isn't telling anyone about it that he's been keeping that inside for awhile and only let it out because of the alcohol. I should have noticed because he just hasn't looked 'well' lately and he doesn't leave the house that often (works from home) and only leaves when he has to pick his daughters up from school. I have asked him if everything is okay though because he just hasn't looked good for the past month, and he just says, I'll deal with it, he isn't one to talk about his feelings ever... I've mentioned to him about going to a doctor again but after the first time he went and the doctor put him on medication which landed him in bed for the entire time he took it throwing up every day and feeling horrible I don't think he wants to go through that again, I feel like hes giving up and I don't know what to do for him.... I feel so guilty that I probably passed the gene on to him to cause this mental condition and if anything happens I couldn't deal with that mentally I can't even deal with the fact that I feel responsible. I'm sorry I am rambling on but I needed to do something, get some advice on how to handle him because he isn't opening up about his feelings about it... I am so worried. How do you approach this without them feeling pressured? It's such a touchy thing I want to pressure him to get help, but then again hes a very closed up person that I don't want to pressure him too much and add to the stress...

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I can relate 100% to your post.

In 2015 my youngest son (39) took his life.

He suffered from depression and tried alcohol as self-medication.

Of course your son needs help but there is only so much you can do if he's resisting.

You can try to reach out and be supportive and comforting.

I really know how difficult your predicament is and I offer my support to you.

Oscar

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43 minutes ago, Oscar K said:

I can relate 100% to your post.

In 2015 my youngest son (39) took his life.

He suffered from depression and tried alcohol as self-medication.

Of course your son needs help but there is only so much you can do if he's resisting.

You can try to reach out and be supportive and comforting.

I really know how difficult your predicament is and I offer my support to you.

Oscar

I'm so sorry to her that Oscar..  I can only imagine that losing a child is the hardest thing a parent could ever go through 😞 I am really afraid for him, I got to talk to my youngest son last night and he said that during his training in the Air Force they taught him the things to look for in people that may be (S) and the warning signs, and he said from spending time with his brother over the Holiday that he shows the behavior of possibly doing something... So now I'm more worried, I need to step in whether its pressuring him or not, he has got to get to a doctor and I would hate myself forever if I don't step in right now. It's actually a tough decision and he may hate me for doing it but as long as he starts feeling better I can deal with it. 

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43 minutes ago, Grounded said:

So now I'm more worried, I need to step in whether its pressuring him or not, he has got to get to a doctor and I would hate myself forever if I don't step in right now. It's actually a tough decision and he may hate me for doing it but as long as he starts feeling better I can deal with it. 

I think you should. Sure, he may hate you for it at first but so what? He'll get over it sooner or later and it is nothing compared to the self-hate you would feel if something were to happen to him and you didn't do everything in your power to help him get better. 

Also, please don't blame yourself for not noticing. Society teaches us that men must be strong, a guy who talks about his feelings is often ridiculed so we have a very strong imperative to not share our weaknesses. There's nothing you could have done to prevent that either, you can be super open with your kids but society will condition them to think that nonetheless. 

In any case, please do not feel guilty for passing on your genes. Genetics may predispose us to certain mental health issues but our life experiences also play a vital role in developing them, even if you were the perfect mother, you cannot control every aspect of your child's life and shield them from all bad experiences. As long as you did the best you could raising them there is nothing to feel guilty about. 

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How about being totally honest? Have you told him you deal with the same issues and that you understand? Also cover the issues about stigma and manliness that need to be pushed aside so the problem can be addressed?

Not a parent...just thoughts.

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Grounded,

I'm so sorry you are dealing.  Like Oscar, my only child a man, took his life in this thirties in 2014.  I didn't see him all that much because he had his own life, but I knew he had the family problem.  My father has also committed suicide.  I made an effort at one time, a decent effort, to follow my father and son, but failed.  I'm pretty much decided to see it to the end now.  

You are doing a great job. You do what you can when you can.  I didn't have much of that opportunity.  My guilt is such that it's evaporated as people have gone.  I can't handle it, that's a fact.  If the worst happens, the guilt is a phantom, an evil shadow, that you should not attempt to handle, not now, and not ever.  It's the essence of Hindu maya, a state of a false perception of life and how much your ego can effect it.  I hope your efforts are rewarded.

Bulgakov

Edited by Bulgakov
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