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I think this place may be able to help you even if your son doesn't have a formal dx. Even if they can't, they might have some ideas for you.

 

http://www.npitx.org/About.htm

 

 

nonpareil trains and places people on the spectrum in tech jobs. Their focus isn't on college grads from what I've read, but they're the closest to what you need that you can find. I think you're in Dallas, so they're local.

 

I think you need to know where the mental health ER is. For example, in Houston, there is ONE place you can take a minor in crisis. I learned this the hard way. Try to get ahead of it before you're panicked and trying to google.

 

:grouphug:

 

 

ETA: I went back to your old thread about the lost internship and reread. I would concentrate on getting a diagnosis ASAP. If he's on the spectrum, it will help him seek help and qualify for it. If not, you need to know what you are dealing with.

Edited by chiguirre
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Talking suicide is considered being a threat to yourself. If he's telling you this, I would absolutely take him at face value and get help today.

 

In an ideal world, he would already have a dx, but at this point not having one is probably more damaging to his mental health than getting one would be. A diagnosis isn't going to make him X, Y or Z. It will just give him a shorthand way to describe his struggles. It is also the necessary first step to getting him access to professional social skills training and job coaching.

 

I'm sorry you're going through this struggle but this is not the time to wait and see if things get better on their own.

 

ETA: I think any therapist can point you in the right direction to getting a dx. It might take a while to get an appointment and hopefully they can get you in quicker than you could on your own.

Edited by chiguirre
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From the conversation you describe, it seems that he makes it quite clear he has no desire to talk to you about this. I do not think that forcing the discussion is helpful at this point.

Where is his father in all this? Can he talk to him?

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That's probably not enough for the ER, but I'd be taking him to a someone today. IMHO, that's a pretty alarming thing to say out loud to your parents. You will not regret overreacting, you might bitterly regret underreacting. If you can't get him in somewhere else, go to the ER and they will at least speed up the process of getting him seen and evaluated.

 

:grouphug:

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Great... some of you say quit encouraging some say only encourage. I don't want to screw up again. I need the right answer.

I said dont encourage because what you are describing as encouragement is basicaly the finger in the back propelling the kid. Thats good for a younger kid. Effective encouragement at this age is more along the lines of coaching, and it expresses confidence that he has the tools to handle the job, and he will get 'er done. It should be supportive..you have his back and you are there to aid when asked, or when you see a big need. Its forthright. Ask him each morning what he needs from you. Let him think it thru.

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ok, based on additional info, I say stop asking him stuff.

 

(deleted personal stuff) . We've been on the mental health roller coaster in this family. 

My one piece of advice is really this: STOP ASKING STUFF.  It does not help & only wrecks your relationship.

Only one person can ask stuff and that is a qualified therapist who knows when to push and when to back off. Your q about long term plans??? Holy cow. That would have triggered a much bigger response here, the kind you take months to recover from.

You are trying to fix and control stuff and you CANT. Encourage him to go back to therapy, drive him there, but do not talk about it.

 

Make certain subjects (school, job, future) absolute no go zones UNLESS the person initiates the conversation & even then, your job is to make encouraging noises, & listen for as long as the person wants to talk, you make NO commentary.  

 

Edited by hornblower
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OK, he's excited and starting the MOOC class; this is excellent. I do not think this is the time to push him on long term plans, he's just not in a place to tackle that question mentally.

 

He has a psychiatrist back at school but didn't like him? Find a new one and make an appointment for him.

 

It seems to me that a full neuropsychological workup may be in order. I would go ahead and get the ball moving on that--locate someone in the vicinity of his school and schedule an intake appointment. Send them a write-up of your observations and concerns. Tell your son about it when you think he is in a receptive mood.

 

Doing some footwork to find internship opportunities for during the school year sounds good.

 

He's not a minor, but if his brain is not functioning 100% he is going to need as much outside support as he will accept until he can get healthy. 

 

Re: suicide--you say he has no concrete plan. Do you know that for sure? Have you asked him specifically about it? It is unlikely he would volunteer that information.

 

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I guess I also don't see how I "take" him.  If I were to call my psych and manage to get him in fairly soon ( which is doubtful).  He doesn't want to go.  I cannot put him in the car.  He would run off to the woods.  He seems better today and engaged in this class.

 

I once made an appointment for my husband right after an appointment we were both attending for one of my kids. I told him about the second appointment when we were at the first and talking with the dr.--he wasn't going to act out because there was another person in the room.

 

It was a sneaky tactic but dh was irrational enough at the time that desperate measures were called for. That appointment got him back headed in a healthy direction.

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Great... some of you say quit encouraging some say only encourage. I don't want to screw up again. I need the right answer.

 

I don't think you screwed up before...

 

Doing what we think is best at any given point is not screwing up.

 

Having kids who have physical or mental issues is not screwing up (unless drug/alcohol use was involved before birth and I don't think that's the case here).

 

Not knowing what the future holds or what to do isn't screwing up either.

 

All those things are part of being human.

 

Yeah.  It is why I hate parenting.  You cannot add 1 and 1 and get 2.  It is the reason if I had it to do over again I would not have children.  I am the ultimate failure.  I am a fabulous teacher of other people's kids.  I am a rotten mom.

 

This is making me wonder who's depressed...

 

Having a kid with physical and/or mental issues doesn't make someone a rotten mom.

 

Physical abuse or neglect do, but that doesn't appear to be the issue here either.

 

I can understand being frustrated - we all would be (most likely).  What happened to him with those jobs is a nasty setback.  But the sun rises the next day and we're still there for our kids.

 

BTW, since you're so interested in trying to help him, I'd put you in the category of a very GOOD mom.

...

 

Your conversation with him is making me think he's not at all comfortable with how he's feeling.  He seems to be feeling like a failure - perhaps to you, perhaps to himself, perhaps both.  He doesn't know how to handle it.  Granted, he's not open to talking with you about it (as others have said), but I see that more as a wall than anything else.  I wouldn't stop.  I'd build from it. I'd try to break through the wall. OR I'd see to it that someone else had a chance to.

 

Some kids build walls (ask me how I know...) and they actually want someone to care enough to stick around chipping away at it until they finally break through.  Those who stop, don't care.   Everyone stops.  No one cares.  (I know, it's horrid reasoning, but it's how they see it.)

 

I'd drop the job part - too far off and too connected to losing the internships, plus too big of a step right now.

 

I'd probably stick with the "I'm really concerned about how you're doing" while still recognizing that he's male and males have an extremely tough time putting how they're feeling into words.  I don't even think they associate words with feelings sometimes.  That's why "doing" is the word choice and not "feeling."

 

"Life is rough, but it gets better" could be the theme I suppose.  It's honestly tough to know without being on the spot.  When I talk with kids at school who share about hard times, I honestly don't preplan.  I go off what I'm hearing and seeing.  Mostly I let them share, agree with their thoughts, and offer small steps - sometimes just a single small step that they CAN accomplish and follow it up with "feel free to talk with me anytime, because I care."  Invariably they want to know someone cares and someone understands.  I rarely chase them down to talk (have sometimes and it's been worth it, but again, that's an on the spot call).  I let them know I'm there.  I break through the wall by listening and supporting.  They'll often (not always) take up my suggestions because they're small enough they can do them and I've won their trust by listening and supporting.

 

I'm sure I make mistakes and never hear about them.  But letting them know I care seems to override a whole lot.

Edited by creekland
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ps  Are you sure he is depressed and not just bummed about what's going on - not having a job when his friends/peers do - and unsure what to do about it?  If he's lacking people skills (as mentioned by not wanting to go back to the office manager due to a freeze up, etc), then he's merely uncomfortable with all of that.  He's likely still feeling like a failure, but that doesn't automatically mean he's depressed.

 

Is there a MOOC course on human behavior of some sort that he can study on his own terms/time?  My aspie-ish son learned a LOT on his own when given some tools to do so.  He preferred learning some of those things on his own.  (He also took a public speaking course that taught him more.)

 

If he's just bummed, then continually bringing anything about it up only reinforces that.  He can bring it up, of course, but no one else ought to.  Instead, just go back to treating him like any other member of the family - loving him, including him, praying for him.

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There is no one right answer. That's what makes parenting young adults so tricky.

 

:grouphug:

 

Yup. My son is almost 19, so remember that too. What I say is how *I* view the situation with a few less years into this parenting an adult thing. Plus I have a different kid and we have different circumstances and relationships to deal with. 

 

Yeah.  It is why I hate parenting.  You cannot add 1 and 1 and get 2.  It is the reason if I had it to do over again I would not have children.  I am the ultimate failure.  I am a fabulous teacher of other people's kids.  I am a rotten mom.

 

You are not a failure, you are a parent. Remember this isn't about YOUR success, you cannot hinge your parenting around whether kids are logical beings. Humans are not logical beings and will go 50 different directions when you might just see one or two that appear best. 

 

Congratulations on his MOOC, I hope he enjoys it. 

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Sigh... I am so confused.  I thought you guys told me to ask him stuff and talk to him.  I am getting such conflicting advice...  

 

I definitely disagree with those who say to stop - IF he's actually depressed (see my above post).  But you might change what you ask about - modifying it as you go along so as not to appear to be nagging or trying to go too far.  That's what one needs to do when there is no single right answer.

 

Stopping tends to be a great way to ensure to others that no one cares.  I've seen really bad results with that.  Hounding is a great way to be considered nagging, but there are kids who prefer this TBH.  For others, there's a happy medium you have to feel for.

 

If they aren't depressed, then it's all too much.

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Sigh, this weekend just through me for a loop.  I've had a great spring and summer so far.  I cannot tell you how excited I am about my new teaching job.  I'm sitting here printing off things for my 4 preps.  I need to get in my room but don't have a key yet, maybe tomorrow.  I was so excited about having my life back and now....  I may not.  Wondering if I should have taken the job.  What happens if he gets worse?  

We are supposed to leave in our trailer for 2 weeks in a little less than 2 weeks.   Now not sure, especially since middle on just came in and announced it looks like he has a job in Alaska on a mission job.  ( We'll find out for sure this afternoon.)  So either he comes with us or we stay is what I think is most reasonable...

 

I'd keep your job.  Your health counts too.

 

Does he want to go with you on vacation?

 

ps  Being on twitter, etc, all the time isn't necessarily depression either.  Oodles and oodles of youngsters his age do it.  It can be addictive.  A vacation could be a good break - esp if it's not depression but just his being bummed about the job situation.

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Sigh... I am so confused.  I thought you guys told me to ask him stuff and talk to him.  I am getting such conflicting advice...  

 

I'm guessing none of the nice people on this thread is a psychiatrist.  I'm assuming that none of us have met you or your son in real life.  I'm guessing that some of us may have had some experience with mental illness, and maybe some of us have not.  

 

We all want you and your son to be well, but you need to take our advice with the above caveats and with a grain of salt.  I'm keeping you and your son in my thoughts and hoping for a positive resolution.  

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Sigh... I am so confused.  I thought you guys told me to ask him stuff and talk to him.  I am getting such conflicting advice...  

 

As far as I'm concerned there's only one question that needs to be asked: "are you thinking of hurting yourself?"

 

That's it.  Talking to him is different. It's "holy cow, did you see that new movie ad? That looks like the most absurd premise ever! Did you see the trailer? It kind of reminds me of that other thing we saw last year, you know, the one with that actor whose voice bugs me...? remember?" 

 

That's talking.

 

You keep a gentle stream of non threatening, pleasant conversation going.

 

You could ask stuff like 'do you mind helping me get those boxes down from the shelf in the closet later today?' If he hangs around or offers to help more, you always say yes & always find something to do together.

 

You offer outings, even if it's rigged outings. Like, if you know he likes a certain store on the other side of town you manufacture an excuse why you need to go there & say "hey, I have to go to ____ and it's close to that store you like. Wanna come?"  

 

It's just talking and hanging out and encircling them with comfort and companionship but keeping low to no pressure about any serious things. Not unless they open the door to talk.  

 

 

 

 

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Asked and answered this weekend.  This is the  type of conversation is what I normally have with him. Every few days I gently ask him about if he called so and so.  But yes, that is what I meant earlier by not wanting to push.  I asked again this morning because you posters told me to....  Sigh.  Then 8 said I should be tomato staking him.  ( Which doesn't sound right to me either.) 

 

Daijobu is absolutely correct that none of us have met him or seen what is going on.  We're only working off what we read in here and there IS no single right answer that works for all humans in all situations.  There are plenty of answers that will work sometimes.  I know even with my own thoughts, "it all depends..."  What I can sense and do in person with a kid sharing at school (or even adults sharing) is totally different than trying to answer something hypothetically in writing.

 

And then there are times when the #1 thing I do is call guidance as I listen.  They call in the professionals.

 

Have you asked your therapist how they'd handle it?

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No hospital will take him because he has no plans. Plus, I worry about that being on his record as well. He says he is fine. That said look at other thread to see how I am working with him.

 

He was only actually suicidal when they put him on the Lexapro. Before that he wasn't. He is off all meds.

 

This is from another thread.  I deleted it there and moved it here per SeekingHim's request.

 

I am confused. Either he is talking about wishing God would just kill him or he isn't. If he is, that is suicidal. Wishing to die is not a normal 21 mental health state. If I had a child tell me that they had been thinking about that for the past year, I would take the comments seriously.  I would not assume that he is just venting.  How many stories have been told of kids who committed suicide b/c no one took their comments seriously?

 

It sounds like he was mainly being treated for anxiety and not depression?  Did he stop seeking help when he went off lexapro? Summer would have been a good time for medical trials with different meds.  

 

FWIW, a single morning of acting "better" is not negate a comment that he stated encompasses a year.  

 

Your son is deflecting his emotions and sense of failure on to you.  They are not your personal responsibility or fault.  Do not let him suck you into his emotional vortex.  This isn't about you or your parenting.  It is about his mental state and what transpires next.

 

I agree with Creekland.  I wouldn't let it go and tip toe around him.  That is not how I parent and it is not how I interact with my kids.  

 

If he insists he is emotionally fine, I would say suck it up butter cup and get yourself in gear and work on the website and add it to your resume.  

 

If he isn't ok, then I would not let this continue for months without resolution.  I would NOT take the attitude that he needs to go back to school in the fall and finish his degree.  His degree will be waiting for him if he goes back in the spring or the following fall.  Mental stability would be my number one concern.  You keep saying he is 21 and you can't make him do anything unless he wants to.  Close up the bank of mom and dad.  He is not acting like an adult, so I wouldn't give him carte blanche on making his own decisions.  

 

But, I am a parent who has really, really struggled with a very, very, very (I am not sure I can emphasize those verys enough) difficult adult child.  I am no longer a softie who just wants to coddle and make things OK.  I have had to parent him with tough love b/c he will not function otherwise.  So my perspective is skewed by that experience.

 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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IMO the advice that 8FillTheHeart gives is potentially dangerous in a person suffering from moderate to severe mental illness. 

I would rather have an unemployed, aimless adult child living in my home than be visiting a graveyard. 

That's why you're getting differing advice.   I think tough love is much too risky. Others disagree. 

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IMO the advice that 8FillTheHeart gives is potentially dangerous in a person suffering from moderate to severe mental illness. 

 

I would rather have an unemployed, aimless adult child living in my home than be visiting a graveyard. 

 

That's why you're getting differing advice.   I think tough love is much too risky. Others disagree. 

 

I think you misunderstand my advice, probably b/c the posts are on the other thread.  My advice to her was to seek immediate medical intervention through the ER.  She is the one that was downplaying the seriousness of his mental state.  The tough love I am recommending is that he has no option but to get medical help and not act like everything is OK b/c he signed up for a MOOC.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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I think you misunderstand my advice, probably b/c the posts are on the other thread.  My advice to her was to seek immediate medical intervention through the ER.  She is the one that was downplaying the seriousness of his mental state.  The tough love I am recommending is that he has no option but to get medical help and not act like everything is OK b/c he signed up for a MOOC.

 

oh sorry. Yes, it's confusing. I agree then. If that's what he's saying, it needs to be taken seriously and needs immediate intervention. I agree. 

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I guess I also don't see how I "take" him.  If I were to call my psych and manage to get him in fairly soon ( which is doubtful).  He doesn't want to go.  I cannot put him in the car.  He would run off to the woods.  He seems better today and engaged in this class.

Since your husband is a doctor, can't he make some phone calls and get your son in to see someone within a few days? :grouphug:

 

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If you are going on a trip absolutely take him with you, a person with any kind of suicidal tendencies--even just wishing to be dead--should absolutely not be left without supervision for an extended period.

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How do you suggest I go about doing this? That was the whole point of having him call his psychologist.

Just as I suggested above: you make seeing a therapist provisional upon living in your house. You do not micromanage. You just say it, give him a bit of time (like three weeks), and you hold a line. Your son is not stupid or incapable. He needs to be treated as an adult. Adults do things they do not necessarily want to (like pay bills, show up to work, make doctor's appointments) because of direct consequences. If they are too stubborn, the consequences are a bit of a drag. It has nothing to do with anything other than life. Sometimes life is a bit of a drag.

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He will be back at the university in 3 1/2 weeks. So there is no timeline that would work. I haven't asked again about him calling the psychologist in Waco. Should I? Some of you said quit talking about it. BTW, when he WAS suicidal it was very hard to find a psych taking a new patient as well. The guy at the counseling center said there was a severe shortage there.

There is nothing you are going to be able to do in that timeframe. Hell, there is probably nothing he is going to be able to do in that timeframe.

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He will be back at the university in 3 1/2 weeks. So there is no timeline that would work.  I haven't asked again about him calling the psychologist in Waco.  Should I?  Some of you said quit talking about it.  BTW, when he WAS suicidal it was very hard to find a psych taking a new patient as well.  The guy at the counseling center said there was a severe shortage there. 

 

OK, you need to call now and make appointments. Your son has ongoing mental health struggles, he needs a psychiatrist. There might be more openings now than there will be after students are back at school, in any case you know there is going to be a waiting period so call now. If this were my child I would make appointments with at least two psychiatrists if you can find two who are taking new patients, this will allow him to choose the one he is more comfortable with. I would insist he go to those appointments, doing everything in my power to get him on board with seeking appropriate professional care for his mental health struggles just as he would if he had an ongoing issue with his digestive system or pulmonary system or any other body part. The brain needs attention when it is struggling to function properly. 

 

You do NOT want to wait until he is in an active crisis (such as imminent threat of suicide)--in that circumstance the only choice is an ER, but you will have many more options if he already has a mental health care team in place. Get him an initial appointment so that he will not have to go through the new patient wait should things deteriorate.

 

Being brutally honest here: if he refuses to go to a psychiatric appointment that you set up for him, he is not ready to be on his own at school. I would not send him back without an agreement in place that he will follow up regularly with a mental health team.

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Just as I suggested above: you make seeing a therapist provisional upon living in your house. You do not micromanage. You just say it, give him a bit of time (like three weeks), and you hold a line. Your son is not stupid or incapable. He needs to be treated as an adult. Adults do things they do not necessarily want to (like pay bills, show up to work, make doctor's appointments) because of direct consequences. If they are too stubborn, the consequences are a bit of a drag. It has nothing to do with anything other than life. Sometimes life is a bit of a drag.

 

Sadly this does not always work when mental health is compromised--when the brain is not functioning properly rationality can be severely compromised and the person affected, while certainly not stupid, can in fact be incapable of basic decision making and especially of thinking through and acting appropriately in anticipation of consequences.

 

Basically, a person to whom suicide seems like good problem solving is not one who is thinking like a rational adult. 

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Will they let ME make an appointment for him since he is 21?

 

I regularly make appointments for my husband. They won't talk to me about what goes on in those appointments without his permission, but they don't question me making them. 

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He will be back at the university in 3 1/2 weeks. So there is no timeline that would work.  I haven't asked again about him calling the psychologist in Waco.  Should I?  Some of you said quit talking about it.  BTW, when he WAS suicidal it was very hard to find a psych taking a new patient as well.  The guy at the counseling center said there was a severe shortage there. 

 

 

Will they let ME make an appointment for him since he is 21?

 

I don't know if they will allow you to set up a new patient appointment or not.  

 

I am going to make a suggestion one more time and then bow out.  If I had a child that had talked about wishing he was dead, had contemplated suicide last year, and was as angry and frustrated as you say your ds is, heading back to school without an established mental health plan would not be an option.  Actually, I wouldn't want them going back until they were mentally stable. If he is already depressed and stressed, going back to school without any positive ending in his sights could actually increase the intensity of his emotions. 

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On a more immediate and practical level, does your son engage in any vigorous exercise? There have been a number of studies that show moderate exercise produces equivalent benefits to anti-depressants in cases of moderate depression. I think you mentioned he goes for walks but they would need to be of a certain intensity level to maximize the benefits. Can your husband perhaps go for a brisk walk each day with your son for companionship and motivation?  Or perhaps encourage doing a video exercise program. This is something he could do in the meantime until he can see a professional and is a good balance to a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise can also help reduce anxiety in some cases. 

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Didn't you say your husband called and made an appointment for you with a psychiatrist? I don't see why it would work differently for a child than for a spouse.

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Ok, I'm just having trouble with you guys saying not to send him back when he only lacks 20 hours of his degree.  

 

 

thank you

 

Edited by seekinghim45

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And what about the psycologist that he was seeing regularly last spring? The charges are with the association that he is no longer with. He works with the university. The thing is that if he wants to do that social anxiety group again ( have no idea if he wants to or not) then he cannot do that AND see a staff psycologist/therapist. He has to do one or the other.

That does not make sense, have you verified with them directly that a student cannot do both?

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Yes, they made an appointment for him to see the psychologist outside of the university.  It probably has to do with funds and available personell.  They can either do the group therapy with the university or individual but not both.   So last year he chose to do the group at the university and then saw the guy outside. 

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First of all, hugs to you. I completely understand the difficulties involved in getting mental health treatment for our young adults, even when one is in the medical field; I think it's especially difficult when you have a kid who seems to be doing "okay" to outside eyes...decent grades, no drugs, no violence. Everyone is all "Well, what's the problem?"And there are different boundaries with a young adult than there are with a minor child, of course, legally and otherwise. I had/have one of those kids; a daughter who attempted suicide a couple of years ago, Dean's List kid, exchange student, involved in church and other activities.

 

Honestly, apart from offering/strongly encouraging mental health treatment (and I would go ahead and make the appointment, especially with the three month waiting list. We actually had a six month waiting list for my daughter, and that was after the suicide attempt that left her on a ventilator. No lie. And, yes, you can make the appointment for your adult child. You just can't expect for the provider to share information about treatment, unless the person signs a release. And, of course, you can't force them to go), I'm not sure there is much you CAN do. I don't think dropping out of school is the answer, as long as he wants to attend. Depressed people don't care much about consequences, so even withdrawing financial support would probably not motivate him. If you have experienced depression yourself, you probably get that better than most.

 

However, a lot can happen in three or six months time, and having that appointment "just in case" would be a good idea, while you see if he gets to that place that he is receptive to help.

 

Unfortunately, it often takes a crisis to get help for our kids. It's a hard truth, and the nature of mental health care availability in our country (and I haven't seen evidence that there are other places doing it better, so that's not an indictment on our system.) It breaks our hearts as parents. It's an incredibly helpless feeling.

 

My daughter is doing much better now, but it's been an intense couple of years and I still perpetually wait for the other shoe to drop.

 

I hope you get your answers. I recognize that my response is probably not super encouraging; take it with a grain of salt, because I obviously don't know your situation personally. These things are complicated, and I'm not sure that there ever IS a 100% correct solution.

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