Depression hits home

My middle son finally, for the first time, admitted to me last night that he’s dealing with some pretty bad depression and anxiety. It’s been going on for quite a while, which I’d suspected, but he always changed the subject whenever I asked him about it before.

Apparently, I’m not the only one in the house who feels like the events of the past two weeks (with my husband’s surgery followed by a week-long weather disaster) was enough to push them to a breaking point. And no, I still don’t feel like I’ve recovered yet, either.

The good news is that my son is willing to try both medication and therapy. So I’m going to make some calls tomorrow to try to get appointments for him.

I’m really glad that he felt safe enough to tell me. He is really tightly closed-off in general and doesn’t let a lot of his emotions show. But little by little, gradually over the past couple of months, he’s started to let me in a bit.

As a mom, I can’t help but blame myself somehow. If I had done things differently, maybe he wouldn’t be so tightly closed-off. I feel like I should have done things differently to encourage him to show his emotions more, though I don’t know what I could have done. I guess I’m just glad that he’s finally talking to me, even a little bit.

My husband and I have both had our mental health struggles (I’ve sought treatment but my husband has not.) My oldest has mental health struggles as well. So I guess it shouldn’t surprise me that my middle child does, too. And I think it’s so courageous of him to admit to me that he needs help.

Still, this is not what I always pictured for my kids in their early 20s. I pictured them partying a lot, working a lot, hanging out with friends a lot, because those were the same things I did at that age. Yet of course, not much else is the same about life in general now compared to life 25 years ago.

I just hope that medication and therapy will help him. I’ve been so worried about him lately (which I told him.) I’ve been really hyper-aware lately that I’m going to lose my husband at some point and I can’t handle losing one of my kids, too. Fortunately, he said that he’s not suicidal, so that’s good, but hopefully getting help will prevent that.

Like I told him, getting help doesn’t have to be about how bad your problems are—it’s just a recognition that you’re not really happy and you deserve to be.

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