A parent’s worst nightmare (32)

Today a friend of mine is burying her son. He was 22 and had suffered from Depression and Asperger’s Syndrome during his short life. He committed suicide; it is every parent’s worst nightmare. She had lived with this fear for a while. She had tried to convince him to get more help, but he refused. No parent should ever have to bury a child, no matter how young or old. It’s not the right order of things.

This tragedy hit home because my son, age 20, also has had Depression issues over the last year and a half. He has shown some post trauma stress symptoms since the house fire, too. He’s had nightmares, and he had a breakdown just last month. Despite all this, a few days ago he told his father and me that he didn’t need therapy anymore. His issues were resolved. He and his doctor didn’t have much talk about now. It was a waste of money. Everything was cool. His father and I told him that he needed to continue while he made the transition back to school. Post trauma stress doesn’t just disappear in two months, we said. He had failed two semesters due to Depression, and we wanted to increase the odds for his success.

Parenting adult children is, in many ways, harder than parenting young ones. Physically, the younger ones zap your energy more, but emotionally, the teen and young adult years are much more stressful – for both parents and offspring. I’m an adult now. You can’t make me. It’s my choice. You don’t understand. Hmm, sounds like the teen years all over again. His relationship with his dad and me has definitely gone downhill the longer he’s lived at home. We want him to be independent, too, back on campus, doing well at school. His dad and stepmom and I all feel the stress of having him at home, and we understand that it’s stressful for him, too. But we’re also worried. We think he’s in denial about post trauma stress and his Depression. His problems won’t all disappear the minute he moves away from home though he firmly believes they will. And yet he’s right. We can’t make him. He’s 20, legally an adult. We can only hope for the best. And worry.

Booties from the baby years survived the fire and smoke

This entry was posted in Depression, Family, Friends, House Fire, My Life, Personal Memoir, Post-Trauma Stress, Relationships, Stress, Suicide, Therapy and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to A parent’s worst nightmare (32)

  1. Pingback: It’s not really the end … (103) | Shoshwrites

  2. shoshwrites says:

    Thanks for your comment. I think awareness about depression and autism and Asperger’s is growing, but unfortunately, so is misinformation. We just have to keep it out there and make it more socially acceptable to discuss these topics, too.

  3. Thank you for writing this post. My cousin was diagnosed with autism at the age of 18. We always thought something might be wrong with her, but she was never diagnosed properly. Then when the time came where there was an answer to our questions, she was not willing to receive treatment. At one point she did seek some kind of help at a group home, but that didn’t last long.

    I was frustrated when I found out the news. I know that if you are diganosed earlier there is more hope for you, specially the first three years of life. Therefore, I decided to take out my frustrations in my art and painted a ceramic life-size dog for autism awareness. Fortunately, the word about got out and I was featured in the paper. Before that I felt hopeless, but once I did something constructive I felt better.

    My heart always goes out to people that have autism. Also, I can understand on a personal level what it is like to suffer through depression. I was diagnosed with major depression even before the fire. My advice to other parents out there is to be careful with anti-depressants perscribed to young adults. Somtimes doctors think they are helping by perscribing these medications, but in young adults it can make the situation worse.
    Here is my doghttp://www.flickr.com/photos/inspirationsstudio/3792314084/in/set-72157624365212769
    the article http://journalinquirer.mycapture.com/mycapture/enlarge.asp?image=24106346&event=775253&CategoryID=22698

  4. shoshwrites says:

    Thank you, Melinda. I don’t know what the future will bring as far as my writing, but writing this journal-blog is helping me get through this challenging time.

  5. Melinda Vollmer says:

    You are SUCH a good writer and the photos you include are so perfect and artistic. I hope you can expand this talent in the days ahead; write books, work for a magazine or something in that line. Sorry for all the trauma you’ve gone through recently. It is true that we cannot grow except through pain. God bless and keep you, Melinda

  6. shoshwrites says:

    Thank you for your comments, Jill. Certainly these issues can be treated, but even more importantly, the ‘child’ has to accept treatment. I’m so glad your nephew was able and willing to get help; it’s not always the case, unfortunately. My own son does not have Asperger’s, but his younger stepbrother does, so some of the challenges are not unknown to us. The problem of denial and/or refusal to get help, though, is all too common with this age group.

  7. Jill Miller says:

    Shosh, my nephew has Asperger’s. He is 22 and is a thriving and intelligent young man. It wasn’t always that way. With the proper medications (which took years to find), he has gone to college, works and is learning to drive. There were several years when he was home schooled. When he entered college, he took classes online. Over the last several semesters, he has taken classes on campus. His parents has had many tough years with him, including hospitalization and calling the police because his temper was very threatening. With each year, he gets better and better and has achieved so much. There is hope for all.

  8. shoshwrites says:

    My son gets angry that I worry about him. He won’t understand until he has his own.

  9. shoshwrites says:

    I didn’t know about your son’s sad event. Sorry to hear this.

  10. shoshwrites says:

    It’s also a Yiddish saying (maybe all cutures have it). I guess it’s one of the universal truths.

  11. Debby says:

    I agree that the teen and young adult years are much more stressful. I hope that your friend has folks around her to comfort her in this time. Watching our son bury his infant daughter was also very difficult.

  12. Celia says:

    This brings to mind my Grandma Sarah’s one liner (well…two) (Read with heavy Russian accent for full effect): Little children, little problems. Big children, big problems.” This goes hand in hand with: “Too soon old(t), too late s(h)mart.”

  13. Althea Lee says:

    I’m sure most parents would agree, that we never stop worrying about our children, but it is less worry when they are little and on your knee, then when they become adults and on your heart.

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