Parental sup­port and help vi­tal

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ENTERTAINMENT - El­lie Tesher

Reader’s Com­men­taries - Re­gard­ing “the child that needs help,” in sit­u­a­tions as de­scribed by “Des­per­ate Fa­ther” (July 11):

Reader #1 - “I’m a young adult who suf­fers from de­pres­sion, anx­i­ety, and post-trau­matic stress dis­or­der (PTSD) as a re­sult of emo­tional abuse from a ro­man­tic part­ner.

“Dur­ing my rough­est times, I had zero sup­port from my par­ents.

“When I said I was see­ing a coun­sel­lor at univer­sity, they were an­noyed that I hadn’t “got­ten over” the abuse.

“Luck­ily, with the sup­port of the coun­sel­lor and friends, I was able to grad­u­ate and land a job.

“I imag­ine the son is go­ing through an ex­tremely dif­fi­cult time, and the par­ents prob­a­bly don’t know the full ex­tent of it.

“Yet they can’t force him to dis­close ev­ery­thing.

“I ad­vise them to ask him what he needs to be suc­cess­ful, and to truly lis­ten and pro­vide sup­port.

“Telling him which paths to take, or how he should be do­ing things, won’t be fruit­ful. He has to make those choices for him­self, and be sup­ported in his de­ci­sions.

“You can give some­one a fish, or you can teach them to fish, but you should first ask if they eat fish.”

Reader #2 - “I am, was, and have been the child that needed help. I’ve been deal­ing with de­pres­sion and as­sorted ec­cen­tric­i­ties, foibles and quirks that it’s foisted on me over years. I’m now 56.

“I’d tell Dis­traught Fa­ther this: Don’t do what my fam­ily did - they ig­nored it. Don’t pre­tend it’ll go away, it won’t.

“Here’s what you can tell your wife (El­lie: She won’t dis­cuss their son’s sit­u­a­tion with any­one) to ex­pect: I don’t work, haven’t in years, still suf­fer from de­pres­sion.

“I’m ter­ri­fied of peo­ple, any­one, ev­ery­one. I rarely leave home, rarely an­swer the door, and never an­swer the phone.

“I have no friends and no con­tact with two of my brothers.

“I suf­fer from gut-wrenching panic at­tacks fre­quently.

“I’m ob­ses­sive-com­pul­sive. Changes in my sched­ules can send me into a panic at­tack. I’ve cut my­selfÖ be­cause it stings, hurts, and lets me know I’m still alive.

“I did try years ago to get help, but the only ad­vice I got was to have my­self com­mit­ted.

“Hav­ing vis­ited my fa­ther in those places, that’ll never hap­pen.

“Will this hap­pen to your son? If he DOESN’T get help it’s very likely he’ll end up in the same space as me.

“Ask your­selves, what’ll hap­pen to your son af­ter you’re both gone and he’s truly alone?”

Reader #3 - “Young adults may try dif­fer­ent paths be­fore find­ing their fit. Be their cham­pion. Lis­ten. Have pa­tience.

“I’d sus­pect de­pres­sion, pos­si­ble fo­cus is­sues (a learn­ing dis­abil­ity), lack of con­fi­dence, or lack of prob­lem-solv­ing abil­ity. Or, some­thing not shared with you that’s dis­tress­ing him.

“Let him know you’re in his cor­ner. Don’t bring up past mis­takes, losses, or is­sues. †

“Sug­gest a doc­tor’s visit for a gen­eral check-up. Say you love him and his health’s im­por­tant.

“Ask what he’d like, go­ing for­ward.

“Look at your re­la­tion­ship at home. If you change your in­ter­ac­tions to very pos­i­tive ones, he’ll be­gin to change too over time.

“If you need a men­tal health spe­cial­ist, do the re­search to find one he’ll ac­cept. Sug­gest he de­cides through a phone in­ter­view. Don’t be nosy about the ap­point­ment if he goes.

“Let him know you’re not per­fect. Most peo­ple have had a men­tal health is­sue, like de­pres­sion, at some point.

“Be thank­ful your child is safe in your home and you can still help him.”

TIP OF THE DAY

A young adult child’s men­tal health is­sues strain ev­ery­one, but he/she des­per­ately needs parental sup­port and help.

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