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Supporting son with anxiety and depression

Community Member

Hi everyone lm new to this forum , Our young adult son suffers anxiety and depression which he has had for a while now. He was working full time but not working now , he drinks to calm his nervous system and has now no friends because of his behaviours when drinking. He has no money and if he does he just blows it ,and we find that we are paying for things to try and get him back on track . He doesn’t want to live with us but can’t pay his way for food or rent Independently. He has recently gone on anti depression tablets but will still drink with them which causes problems.He has a girlfriend who has her own mental health issues and we find this very hard because she will buy his alcohol pay his rent and food and basically enables his lifestyle of watching movies.Although she works full time that are both extremely unmotivated and lazy. We have asked her not to pay for everything ,but she still does it.He says he will get work and sort his life but nothing changes. They are living at home at the moment ,but we have said that the girlfriend can’t live here long term. How do we give him the tools to realise the relationship is not helping him to gain confidence and to be independent without pushing him away.

7 Replies 7

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Nellie22,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for this post.

When going through anxiety and depression it is common for someone to fall into a rut. This is may be due to the fear of possible failure when applying themselves through the anxiety, or due to the depression which causes a person to lack motivation. My only recommendation would be to seek advice from a psychologist or GP. By encouraging him to attend an appointment, the psychologist will help him to implement techniques to increase his independence and possibly reduce the drinking. Speaking to him one on one and having a calm conversation and asking him how really he is, may help him to open up about his situation and struggles. By pushing him away from his girlfriend, it may aggravate the situation and your relationship with your son. Instead, make him realise his positive points by reminding him that you love him and are proud of him, and just want to see your son happy and healthy.

Would love to hear from you and hope this helps x

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hello and welcome to the beyond blue forums. It sounds quite upsetting and frustrating for you with everything that is happening.

Maddeline has given good advice that I won't repeat. You also seem to have a good understanding re alcohol and medication.

What I can suggest is...

Have you been able to tell him the effect this is having on you. You obviously care very much as you are posting here. At the same time it seems upsetting as well. If you can use I communication vs you he may want to cooperate.

This is a big IF... I had trouble concentrating and brain fog. Ie forget things. While he may want to change, the next day that is all in the past. And then lack of motivation.

HE didn't ask for this but also needs to take some responsibility. And if you get to have this conversation he may also open up about what troubles him as well and together work out a way forward.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

There been some very good advice to date.

My own personal view if in your situation is to set him and his girlfriend up in a unit as a new start. Planned with that move should be a previously discussed list of actions like looking for work, his girlfriend agreeing not to enable him with his drinking and commencement with AA to tackle the alcohol issue.

Until then his motivation will remain wanting. It's a personal view based on the impact major change can make to a person stuck in a rut. This idea could be a last ditch effort.


Thank you for your kind words ,Our Son has got an appointment with physiologist in a couple of weeks and a follow up GP appointment as well. We are trying to stay calm but it’s frustrating when, lack of communication or what seems lack of regard for our feelings and support is something we deal with a lot. We find that he moves on from words and actions and we are still distressed. It definitely is a roller coaster but we do love him very much and just want him to feel better. Thanks again

Thanks for taking the time to offer some help. Yes he does need to be responsible and stay motivated in the long term, He says he is ok and will sort things out,finances employment ect but it doesn’t happen.He uses excuses and will say he is waiting for a call but doesn’t seem to complete or follow through on things,which is frustrating for us and causes me anxiety because ultimately we sort it. Thanks again

Hi TonyWK Thanks for tackling our issue .We have supported both our Son and girlfriend physical and financially with a new rental and have given furniture ect . We have paid for Car expenses so he can go to work, We can’t keep paying for him .We have continually asked girlfriend not to enabled his drinking and follow through on what she puts in place,but unfortunately she doesn’t do this longer than a few days. The girlfriend will also go back to our son and tell him our concerns. Thanks for your time,

Hi Nellie22,

I am glad to hear that your son has an appointment Through the sessions, as he gains more independence, I hope he will gain more regard and awareness of the impact his life has on you. Continue being such a great parent, and make sure to look after your own mental health. It is very difficult to see your child struggle, and it is definitely something that could also take a toll on you.

Thank you for responding x