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My son had a mental breakdown

alexinlv's picture
Posts: 194
Joined: Jul 2010

I don't post often but for four years you all have been a source of strength inspiration for me as a caregiver.  So, if anyone can relate, I know it is you. My 20 year old son, who has been a rock through his dad's illness, had a mental breakdown.  After 14 hours of ER and hospitals yesterday, he is admitted to a place to get help.   I am so blindsided by this.  he has been the steady one all along. He has never shown any signs of emotional illness.   He is a college student and is supposed to start back at school on Monday, which is also the day my husband has a pet scan.  I am so filled with sadness and pray my boy comes back to us stronger and as himself.  Thank you for listening.  XO Alex

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

You have really just ended up with way too much going on.  I can understand how hard this is.  My oldest daughter has bipolar disorder, which she developed when she was 14.  We had the year from hell, during which she experienced delusional thinking and a lot of other very upsetting behavior.  It was incredibly difficult finding a decent psychiatrist, and find the right combination of medications to treat her issues.  But we got through it, and now, as a 22 year old, she is doing really well.

Mental health issues are a huge challenge, especially given how we approach them in this country, treating them as they are somehow "different" from other kinds of health problems, when in fact they are not.  Physical disorders of the brain are no different than physical disorders of the lungs, or heart, or whatever, and should be treated as such, imo.

If you want to talk with me further about this, pls feel free to pm me.  I'm happy to give whatever help I can.


Posts: 2215
Joined: Oct 2011

I am so sorry to hear this. I really don't have any good advise. I just wanted to say that you seam like such a sweet person and that my heart goes out to you and your family.

Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

You have so much going on already. Just know there's hope. Get your son the help he needs. My older daughter is also bipolar. She was in high school when she was diagnosed and is now married and turning 30 in a few weeks. She is healthy and happy. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. With a good doctor and the correct meds, he should do well. I wish you lots of luck. You can also pm me if you need to chat. Please, please make sure you take care of yourself. This has to be very stressful for you!


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009


I don't have children so I can't truly comment on an offspring/parent relationship.


At 20, he is approaching the gates of adulthood and some of the issues that arise from this particular phase.  And it could be possible that he is beginning to understand all that is really transpiring....at least as much as he allows himself to understand. 

One cannot be strong 24/7 no matter who they are....just doesn't happen that way. In some ways, it is a front that is used to portray feelings one way - while feeling totally the opposite feeling.  Things just may have hit the tipping point on where you son finds himself today.

I agree with the help and/or meds.  It's okay to be vulnerable....I don't trust anybody who isn't, because it is not real over the long haul.  This release and cry for help may have been his way of dealing with his dad's recent diagnosis.  Perhaps, he sees something now and knows it is a long haul situation and won't be going away quickly. 

I'm sorry that he feels that way, but glad you can get him help and support needed.....dTony needs to know that things will work out with your son , so he doesn't worry incessantly.  Perhaps, just dome good old dad "reassurance" will go a long way in some healing. '

A big family hug seems to be in order.....here is ours to you & yours.

((((Alex & Fam))))


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 6722
Joined: Feb 2009

So sorry you are going through this.  Sometimes when one seems really strong through difficult situations, they really are buring their true feelings and then it can come out and erupt in a manner we never would have throught.  I'm hoping that he can get the health that he needs.  I'm praying for all of you.


Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

So sorry to hear of this new problem.  Your plate is certainly full!  It's a pitty there is such a stigma attached to mental health issues.  He will get through this and so will you.  Think of this problem as being no different than Diabetes or any other physical illness.  He will get on the right treatment path and be able to get it under control and get on with his life.  I am more concerned about you.  You must feel overwhelmed with several serious issues on your mind all at once.  I'm sure you worry youself to sleep every night.  Please remember to look after yourself.  You seem to have a lot of people relying on you.  



alexinlv's picture
Posts: 194
Joined: Jul 2010

You all have brought tears to my eyes for sure.  Thank you for the love and supporT.  I am humbled and strengthened through you. your advice I will take an try my best to take care of me.  My heart breaks for my two girls who are always lost in he shuffle.  

Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

Please let us know how he's doing!

devotion10's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Jan 2010

Peace. ~ Cynthia

Posts: 1607
Joined: Aug 2012

Alex - I'm so sorry to read this.  You must feel ready to explode.    Come here and vent away - we get it.  This is such a hard road for the whole family and I often wonder what is going on in the kids' heads.  I hope your son makes a quick recovery and can get back to school.

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

We are sending our thoughts and prayers fr your son's and families strength for a continued fight aginst the battle of cancer!


We some times forget how much the care giver's battle is!   Your son has a lot to deal with at 20!   Tell him he is a trooper, and many of us areon his side!  He has our prayers and strength for his own continued strength!   


We alll fight this battle.  We sometimes forget that our loved ones are fighting just as hard. Life is a perspective, and his changed. Does he have the support, etc....  ?   Let him know he is not alone, he has the support, and that many are supporting his journey!


Best Always,  mike

PS  I am allways afraid that the journey is harder on my family then on me.


herdizziness's picture
Posts: 3642
Joined: Apr 2010

It is a blindside isn't it?  I was surprised when this past year my son quit going to most of his classes, stopped turning in assignments on time if at all, and it turns out that apparently my illness has been the culprit of some sort of depression for him.  This shocked me, he seems to have been doing so well, he had a high GPA kept throwing encouragement to me, always stopping by checking on me at home and at infusions, the part where he stopped being interested in school and all that was kept from me, so I was shocked when I found he dropped out of college just a few credits short of graduating.  I remain frightened about him mostly for when I die, if my cancer is doing this now to him, what is going to happen when I'm gone?  It scares me so much. I look at him and will him to be strong, sending every vibe I can.  I just want you to know that your son's suffering isn't unusual I don't think in our cancer world.

Im glad your son is where he needs to be to get the help that is needed.  My heart reaches put to you and your family, you are not alone.


Winter Marie

Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

Oh my dear Alex,

I am so very very sorry that your son had a breakdown and I pray that he gets the help he needs.  I know that with good care and meds he can be fine but I am sure that this is extremely difficult right now. 

I am sending all my love to your family.



Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

I sent you a PM.

alexinlv's picture
Posts: 194
Joined: Jul 2010

Thank you all for the support. Definitely one of the hardest parts of this journey so far.  Now to hear my husband saying it would be so easier if he himself wasn't here as he has caused this pain in our family.  He feels a tremendous amount of guilt.   Tomorrow is his pet scan and I won't be going with him.  Tues he gets results and I may try to fly there for be day to be with him for that appointment.  Wednesday, back to work for me??!!  Man, the pressure is on, cuz I have to work as I'm the only one working and I hold the insurance.  I'll keep you updated with scan results.   XO

devotion10's picture
Posts: 631
Joined: Jan 2010

by your husband checking to see if he is eligible for social security disability insurance and Medicare coverage as a result of his cancer diagnosis? I suggest this because you mentioned you were the only one with medical insurance. 

Peace. ~ Cynthia





fatbob2010's picture
Posts: 467
Joined: May 2012

What a lot to add to your already full plate.  Please remain hopeful for his full recovery and return to you better than ever.  

I am adding a group hug from my family to yours as well.



pluckey's picture
Posts: 484
Joined: Jul 2009


I am so sorry to hear of your son's struggles.  Sometimes, breakdowns are just that, an instance, not a lifelong mental disorder.  I experienced one myself as a young mom, in the eye of a shitstorm of stress with my marriage etc.   I hope that in your son's case, it is his response to the stress of a sick parent, not a lifelong issue to deal with.


My youngest daughter was in middle school when I was diagnosed.  She checked out.  She did everything she could to be out of the sick house.  She saw me at my worst, barely alive, carried out in stretchers for each emergency etc...the collectors' calls....she acted tough and strong.....and then she wasn't.  A year after I was out of the woods we started counseling.  She had a few sessions, got it off her chest and is thriving and wonderful and moved on.  But it is a defining time for her and how she views the world and her relationship with me, money, life/death/faith


Best to you and your family to get through this.  






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