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For someone who has faced such difficult mental health issues, will following the same steps we would with a "regular" kid work?

Hi Mark,

Thanks so much for your response.

Many of the points you made are right on! We know where we are regarding lack of skills. I think my question is that my son has severe lack of coping skills and challenges re: depression. He's missed out on so much emotional growth because of his depression.

He is so behind that I question whether we can move him ahead on our own as parents. He is willing to go to therapy, but, honestly, usually shuts down at some point.

We are holding him to chores, not giving him any money, he has to do stuff around the house to earn use of the car daily. Still, this is excruciatingly slow. And I don't know whether he will ever decide to get a job. Rather, he just seems willing to sit in the basement when he runs out of money. (He has $55 left to his name.)

He has so far to go re: dealing with his emotions, accepting responsibility for making decisions and taking actions to move forward with his life . . . I think it would take 2 years if he were in a residential program . . . and we're at home moving at a much slower pace. He would definitely benefit from being somewhere else where someone besides use could hold him to consequences. Here, if he doesn't do something, he still gets to sit in my basement staring at the TV.

I'm not sure how to move forward. He is doing OK at this level, which is definitely better than where he was two months ago. The next level is getting him engaged in something such as a job, volunteer work, even working out at the gym!

My question is for someone who has faced such difficult mental health issues (and still is), will following the same steps we would with a "regular" kid work?

I'm afraid that we will have to evict him eventually and I don't want to do that because I don't want him to come apart again . . . without meds. I guess that's the real issue I have to face.

J.

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Hi J.,

Re: My question is for someone who has faced such difficult mental health issues (and still is), will following the same steps we would with a "regular" kid work?

He is a regular kid. Are you sure you paid attention to the "reframing" business in Fair Fighting [session #1 - online version].

Here's the reframe for depression (which should be your mantra as a parent of a depressed kid):

Depressed -- overwhelmed, quite, slowing down, taking inventory, reflecting on the past, possibility to rest, gaining strength before some trial or test, to mature important plans, reflection before action, hitting the brakes, placing one’s values and/or goals in a new order

You're still feeling sorry for him at some level. This will be -- and is -- a huge obstacle for the entire family.

Mark

My Out-of-Control Teen

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