I don't know what to say to my son

I don't know what to say to my son

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blueg33

Original Poster:

21,678 posts

169 months

Friday 23rd August
quotequote all
Not sure if this is the right forum but its mental health related.

We have a good family friend who is my sons best friend, they have been close since the started senior school 12 years ago.

The friend suffers a bit from depression, he has been pretty low for a few weeks and my son has been trying to support him. Yesterday, my son got a text from his friend saying something along the lines of "this is the last you will hear from me"

My son tried to get back to his friend, but his friend had jumped from a high suspension bridge.

Amazingly the 300 foot plus fall didn't kill him, but he is in a very bad way.

My son is coming home in half an hour and I just don't know what to say to him. I go over it in my head time and again, but it just sounds like platitudes, I just feel helpless, and my son is devastated.

Sorry this is part unloading and part "help, how do I help my son deal with this". I worry about his mental health, he had another close friend who he had know since teh age of 3 die of leukemia a couple of years ago, and that hit him hard too.

roadsmash

1,095 posts

15 months

Friday 23rd August
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There’s nothing you can say to make it easier. Just tell him with no BS.

My opinion of course.

tweenster

23 posts

7 months

Friday 23rd August
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What an awful situation; so sad.

If it was my son, I would give him a big hug, tell him I love him and see where the conversation goes from there. There is no perfect answer that will make this better. Sometimes just saying "I don't know what to say, but if you need anything, I'm here for you" might be enough.

M4cruiser

1,762 posts

95 months

Friday 23rd August
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Nothing you can say that will be real help. it will take him time to get over it.
He did his best to help, that's what matters.


stuthemong

1,762 posts

162 months

Friday 23rd August
quotequote all
I'd start with, "it's not your fault. He is ill. You cannot beat yourself up over this. Be there for him & his family, but you bare no blame yourself. You must know this" .

Beyond that. Well, properly speak with your son, don't let him Bottle emotions

Best wishes to all involved.

Tyre Smoke

12,064 posts

206 months

Friday 23rd August
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I know if it was my son and me, I'd just give him a massive hug, tell him there's f-all I can say that can make it better or go away, but if you want to talk, here I am. And then just listen.

Somewhere in there, I'd probably hand him a beer/brandy/gin/scotch as well.

bristolbaron

1,244 posts

157 months

Friday 23rd August
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If it were me I’d be saying something along the lines of ‘dad’s are supposed to have all the answers, but sometimes there just aren’t any. However I’ll always be along side you and I’m there for you day and night, just knock/call and I’m yours’

Grahamdub

2,926 posts

88 months

Friday 23rd August
quotequote all
Make sure he talks to someone, rather than bottle everything up inside. If not you or one of his friends, then the Samaritans. He will have an awful lot going on in his head at the moment.

blueg33

Original Poster:

21,678 posts

169 months

Friday 23rd August
quotequote all
Grahamdub said:
Make sure he talks to someone, rather than bottle everything up inside. If not you or one of his friends, then the Samaritans. He will have an awful lot going on in his head at the moment.
Thanks, thats a good idea, I will suggest that.

oddman

740 posts

197 months

Saturday 24th August
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Assuming he survives his injuries (a big assumption) and when he's fit to leave the general hospital, the friend will almost certainly be admitted to a mental health unit. Under the Mental Health Act if necessary.

Assuming he has depression (rather than personality disorder) then there's every chance he could do well from a mental health point of view. It sounds counter intuitive but severe depression respond better than less severe as it's more responsive to the more potent treatments.

Sounds like your son has been a good friend. I'd read the suicide note/text as an acknowledgment of this. He shouldn't knock himself and try to carry on being the friend he has been up to now.

Mothersruin

7,624 posts

44 months

Saturday 24th August
quotequote all
As said above, make sure he understands his not his fault. He's been a good friend, can continue to be.

blueg33

Original Poster:

21,678 posts

169 months

Saturday 24th August
quotequote all
oddman said:
Assuming he survives his injuries (a big assumption) and when he's fit to leave the general hospital, the friend will almost certainly be admitted to a mental health unit. Under the Mental Health Act if necessary.

Assuming he has depression (rather than personality disorder) then there's every chance he could do well from a mental health point of view. It sounds counter intuitive but severe depression respond better than less severe as it's more responsive to the more potent treatments.

Sounds like your son has been a good friend. I'd read the suicide note/text as an acknowledgment of this. He shouldn't knock himself and try to carry on being the friend he has been up to now.
Thanks. Amazingly the friend has eaten some breakfast today and is asking for a book to read. I am taking my son to see him shortly.

In the last 200 years only 2 people have survived a fall from that bridge.

thebraketester

7,930 posts

83 months

Saturday 24th August
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Might be a good idea to visit his parents too to offer support. I am sure they will help to put your sons mind at easy over any doubts that it had anything to do with him.

Hope everything works out ok, what an awful situation.

williamp

16,570 posts

218 months

Saturday 24th August
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Asful position go be in, some good advice here. Be a parent, let him know he is loved et

Going on, counselling is a good, viable option where he can explore his feeling and get some closure. His GP should be able to help.

As could a quick call to the Samaratins, who can signpost

carreauchompeur

15,666 posts

149 months

Saturday 24th August
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Be there.

ClaphamGT3

7,664 posts

188 months

Saturday 24th August
quotequote all
If I calculate correctly, your son and his fried are c.23 years old.

To be honest, I would avoid the self-indulgent wallowing that some are suggesting. I’d tell him honestly but sympathetically about his friend and then get him in a positive mindset by asking how the two of you can help the friend and his family

blueg33

Original Poster:

21,678 posts

169 months

Saturday 24th August
quotequote all
ClaphamGT3 said:
If I calculate correctly, your son and his fried are c.23 years old.

To be honest, I would avoid the self-indulgent wallowing that some are suggesting. I’d tell him honestly but sympathetically about his friend and then get him in a positive mindset by asking how the two of you can help the friend and his family
Yes 23. At the hospital now. He is seeing his friend on his own. We have already offered help to the family.

I have private healthcare for our family so will investigate counselling for my son.

Bright Halo

796 posts

180 months

Sunday 25th August
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That is a lot for one so young to deal with. It is great that you are supporting his friend and family.
Hopefully the friend improves, I wonder if such a close shave with death will in somehow make him want to live.
Best wishes to you all, lesser people would have turned away from helping.

blueg33

Original Poster:

21,678 posts

169 months

Sunday 25th August
quotequote all
Thanks everyone for your supportive comments.

Yesterday was quite a tough day, taking my son to the hospital to see his friend, and talking to the friends parents. I think we were the first people they have seen where they felt they didn’t have to keep stuff bottled up.

We then drove my son around all day as he wanted to tell their closest friends personally.

Tyre Smoke

12,064 posts

206 months

Sunday 25th August
quotequote all
Slightly related, but how bad are the friend's injuries?

Apart from mentally, are the physical injuries likely to be life changing?