SRS Help with my depressed dad

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Alt+F4, Feb 1, 2005.

  1. Alt+F4

    Alt+F4 official OT hockey stud

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    My parents were married for 20 years before my mom cheated on my dad. He confronted her, they worked it out, then she did it again. He told her to leave about three years ago. They're still legally married (only for tax reasons, but also because neither one has a ton of extra money for a lawyer). They do not live together anymore, and my dad kept the house.

    For the first couple years after the shit hit the fan, my dad was a wreck. He sent her birthday cards, christmas gifts, valentines flowers, etc, even though she was the one who ruined the marriage. He's started getting better, but he's still very depressed. He works two jobs, not because he really needs to, but because it gets him out of the house. He used to be a very social guy, but now he just wants everyone to feel sorry for him. Like if I ask him to come over for the Super Bowl, he'll say "nah, you don't want me there with all your friends". That's just plain wrong.

    My friends LOVE him...he's a very funny guy, and I mean it when I say that anyone who's ever met him loves him. If I can be half the man and father he was, I'll be in good shape. But he's just so down on himself. He'll stay home all weekend, not go out, not do anything, then bitch about it when my wife and I stop over for our weekly visit on Sunday. We literally have to drag him places when we want him to go, or he won't go. He says his brothers (he has a large family that gets together all the time) don't call him anymore, but that's because when they'd invite him to parties, he'd just say something stupid about how it's all couples, or how he has something else to do, when that's usually a lie. He just wants people to feel sorry for him, and he's been like that for a few years. The frustrating thing for me is that it's been a few years like this and he's not doing anything about it.

    I want him to date. Of course when I mention it he'll say something like "who would want me - I'm balding, 51 years old, separated from my wife, etc etc". But the fact is people love him, and I know there are broads at his second job (security at our civic center) who would go out with him, but he doesn't want it - it's like he'll avoid being happy so as to keep up this sorry image.

    My wife and I have even discussed forcing him into dating, heh. I was going to put an ad up for him on a singles website or something. I just think that if he somehow realized that people WANT to meet him and hang out with him that he'd get better. Then again, I've heard that someday he'll just snap out of it. I went over last night after not seeing him for about 10 days, and he looked terrible. He literally just sleeps or works, and you can tell. Kept telling me that he's "just in a rut", but does nothing to get himself out of it.

    He bought a motorcycle and a new SUV last year, so I'm hoping he's on his way out...but man, these cold winter nights alone by himself in that house are killing him. Sorry for the novel, but there's so much to say about him. He's awesome...I just want him to be happy. But aside from moving into his house, wtf can I do?
     
  2. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Marriage counseling, if only to ease the transition. Pops just needs to talk through his feelings with someone.
     
  3. Alt+F4

    Alt+F4 official OT hockey stud

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    The marriage is done, finito, ended, no chance in hell of reconciliation. But perhaps just a normal psychiatrist?
     
  4. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Well, I would go to someone that specializes in couples. He can go alone. But someone that specializes in relationships would probably be most helpful. And I don't know that he needs a psychiatrist. They are usually quite expensive. I'd say a licensed therapist, or psychologist. A couple's counselor.

    You might even want to call around, and find what different psychologist's offices recommend for someone in his situation appointment wise, and make him an appointment, or at least give him the number and insist that he go.
     
  5. JordanClarkson

    JordanClarkson OT Supporter

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    He needs to do some things for himself to make himself feel better. Sign him up for yoga or something
     
  6. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    He could do that, but since it is the emotional issues surrounding the split that are making him so sad, why not address them directly?
     
  7. It sounds like you really love your father alot. I think when you've gone through the things he's dealing with - sometimes he needs to just work through the process and pain in his own time. While it's not pleasant to watch or be around - it's often the kindest thing you do to simply let someone find their own way. I think being a supporting character in his life is important: Visiting him, encouraging him, listening to him - but I don't recommend forcefully pushing him, or advising him without his asking. I think it's important to not try to control things simply because it's frustrating to watch.
     
  8. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Your dad need counselling. He's got a huge load of emotional baggage that needs to be shed, and a family or marriage counsellor can help speed that process.

    He needs big time help in learning to restructure his life, learning to build an emotional identity that doesn't include her, building trust in others again.

    It IS possible on your own, but it's so much harder, with many missteps along the way. A talented therapist is the ticket here.
     
  9. dave steel

    dave steel My Kung Fu is the best.

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  10. Alt+F4

    Alt+F4 official OT hockey stud

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    Thanks for the suggestions. METALLIC BLUE, you hit the nail on the head. It is extremely frustrating to go visit him and hear him say shit like "I haven't talked to a person in three days" and "No, I don't want to go to that party, nobody there wants me". I probably leave there pissed off 75% of the time, he's so fucking depressing.

    What you said BLUE is what I'm stressing about...wanting to help so bad but not wanting to be pushy. The thing is, he'll never, EVER, EVER, go on his own. He just won't, that's not my dad. I'm wondering if calling around and making the appt, then giving him the time and date, is the way to go. I know he respects us and he does a lot for us, so I think he'd feel obligated to go. But that's one appointment...I'm not sure I could count on him to make another one.
     
  11. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Get him the one appointment. Ask the scheduling person for the psychologist/therapist to call you back. Tell them that you can get your dad to go to one appointment, but that he will need encouragement to go back.
     
  12. I think that's a personal decision you'll have to make. I think it's a fine line between taking care of yourself, but also trying to do what you believe is right and what you believe will end up serving your father.

    Keep talking about it with people, especially those in the health field. Talk to everyone you can - but always do it with love and in the context of trying to handle things with balance, and not necessarily out of frustration.

    Ultimately you can't make him do anything, but if you play your cards right and get enough understanding beneath you of his situation, you may be able to create an environment which helps foster his improvement. It's a risk, but take care of yourself too because watching and dealing with someone like your father will wear you down too.
     
  13. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    I think its a big mistake for him to try to train himself as a therapist make his dad better. I think he needs to pressure his dad into going into counseling with a professional. Even if he has to kidnap him. Its for his own good.

    I have a feeling that this is one of those situations where dramatic improvement would result from a few sessions with a therapist.
     
  14. johan

    johan Active Member

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    You're his son, you can't be a therapist or a confidant in this matter. It would destroy the health of your relationship.

    Plus, no disrespect, but you haven't the life experience or training to deal with a serious issue like this. Therefore you should be a source of SUPPORT, not GUIDANCE. Be a shoulder to lean on. Be a source of unconditional love (as you already are) for him.

    As for professional help, talk it over with your dad.

    Talk gently, tell him you're really concerned. You can make the appt and drive over WITH him, and then get lost after he goes in. He's got some deep dark baggage that he doesn't need his son to hear. And his son is better off not hearing it.
     
  15. Good insight.
     
  16. Alt+F4

    Alt+F4 official OT hockey stud

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    Thanks for all the help everyone. One of my friend's mom who I've known all my life is a nurse and guidance counselor. I think I'm going to speak with her about this, maybe get a name of someone who he can talk to, then setup an appt. Give him the info, and tell him that it would mean a lot to me, my wife, and my sister if he went. I think he will.

    Not that it needs to be stated, but he's getting worse I think. Saw him at the hockey game last night (we have season tix, he works security for "fun"), and asked him again about the Super Bowl party. He's a HUGE Pats fan, I know he'd have fun, all my friends like him, etc. His only response was "nah, I don't want to". When I asked why, he said again "I'm just in a rut, and I don't want to". Tough for me to understand that thinking, but that's how he is now.

    He's in a rut and he doesn't want to help himself out. Story of the 21st century so far for my dad.
     
  17. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Sounds like a textbook case of depression to me.
     
  18. l S3RG10 l

    l S3RG10 l New Member

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    This story makes me sad, I hope that never happens to me.
    Advise: hang out with him more, I don't care what he says, Show him how much you love him, and get him a dog or somthing. That way when he walks it maybe he can meat a new women. :)
     
  19. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    If he won't get help, then have him over for dinner every night and slip paxil in his drink..
     
  20. Most certainly.
     
  21. KatWoman

    KatWoman •••••••••••

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    This isn't meant to be rude by any means:

    It sounds like your dad is having a bit of a pity party and feeling sorry for himself. I say this only because I used to be the same way. Back in my college years, most of my friends got married and moved on or moved away, and I hadn't even had my first serious relationship yet. I was pretty bummed about life, plus I was still mourning the death of my father in the middle of all this, plus was dealing with other life issues. I even declined to go to a few weddings because I just couldn't stand the thought of happy couples while wallowing in my own misery. Like I said, I was already dealing with alot of stuff, and I became an ugly person to be around. I was negative, and said a lot of stupid stuff like your dad said.

    It wasn't until one day someone slapped me (not physically :p) with the truth and point blank told me I was unpleasant to be around. She said something to the effect of "How can you expect anyone to be interested in being around you when you look like you will kill anyone who comes within 10 feet of you." I also had to realize that it was up to ME and only ME to change my attitude about things.

    Sure things seemed to be going for everyone but me, but I had to quit looking around and start looking within. Amazingly enough, when I quit feeling sorry for myself and made a few life changes, things picked up for me as well :)

    Perhaps you can gently tell your father that as long as he feels sorry for himself, he will not be happy. He needs to start looking up and moving on. Perhaps if he filed for divorce, he could start the process of separating himself from her and move on. Encourage him to keep socializing. Even if it's "all couples" there's no reasons you can't mingle. Conversations don't always revolve around romance and family etc. You can talk about a million different things. And even if he's at some gathering where most of the people are coupled, it doesn't mean there's not opportunity to make a few potential friends for a future "guys night out" and who knows, it could lead to an introduction to someone special for him :) Couples have single friends as well :big grin:
     
  22. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Again, I'm going to have to reiterate that he not try to cure his father. Leave that to a therapist. A son shouldn't be slapping his father back into reality. That could damage the father-son relationship. He doesn't need that from his son. All he needs from his son is his love and support, which he has.

    He needs to be slapped back into reality... gently, by a professional. Its called therapy. They're called anti-depressants. They work.
     
  23. KatWoman

    KatWoman •••••••••••

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    Where does one draw the line between self pity and depression that's at a level where professional help is needed? I am not saying "think happy thoughts and you'll be ok" is the answer, but I am just curious if doctors aren't too quick to be prescribing meds when sometimes people just need to learn to help themselves. It seems in today's world, more n more people are depressed and on meds than they were 10-15+ years ago. Has our society become that sad, or are we just too quick to rely on a "magic pill" to make things all better? Plus I have to wonder, how long can one continue on meds, and when/if you're ready to come off them, how will the withdrawals effect you?

    This isn't meant to offend people who are on the meds, I am just curious as to what point is there a difference between being down/disappointed and being medically in need of professional intervention?
     
  24. Peyomp

    Peyomp New Member

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    Buddy, I don't know where the line is. I just know that this guy is on the "clinical depression, needs professional help," side of it.
     

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