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My son hates himself

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Ninna

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Jul 31, 2018
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My son (19) keeps telling me that he is very depressed, that 'his soul cries all the time, that he is a bad person (he is actually very nice, loving, caring, thoughtful), that he is an accident by nature, that he should not have existed and does not deserve to live. He also keeps telling me that he is zero and 'sinful' (we are not religious parents). This is all result of bullying he received since year 5 in primary school and later on in the gym. He also has a high functioning autism and Dyspraxia. He started taking Citalopram since one month and a half but it seems it is not working. He also goes to counselling twice a week at the moment.
My question is what is the best way to respond when he talks like this about himself? I and the counsellor keep telling him that he is a good, caring, loving etc.(which he keeps showing in so many different ways to me and his father, his friends and all the people he meets) but he is adamant in his beliefs about himself. It seems to me that we are running in vicious circles without helping him. What should I do? I am really desperate. Any suggestion really appreciated.
 
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Helena1

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Why does he feel like he is a bad person/ sinful etc? Has he talked about this to you or his counsellor?
 
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Ninna

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He just keep saying that without explanation. When I ask him what makes him say that he just says that he is bad, that he hates himself, that he does not like himself. When I ask him why? he just repeats the same over again. He told us that his bullies in the gym kept telling him that he was sinner, that he was a burden to everybody and deserve to die. They played a cruel joke on him that the God told them that he would go to hell and burn for eternity. This was going on for the whole year. He has Autism and is very naive and trust people so he believed them. I do not know what to do to convince him that he is a good person.
 
frogsplash

frogsplash

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its hard to persuade someone they are a good or perfect person because we are all human and we all make mistakes and we all have bad thoughts sometimes, such as bad thoughts towards other people eg. if someone upsets you etc

honestly in my opinion my advice would be to be there for him but have to encourage him to do things and find things he enjoys and can take his mind of off things, and then in time as he gets older he should naturally change the way he thinks about things such as not worrying about if he is a good or bad person, but instead if he has some sense of purpose such as things he enjoys and so on

as an example, if i kept asking myself if i was a good person or a bad person, i would never find the answer, as i have done both good and bad things, and so has everyone else. so obviously the answer is not to worry about questions like that, because it would just go around and around and u would just struggle with it on and on and on...

its sad about the bullying but hopefully as time goes on those memories will fade, especially if he can focus on doing some other things and leave that part of his life behind (even psychiatrists (the intelligent ones) agree now that rather than drag up the past with patients it is better to move forwards and set new plans and goals etc)

dont know if thats helpful, if it isnt, sorry and really hope things work out well
 
frogsplash

frogsplash

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just to mention also, someone might be persuaded they are a good person and then all is better, but then later on in life they make a mistake (which we all do) and then then.. crash, back to square one thinking they are a 'bad' person again, so it's better to learn to not worry about a question like that, and instead to just remember to tell yourself to 'do your best' and if things go wrong sometimes, it's not the end of the world

maybe by starting out you could try, when he asks if he is a good person, rather than say "yes, of course" you can go at it with a different approach, which would be to answer "hey you don't have to worry about that, we all just have to try our best and we are always here for each other no matter what" and "the past cant hurt us anymore" .. things like that, - wishing you all best of luck
 
Drooo

Drooo

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If it's only recently that he has started saying these things to you then you have to think about it possibly being the medication that he started recently, as they can lead to suicidal thoughts etc. If it is this then just let him know that it can be a side effect when first starting this type of medication. And monitor it yourself too so that it doesn't go too far; sometimes you have to change the type of medication.

If it has been going on for much longer then it's obviously much deeper than just medication. You're doing a good thing in keeping the positive comments flowing. You could maybe do more of this, more emphasis on showing the good things he has done or said, so that he sees this a bit more himself.

If he is getting stuck in his own thoughts and being critical of himself then those thinking habits need to be broken into and stopped as they can make things much worse. Some helpful advice on that here if you wish to take a look - Unhelpful Thinking Habits Lots more can be found here, just click on the other 'problems'.
 
N

Ninna

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just to mention also, someone might be persuaded they are a good person and then all is better, but then later on in life they make a mistake (which we all do) and then then.. crash, back to square one thinking they are a 'bad' person again, so it's better to learn to not worry about a question like that, and instead to just remember to tell yourself to 'do your best' and if things go wrong sometimes, it's not the end of the world

maybe by starting out you could try, when he asks if he is a good person, rather than say "yes, of course" you can go at it with a different approach, which would be to answer "hey you don't have to worry about that, we all just have to try our best and we are always here for each other no matter what" and "the past cant hurt us anymore" .. things like that, - wishing you all best of luck
Many thanks for your reply. I will try that.
 
N

Ninna

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Jul 31, 2018
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If it's only recently that he has started saying these things to you then you have to think about it possibly being the medication that he started recently, as they can lead to suicidal thoughts etc. If it is this then just let him know that it can be a side effect when first starting this type of medication. And monitor it yourself too so that it doesn't go too far; sometimes you have to change the type of medication.

If it has been going on for much longer then it's obviously much deeper than just medication. You're doing a good thing in keeping the positive comments flowing. You could maybe do more of this, more emphasis on showing the good things he has done or said, so that he sees this a bit more himself.

If he is getting stuck in his own thoughts and being critical of himself then those thinking habits need to be broken into and stopped as they can make things much worse. Some helpful advice on that here if you wish to take a look - Unhelpful Thinking Habits Lots more can be found here, just click on the other 'problems'.
Thank you. This is exactly what we are doing but it seems it is not much help so far. He admitted that 'his soul has started crying ' since the bullying in the primary school but thoughts that he does not deserve to live has started since bullying in the gym three years ago. His image of himself has been damaged in primary school and somehow cannot get rid of these negative thoughts about himself. His self esteem is very low. Last evening he told us again that he has been feeling worse and worse. I wonder how long Citalopram takes to start working? He has started it about six weeks ago.
 
W

Wildfire

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Aug 1, 2018
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82
I’m so sorry to hear this. Bullying is a terrible thing and hard to get over.

Does your son respond well to changes in environment? I have a varied interest set and have found that clubs are a great place to feel welcome and foster good thoughts. Especially ones that encourage co-operation, games or martial arts (non combative as you said he goes to the gym) or cross fit. This may help get him focussed on something and not in his own head.

It may be worth seeing if he will try a few different ones and introducing him to people who are positive and enthusiastic about one particular thing?

The positive encouragement comments and support are fantastic.
 
S

sadsadsad

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Jul 23, 2018
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It looks like he internalized the bullying to be part of himself. People say "sticks and stones" but words do actually hurt people who do not know how to defend themselves mentally.
 
A

A-guy-with-aspergers1998

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Aug 13, 2018
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Hi just seen your post and can understand how your son feels as I also have autism and depression myself i know what he's going through as I've been there and that even though he says sinful that everyone makes a mistake at one point in their life and to never say he is sinful or shackle himself to his mistakes or past no matter how big the mistake is they made or the horrible thoughts he gets they are just thoughts nothings happened, and the bullying is terrible tell him that bullies are the people with the problem, whenever he feels like he fails fail stands for first attempt in learning and to never give up and that he is worthy and deserves to live because he is a good person and good sensitive people are bullied because bullies just want to bring people down to feel good about their selves but to never let the bullies win and don't let them ruin his life. I really hope this helps you and your son
 
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Ninna

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Joined
Jul 31, 2018
Messages
11
Hi just seen your post and can understand how your son feels as I also have autism and depression myself i know what he's going through as I've been there and that even though he says sinful that everyone makes a mistake at one point in their life and to never say he is sinful or shackle himself to his mistakes or past no matter how big the mistake is they made or the horrible thoughts he gets they are just thoughts nothings happened, and the bullying is terrible tell him that bullies are the people with the problem, whenever he feels like he fails fail stands for first attempt in learning and to never give up and that he is worthy and deserves to live because he is a good person and good sensitive people are bullied because bullies just want to bring people down to feel good about their selves but to never let the bullies win and don't let them ruin his life. I really hope this helps you and your son
Thank you for your reply.
 
N

Ninna

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Joined
Jul 31, 2018
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Last evening my son described me the amount of pain he feels that makes him want to die. He said that he felt 'his soul is black, huge water and fire getting out of it, there is no hope'. He is gradually stopping Citalopram since he had hallucinations while he was taking it. He felt it did not help him but caunselling does. He does not think himself as a sinner now but instead he talks now mainly about this huge pain, fear, anger he feels. His anxiety is also over the top.
 
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