My son is at his first duty station. He has been there since October. At first he seemed to be doing well but not so much now. He sounds so depressed when I talk to him. This really concerns me. He's always been very social and easy going but now he's become withdrawn and he's isolating himself. He is having a hard time connecting with people and is already counting down the days to get out of the military.
I've encouraged him to talk to someone like a chaplain about what he's feeling but he doesn't think it'll help. He also says he thinks they'll think he's weak and a punk. I guess it's a male ego thing.
I know he has to grow up and life can be difficult but it breaks my heart. I don't know what to do, how to help. Since he won't talk to anyone else I've told him to call me when he is feeling down but I don't know what to say when he calls.
I tell him to hang in there but I'm sure that's not what he wants to hear. And I know it doesn't help.
Can any of you relate? Perhaps you could offer some sound advice for me or him
Oh I am sorry to hear this too. anasazigypsy offered some good advice - keep encouraging him to reach out to fellow shipmates. There are probably others there feeling just like he is - they need to reach out to each other. It does take time and with just having the holidays that probably made it harder. Remind him that this is only temporary - he'll make friends and things will improve. It's still hard on a momma's heart. Hang in there - hugs to both of you.
Plan a visit! See when he can get liberty leave. Even if it's a few months, it's something to look forward to and we all need that when times are tough. In the meantime hopefully he'll make friends and things will start looking up. Hang in there.
I read this when you first posted it, and I couldn't figure out how to reply.
I'm wondering how your son is doing, and how are you?
My son has been in for two years, and his attitude changes from time to time. He got depressed when he was deployed, and I encouraged him to talk to a chap. He didn't want to at first, because he said people will see it as a sign of weakness. But he did eventually go see the chap. I'm pretty sure they have to keep things confidential except for situations when someone is in danger. Anyway, my son was really glad that he went to see the chap.
I know it's hard to be encouraging sometimes, and you might have felt that you weren't saying the right things. The most important part of this is that you are talking to him about it and hopefully it makes him feel better, if only for a little while.
I agree with a lot of what the other moms have said - it makes one feel better when they help someone else. Hopefully your son has found someone he can help and/or talk to.
Another thing I thought of is this: does he like his job? If he doesn't, maybe he can switch to something that suits him better.
In the other posts, I read where someone suggested that family and friends text him. Better yet, have them write an actual letter. Having mail is HUGE! And the letters can be read again and again. My son told me the care packages I sent him were much appreciated. If you haven't done so, maybe send him some boxes of his favorite things, and things made in your state or hometown. I sent my son the pillowcase from his bed. He was so happy about that! He said Navy pillowcases are scratchy.
Are you involved in a church? My church puts out addresses of those who are in the military so members of the congregation can write to them.
I hope all is well.
Keep us posted!