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Hollon: Depressed Sons from Uninvolved Father

Posted by IsoM on January 24, 2003, at 15:28:39

Dr. Hollon, I've read much about the effects of parents' emotional involvement with their children & the long term effects on these children as they reach adulthood. I'd like to ask a question concerning a father's lack of em0tional support & care, & how it affects the sons.

What I've read is that these children grow into young men who tend to be depressed, lack motivation & drive (I know it's more detailed than that but just a brief summary).

Is there anything a mother, who has been & still is actively involved with her sons, can do when they were young? Is there anything she can do after they've reached adulthood to help them feel less depressed & develop a sense of purpose & motivation?

I often wonder if I could've done more for my sons. I felt for every step forward that was made with them, my husband (their father) put it two steps back by showing obvious irritation & disapproval with most things they did. There were many harsh words & some blows from him, but mostly, very little approval or love shown. He didn't discipline them, just got angry when they didn't do what he liked. They didn't always know what would trigger him either.

One son said that it was me he thought of as an authority figure - the only one he ever respected & listened to. But I think it's skewed all of my sons' view of authority in general. All three have fairly good self-esteem now (I worked hard on that), but motivation is a problem & depression is always just around the corner for them. Any advice or links to articles related would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you kindly for taking the time to visit & offer advice, Dr. Hollen.




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