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18 year old son, post breakup

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18 year old son, post breakup

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18 year old son, post breakup

Hi all,

Just looking for advice or past experience. My son has just recently split from his girlfriend after 18 months. It was pretty serious, talk of marriage the future, and promise rings exchanged. She called it off saying she needed space, they were friends for awhile, but he couldn't just do friends and she wanted friends but was still talking about the future.. very confusing for him. He said some horrible things to hurt her because he was hurting.

I've had heartache, haven't we all. I just don't know how to help him as his mum through this, and when should I be worried? He told his ex last night he wanted to kill himself.. and she of course let me know, she doesn't believe it was a real threat. I asked him about it, and I asked if I should be worried, he said no, then I don't know.

He is barely sleeping, or eating and just not himself.. and I can completely empathise with him. Heart ache hurts.

He has been with headspace before and I've encouraged him to reach out to them again, they've said he has high anxiet but he doesn't seem willing.

They split on good Friday, but it's really only been a week since it was beyond the point of no return and a week of this low mood.

What can I do, as his mum? What things should I be looking out for? We are pretty close, I can talk to him about anything and he is fairly open with me, there's no drugs and he only has an occasional drink.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Prolific scribe

Re: 18 year old son, post breakup

Hey @Moonlight


First of all, thank you for sharing your story with the forums. It can be incredibly difficult to watch our children go through pain and heartache, and you are being an incredible parent in doing what you can to check in with your son and making sure he's ok. 

I am glad to hear that you were able to check in with your son about how he was feeling, particularly with regards to any suicidal ideation. Teens and young people can often feel overwhelmed by their emotions and might lash out and say something they don't mean. This can especially be the case if they're experiencing something really tough for the first time (like a serious break-up). However, it is important to treat any sort of self-harm or suicidal ideation seriously, and to keep checking in with them. 

In regards to what you can do now, for the time being it might help most to be around, be supportive, and listen. Often break-ups take time, and the first week immediately afterwards can be a struggle to push through. Your son might not feel totally normal for a little while, but there's a good chance that he might be able to get back into a normal routine soon Heart

Active scribe

Re: 18 year old son, post breakup

Thanks for the reply, its been 2 weeks and things came to a head a few days ago when two of his friends came running into our bedroom at 1am waking us up by telling us he was threatening to jump of the bridge. My world changed in that very moment. Pulling up in the car, police and ambulance were there, I broke.

Thankfully he reached out to friends in that moment, and they did all the right things. He was taken to hospital, and kept overnight. We spoke to the MH team in the morning, and they let him come home, its night time that's the issue he gets consumed by the dark thoughts, we've tried sleeping tablets none of them working very well.

I'm not sure i will sleep again until I know we are on top of this.

He has another phone call with the MH team on Sunday, another Dr appointment next week to ask about antidepressants/anxiety/sleep aid. Headspace on Wednesday.

I'm not sure what I'm asking for exactly here. Just wanted to vent I guess.

Re: 18 year old son, post breakup

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Hello @Moonlight , thank you for sharing your story with us. I hope that you found it beneficial venting here, because this sounds like a lot of information for a parent to carry. I am sorry to hear about what you have experienced over the last days. I can't imagine how difficult things must be for you and your son right now. It is really nice to hear that your sons helped reached out to you for support and that you were able to help your son and get him the care that he needs.


It is a shame that the medication has not been helpful for him yet. That must makes things a bit more difficult. Have you been able to find another way to support your son and check in on his safety? You sound like a very caring parent as you are doing a lot to support you son throughout this. I hope that the upcoming appointments that your son has will be helpful. 


I think that this would be a lot for someone to carry, so it is really great that you have reached out to us for support. It can be easy to forget about ourselves when we are looking after others, so it is important that you continue to reach out for support throught this. If you were interested in talking one-on-one with a trained counsellor, we offer free, confidential support for parents so that you can continue to suppor your son. You can read more about it here. I would also recommend calling up Parentline as they are offer profession support and advice to parents. I hope that things get a bit easier for you and your son soon. Heart