22 yr old son causes destruction with outbursts

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by GardenGirl, Jun 22, 2016.

  1. GardenGirl

    GardenGirl New Member

    I have a 22 yr old son who lives with me and my husband and younger sibling at home. Today, for at least the 6th time, I came home to a mess in my house. Damaged drywall, broken wall fixtures, door ripped off hinge, etc. It was heartbreaking. He was diagnosed with depression as a 16 yr old and ADHD around 19. We take him to a psychiatrist for medications and he drives himself to counseling every week. He has not successfully completed a semester of college in a year, having dropped his classes one by one, even though we encouraged him to only take one or two this last semester. He dropped them both. He is not working, except one or two days a month to fill in at an office where he used to work. He thinks most jobs are beneath him. He has zero friends and spends his days in his room nearly 24/7. His counselor told him years ago that exercise is helpful to boost moods and he runs on the treadmill for probably 5 miles every day, lifts weights, etc. He is tall and lean but not bulky in any way much to his dismay. He's obsessed with eating organic and makes nutribullet concoctions. If he can't eat healthy, he won't eat or will complain about drive thru food which he will eat if I bring it home (I work full time and I'm too tired to cook most days) but will puke up later because his "body can't handle it." He was disappointed today because he had concert tickets for tonight but he couldn't find anyone to go with so that is probably what started this meltdown today. I offered for him to take him and his sibling but that of course wouldn't do because what would the other people at the concert think?? He is very concerned about having to interact (talk) with other people. He's good looking and knows how to smile and charm people and behave appropriately when in public. He falls apart behind closed doors though. Most days he's perfectly stable (in his room, limited interactions with us) but he can't handle even the smallest stressors, which would include job and school. He's very nice and respectful of us outside of the outbursts but my husband has had enough and wants him out. I agree it is affecting our younger child. We haven't let anyone in our family or friends know this is going on because frankly I'm ashamed that I can't help him stop this behavior. I'm afraid I'm going to lose my son and my marriage. I don't know what do for him. I hate that our local mental health center has such bag stigma and that mental health issues are taboo. I desperately need a plan.
     
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Does he wish to get help? At his age you can't force it. There is nothing you have the power to do if he won't agree. There comes a time when parents no longer have that power. Your only plans can be setting boundaries. You can not force your son to work or get help. You certainly can tell him that if he won't work and get help, he can't live in your house. You can talk to husband and you two can decide on any boundaries you both agree on.

    Your son is too old for you to help. That is now on his shoulders. There must be more than one mental health care facility in your state. He drives. He can drive to another facility rather than waiting for the closest facility to have an opening. There are options, but you, like the rest of us, have to take back your power.

    Your don to me sounds like he may suffer from body dysmorphia.
     
  3. Sister's Keeper

    Sister's Keeper Active Member

    Your son's behavior screams "eating disorder." Eating disorders also come with a host of other issues including depression and sometimes personality disorders.

    Unfortunately, mental health still has a stigma. It is a shame.

    Are you able or willing to give him an ultimatum, seek help or leave?

    https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/orthorexia-nervosa
     
  4. GardenGirl

    GardenGirl New Member

     
  5. GardenGirl

    GardenGirl New Member

    Thank you so very much for taking the time to reach out to me.... I'm not sure about the eating disorder but I will look into that. I had never really thought of it as a disorder. I promise to look into and research every suggestion that anyone can give me. I also forgot to mention he is highly sensitive to loud startling noises. I feel like someone out there knows exactly what this is and is going thru the same thing..... It's a hard road to travel. Thank you again.
     
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Body dysmorphia and eating disorders go hand in hand.

    His sensitivity to loud noise makes me wonder if he could be on the high end of the autism spectrum. Did ke talk late as a child, do repetitive things, obsess, seem unable to deal with transitions? Did he lack the understanding of his peers and chase away friends? Any learning issues in school? P [r hygiene?
    Autism is a large spectrum and it's not a mental illness. It is a neurological difference that makes the person seem unusual. It can get much better with help. Frustrated tantrums are common.

    My 23 year old son is on the spectrum. He had early interventions and is doing great. If this is the problem, your son can too!
     
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  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    For a minimum, sounds like Sensory Processing Disorder. It's not uncommon with kids on the autism spectrum, but it is also not uncommon as a stand-alone diagnosis.
     
  8. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Does he also have periods of vicious, intense verbal abuse directed toward anyone as well? Has he lost relationships/jobs, etc. due to any verbal rages?
    Has he experienced anything that would be considered traumatic, and/or was he adopted?
     
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You did not cause this. Likely he was born differently wired. Unless he had a chaotic first three years with many caregivers and has attachment disorder, but in my layperson opinion, it sounds more like spectrum stuff to me, comparing him to my spectrum son
    No friends is a red flag for that, although my son does have some friends now. It took time and interventions.


    If he is willing, I recommend taking him to a neuropsychological evaluation
    This Is NOT a neurologist. They are different. A therapist is not trained in depth to diagnose.
     
  10. GardenGirl

    GardenGirl New Member

    Yes, he lost his job last summer after had a verbal argument with a coworker. He has not had anything traumatic in his life, but was adopted by my husband as a young child. He never met nor remembers his biological father (who may have been diagnosed with bipolar disorder). He has had a stable, loving
    home since birth. We have seen two doctors which both have said he does not exhibit bipolar behaviors. Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions.
     
  11. GardenGirl

    GardenGirl New Member

    Thank you for your suggestions. I am more appreciative than words can say. I will look into the neuropsychological evaluation. My husband wants him to move out ASAP. I'm really worried about this whole situation, as I'm absolutely beside myself. I am sure I can get him to go for an evaluation. He knows he has a problem; he wants help. Thank you for letting me know that that is different than making an appointment with a neurologist. I wouldn't have known the difference. Thank you again.
     
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    This is absolutely fantastic. So many kids at this age want to deny there is a problem, just "want to be like everybody else".

    If you can't get into a neuropsychologist, you can also try to find a PhD-level psychologist with a specialty and significant experience in testing (we used this). He is old enough that you won't likely get him into a child behavioral/developmental clinic at a teaching or children's hospital, but you could try.

    In any case, you will be looking for an evaluation that will take 6-10 hours, spread over multiple days. And a formal report when they are done, including recommendations.
     
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Yes. I still would hold out for a neuropsychologist. They do a lot of adults and have extra training in the brains function.

    My son had ten hours of assessment and we had to fill out a ton of forms before his appointment. Neurophsychs are coveted. There is often a waiting list, but it is worth it. Your son would probably have to do his own paper work and make his own appointment because he is not a minor. My son's last assessment was at 17 so that he could retain services appropriate for him when he graduated high school. He barely uses help anymore. He has forged so far that nobody guesses he is autistic.


    If your son won't help himself, likely little will change. You may have to insist or take his car/cell/money from you/even living with you. They are stubborn.
     
  14. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Garden Girl,

    The reason I asked whether he was adopted and if he displays verbal abuse when stressed, is that my adopted son, age 22 as well, was diagnosis'd with a personality disorder called Borderline Personality Disorder. It's hard to treat because people with that disorder often think they are not the ones who need the help; it's everyone else. There's currently no medication that I am aware of that is prescribed for this. People with-Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) are very challenging to live with. When extremely frustrated he can exhibit suicidal ideation. Oddly, my son also for the past 5 or 6 years has developed very specific eating habits (no milk, no meat or fowl, organic everything, lots of juices and shakes) and a rigorous exercise routine. Odd coincidence. My son is very narcissistic and body-conscious.
    After he has outbursts, he is usually sorry and tries to reconcile, but he has lost 2 very lovely girlfriends and a few very promising jobs as well, he has even quit school for a time. Quite honestly, he is too "high maintenance" for us to all live under the same roof. Situations and certain people, even holidays like Christmas can be a trigger. There's no medication, and often they do not think therapy will help them, so in your son's case, since he recognizes a desire to change, that may be a very good thing. A full evaluation to determine precisely what is going on with him would be ideal. It's not easy, is it?
     
  15. GardenGirl

    GardenGirl New Member

    Heavens no, it's not easy. My son is always very contrite after the outbursts. He's says he's sorry and feels guilty. He feels especially guilty because he knows how hard I work for everything we have. Today he tells me that the damage wouldn't have happened if he had a punching bag to hit instead. I don't even know what to think about that statement. He went to counseling today and said it wasn't encouraging. I feel so deflated. My husband says he wants him to get an apartment immediately but I don't feel that's a good idea. I don't think he needs to be trying to navigate life on his own right now. I looked up the Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and he seems to have many of the symptoms. I am going to continue researching that. My son sounds very similar to yours. Especially with the specific eating habits (protein shakes, organic only, juiced kale, gluten free, etc) and exercise routines. Is your son on medications now and is he able to hold down a job or go to school? For the first time, I am beginning to wonder if my son will ever be truly self sufficient and happy.
     
  16. GardenGirl

    GardenGirl New Member

     
  17. Calamity Jane

    Calamity Jane Well-Known Member

    Excellent news about the neuropsychologist. Hope you get an appointment as soon as possible.

    My son has taken up boxing and kung fu lately, and just the other day he said he loves it because he "likes the feeling of getting hit and hitting other people." I don't even know what to make of that statement myself.

    He has been working since he was 12, but he lost some good opportunities because he got into drugs at age 15. Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is often comorbid with substance abuse too, unfortunately. He claims he is drug free, and he acts like a health nut, but his personality is his personality and I don't think he's going to change very much. He attends school, gets good grades initially, then he finds some reason to hate his professors and his fellow students and his grades take a nose dive. He's handsome, well dressed and well spoken so he makes a nice initial impression on job interviews, but again, once he's there for a while, he finds a way to make everyone dislike him, and then he wants to quit his job. Same thing with roommates. He attaches himself to people who have unusual interests (lighting design, extreme sports, technological start ups) and becomes immersed in their interests and an apprentice to these people. He gets very involved in their interests, almost completely absorbed. It's like he has no sense of self. Then, when things go south as they always do with his interpersonal engagements with these people, he loses the friendship and the interest in that particular activity. This has been going on for years. He is averse to therapy, and he's an adult, so there's not much we can do, except encourage him to seek help. I don't think he's ever going to be anywhere near happy in his life if he doesn't desire and seek professional help.
     
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