Questions about my ODD son

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by B Warren, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. B Warren

    B Warren New Member

    Hi all. Thank you for offering this site to parents like me. I have a son who was diagnosed with ODD at around 12, and ADHD at around 5. When he was a child, my husband was abusive to me, and as he got older, I started to fight back, finally leaving him when he was 9. Husband went to a phychiatrist and worked on his anger issues and we got back together. My son saw all the abusive situations we went through as parents, and there is nothing I can do to take anything back. He is now 18, and we have gone through the gamut of medications that were out there for him. He told me recently that he wants nothing to do with prescription drugs anymore, because for most of his life he was high, and chunks of it are a blur. I don't blame him. He is not wanting to really grow up at this point, and we are fine with the pace he is taking. He is at home, is going to an alternative school, and working at his own pace, which we do not necesarrily think is quick enough, but at least he is committed to going when before he was not. He is helping with household chores, and we are not really having any problems with him at this point. He wants to stay at home as long as he can and even though his friends are out working and living on their own, he is not interested at this time in changing much of anything. What I have learned about having him as a son is, anytime we pushed him to do something in a authoratative manner, we were always met with resistance. When we looked past what he was doing to who he is, the results were much more cooperative and balanced. The problem right now is that he is not really doing anything to move forward with his life at all. He had a girlfriend and she dumped him becasue of his disrespectful treatment of her. he is still trying to get together with her and talks to her on the phone all the time. He stays in his room, his friends have all abandoned him, and he is not looking for a job or going to school. If I bring up any of this, he says he knows what he's doing and he's an adult and he will figure it out. He seems to have run out of fight or motiviation. Also when he was 15, we found out he was using weed to self medicate. He had been so violent on the medications, that we took him off them, and allowed him to use weed as his medication once a day. His violence has lessened and he is much more compliant. The problem is, he has been taught to be dependent on something, be it, prescription drugs or other, and I do not know how to talk to him about this so he will understand what I am seeing. He just tells me he's fine, and etc. etc. I believe the medical system teaches our children to depend on them, and then when they are adults, to depend on them some more. Yes we gave him natural weed as an alternative, but the dependence was there long before we made this decision. I am wondering if there are other people out there who have seen this dependence and did anyone do anything about it? Thank You So much...
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, and welcome,

    Who gave the ODD diagnosis? Personally, we've found ODD to only be useful as a "placeholder" diagnosis - something that acknowledges that there is a problem (i.e. not just in the parents' heads), but doesn't allow for treatment. Usually, ODD is a symptom of something else.

    First you need to know what is really going on, and it will be multiple layers. And of course, he is 18, so... you can't force anything in terms of evaluations or treatment, he has to agree to be compliant. But I'd be suspecting that one of the layers is depression... and that really kills any drive for independence.
  3. B Warren

    B Warren New Member

  4. B Warren

    B Warren New Member

  5. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    You should probably move this post over to Parent Emeritus where we are parents of children who are over 18. This forum is for parents of younger children and it's different. Legal adults are normally the ones who have to do the hard work themselves and there is little you can do for them if they don't want it so we have to take different approaches than we did when they were underage. Often that includes making THEM responsible for their issues, as we can not force them into therapy nor know what goes on if they go, and to also make conditions for them living with us still, including insisting they work or go to school and contribute to the house. Your guilt about the past will not help your son grow up, but it is a good excuse for him not to do so. Do You really want his goal to be living with you indefinitely? Do you feel that is best for him? For you two? You need to possibly seek therapy yourself to explore your feelings.

    My kids are all grown. All my kids, even my difficult child, had to have a job at sixteen part-time, or he got no extra money and I have found it worked well for all of my grown children as they al are hardworkers.

    There are no words you can say to motivate your son at his age. If you want him to work, you have to make it a condition of his continuing to live under your roof. If he gets angry...too bad. Many of us have gone through similar stuff...but I do suggest again that you post it on Parent Emeritus where all he children are legally adults.

    Your son has seen abuse. He is not the only adult child on Parent Emeritus who has. That does not make us have to allow him or her to remain Peter Pan. Both of my daughters were sexually assaulted. Both chose to still move on with life and be productive, which in my opinion is more healthy than your son's lack of motivation. Is he still using weed? Nothing stops motivation like weed. Why are you fine that he doesn't want to be an adult? I don't really get that...most young adults do not depend on the medical system. Most are eager to grow up and leave the nest.

    I hope you come join us!

    Hope to see ya there and welcome to the board ;)
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  6. B Warren

    B Warren New Member

    P S , I forgot to say that he was diagnosed at our provincial children's hospital, which is quite a large and professional establishment. When you say layers, can you give me an example? Like, do you know what the ODD could be a symptom of? An old friend I talked to yesterday has bi polar and is has been diagnosed as a sociopath. She told me her father told her that she used to have ODD as a child, but that it then morphed into antisocial disorder, and now she is bi polar and a sociopath. Is that what you are talking about? I am hoping this is not the case at all.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Your son is too old for a diagnosis of ODD in the U.S. If you live elsewhere, maybe they diagnose it after eighteen.

    I have no idea if he has any disorder. I'm just a mom seeing another young adult who won't launch, but this time it doesn't seem you care about it, which puzzles me. Most of us are disturbed by this and try to push it along. He is not a child. He is a man now.

    You can not know about his treatment unless he agrees to it and allows you to know because he is a man, at least in the U.S. and you can't make him to anything, regarding mental health.
  8. B Warren

    B Warren New Member

    Ok! Hi. Thank you very much, I will move over there. Is Parent Emeritus another site altogether, or part of this one? Thank You.
  9. Albatross

    Albatross Well-Known Member

    Hi BW. Parent Emeritus is on this site, another branch of the parent support forum. You will probably get more of a response over there, as it is for parents of children 18 or older.
  10. B Warren

    B Warren New Member

    Thank You I found it!
  11. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    There is nothing for you to take back, B Warren. Seen in one way, your and your husband's ability to come through it together is a testament to human courage.

    Your son, as so many of our troubled kids do, may be using the guilt and regret you feel that his life was not perfect to justify doing nothing to help himself, now.

    True strength for him, true self respect for him, must come from challenge well met, like it did for you and for me, too.

    This is a danger signal.

    One day, your child will have to face the world on the world's terms, whatever his challenges.

    It may be the kinder thing to help him move into his manhood now, than to allow him to continue as he is.

    This is a hard lesson, for him. If he can learn it, his life will follow a different course than if he pretends his mistreatment of her was acceptable.

    Do you and husband have a timeline for him? A date by which he needs to be in school or working, or leave your home?

    I would not deal with this issue right now. I would set a date by which there must be a job and rent paid or in school. If that is not possible for your son at this point, where else could he live?

    I agree. How does your son see his future? What are his dreams? What direction does he see himself taking his life? Once again, if he does not see himself doing anything beyond living as he is now, are you and husband comfortable with that life for him?

    How might you motivate him to change his opinion about his own potential?

  12. B Warren

    B Warren New Member

    Thank you Cedar, for your understanding. I have wondered how I could motivate him over and over. I believe it is my job now as his parent to ensure he is helping with the dishes every day, doing his laundry, keeping his room clean, going to school, and looking for a job, so that when he's going to leave home, he's ready. We were met with so much resistance and drama over the years that we kept dealing with the behaviour first in the hopes that it would change and he would eventually "get it", and see how important these things are in adulthood. Now we have to get a little tougher on him to get him to cooperate. I think this is possible, but its not going to be instant, and that is also ok. I am in no way saying that I don't want my son to succeed, I do more than anything. I'm saying that we just have not been pushing him very hard up to this point, but that doesn't mean we are never going to. Because of this strong resistance, I think time did have to go by until he kind of grew up and out of it a little. He's there now, so we have started to focus on expectations more. I think with time, his thought processes will change, and the depression does seem to be going bit by bit. He also has charges against him while a minor and it is going to be going to court for sentencing in January. I think the conditions the courts lay on him will be a perfect starting point for all those doors to open and for him to kickstart his adult life 100%. He will have no choice, and we are going to use this to our full advantage...