Scared my son will kill himself...suing suicide as manipulation, but really may do it

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by SPARR0W, Apr 18, 2009.

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  1. SPARR0W

    SPARR0W New Member

    What I have written below is just a huge rant that I will just send as is, because if I try to edit it...I will just end up giving up so I apologise for the drama...but I am desperate like I have never been...and am open to any ideas at all. THANKS!

    I will not give a ton of history...but just the most important issue is that my almost 19 year old simply refused to go to school anymore a year ago...he was a really decent student and happy child until he went to high school and he changed to depressed, talking of suicide to friends, getting into power struggles with authorities, but was such a quiet kid that he never got into really big trouble...it was more refusal to do things...

    Cut to now...19, keeps saying he is going to get a job, but it doesn't happen...is obsessed with his girlfriend (who is actually doing really great in school and work but has low self esteem and likes the drama) and he is always wanting to be high on marijuana...he doesn't even have fun with it...he uses it as medication. I read his writing about suicide talk and he loses his temper suddenly and punches holes in the walls and breaks his stuff and even cuts and punches himself. I have always tried different professional help including councilors at school and teen center and medical and he did agree to try Paxil but didn't stay on it.

    Well...you get the idea...my thing is this...I want to demand that he work or leave...not that I want him to leave...I love him...but don't I have to give an ultimatum?? Don't I have to force a change. If he refuses any help, medication, counceling...I have to make him do something. He has lots of reasons to have problems, but never abuse or neglect and always unconditional love from me...I cannot find any incentive...there is nothing I can take away at this age...he always just reacts with self injury...yes it is controlling me...but he may choose suicide to control the situation as well...he just doesn't care enough about his life...my brother killed himself...there is a lot of mental illness in the family...I can't make him do anything...how can I make him just go to work...it will solve all of his problems...just a regular job...minimum wage for now...but he gets so upset with people and situations...I keep calm and tell him I love him and still there is no solution.

    What should I do? He won't communicate much with me anymore...I have already told him he has to get a job...that support for him runs out in about one month...I am on a tiny amount of disability...I literally won't be able to feed him but I can't not feed him...I DON'T WANT TO DRIVE HIM TO SUICIDE...but I have to insist he work...but he won't work...there must be a right thing to do. What am I missing...what can I do if he will not work...will not get any professional help. I know he is depressed...but what can I do?
     
  2. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you what did. When my son was 18 he refused to follow my house rules. He refused to go to school. He refused to work. I made him leave. It was hard. He got into a lot of trouble, but we had done years of therapy, years of medications, hospitalizations, drug treatment, and I had exhausted all efforts to help him save himself. It was only last summer---at 20, that he started getting his life together. He is about 2 years behind his peers, but he is doing so much better now than he has ever done before. He is back living at home. He is working fulltime. He is nice and polite to us. But, we had to go through heck to get to this place.
     
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    There's a possibility that your son really is suicidal. Check into your state laws and see if there is a way to get him into a hospital, as one option. The other is that there are some good drug treatment programs that help a lot with suicidal people who self-medicate. There's only so much you can do now that he's this age, but keep looking into counselors, too. Also, check into psychiatrists. It sounds to me that, at this point, finding someone who understands him and that he might open up to is going to be the biggest key. Also, the typical out-patient therapist who sees a person for 45-50 mins at a time, once a week, just might not be enough- some of them are just a joke. Would he be open to a support group?

    It might help you ,too, to find someone to talk to just to get a little relief and have someone to be a "sounding board". But we do that pretty well here!! Welcome to the board!!
     
  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    You also may want to post this on the "Parent Emeritus" forum. There's a lot of experience on that board or even on the Teen & Substance abuse one as well.

    Welcome to the board though! I don't really have any advise (my kids are still pretty young), but the mom's on all of the forums have a lot of experience.

    I'll keep you in my thoughts!

    Beth
     
  5. helpangel

    helpangel Active Member

    Having an adult child at home is difficult, my 24yo moved back home a couple years ago too. 400 Lb people weren't meant to sleep on couches and we've gone thru several.

    I would just be honest about the financial strain him not supporting himself is putting on you. Hopefully he can find at least something part time, if after a month or so if he still can't find work (which in this economy is entirely possible) I would suggest he go down to Social Security Administration and apply for disability for himself. In some cases SSA will help people by referring them to job specialists to help the person figure out what they would be good at and help them get their foot in the door.

    Future goals are important to anyone who is trying to grow as a person. That is the biggest problem with pot in my opinion it makes you content to just be where you are and not grow. Even if start with baby steps like arranging clothes for an interview and read thru the want ads; talk about what kind of things he likes to do and then apply at a place where they do something in that area.

    I hope the others here can give you some more ideas; some get to the point they feel they have to do the tough love approach but I've seen it backfire a couple times.
     
  6. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I wish I had some words of wisdom for you.

    Suicidal ideation + self-injury + self-medicating + ultimatum, to me, sounds like a ticking time bomb. But, what else do you do? You can't live this way and he certainly can't continue down this path.

    I would contact your local NAMI and see if they have any information on what you can do, as far as getting help, for your adult child.

    (((hugs)))
     
  7. goldenguru

    goldenguru New Member

    Well sadly - I have faced a similar situation.

    My overriding thoughts echo flutterby's. Your son (in my opinion) does not need a job - he needs help and very soon. With your family hx, his 'self medicating', and his obvious depression, your son is on a very dangerous trajectory. If he's truly clinically depressed, he needs your help. I would suggest petitioning him to a psychiatric hospital - where he will be forced to at least look at his depression.

    Talk to your area mental health professionals and get yourself some support. I certainly understand your frustration with your son. But, if he's that mentally sick - pushing him toward a huge stressor (getting a job) may in fact push him over the edge.
     
  8. Wow, I wrote this same post a month and a half ago...didn't work out well for us. The stress of leaving pushed him over the edge. He stopped taking his medications because nothing mattered. Since then he has been hospitalized 3 times, once for 10 days by probate, attempted or "accidentally" put himself in harms way 5 times. Attempted to jump off roof, cut wrist but off center, took ativan and alchohol, hallucinated that he had shot himself and called 911 (police came expected a gun - you can imagine) and took every medication in weekly pill box plus cough syrup but left the tylenol because "that will mess up your liver". He is home now (hate insurance companies) and improving everyday with new medications. Its just such a long road. He refuses IOP but attends his weekly with therapist. Moving out is has been put on hold until he is stable.

    I will say that he used to say he was going to kill himself quite often. I got to the point where I just thought it was manipulative. One time I called him out on it and called for transport. He was held for 2 days in suicide watch room in ED. Camera, paper gown and sheets, observation glass and door. He absolutely hated it. The manipulative threats stopped. Now I have a better sense of what words are real and what are not, but I always err on the side of caution. Its worth the co-pay for a professional to determine whats what, because God forbid, I didn't read the words right.
     
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi there.

    I strongly suggest you post this on either "Teens and Substance Abuse" or "Parent Emiterus" (I"m sure I spelled that wrong...lol) because this particular forum is more for parents of younger kids who aren't where you are at yet.

    My suspicion is that your son is doing more drugs than smoking pot. I thought my daughter, now 24, was just smoking pot too, but it turned out to be the tip of the ice berg.

    Without a back story it is hard to give appropriate advice. Maybe you want to post over there and do give a back story. It sounds like he's more into drugs than you think. Pot doesn't change a good kid who was a good student into a total inept teen overnight.

    Many of us have faced what you face. I did have to make my daughter leave and she gave up the drugs.

    I hope we can hear more about your situation. Welcome to the board, but sorry you're having such a tough time. Believe me when I tell you, I understand. (One thing I would do is to not react to his self-injury. You can't stop it, you're not responsible for what he does to himself, and he is manipulating you). If you truly feel he is suicidal, then I would try to have him committed or get social services to help him. But you can't live this way. If he can't live alone maybe assisted living is in order...
     
  10. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    I wonder if you have ever had him involuntarily commited by your mental health department? If he is a threat to himself or others you can go to Probate court and fill out papers and they will take him - against his will - and evaluate him and help him. Maybe you can check into it. I think I would check into help forhis emotional state before I would push for a job. Just my two cents.
     
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I want to add though that it is VERY hard to commit somebody. They have to be, at the time you bring them in, an imminent threat to themselves or others. I have a friend who tried to get her son committed and they wouldn't do it, even though the son was talkling out of his head. The reason? He wasn't trying to harm himself AT THE TIME nor was he threatening to harm anybody else. After the child is eighteen, you are pretty much not given any rights. It's going to be up to him to get help, be it for mental health issues for drugs or for both. He's the one who can sign himself in and get help. If he won't, truly, there isn't a whole lot you can do to force it. Again, it would help having the back story. It's hard to tell if he's really mentally ill, a drug addict who is not working because he doesn't want to, a kid who is getting money from you and hub, a kid depressed BECAUSE of his drug use, etc. Depending on what's going on, would depend on what we'd tell you to do. He doesn't seem to be very motivated to get better. That's what makes me wonder about drugs as opposed to plain old depression. I've suffered from depression PLENTY and I felt so rotten that I'd have done almost anything to get help--and I did try. It's a horrible feeling and I can't imagine anyone not wanting to at least attempt to get help. If he won't take medication, that's not good. If he's smoking pot and maybe doing more, then it doesn't matter if he takes medications or not because the recreational drugs will skew up the chemistry of the prescription drugs. I'm not sure if he needs your total understanding or a swift kick in the pants to get moving. It all depends on why he is depressed. Sorry, but at nineteen, if you are on disability, he needs to at least flip burgers to feed himself. He CAN do that, depressed or not. That won't stress him out too much and it will pay for his personal groceries. I would insist or else give him basic meals like macaroni and cheese. There is no way he'd get a full course meal from me unless he got a job. He'd feel better forcing himself to go to work anyway UNLESS he is on drugs. Actually, my daughter worked even when she was on drugs because she got no money from us at the time. Toughlove worked for her. She has quit ALL drugs, even cigarettes.
     
  12. Tiredout

    Tiredout New Member

    I have just come across your post and I am so sorry you are in this situation. You don't seem to have had any replies and I am so sorry about that too. Your situation sounds very painful. I am not much good at giving advice because I am in a similar situation but my daughter is now 30. We have been in this situation for 18 years since she was 12. We go in circles, sometimes things are a little better and sometimes worse, like today. It is heart breaking. I think you have to insist he leaves the house. I have not been able to do this, but I think it's the right thing to do for him. He has to learn not to abuse you and has to see that you will not stand by and watch him abuse himself. As I write this I feel terribly sad for all the thousands of parents and children like us and I don't know how we have come to this.
     
  13. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    {{{{{HUGS}}}}}

    You don't HAVE to do anything, exactly. But he will not get "better" with the status quo.

    Insisting he get a job or leave is reasonable; it's all in how you say it. How does he do with "helping"? For instance - J won't do a darned thing without prodding - unless I say, "Hey, J, can you help me do X?" And then he's all over it. Totally different kid, but it's a thought. If you tell him youneed his help, would that work?

    And I'm sorry, but having been there done that with O - I'm with MWM. If he admits to marijuana, there may be (and probably is) more.
     
  14. MuM_of_OCD_kiddo

    MuM_of_OCD_kiddo New Member

    You all realize that the original post is well over 2 years old and was the only one for this OP?
     
  15. mazdamama

    mazdamama New Member

    Thanks for pointing that out about the date of the first post. Scared me when I sa the title.
     
  16. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I just want to point out that the best advice is to contact your local crisis hotline or 911 whenever you have a credible suicide threat (this is true even if you think your child may try to escalate the manipulation). We as parents are untrained in crisis management and we must accrss immediate professional help to keep our children safe in these instances. Many parents have had better success accessing services for their child when they call by identifying their child as mentally ill. This prepares first responders and emergency room personnel for the complexities our children present.
     
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