Anxiety on high alert

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by rosanna-d, Dec 17, 2017.

  1. rosanna-d

    rosanna-d New Member

    Hi everyone,
    This is my first post so please forgive my ramblings. I will try and make it as clear as I can. I am 54, married for 14 years and have a 27 yr old son from first Marriage. My son has always struggled with anxiety, depression and when young, was medicated for adhd. He was a handful till his teens, when he decided he didn’t want to be on medications anymor and did well. He was never into drugs or alcohol beyond typical teenage experimentation. He’s always been a deep thinker, highly intelligent but frustratingly lacking some common sense. After high school he started electrical apprenticeship and went up north to work. Met a girl, moved to her city and worked from there. He was happy and healthy. Then three years ago he got laid off, fell into depression. Started having major digestion problems. And anxiety reared it’s head again. He came home last summer to see if getting back to family dr would help. He had major anxiety attacks. I so saw myself in him at that age as I suffered for years with anxiety. It ruled my life and until I had a major breakdown at 38, it was awful. Four years of therapy and medication helped me. I tried to share my stories. Empathize. Plead for him to get help and not waste years as I did. He went back to the city where he lived fOr another year. Came home this past June to try it again. Having lost 40lbs, which he can’t spare to lose. If you saw him you’d swear he was on drugs. But he’s not. Or alcohol. Not. His anxiety and depression have gone over the top and he has some serious deficiencies due to his digestive issues. No cortisol or b 12. He won’t take a vitamin as he doesn’t “trust” it. Three episodes at home of angry outbursts, again not how he normally is. First a small broken glass, second he kicked a glass door, that was when I told him he had the leave. He screamed at me that he didn’t want to be here. He doesn’t sleep at night. Doesn’t want to be up during the day cause there’s “no reason to be”. Hasn’t worked in three years. Hasn’t had income since April. Yes I’ve enabled. I’ve paid for things. He’s so malnourished I can’t let him starve. Last outburst was serious and he harmed himself. Not intentionally but smashed a glass blender jar on counter and severed two tendons and a nerve in his hand. Surgery, therapy. Pleaded with hospital to keep him for observation. Even the family dr tried, but nope. When my son is calm, he presents very well. He’s well spoken, conversational, etc. He’s been with best friend since this happened November 1. Can’t stay there anymore and now he’s days away from being homeless. I am sick over this. If he would just go get help. If he would just try then I could say it’s ok to come home while you get better. That’s what I tell myself. I’m so afraid for my son. I experienced trauma and loss is in my life young, and I don’t know what i would do if I lost him. How do you look at yourself in the mirror and sleep in your warm bed when your child is hurting and homeless. Thank you for reading.
  2. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Again Rosanna, don't apologize, we ALL ramble here, it is a way to vent and get the frustration out, out, out.
    I had to look up effects of low cortisol, one of which is mental confusion. That is certainly not helping. But there are treatments
    I am right with you, if they would just get help. What can be done for someone who refuses help?
    It is not easy Rosanna, I am not going to sugar coat that one. Been through many a restless night. I have two daughters living out there. We are in Hawaii, so the weather is not too bad, but the idea of what could happen to them, is frightening.
    It is all compounded by the fact that they are adults and will do as they choose.
    When it gets overwhelming I pray.
    I listen to my to my body and rest when I need to.
    Stress is not healthy.
    The thing is that I have tried just about everything, had them come home, suggested rehab, but they don't want to choose differently.
    I am sorry for your aching heart, I know how it feels to feel helpless over a loved ones choices.
    I am glad that you posted. Others will come along, weekends are a bit slow most times.
    Take care and be very kind to yourself.
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  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    What reason does your son give at his age for not getting help? You know you can't do much, right? I am baffled that he won't take vitamin B. Poisen?

    The fact is sadly we are powerless to help our kids. We CAN help ourselves though. Have you ever been in therapy to help you cope and enjoy your life? Do you have other loved ones?

    The truth is that our misery does not help them.

    Love and hugs!
  4. rosanna-d

    rosanna-d New Member

    Thank you Leafy for your words of support and kindness. I really appreciate it. So grateful to have found this community.
  5. rosanna-d

    rosanna-d New Member

    As I’ve come to realize, my son has no rational reason for not getting help. He’s had many excuses why things aren’t going right of course. The whole anxiety about not trusting medications, or even b12, which the hematologist insisted he needs to take, is so frustrating. I’d like to just put it in his food. There are lots of resources where we live for him to access help and support. I don’t know what it will take to make that happen. I really had hoped the last episode where he injured his hand may have been it.
    To answer your question re my support, family - he is my only son. I lost my parents and my brother all before I was 23. (Brother was 14 and I was 6 when he died. My mom died when I was 13 and my dad when I was 23). I’ve been in the psychiatric ward twice as a young woman, then got married...had my son, divorced at 36. Bad relationship for a few years, then met my current husband. He’s very supportive but he is also black and white. And he has a hard time understanding mental illness, never being affected by it himself. But I know he has my back, and I know he wants the best for my son. I have no extended family so it’s pretty much us. My husband works away so I am on my own with this a lot. I have made the decision to see my counsellor that I saw 14 years ago when I was dealing with my own depression/anxiety and ptsd. See her Tuesday.
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  6. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    I was in a hospital for ten weeks for depression and anxiety, very severe. So I understand mental illness, but don't believe it is a good excuse for not living. Your son won't help himself. That is the entire problem. I remember feeling scared, having panic attacks (which are not fun) and feeling depressed enough to want to die. But I kept trying and took my medications. I did therapy, went to groups, read self help books, got better. Certainly I would have taken vitamin B12. No problem! I would not have wanted to be I'll when I didnt have to be.

    Your son's depression and anxiety does not explain refusing to help himself. He is not gravely psychiatrically I'll. He has two very common treatable mental health disorders. I understand why your husband is puzzled. So am I and I do understand mental illness.

    I hope things get better for both of you! Prayers!
  7. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    rosanna. hi.

    my son is 29. has suffered in some of the same ways as your son. and i am a lot like you.

    my son: anxiety. depression. mood instability. hostility.. body dysmorphia. a chronic illness. adhd.

    that said, my son is in some ways maturing. improving. his moods are leveling. he is not depressed. he has way more self-control. less hostile. has not been aggressive lately. way less anxiety.

    showing some motiation. in treatment.

    i tell you this because i believe that 27-28 is the age the male brain for some finally begins to mature.

    but the thing is, we can do not one thing until they are open to doing son has been homeless. actually, right or wrong, i pushed my son out.

    if there is violence it does not matter, i think, what is the diagnosis, they are responsible to get help. if they do not, is truly difficult.

    the hardest thing. especially for those of us who struggle or have struggled and have had early losses. it triggers them.

    i am glad you posted.
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  8. rosanna-d

    rosanna-d New Member

    It’s very simplistic what I’ve written regarding my sons history and how things are. I don’t believe he is where is he because he wants to be, either physically or mentally, and we have been down many long roads since he was child in dealing with things. For all I know there is more than depression and anxiety, but even if there isn’t, it’s enough to cause him and us to be where we are currently. He had trauma in his early life and I feel deep down that something has triggered it and he needs to deal with it. I don’t think it’s anyones place to try and figure him out here, or judge him. I thought this was to be for support and community.
  9. rosanna-d

    rosanna-d New Member

    Thank you for your note. I greatly appreciate it. I’ve had others talk about the late 20’s and young men during that time. And you are so right about this stuff triggering things for me! Years of me trying to justify my existence so people wouldn’t leave me... and recognizing what that really was about, it’s all rearing it’s head again. But I’m on the other side of it now and do have some perspective but it’s still hard. Will see what tomorrow brings. Good night and thank you again
  10. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Some people think support means just listening and not expressing our experiences. If you want this, just say it! Usually parents are looking for thoughts and ideas. They may be unique to us.

    I was not judging you, but trying to explain that your son can do better but it is up to him. Which is true. My two difficult kids and me got our lives together. So I have had experience.
    This is a site for parents with difficult adult kids and we tell our experiences/opinions. And it is up to you to take what you like and leave the rest.

    Not one person here is here for a bad reason. But we do express what we would do and it isn't always what we want to hear. Still, it is told in good faith.

    Nothing changes if we don't change our own thinking and doing. I do understand triggers and PTSD so I am sorry if something I said triggered you. That was not my purpose for responding.

    I wish you luck and please know that my intention was not judgment, but belief that your son can do better. Belief in him. He can do life. But he has to learn he can and you have to believe he can do it as well. Could I be wrong? Is it possible he can't do better Sure. But that is how i feel.
    Take care. I will not comment again, but am pulling for you both.

    Love and hugs.
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    Last edited: Dec 17, 2017
  11. StillStanding

    StillStanding Active Member

    I'm sorry for the path your son is on.

    I often disagree with the opinions or comments here. Please know that it's still a soft place to land. The reason I think this forum is so important is because we're allowed to share opinions and advice. There are other forums that have rules against it.

    I am not a believer in 12 step programs but they do say some things i agree with. "Take what you want and leave the rest."

    You are not alone.
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  12. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    rosanna. good morning

    my son had early trauma too. and i know that he has been dealing with that. it helps me sometimes to remember and respect that because i ran from mine until it caught me.

    you will soon know whose voices here will resonate with you and those that do not. it is just like the real world in that. if it becomes hurtful in a way you do not want to deal with you can block anybody.there are people here who are exceedingly kind and supportive and others who see their usefulness in other ways.

    even the voices that are especially caustic help me. because they help me define what i don't want and establish better boundaries.
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  13. rosanna-d

    rosanna-d New Member

    Thank you for reaching out. I appreciate your sharing and giving your opinion. I think I am at a super vulnerable point right now, as this is very very fresh and new...the whole dealing with the idea of my son being homeless and not doing what he needs to get better. I am really sorry for being defensive. And no, you didn't trigger's this whole situation. So please, if you are wanting, I welcome your support.
  14. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    No, I truly understand triggers and I am sorry. It is so hard to see them this way. I was not sensitive enough. I do hope that somehow your son decides to care for him. I have a 40 year old son who will not care for himself. He has uber high blood pressure and cholestral and anxiety and can be nasty...i can't talk him into doing anything for himself at all. He has 100 excuses why he can't go to therapy, etc. It drives me nuts! He is in a horrid court battled with ex over beloved grandson and it has been going on for five years. I am afraid he will stress so badly, without getting help, that he will have a heart attack and his little boy needs is gutwrenching.

    I am sorry again and will follow your story. I hope you can find just a little peace today.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2017
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Rosanna, welcome. I'm sorry you are going thru this with your son. It is a very difficult path when our kids go off the rails, for whatever reason.

    You may find some solace and guidance in reading the article on detachment at the bottom of my post here. For many of us dealing with our adult kids who are mentally ill, NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) helps. You can access them online, they have chapters in most cities. They offer parent courses which provide support, information, guidance and resources. I've taken their parent course, it's worth checking into. You may find resources and help for your son there as well.

    Because this is so challenging for us, many of us choose private therapy or a parent support group. We often require a professional to support us in learning how to detach, to stop enabling, to take care of ourselves in the midst of it all and to set boundaries.

    If your son is moving out of his best friend's and will not be living with you, you might google local shelters, most towns have shelters and food banks.

    It helps a lot to write our story and have the experience of being heard by others who are in similar situations. We may not have answers, but we understand where you are, we've been there. It helps to get as much support as you can, here, in therapy, at NAMI, 12 step groups, wherever you feel safe and supported.

    There is no right or wrong way of dealing with our adult children. You have to do what you can live with. Often it is US who have to do any changing, most of our kids either can't or won't make any changes, so we are left to do the heavy lifting of change. Often that change is learning how to respond differently, figuring out how to care for ourselves during such devastating circumstances, setting realistic boundaries around their behavior and choices, learning to accept what we cannot change, recognizing that this is not our fault, that we didn't cause it nor can we control it or fix it. The feeling of powerlessness in the face of our kids struggles is one of the most difficult things, in my opinion. Once they are adults, there is little we can do to save them from themselves.......and to be on the sidelines watching that movie......well, it is......HARD. Hence, getting as much support as we can.

    Hang in there Rosanna, keep posting, take very good care of yourself, focus on being kind and compassionate with yourself......I'm glad you're here.
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  16. rosanna-d

    rosanna-d New Member

    Thank you ❤️❤️ I can’t imagine what it would be like with grand children involved as well.
  17. Sam3

    Sam3 Active Member

    Hi Roseanna

    Is it possible your son is exhibiting his anxiety and depression through an eating disorder?
  18. rosanna-d

    rosanna-d New Member

    Hi Sam 3, it’s complicated and I think for sure there’s some eating disorder aspect? He has some serious food intolerance/allergies and I think they’ve created some obsessive behaviours and anxieties. As well, the doctors talk a lot now about the gut-brain relationship and his is out of whack. I feel guilty as I think I passed onto him this genetic predisposition to this.
  19. Littleboylost

    Littleboylost On the road unwanted to travel

    That is tough and I hope he does get some proper medical care. Try not to feel guilty. I always felt so guilty about my sons addiction being that there is so much of it in my family history. It’s a hard thing to get past the guilt.

    You care for your son and want him to get help. You are a loving parent.

    As my husband says. If you shake any family tree skeletons are bound to fall out.