Cautiously Happy Update

Discussion in 'Substance Abuse' started by startingfresh, Oct 19, 2018.

  1. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    Rn, thank you for asking about my son ! I figured I should start my own thread because of course its a long one!! Last time I updated he had admitted himself into the hospital for mental health help. When he made this decision, he was renting a room from someone and quickly running out of money. He had an excellent job for a year prior to June and had made a lot of progress. However, he still smoked weed and as time went by became more and more unhappy with his situation. He abruptly quit the job in June and got caught by police with marijuana. He then spent his last chunk of money for a lawyer and has a court date hanging over his head. That led him to stop smoking weed(his self medication of choice) Without that he looked elsewhere for relief and took some pills then wrecked his car, had at least 2 episodes of drinking way too much and making stupid mistakes. These are the things I know.

    Its possible he hit an all time low and felt like he had no way out and checked himself into local mental health hospital. They started him on new medication (aimed to treat his up and down moods) and he asked if he could come home and live with us. Prior to this, My husband and I have had to put huge distance between him and allow him to be on his own and face his own consequences because of the chaos he caused at home. He refused to follow our rules and was high all the time. That lasted about 8 months. Once he was in the hospital for suicidal ideation, I had to go with my gut and I showed up during visiting hours and asked if he wanted visitors. He agreed to see us and we reiterated that we loved him, that we were there for him, that we would do whatever we could to get him the help he needs. That we would find a way to find the best placement for him, not this bare room where he was just being watched to stay safe. No therapy, no conferring with his doctor/therapist he normally sees. At first, he tried to act all tough but then by day 2 he was waiting by the door at the beginning of visitor hours. He seemed to realize he had successfully pushed every single person in his life away and was only getting more and more depressed. He was finally discharged and unfortunately, with that awful experience he said he will never willingly check himself in anywhere.

    He is now back home living with us and is doing very well. He is on 2 new medications and has stopped all of his vices. He exercises daily and so far has willingly taken himself (borrowing my car) to weekly therapy and pysch. appts. He is taking a class online. I have not seen the light on in him like this in a very long time. We laugh together as a family and have dinner together and spend so much time together, I just can't believe it. I am very aware that things can change in a heartbeat and try to push those feelings down so I can enjoy this time. I think the new medication is the key piece here. Our goal right now is to keep him going to see his doctors and let the medications settle in. Then figure out what next. I can't seem to post here often, but i read when I can and am so thankful for all the support.
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  2. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    This is fantastic, startingfresh. Just amazing.

    If you don't mind, can you tell me his diagnosis and the medication he is receiving that has had such a great effect? While it is hard not to credit the medication it really does seem that he is choosing to change, that he had a wake up call and smelled the coffee.

    Of course you are right that things can change in a heartbeat, but he is proving he can turn this around. People relapse but they get right back to their program, too, as many times as not.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  3. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    Hi Copa :) His diagnosis is depression, adhd (although dr/teachers never agreed on this), anxiety and at one time ODD. Other diagnosis have been thrown around such as mild (?!) cannabis abuse, bipolar and mood disorder but as quick as one doctor was to diagnosis those, another one said there was no evidence of that. Its been very difficult to get to the bottom of things because my son didn't want any part of it. He has tried many medications and none worked. He also never took the medications for very long or with consistency. I asked him about this the other day and he said it was because he didn't believe he needed them. Now, he says he knows he does. So,anyhow the medicine he is now on is trileptal and wellbutrin. He started trileptal one a week before the wellbutrin. I have to say within 3 days of taking the trileptal he felt "more stable" . A huge key piece here for him is that he is on these medications without marijuana or other drug. I have been down this road with him before where he gets super healthy, kicks the vices to the curb and does great. Then something triggers him (a break up, an argument with someone, etc) and he starts smoking weed and bam back to the beginning. I hope that the fact that he is on mood stabilizer will keep him from the rash reckless things he does when upset that then lead to the next worse thing. I can't stress enough how damaging the marijuana has been for him.

    I do think he is tiring of the wreckage he has to face when he slips back into weed and other drugs/drinking and is choosing to change as you say. He says he hates that he can't enjoy it anymore, that it just brings him problems. He was quite traumatized about the binge where he bought pills, wrecked his car and doesn't remember anything from over 2-3 days. Luckily a good friend filled him in on the awful things he said and did and that really woke him up. Unfortunately for me, I too remember what he did and said. On a side note, his dr prescribed ADDERALL for his adhd. Right after he was discharged. I was beside myself but kept it quiet as that never gets me anywhere. After a few days he came to me and gave me the bottle of adderall and asked me to please dispose of them because he didn't trust himself. Progress. Huge Progress. I couldn't get rid of it fast enough. Now to get his dr to get a clue.

    He carries a lot of guilt and self hate over these actions and I am guessing this led in part to his hospitalization.
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  4. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Your son is making these good decisions on his own. Kudos to him. I have been on medications for mood issues since 23 and I know for a fact that psychiatric medications don't really kick in for 6-8 weeks. At least that is what I was always and consistently told and it has also bern my experience. I am betting that your son, independent of medications, is getting sick of his life and thats very very positive. Good for him!!!

    It is very hard, if not umpossible, to get a 100 percent true diagnosis of a specific mood disorder, one that all psychitrists will agree on. Psychiatry is very inexact. There are no ways to prove any diagnosis so it is largely diagnosed by which medications help.
    In my long trek with mood disorder diagnosis, various psychiatrists have diagnosed me with unipolar depression, manic depression, bipolar 2 ( which is different than the more serious often psychosis causing bipolar 1) and rinse repeat.

    If I had bipolar at all I should only be able to take an antidepressant if I am taking a mood stabilizer. That is the theory anyway. But I hate mood stabilizers...I felt like a total zombie on Lithium and Tegretal, and wouldnt keep taking them but Paroxatine, a strong antidepressant that many cant tolerate, saved my life and did not make me manic yet I feel I have bipolar 2. But who knows? Every diagnosis is a guess since there is the ever changing DSM but no testing to prove any diagnosis.

    Don't sweat over the real diagnoses. Once the illicit drugs are cleared from your son's brain the doctors can work with him better.

    I am crossing all my body parts for your son and feel he is on a very positive path! Once they get sick of the drug life...its a great thing!
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  5. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    These are my son's diagnoses. He is absolutely hostile to the idea of medication and love his marijuana. While he has stated at moments he is dependent, he has shown no motivation to stop and he is way older than is your son.

    I am impressed by your son.
  6. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    So happy to hear this news. Your son sounds just like mine in many ways. Funny how with most of these guys there is a lot of common ground isn't it?

    Mine comes home after 13 month program in 4 weeks. Part of me is freaking out. The rest of me is praying hard. He also seems ready to change and live a normal life - as he says.

    Last night we had a call with him and the director of the program about ground rules. I think the call went well. I am so much stronger than I have ever been. Our son just turned 23.

    I know that at a moments notice I could turn into jello.....

    Or maybe not. I hope I NEVER have to find out.

    I told him I'm not policing him. I'm too old and he's too old!!

    Great news and please keep us posted. Baby steps right??
  7. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    Copa, my son too has been hostile to the idea of medication. He has a list so long of on and off medications that I wonder what the pharmacy thinks when we pull up to get our prescriptions. At one point, I vowed to myself that we would not try another medication because each time he comes to the same conclusion. This after waiting to get off a waiting list to see the psychiatric, another chunk of money, hope and then giving up. Just so painful. Yet, today here we are with him leading the way, owning it all. He has everything organized into a weekly pill container and has done so well I just can't believe its the same kid. I guess the road to self medication had just become too painful. He is also taking B vitamin and deplin (sp?) . He has the MTHFR gene mutation where he could possibly be struggling to convert folic acid so no harm in taking that. I will pray for your son. You are so supportive and helpful!

    SWOT, good advice as always! I too wonder about what is working, could it be the medications so soon? I have seen him pull himself together before, actually many times. Its the pattern of the past several years actually. This time there is a calm about him and his laugh that I haven't seen in a very long time. That feels like the medicine. The medications they are using as a mood stabilizer are indicated for epilepsy yet show promise with mood with little side effect. Anyhow, time will tell I guess. I try to think of the diagnosis as sort of a way to label the symptoms they are seeing. Not an absolute. And the drugs muddy it all up.

    RN, I am so excited for you to have your son back with you. I can't believe its been a year. I imagine your nerves. When my son came back from Wilderness Therapy as a 15 year old, I felt the weight of micromanaging his every move and holding him to our family contract. At this point I am with you, I would not want to police again. Especially at 23. Your son has worked hard and I am praying that the transition is smooth. I am rooting for you son, he sounds like he is well on his way.
  8. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    What is that and how did you find out? Was he tested genetically for psychiatric medication? I have read about that.

    The really mind-blowing part about your son is how he is taking charge. Not just owning it. But taking responsibility. I mean. It is incredible. You must have to shake yourself every few minutes.
  9. Wonderful news!
  10. startingfresh

    startingfresh Member

    Yes, we had genetic testing for finding a good match for the medications. I understand there are mixed opinions on this. Our insurance covered it and it was a simple swab of his cheek so we did it. I found the following article about the MTHFR mutation.

    A Genetic Mutation That Can Affect Mental & Physical Health

    We are using the "medical food" deplin as there is no harm in it and maybe it is working?!
  11. Elsi

    Elsi Active Member

    My partner has this, as do her sisters. It's actually not uncommon, once you start looking for and testing for it. There are different types of mutations here, some more serious than others, that interfere at different steps in the folic acid conversion cycle. And it can absolutely impact mental health, especially anxiety - I've seen it in action! My partner has serious anxiety problems when she doesn't follow her diet and supplement program. She also has ADHD, which I believe is often associated with MTHFR.
  12. Tired out

    Tired out Active Member

    Starting fresh.. Hallelujah! I am thrilled to read a positive encounter. I cross my fingers, pray and hope all continues to progress on this wellness path for your son. A positive attitude and exercise go a long way to a happy life.