I just joined yesterday, and already I'm feeling the tiniest sense of relief at not being completely alone as the parent of an adult child with a scary diagnosis. My oldest son is now 21. At 18, he was diagnosed with Antisocial Personality Disorder and Dependent Personality Disorder. I was shocked and devastated and terrified - but also relieved to know that there was a name for the behaviors I'd been concerned about since he was 3 or 4. I did so much research - reading papers and books and medical journals and blog posts... and sometimes they helped... but often they didn't. Antisocial PD is so bizarrely misunderstood - the assumption is either that people with Auditory Processing Disorders (APD) just don't like being around people... or that they are psychopathic killers! My son is neither of those things - not even close. He's got a smile as big as the moon, and he loves children. He's amazing at sports, and smart as a whip (maybe too smart for his own good), and hysterically funny. But he's also a real mess. He lies to all of us, and steals from family and friends. He smokes pot, and can't keep a job for more than a few months. He dropped out of college with failing grades after three semesters. When he turned 21, we helped him find a cheap studio apartment, and he moved in. He started attending welding classes - and as far as I know, he is still attending... which is a huge step for him. He seems to enjoy working with his hands - and having a marketable skill set will certainly help him in the future. I hope he's really going - but I have no way of knowing for sure. Still - things aren't improving overall. He got so many point on his drivers license that they suspended it - but he just kept driving anyway (he's impulsive, and doesn't seem to think the law applies to him, and he can't foresee the consequences of his actions), and ended up facing the possibility of jail time and a huge fine. In the end, the judge waived the jail time and gave him a $350 fine... but he already had fines for petty theft, speeding tickets, and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. It added up to thousands of dollars. So, we decided that it was clear he wasn't responsible enough to own a car yet. We cleaned it out (it was like a dumpster - ugh!) and sold it. He wasn't thrilled, but he knew we weren't backing down. We used the money from the sale to pay off some fines, and we used his tax returns to pay off others. He still has one last $500 fine, and his rent is due in a couple of days. We set aside enough for rent and groceries for one month - but not enough to pay that fine. For that, he'll need a job. He lost his after two painful injuries at work which left him in the emergency room - he nearly lost a finger the first time. He also has student loans to pay - he's more than three months behind now, and there's no money to pay them. So, it's fair to say that I'm stressed beyond all reason... and I'm fully aware of the statistics that say he's more likely to end up addicted to a whole lot more than pot... or incarcerated... or dead. Which just sucks. I don't dwell on all that - but I can't ignore it either. Right now, I'm trying to break the cycle of dependency that I think is enabling him. I told him he can no longer ask me for money - and I sent him a link to the social services location near his apartment. I told him they can help with unemployment benefits and see if he qualifies for other benefits I don't know anything about. And I mentioned that they offer free hot meals once a day, too. I also closed the savings account I set up for him in high school because it was in my name, not his. My name has also been on his checking account along with his... and I am in the process of removing my access. He needs to manage his own money - even if it means racking up debts and defaulting on loans. It hurts like nothing else to start cutting him off like this - but I know without question that catching him every time he falls isn't doing him any favors. I feel like I'm cutting off my own limb... but he's spiraling downward over time, and he has to learn to help himself. Through it all, we somehow have a fantastic relationship. We laugh together - and he knows he has my support, no matter what. He is the most forgiving person I know - when I'm furious with him, he forgives me anger as soon as I apologize. There is no animosity between us. When he was badly injured at work, he called me and I met him at the emergency room. He was moaning in pain as blood splattered everywhere - it was terrifying... but he was comforting me as I comforted him. He treats his younger siblings and cousins like gold, and everyone loves him. He sends me texts now and then - mostly asking for money (to which my answer is now - always - no) - but occasionally just saying hello, and I love you. He's not the terrifying psychopath the world of the internet makes him out to be. He's just my kid. Wow - this got long. And I've hardly said a fraction of what's spinning in my head. I guess you all know how that feels.