Matt's issues are getting so intense

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Steely, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    I don't even know where to start - so I thought I would just try to write until all this was out of my head.

    The *main* reason I moved to the NW from the small town in AZ was so that Matt had access to healthcare and help. Also to be closer to my Mom, and because there were not any jobs in my small town. Well, lets just say that I feel further away from my Mom than I ever have, and Matt is now more overwhelmed than he ever has been - and I miss AZ like crazy. In addition Matt lives 1 1/2 hours from me.

    Matt is just so stuck. We had this FIVE hour long conversation last night. I mean - it was SO deep and intellectual my brain still hurts. It is like he suddenly has a mirror in front of him, and he see every single thing in his life perfectly clear. He sees his every phobia and how it is impacting his life. He sees that his brain is different than everyone else and that makes him feel defective on his better days, suicidal on his worst. He is not willing to accept that him being different is OK. He hates it - he hates himself. He sees no hope for his future.

    He talked at length about his need to get help for his phobias and life - but it makes him feel even more inferior, unworthy, and like even more of a failure - yet he also knows that he has no other choices other than help or suicide ( "his words"). He was SO suicidal last night. And no, he is not going to a hospital - he has been to 5 thousand hospitals in his life, and they just make it worse.

    Then he goes on at length about how he would not know what to do without me. He is constantly asking me if I am ok. Am I going to the gym, am I eating healthy - and telling me how if something happens to me that he would never survive. I feel completely smothered - and yet I know it is also true. He has no life, no friends - I am the only one in his life. It makes me feel crazy. It makes him feel crazy.

    So the obvious choice is for him to "join" classes, or get with a voca rehab place - but his anxiety does not allow him to walk into those places alone. He absolutely freaks out. So the ONLY solution is for him to get connected with this anxiety clinic that will actually start walking him through exercises to manage his anxiety. Of course how he gets there - I don't know - because he is too freaked to ride the bus and I am an hour and a half away.

    This is such a cluster - I just can't do this anymore. I can't even do my life - let alone continue to be so responsible for his life. And his life makes me so sad....he is in so much internal pain, so conflicted, yet he sees it all so clearly. It seems as if it would make sense for me to "just let him handle" this since he is 21.....but he really is incapable. He just freezes and does nothing. I never thought it would come to this - that he would still be so mentally compromised at 21. Or if this did happen - he would surely have help, support, other than me.

    I don't know - I can't make him get help. I have done that his whole life, and we see how well that has worked out. I feel just as stuck as he says he feels.

    Any wisdom or insight? The more I watch Matt, the more I realize that the malady of mental illnesses he has will not become easier in time for him to deal with - but the opposite. Our society is complex and challenging, to navigate - his illness is only exacerbated by social complexities, or chaos.

    He would never live in a group home - nor could I make him I don't think. If he can't get over his agoraphobia I think he will just sit in his house on disability for the rest of his life - or kill himself.
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    This feels overwhelming to me even to read it so I think what you are feeling must be natural given the situation. My heart breaks for Matt. Anxiety is a beast. I think I have that multi-hundred dollar anxiety program that I bought for my sister in my livingroom, Do you think anything like that would help him? I certainly haven't used it. It is that one that is on TV advertised all the time. It seemed so good, but my sister went into the hospital for a short stay instead. I should use it myself, probably everyone should who has any anxiety in their life. My anxiety, I think anyway, is pretty normal, I have it if there is something to actually worry about, but I am sure I could do better. Anyway, if that is something you are interested in, we could work something out. Silly to have it sit there for nothing. PM me if you are interested, I would not sell it, not looking for money, just would not be able to pay postage. It is all dvd and tapes I think...
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    There are specialists that would start working with him at home and work him up to going out to their offices or whatever. Any chance of finding one or at least someone willing to start him off with in-home visits? Maybe an agoraphobic specialist or something?
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't know that there is much more you can do besides encourage him to see a therapist and to open up to the therapist about these things. You can talk positively about therapy and be supportive but you can't really carry the burden of someone else's MH issues like they are your own, especially when your son is an adult now.
  5. FlowerGarden

    FlowerGarden Active Member

    I'd encourage him to see a therapist, too. Keep reminding him if he wants to be happier, he has to help himself. You can't do it for him, but he has all your moral support. You might want to consider counseling yourself to know how to respond to things he says to you. A counselor can guide you in how to word what you say, etc. Sending you cyber hugs!
  6. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes, I found someone like that in Portland that is where we are going to start I think. Well, I found 2 actually, one comes to the home, one does not. Well, I should not say "we" will start, because he has to make his own decisions here.

    Klmno I don't want to carry the burden of his MH (funny those are also his initials - oh the irony). Anyway - I am trying to figure out how not to. But what do you do when a person cannot find resources on their own to help themselves? I have to step in to some extent it feels like. I don't know, I am sure I am enabling at some points - it is what I do best - haha. I am in counseling - but given the move - she is new - and I can't say we have really connected yet.

    Buddy thanks for the offer. I don't know if he would use those tapes, or I would ask to borrow them. It is beyond just listening to something to help - because he actually *knows* what to do - he just can't get out of his head enough to *do* it. He has been in counseling since he was 4 - cr@p he could write a book on what he *knows to do* - that is the most frustrating part of this actually. He has all this cerebral knowledge that he can't or won't apply to his emotions.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Oh- I know you don't want to, S. But he's putting them on you- not intentionally, but still..... I don't consider helping him get into counseling being enabling, especially when you realize that he has to make some choices and effort here, too. I just don't want you walking around feeling like he's dumping suicidal thoughts on you and stressing you out when/if he really won't pick up the phone or make one effort to help himself.
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I figured that but just wanted to offer....
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Hugs, Steely. I have no other suggestions.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    This is hard to watch. I know it is, because I've watched it. This is the way Nichole was when she finally "got it" about her dxes. It hit her like a ton of bricks at first. I guess when you stop and think about it, it would for anyone. She spent so long denying there was anything wrong with her, that when it finally sunk in that there was........well, the kid took it hard, really hard.

    I just kept talking to her. I'd find good articles and sites both online and offline for both bipolar and borderline and give them to her. While she was still at home and seeing her psychiatrist, I went with her because she wanted me to.

    We still talk about it quite a bit. She needs the reassurance that just because she has these dxes it doesn't mean she can't live a full and productive rewarding life. It may be harder for her in some ways than the average person, but she can if she wants it bad enough, if she's willing to do what it takes.

    As an adult she has talked about returning to the psychiatrist, but hasn't yet. Some of that has to do with her husband, actually, probably quite a bit has to do with her husband. And I know she'd like the psychiatrist she had before. And your post just made me think to have her look her up in private practice as I know she's in the dayton area. (didn't think of that before and she stopped coming to county mental health down here) Nichole has anxiety over new docs, and due to the fact she looks about 12 yrs old, they don't take her seriously until they get to know her well.

    I wonder, since it IS an anxiety clinic, if perhaps there is some way they could help provide transport for Matt given his issues. Since anxiety is one of his biggest issues, if he wants to see improvement, that's going to be the thing to tackle first.

    Tackling the anxiety is in no way shape or form going to be easy for Matt, especially if he isn't open to medications that can help for whatever reason. As he pushes himself out of his comfort zone, he'll discover it will back off and eventually go away, but speaking from first it's going to be really really hard. I'm going to be honest, after the accident I'd never have sought help if I just didn't have to function. Same right now.

    I wonder. Could you go for a visit, then ride with him along the bus route to and from the anxiety clinic a few times so he becomes somewhat familiar with it and what he has to do? Maybe go with him (on the bus) to his first couple of appts? I dunno if that is doable or not with your work schedule. And no I don't see it as enabling because when you do this, you have him do it all, you're just there for moral support. I do this with one of my kids right now for various things. Once whatever I'm doing is more familiar, I won't need that moral support anymore and I gain a teeny bit more confidence and self reliance.

    Now if you were able to do that with him and say he falls to pieces when it's time for him to do it himself..........then you calmly assure him that he can do it because you've watched him do it and when the fear gets overwhelming (and it probably will the first few times he does it alone) to tell himself he knows what to do he's done it before. have to be strong and make him do it.

    But like I said, I dunno how doable that is. But the kid needs this clinic's help, and if he's too anxiety ridden to even get there, he's not going to get any help.

    Now if helping him learn the bus route or riding along for an appointment or two isn't doable..........or after that he just won't..........

    It's gonna sound cruel, but you gonna just have to not help him. Because the need to do it for himself has got to be there, or he'll never come out of his comfort zone. I know, because I wouldn't.

    And I know he's had bad experiences with hospitals and docs in the past, but if he's suicidal ...he needs hospitalized even if it's just to watch him.

    Sadly because he's an adult you can't make him do anything, nor can you be responsible for anything he does or doesn't do. You can't force him to take the help he needs.

    I think, based on myself and what I went through with Nichole, he's reached that point that he can no longer deny he desperately needs help. That is a good thing. Keep encouraging it and supporting him, and listening if it's not too much on you.........if it is then direct him to a therapist, while reminding him that you love him but you have your own issues you're dealing with.

  11. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes Hound - the bus route is the big thing right now. I told him I would ride with him until he is comfortable, and he is open to that. And yes, I can physically find the time to do it. However, I am hoping that this clinic can help with all of this. I want them to really be the ones to ride the bus with him and practice calming techniques, etc. I will see what they offer.

    In one of your other posts you mentioned Travis not being able to pick up the phone, without considerable difficulty, and that is Matt. OMG. Just to pick up the phone and arrange something takes an act of congress - mostly - again - because of our society. He gets stuck in those phone trees and he just has a lot of trouble navigating them. It is stuff like this that I see, and I find so frustrating. If it was 100 years ago - I think his life would be totally different.

    As far as medications - that is the other really difficult piece. This clinic does work with medications with the patients, which is good - however Matt cannot take any sort of benzo. He goes stark raving crazy. His new psychiatrist gave him Vistaril, which is not a benzo, and he still had the same side effect. Not sure I understand why - but he is clearly not able to do a lot of the medications that help with anxiety. He cannot do the SSRIs either. Possible they could add an SNRI, as Effexor worked pretty well for him for awhile. I don't know, Matt knows what works and what doesn't so he will have to figure that out. For me Klonipin has been a lifesaver - but for him - it makes him ballistically suicidal.
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Vistaril caused a bad reaction? Does benedryl cause bad reactions in him? Hmmm.

    Im actually gonna wonder if he is freaking out because he feels different and that makes him panic with the medications I mean. Dunno.

    I dont know how you do anymore than what you have been doing. I thought you moved to where you moved for reasons that seemed very valid at the time. I didnt realize Matt was that far away but I thought you had things set up the way you wanted them and this was your plan. From what I remember you werent all that happy back in AZ but then I could be mistaken. I dont have the best memory. I just thought this was what you wanted and was happy for you.
  13. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Yes, this was all my plan and what I thought I wanted. No one forced me, in fact, I created the plan. I had lost my job, I had to move. I was optimistic - and in fact - if I had to do over I am not sure what I would do different. There were needs that had to be met - and that was not going to happen where I lived. So, I guess I just thought it would be different. I thought Matt would be more independent somehow. I don't know.

    No - Matt is not reacting to feeling different on those medications. Benzo's are known to cause depression and addiction. He acts like he is coming down from a crack binge when he takes them and they wear off. As for the Vistral, who knows, he only tried it once, so maybe he was just assuming it would be the same and panicked. Yes, Benadryl does make him anxious - me too.
  14. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    Steely, if he had OHP certain kinds cover transportation. Also, had he ever tried buspar? pm me if you have questions about the insurance stuff.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

  16. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    I am so sorry you are going through this and will keep you in my thoughts. {{hugs}}
  17. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    I am sorry Steely. Sometimes our lives with difficult child's can really be overwhelming. (((HUGS))) -RM
  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I agree, I'd push to see if the clinic will do the whole transportation thing before you volunteer for the task. The sooner he starts working with them the better, for both of you.

  19. lovemysons

    lovemysons Well-Known Member

    Just thinking of you and son this morning.
    Ya know, I take Abilify and have BiPolar (BP) disorder. The Abilify has greatly relieved my anxiety level. Has your son ever tried this medication? If he hasn't I sure think going to Dr and seeing if they will give this a try might be a good idea.

    I am so sorry you are feeling so smothered. Young difficult child does this with me too.
    It is overwhelming to feel that responsible for our grown children's lives. Especially when they have tried hospitals, various medications, rehabs, etc etc etc...but we are their mothers and never give up.

  20. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Thanks LMS -
    Yes, he has tried Abilify, and he became a tyrant on it. He does have weird reactions to medications - that is for sure - which narrows the possibilities down immensely. He was on Zyprexa which worked really, really well - but he went off of it because he was worried about the side effects. Sigh.

    Yes, it is overwhelming to still feel so enmeshed in difficult children life. I have made the merry go round of phone calls to the anxiety clinic - and I am still waiting to hear back. It sounds somewhat hopeful though that this one clinic will come to his home and actually start processing there with him. That way they can work with him on his thought processes as he learns to navigate the mass transit system, or go to the store, etc. Keeping my fingers crossed. It would just be nice if someone would call back - grrrrr. I will keep calling them.