Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Lizzie, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. Lizzie

    Lizzie New Member

    I can't believe how lucky I am to find this forum and read some of your posts right now. I'm in full panic about my very depressed and angry 22 year old son. He has moved back home and I feel terrible. So scared every minute, I don't know what to do. He refuses to do anything, won't see a therapist or get any help at all.
    The house is feeling terrible!
    I want to move out!
    I'm afraid he will kill himself or do something awful.
    He's silent and awful.
    This is the first time I'm admitting it or telling anyone. So it's hard to even write.
    But I can't stand it anymore.
    What to do?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, Lizzie,

    Welcome. Sorry you need to be here but glad you found us.

    Things are slower around here at night, and I'm signing off soon too. I haven't been in your exact situation, so don't have so much in the way of advice, but wanted to let you know that you are in the right place.
  3. Lizzie

    Lizzie New Member

    Thank you
  4. Lizzie

    Lizzie New Member

    I feel a bit better just reading other people's posts
  5. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    Hi Lizzie,
    I've been dealing with my 18 year old son who has been depressed for the past 3 months. He had anxiety attacks and was suicidal for the first 2 months. I had him admitted to a psychiatric hospital twice. I spent over 2 months at home 24/7 watching him. I was terrified that he was going to hurt himself. He's on antidepressants now but stopped going to counseling after 2 months. He spends every day in his bedroom. This past week he finally seems to be getting out with friends. He hasn't spoken to me in months. It's been a terrifying 3 months but things seem a little more stable now (fingers crossed). I've joined a support group, read a few books on depression and joined this forum. It helps to educate yourself and know you are not alone.
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  6. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Lizzie, I am so sorry for your need to be here and your troubles with your son. It is hard when there are issues like this, and our d cs are adults, in the eyes of the law. No matter what, be it drug use or illness, such as depression, it is their responsibility to get help. My two, are using, and have frequent mood swings, including depression. Would you mind filling us in a little more, about your son? It would help to have a bit more information.
    I know this is hard Lizzie, but this is your home, your sanctuary. Your son has problems, and much like a diabetic or any other chronic disease, he needs to get up and get help. Allowing him to live as is in your home, take over with his emotions, make YOU feel like leaving, does not help him. He will not see the need to get help, as long as you shelter him. I know this is hard, and you must think "He is ill, how can I NOT help him?"
    Many of our parents here, are dealing with, or have dealt with similar situations. More will come along and share.
    Most will tell you, helping them, did not end up helping them.

    Hugs for your hurting heart. I am very sorry for what you are going through. Stay with us and keep posting. People here understand your situation and will offer support and guidance. There is no right or wrong, this is your journey. You have come to a soft place to land, and vent, and get some really good, first hand information.

    Welcome to the forum.
  7. New Leaf

    New Leaf Well-Known Member

    Hi Worriedsick, I am glad to know your son is a bit more stable, I hope this is a continuing upward trend.
    Prayers for you and your boy....
  8. Lizzie

    Lizzie New Member

    Thank you for your help.
    My son has had mood swings since 13 but never so bad as this. He quit his therapist, left college, says I caused all his problems by never loving him. I can't believe it, it's so sad. I've tried so hard to be a good mom, married still to his dad, his two brothers are well. We don't have any substance or anger issues in family. He's just miserable.
    I am taking it way to hard and personally says his father/my husband.
    I will call him ms middle son.
    He just sleeps, eats, lays around all pale, scary to me. I'm afraid to leave him alone, yet I hate being around him.
    I'm going to have my husband talk with him today if possible, about seeing a new therapist. He won't talk with me at all anymore.
    I need do I don't collapse into his view that somehow this is my fault.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hon, my heart bleeds for you. But I have had years and years of bad depression and still tried, even at a very young age, to get help a nd accept the help. Yes, the medication trials sock and it took me ten years to get on a medication regime that saved my life (literally) but I never stopped trying and never quit therapy, although I did find my own therapsts and leave some that I felt were useless. You didn't cause it. Basically clinical, long term depression is usually inherited and not caused by life or parenting. I had bad parents, especially my mom, but I did not blame her for my depression. I knew I was born this way. She just was mean about it and probably had depression herself by the way she acted. But mental illness is in my family or origin so I know it was inherited.

    Has your son been evaluated? I was many times. The most consistent diagnosis I have gotten through the years is mood disorder not otherwise specified and anxiety disorders of all sorts. This does get in the way of your functioning which is why your son hopefully will not stop fighting for himself. He can live a happy, normal life with the right treatment. I bless my loved ones and my life every day and do not take any of my good life for granted. On the other hand...

    Although you can not force your son to get help, you can make going to a psychiatrist AND therapist a condition to his continuing to live in your house. It does him no good to get comfy in his misery. He needs to jump forward and take care of himself or he will not improve. It is a harsh way to get him to receive help, but it may be the only way he will try to get better. And he CAN get better if he is in the mood disorder/anxiety range. It is quite treatable now, but not if you don't seek treatment.

    Forget his angry words. He is miserable and that is the illness speaking. If you were so horrible, all of your kids would be suffering. I agree with your husband. Don't take it personally. Don't answer his abusive blurts either. Just act like he never said them. If they are constant you may have to make being respectful a condition of living in your house as well. He COULD be much better, but is unwilling to go for help and has no fire to advocate for his treatment, which I did. I had that fire to get better, even when I was at my worst. Light a fire under him. He needs that. If he gives into the depression, and you make it easy for him to do so, he is just going to keep being depressed.

    In my own home, I also would not allow a grown child to live in my sanctuary yet refuse to talk to me. That would not be acceptable. He would answer me and talk to me with respect or again have to find another place to live. Are you 100% that your son does not use any drugs?

    I did not mean to sound harsh and I hope I did not come off that way. But I know depression well. It is horrible. But it is one of the most treatable mental illnesses that exist. So is anxiety. Yes, he may need minimal medications all his life, but the medications that work will bring him back to normal, not make him different. And don't let him try to tell you pot helps his depression. Pot doesn't help depression.

    Hugs and keep us posted. I'm particularly interested as we have similar issues. I want him to get the help he needs. Yes, we all can have bad experiences with bad therapists, but we can move on and look for good ones and great ones and great ones do exist.

    Wishing you the best.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Agree. Then they get "stuck" there. If he is going to live in your home, then he MUST be doing "something" to move forward. I'm not sure I would make both medications and therapy mandatory - maybe for starters, some smaller steps, like treating others with respect, getting up at the same time every day and making his own breakfast and cleaning up after, bath/shower and change of clothes every day, leaving the house every single day - even if it's just a walk around the block to start with... ANY self-care would be an improvement. Then, slowly, when that is working consistently, add one more requirement. Rinse and repeat.

    At this point, you have no way to know if this is depression, depression plus something else, or drugs. It would be good to find this out. However, whatever the cause, this isn't the real person speaking. So, get mad at the illness/drugs, but keep the real person in your heart.
  11. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Welcome, Lizzie

    I agree with Serenity. There have to be conditions for him to live with you, in your home. By not putting conditions you as if say "I accept what you are doing." And you do not.

    My son exhibited many of the behaviors as does your son at his age. I insisted he go to a job training. I would not allow him to lie around. He got a job but ended up abandoning it after about 15 months. When I saw his intent was to lay around here, I finally kicked him out. Really, I did. When he turned 23. Everything had been a fight. Actually, I do marvel that he did complete 2 training programs, a year of college, and work say a year and a half--before he left. I pushed him every step of the way.

    He went to friends of ours who took him in for two years, asking for nothing. He eventually got himself on SSI for mental illness and did enter a residential treatment facility, until his SSI money came through, as a means to secure interim housing. He has been homeless. He has been hospitalized multiple times for suicide threats. He says he has made attempts. He prefers couch surfing to getting his own place, because he wants to spend all of his money on food and marijuana.

    He has mood swings, anxiety and body dysmorphia. He can also act the drama queen, domineering and lazy.

    If I had to do it over again I would do this:

    I would call 911 always if he threatens suicide.

    I would insist he do something productive such as school or job training.

    I would insist he get treatment.

    I would insist he treat me with respect and define what that is, so it be clear to both of us. That would include communicating with me. To not do so is disrespect.

    I would insist he have defined responsibilities in the house.

    I would insist that to live with me, he would be developing a realistic plan to become independent and making regular progress. With the help of a therapist, or counselor if possible.

    I would define exactly what were my expectations of him with respect to alcohol and drugs, and any other thing that concerns me.

    I would set clear limitations about the car. I would stop paying for anything other than food and housing and bus fare. Any use of the car, if any, would be contingent upon his having a job interview, a job, job training, school, medical or therapy appointment.

    I would give him the phone number and address of social services, and say goodbye, if his choice was to not adhere to or follow through with the agreement.

    We are glad you are here. I hope you post a lot. It really does help. Take care. Try to not be hard on yourself. It is not your fault.

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    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  12. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Hi Lizzie,

    I am so sorry for what you are going through. You have received some very good advice from SWOT.

    Please don't buy into this. He is hurting and is lashing out, that's all it is. You did not cause this for him. There are many people who have come from very dysfunctional homes that also suffer from depression but they have managed to live healthy and productive lives.

    Listen to your husband, he is right.

    I know you love your son and are very worried about him but allowing him to live in your home where is free to just eat and sleep is not helping him. I'm not saying that you need to throw him out but without some clear boundaries and rules nothing will change for him or you.
    If it were me, I would tell him that he can continue to live there but he needs to do the following, see a therapist and get on medication and find some kind of a job. I would also give him a time limit, say you have until next week to find a therapist and get on medication. After he's been on the medications for at least 3 weeks, then it's time to start looking for a job.

    I would also suggest that you seek out a therapist. While this site is wonderful and you will get much needed support, having a therapist that can really help you navigate through this and help you set healthy boundaries will help you more than you can know.

    I'm glad you are here with us Lizzie. Please let us know how things are going.

    ((HUGS)) to you.............................
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  13. Lizzie

    Lizzie New Member

    I did find myself a therapist. Going tomorrow.
    Question: how do I know if it's safe to leave him home alone?
    Also, I'm so anxious, can't sleep, adrenaline rushing through me, I am afraid!
    He did get up today and eat and sit outside. He got dressed and washed up himself and dishes. But I have no idea if he's dangerously suicidal.
    I really don't think drugs or pot, no smell or sign. He doesn't go anywhere.
    I've been in his room a lot.
    But will be open in case.
  14. Lizzie

    Lizzie New Member

    He hasn't been evaluated or ever been on medications that I know of. He says not.
    He's been moody but not this bad before I don't think...
  15. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Without having never been evaluated, how does he or you know what is really wrong with him? Anyway...

    Look. Every time our kids drive they could get killed in a car accident. What I'm trying to say is, we never know for sure if our adult kids will chose safe behavior. You really can not babysit a man for life. There may be a group home he can move to to give you some relief. I do know we have a few in our small city...I didn't even know about them. If he is so sick, he can't move from his bedroom, do anything, or even speak to you, in my opinion I would insist, again as a condition of living at home, he get a disability assessment. If he is disabled mentally he will be offered many services plus SSI and a caseworker and have options about where to live and get Medicare and probably also Medicaid. Right now, undiagnosed by a professional (this means a psychiatrist or neuropsychologist, not a therapist), he has nothing to help him get better. Disability will probably tell him who he has to see and test him intensively. You can't do it all. You don't have the access.

    You need to see that therapist tomorrow for sure and learn to live your own life. This is no way to live. You in my opinion should not be saddled to babysit for your son, even though he has depression. And your son needs to go to Disability (usually it is called Aging and Disabilities, at least where I live) and get his own services so that YOU can get a break and not get sick or kill yourself by trying to care for somebody who won't allow you to help. He needs to find himself out-of-home resources as none of us can live forever too.He is a man now. He needs to take charge of his health problems.

    If he EVER threatens suicide, don't try to talk him out of it. Just call 911. You may find that his threat is a manipulation to get you to feel sorry for him or do things for him. I tried the 911 thing and never heard the word "suicide" again. My own son was going through hello with a custody battle for his beloved son and often felt he was losing the battle (he did not). But during that year I heard "suicide" so much that I finally started calling 911 whenever he said the word. He never tried to do it. In fact he learned to deal with his stress in better ways and is doing great now that the stress is over. I realize your son has a mental health issue beyond just a bad situation, but many people have depression and it is very treatable.

    Of course, this is JMO. Take what you like and leave the rest.
    Hugs, hugs and more hugs.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2016
  16. Worriedsick

    Worriedsick New Member

    Thank you New Leaf. Still going day to day-
  17. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Has he actually spoken of suicide or wanting to die? If he makes a threat I would call 911. If he is assessed to be a danger to himself he will be hospitalized against his will for several days, probably, sometimes more.

    No matter how much you watch over him you cannot prevent him from hurting himself if he decides to. You can take any threat seriously and insist that he seek and sustain treatment, as a condition of living with you.

    Seeing a therapist is so important for you and for his welfare. One could argue that not going out of fear presents as much or a greater risk than taking the risk to leave for a hour and a half.

    But only you can decide. Perhaps you can call the therapist back and discuss your fears and they will help you decide.

    I am very glad you found a therapist for you. Keep posting. Let us know how it goes.

  18. Lizzie

    Lizzie New Member

    Thanks COPA, I did go out to therapy and shop for food. Came home and felt better while out but it's dreary here...I am afraid to bring up the subject with him but I think I should ask if he feels suicidal. He doesn't say so. He just says he's tired.
  19. LostSoul1

    LostSoul1 New Member

    Hi posted on my thread end of December.....have been going thru my own personal hell with my son also. After he was released from the hospital for a drug overdose he came back home to live with me. I told him he could as long as he attends the mental health program everyday for the next 12 weeks. It is supposed to be really good. So i have had the burden of getting him up every day at 6 am and driving him the opposite way i work...and then driving back to work. It is exhausting. I too am finding helping not helping him, it is making things worse.

    He was home since Dec. 21....last nite Jan 22..had to have him leave with the police. He was verbally abusive, threatened to harm me and ended up breaking my flat screen tv after he realized i called the police....he is now at a youth shelter...

    Having a crappy weekend and feeling like crap....he has bipolar disorder, adhd...i am torn. I want to help him...but he won't help himself.

    Lizzie, you need to take care of yourself. Sheltering him isn't helping. If you suspect he may be suicidal, then i would call the police.....he will have no choice if you think he is a harm to himself or others. Sometimes that is what is rquired to get him the help he needs.
  20. LostSoul1

    LostSoul1 New Member

    Hi Copa...i read your posting and your son sounds sooooo much like mine...bipolar, body dysmorpihia issues. Afer he was released from the hospital, i too gave him condiitons that he could not disrespect me, had to do chores, attend his mental health day program for next 12 weeks...i ws taking him everyday to make sure he went. but the verbal abuse continued...last nite he threw a plate of food at me...all over the livingroom all over me. I told him to leave and he got really nasty. Started binging on food and told me i caused all his issues.. I said if i was so bad then he needs to get away from me. I called the police as he uttered threats to harm me. He then took off before they arrived. He punched my flat screen is destroyed now....

    Police came and they took him to a youth shelter last nite. My efforts to help him have not helped. I am worried sick for him.