Senior graduating - just hit bottom - help!

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by kkenndo, May 19, 2009.

  1. kkenndo

    kkenndo New Member

    My almost 18 difficult child son has been self-medicating with pot for 3 years for anxiety, depression, low-self esteem, and ADD. He finally agreed to Lexapro 3 weeks ago and last Wednesday he lost all control in a way that's completely out of character for him. Got stressed at school and left to come home (common occurance). Then went somewhere and got significantly drunk (not his substance of choice), he then had an argument with his girlfriend on school property - police were called - bottom line, arrested, broken hand, broken spirit, can't go back to school for his last 3 weeks of senior year... but he'll graduate if he does his assignments at home.
    My son is not ready for the real world and the stress of graduating into it(without coping skills, self-confidence, self-esteem, or slightest of plan). Years of ADD therapy hasn't helped him. Lethal allergies to several medications make him resistant (and me) to drug therapy, he's a wonderful loving person who is well-liked by peers and all authority figures including the police! His principal loves him dearly.... he's off the Lexapro and we're trying to find intensive treatment. Inpatient services are not appropriate - although he smokes pot at least once each day - and has for years. Tried to grow it in my closet even! He is dead set against any program that takes him away from home, but that's the only thing I think that will give him the autonomy and independence he needs (and is afraid of) to start believing in himself.
    Has anyone had any experience with Wilderness therapy programs? I have been referred to ***** and found ***** online. I am tired, worn out, scared and feeling unequipped to handle this anymore. We argue just about every time we speak to eachother. I'm a single mom and he's my only son... we're very close... but so far apart. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks!
    Lasted edited by : May 19, 2009
  2. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE


    Welcome to our corner of the world.

    You will notice that I edited out a couple of things in your post. For liability reasons, we don't "name names" on this board but feel free to use the private message (PM) system to discuss those particulars.

    Please also go to the FAQ forum and do a signature/profile. There are so many of us that a signature really helps us keep each other straight and also helps us not have to repeat our stories to explain things.

    My first thought when I read your post is that your son might have had a strong reaction to the Lexapro. Many of our kids have been misdiagnosed as ADHD when in fact it's something else. A strong reaction to an antidepressant can happen if the person has a chemical imbalance, for example. Has this possibility ever come up with any of his previous docs?

    I guess he's lucky that the school authorities are allowing him to graduate with his class at all. What a shame to miss what should be an exciting and thrilling milestone for all of you.

  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Welcome to our board, it sounds as though you need someone to talk to! I always found with M that when he done something and was in those very few moments of remorse for either his actions or the results of his actions, he was more receptive to suggestions. I know he is frightened of being out of school and on his own, but this might be a good time to point out to him that panicking doesn't stop time from going by, and that he will learn to be his own man. He did mess up yesterday, but he needs to get his degree and prepare for tomorrow. The trick for life is to not just let it happen to him. Hopefully he will see that he needs to prepare for it so that it won't be so scary.
  4. gottaloveem

    gottaloveem Active Member

    Hi and Welcome,
    I'm sorry you are having trouble with your son. I know how scared and horrible you feel.

    Look on the bright side about school. At least they like him enough to allow him to finish his work and graduate. Does he say he will do the work to graduate?

    Since he is 18 and dead set against treatment, I doubt you will get a wilderness program to take him.

    Are you sure that marijuana is the only drug he is using? They are pretty good at hiding the ugly details. I'd say it is highly probable since he is getting into big trouble and is fighting with you constantly. What are his friends like? Polite and nice to be around, or scary? Here is a post from the archives, it lists the common signs of drug use:

    What are his plans after high school? Maybe he needs an extra year at home going to a community college.

    If his attitude is making your home a war zone, you could ask him to find elsewhere to live. He is 18, and I am not sure how much more "mommying" we can do after a certain point. If he is fed up with his life and wants to change and take positive steps for a positive future, tell him you will be by his side all the way.

    I hope he does the work he needs to graduate so he can move on to the next stage of his life without this ugly school incident following him. Has he gone to court on the charges the school filed?

    I hope you find some of the answers you are looking for here at conduct disorders, most of us have been through hell and back raising our difficult child's. These moms here are very wise and really helped me over the years.

    Wishing you some peace.

  5. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I see many high school seniors---I have been teaching at the high school level for 22 years--who get to that last stretch and just lose it. They have no idea what they will do next. They have had their days planned and scheduled for so long---by parents, the school, coaches----that the thought of it being over is terrifying and they self-sabotage subconsciously. As the mom of a pot-head, I can tell you that as long as he continues to partake in marijuana, his life will pretty much remain stagnant. Mine is 21 now, and still stuck in pretty much the same place he was at 15---except he has to work to support himself and his habit. If you can get him to agree to counseling--try that---but don't waste you money on an expensive program. If he is a long term user, as soon as he is back in his own environment, all the teaching will go out the window until he is sick and tired of his life going nowhere.
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I only read quickly...
    Suz said things that also came to my mind.
    Double check your son's medication with- another doctor. His ADD medications could actually be making things worse for him.
    He might need to make changes there.
    I think a wilderness or boarding school might be appropriate.
    When does he turn 18? You might not have much time to make a final'll need to keep this in mind.
    Also, be sure that the school he might go to has a qualified therapist on well as access to a good physician.
    Wishing you and your family well.
    Check out forum
  7. standswithcourage

    standswithcourage New Member

    Everywoman you are so smart. That sounds exactly like something someone would tell me!!!!! My son is 25 and he acts like he is 16. His behavior at home drives us all crazy. We have tried so hard to pretend like it doesnt but cant. It is hard to tell them to live somewhere else without finding them somewhere else. But I really dont know what else to do.
  8. dadside

    dadside New Member

    I think all the important points have been made. While a good wilderness program would help in the self-esteem department, and would eliminate marijuana at least for the term of the program, I'd advise against spending the substantial sum involved in your son's case. Wilderness did wonderful things for my son, but he asked for the help first. For kids younger than 18, wilderness may be a valuable part of a larger plan. But as your son would return to the same environment, the gain from wilderness will prove short-lived.

    Perhaps a local counselor could help both of you -- your son with his concerns, and you with ways to support new directions for your son. I think the "self-medication" has to stop as well, or there will be little point to other things. There are a number of good programs to help there, including locally-operated ones.