Should I feel guilty for wanting my depressed adult son to live on his own

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by Maisy, May 21, 2016.

  1. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    My 23 year old son with bipolar 2, anxiety and ADHD has an apartment which he never wants to stay at. He comes to our home and never wants to leave. Says being in his apartment makes him depressed, he cannot play his music, etc. My husband doesn't push the issue but this frustrates me to no end. My husband and I are planning on selling our house this summer and moving out of state. My son refuses to see a doctor or counselor to deal with his issues. Whenever I bring up the fact that he needs to sleep at his apartment, he gets defensive and complains about his depression etc. I feel he needs to learn to be independent, depressed or not, but I do not want to make things worse.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Hi, Maisy,


    Is he paying for the apartment? Does he have a job, any source of income?

    You have every right to do this. You will not live forever. You will likely out-live your son. HE has to figure out how to get where he needs to go and how to get there. There IS help out there. But...

    This is HIS problem, not yours. You can't make him go. You can't make him take medications. And unmedicated Bi-polar is really ugly.

    He needs to learn to be independent. PERIOD.
    It's part of the ugliness of mental health issues.
    Sometimes they don't want "help". Sometimes, the help available doesn't meet their needs - medications have side-effects, counselors may not be a good fit, and so on. But... if they DON'T want help... there is literally nothing we can do for them.
    I agree with you. HE has to learn how to be independent.

    And you leaving the state is a good reason to push the issue.
    NO he can't move with you.
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  3. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    Every word of your post I could have written. My son was depressed, anxious and has ADHD. At 23 I made him move out. He did not have a job or apartment. He went to a homeless shelter.

    I could not do it anymore. That is a valid reason. Sometimes we count too. Actually, we count a great deal.

    I have found that they need to learn how to live their lives and to come to terms with themselves. That that is the way they can to some extent learn to manage their moods and symptoms, feel self-esteem, autonomy and make a life.

    As long as we provide a haven they cannot really do this. It remains "mommy" and little boy.

    You can do this, and so can he. I highly recommend posting. It really helps.

    I am glad you are here. I hope that you encourage your son to make plans about how to meet his own needs. Set limits now so the change is not so abrupt. By setting limits and by going about your plans you will model to him autonomy, valuing yourself and your life. That will help him the most.
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    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016
  4. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    Thank you for your responses. It really helps! Bless you all!
  5. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Maisy... I am in a sort-of similar position and I completely understand! You have to do you... He needs to do him.
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  6. Scent of Cedar *

    Scent of Cedar * Well-Known Member

    Do you think he is afraid by himself, Maisy? Does he have a support system?

    Is the apartment uncomfortable, or unsafe? Or maybe it smells bad, to him. There must be something. Maybe, he is just lonely.

    Could he have birds, or an aquarium filled with goldfish?

    Would he volunteer at an animal shelter?

    Are there people who bother him when he is at home in his apartment, do you think?

    Maybe, he is scared?

  7. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    My son is now at his apartment and has been there a few weeks now. He raged at me one day and that was it. I told my husband my boundaries are he cannot live with us nor will I ride in the car with him. I saw my son briefly last week and he is still so unsure of himself and his place in the universe. He says that he will go to counseling but still has not done it. What bugs me is he has not bothered to look for work. He takes a few dance classes and that is about it. He seems to have anxiety about holding down a job because he has dropped the ball on a few jobs in the past so does not try. I am so frustrated with him!!!
  8. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    What really frustrates me is my inability to let go. Like I should be able to do something about this. I feel so helpless and powerless even though everything I read says that I cannot control this situation. It embarrasses me that I have a son who won't get a job! There I said it! And how much is his mental illness and how much is willfulness because it is always in the back of my mind that he is willfully making the decision to not work.
  9. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    if his mental illness is a factor in his not working, I seriously believe it is best to file for Disability. IF that is why. The reason I feel its a good idea is that. if he is actually disabled due to his mental illness and ADHD, there are really good disability workers who will help him greatly toward finding a suitable job. it is worth it. Right now he isnt functioning. That may be his mental illness since he is not getting any treatment.

    My opinion is that people like me who have mood disorders (I was once dxd. bipolar 2 also) and anxiety can work. I think it helps us. But drpending on the degree of his illness, he could need guidance. I dont think he needs parental guidance. Our differently wired adult kids need to rely on people outside of us. We can't live forever. They need to have a trustworthy support system they can aside from us and I think our adult kids take direction better from outsiders.

    This is food for thought from another who always had mental illness and learning disabilities. Some people do need help, but with help they can find a good job fit. This does wonders for confidence!

    His raging amd moodswings likely would be helped greatly by medication. Does he see a psychiatrist?
  10. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    He won't see a psychiatrist until he starts therapy. Not sure why except he has had bad luck with many medications in the past. He smokes pot to self medicate his anxiety. We have discussed disability but want to wait until he has had some therapy to see if that changes things. You have given me food for thought so I thank you!
  11. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Pot makes you feel detached and spaced out so it could mask, not cure, anxiety. But pot is also a BIG cause of no motivation. It does not take the place of learning real coping skills for anxiety. in my opinion pot should not be used for mental health issues. In the end, it deters our adults from becoming adult like and produces some very lazy people who really are not productive. Daily pot use is terrible...I think its a huge reason many adults would rather get money from mom at age 30 and lay around watching TV than participate in healthy behavior/maturity. Here's hoping he will take positive steps and maybe cut out the maturity stunting pot.

    Meanwhile think of ways to make your own life good. You cant change, control or help an unwilling person. But you can decide to make YOUR life good. I really hope you do.
  12. T Rene'

    T Rene' Member

    I totally feel the pain you are going thru :( my son is 28 & does the same thing to me! I don't know wat to do anymore ... This has been a very long struggle... This is only a piece of wat we've been thru ...I don't allow him to mooch of me , because I have raised him to be independent... He just refuses to do so :( & it hurts me every day... The best of luck to you & urs :) You are not alone
  13. jetsam

    jetsam Active Member

    ah yes, you could have just as well been talking about my 29yo son. Yup self medicates with pot on a daily basis (and who knows what else) and yes totally unmotivated choosing to mooch off of us also. Job after job etc but he knows we won't give him money so he still attempts to work (although he jumps from job to job) He also refuses to get help in the form of a psychiatrist or counseling. I Know the pain and frustration but i am learning to detach-each day I get a little stronger. We are leaving the state when our lease is up and we also have decided that our son will not be coming with us.We try to prepare him for this but he never wants to engage in the conversation. I guess he prefers to play ostrich and stick his head in the sand instead of being prepared...or maybe he just doesn't believe us, after all, we have given him ultimatums before that we didn't follow through on . classic enabling behavior I Know. But I am stronger than i was in the past or maybe Ive just reached my limit. I feel for you. I know what your feeling. Be strong and keep rereading the article on detachment! It helps me.
  14. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    I really needed to read this, jetsam! My son had just started medications a week ago but is now in a depressed state so refuses to take it or go to his counseling appointment. I feel like we are dealing with an adult baby at times. I am so fed up but really struggling to detatch. We need to financially cut the strings and hope that he gets a job. I want so much for things to change! But not sure they will or can. Losing hope.
  15. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    I truly believe that if my son would take responsibility for himself; take his medications, go to counseling and get a job, either volunteer or paid, it would go a long way towards his mental and emotional health. Ideal scenario, I know. He spends exorbitant amounts of time in his apartment just ruminating then he gets depressed and avoids doing the things that he should. I found this situation so exasperating. I know that I am powerless to change him. We need to start cutting the financial ties because nothing is working to get him on track. I just wish that I could detach more and just live my life even though he is struggling so much. I always feel that I should be able to figure out a way to get him on track. Silly me!!
  16. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis

    This is so hard. It is his responsibility to take his medications and get help. You have lead him to water but he won't drink. We would be there, but our son knows his medications are crucial... Though a man child still. He's young and working... It us what it is for now.

    I don't know about pot. I have two brother in laws who have smoked for 30 years.. They are engineers, some people can drink.. Not everyone.

    I agree that the more he excludes himself, his anxiety will just rise when he Thinks of going into therapy.

    I agree he needs help and resources.. Perhaps he really can't work, and medications didn't work.. Bug I know they take time.

    Hugs and positive thoughts.. Stay strong
  17. jetsam

    jetsam Active Member

    hi maisy, Yes know that feeling wishing you could figure it out! but the reality is that even if you did figure it out and and had all the answers and gave him those answers...HE would have to be the one acting on it. Without him wanting to get better there is just nothing we can do or say to MAKE them. believe me i spent years trying to direct, beg...whatever i thought would work to make my son get on the right track...alas to no avail. He knows what he SHOULD do, he just chooses to do things his way ! Ill give you an example.. last night he was up coughing he probably has bronchitis (he gets it from time to time) In the past he would suffer because he had no insurance ok. Well now he has insurance and could go to the dr to get medication with no out of pocket cost! I say "you know you could go to the dr since you have insurance and you would feel better much quicker " his reply... "YEA thats good idea". Now that was this morning at 10am instead he smoked pot (coughing all the while) lazed in his room till he had to go to work (thank god he went because he just got the job) and off to work he went coughing and sputtering..ugh can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. seriously.!
  18. Maisy

    Maisy Member

    Good to know that I am not crazy for feeling this way! My son just started on some medication which seems to be helping but it has not been long enough to know for sure. We have to remind him to take it! Drives me crazy! Then he misplaces the medications so does not take it. I just walk away from the situation and let my husband deal with it. My son wants to get better or he doesn't. My husband is calmer and can get through to my son better than I can. He just frustrates me and I end up saying things that make it worse. What is it about males? It seems most of these blogs are about our sons. And we are the weaker gender?! Hah!!
  19. Jon777

    Jon777 New Member

    Mental health issues can be quite complex. I would not make any decisions around this without direct consultation with a medical professional. If your son won't take counseling, then I would get into therapy yourself, discuss these issues with a professional and come to some resolution through that process.


    CARP_ENOUGH New Member

    Hi Copabanana,

    My 22 year old is telling me he will be homeless in 2 weeks. He moved out at 18 and has jumped place to place for the last 4 years and now, he has no job, sold his car and ready to be evicted at Christmas. My heart is breaking as a MOM. How did you cope with knowing your son was homeless? It's not my problem , yes I know but he has laid guilt on me as I left his father when he was 10 and every other day the last year, it's been a roller coaster after he was doing pot, xanax, alcohol and jumping from server to server jobs. Now his girlfriend finally left him as she was tired of dealing with his negativity. If he gives up on life, how do I not blame myself? I don't know anymore. I guess we just have to let him do what is necessary to survive. !!