Son wants/needs help

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by janus15, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. janus15

    janus15 New Member

    My son is 22 years old and recently came to me about some very serious issues in his life. Apparently he's been lying to the family and others about nearly everything. He has a very severe non-verbal learning disability (45 point discrepancy between verbal and performance). There is also a history of delusional thinking, social anxiety, and severe Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

    He coped with it well until the end of high school, when things started getting out of hand. I think it comes down to loneliness for him. He has trouble making friends and so he compensates by making things up. The difficulty he has with non-verbal cues and empathy makes friend-making very hard. The sad part is that now he has no actual friends because he's not a very good liar. The ones he says are too grandiose to hold up for long. So he's not going to climb the corporate ladder through his fantasy-making. Somehow, he managed to finish college.

    The interesting thing is that my son wants help. He read Hare's Sociopath Checklist and felt that it fit him perfectly. He admits that his behavior is out-of-control, that he is acting like a 10 year old, and that he has regressed. He is willing to do virtually anything to stop this behavior but he can't do it on his own. He has started writing apology notes to the people he has hurt. A huge thing for him has been calling up people with whom had conflicts and saying "It was my fault. You were right. I was wrong. Please let me know if there is any way I can make it up to you." He is making amends where he can. I think he has a handle on his behavior by staying very close to us and asking our opinions before acting. Now he needs to figure out how to make these judgments on his own. He admits that he needs intensive treatment and is willing to do a residential program, voluntarily sign himself into a program, etc.

    So here's someone who got into trouble later in life but wants out of all these games. How can I best help him?
  2. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Hello and welcome. The fact that your son is more than willing to help himself is so HUGE!!! That is fantastic. So many of our children, most in fact, are in such denial. It is very hard for them to admit to having problems, so kudos to him.

    Is he in therapy? I would think at his age that would be the first step in getting him into a program. Has he ever had a full evaluation?

    I can understand the no friends thing. My daughter is Borderline and has no real friends. She lacks social cues as well, lies and has much trouble being herself. She hangs out with whoever will accept her for the day. It is very sad. She won't take help as she doesn't think she needs it. Your son is way ahead of the game. It sounds like he is mature enough and knows himself well enough to know that there is a problem. And he got through college!!! That is amazing.

    Others will be along soon to share their wisdom. I hope things work out and you are able to get him the help he desires.

    God bless. :)
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Wow!! That is great !! Hi and Welcome, too!!

    My suggestion would be for him to see a psychologist and a psychiatrist and let them evaluate him and see what they think. I'm not an expert, but that's what I would suggest/do. I wouldn't start any specific therapy or medications until I had both these evaluation's and was comfortable that the professional had "hit the nail on the head" so to speak, and I was comfortable with their recommended treatment.

    He does deserve a BIG pat on the back for coming forward with this. In his case, therapy might be the only treatment needed. (I just believe strongly in second opinions. LOL!)
  4. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I am impressed as well.
    It took me a long time also to really understand what was going on with me. I messed a lot of things up in my life. I had no idea how to fix them or where to turn. Let alone what was wrong with me!
    I think a lot of us as adults here, have many issues that we have had to figure out later on in life.
    It is nice to see a young man doing this for himself and letting you help him!
    One thing is, even if he never *fixes* himself to be like all of the perfect people, I know I am never gonna be like all of the normal people out there!
    There is always a second chance, there is always a way to reinvent yourself.
    Once he starts getting help and finding his direction, who knows what is possible!
    This journey is by no means easy, it is a challenge. But it can be an exciting one most of the time. With the right support!
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    After reading Totoro's response, I thought I should add that I was in my early 20's and sought help for myself, too. I didn't know exactly what was wrong, I just knew that something didn't seem right and my life was not going the way I wanted it to. I went to a zillion professionals, it seems like, before I finally found one who seemed to understand everything I was saying, and that one helped me turn everything around. So, he'll need to have some perserverance with this, but the main thing is, if he's willing, let him know not to give up hope, even if he has to go thru several therapists to find one who can help him.

    And, try to overlook totoro's avatar- she really is somewhat normal. LOL! (JK, totoro!)
  6. Jena

    Jena New Member

    I 3rd toto's great response, it took me 30 some odd years to realize my past and deal with the issues that lie beneath. So, fact he is the age he is and admitting that he wants and needs help is huge. Welcome also by the way! :)

    I agree with the others i'd probably go to the therapy route first to get him talking to someone than if insurance allows or you can afford to do the evaluation that would be key.

    sounds like you have a great son.

    welcome again!
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Janus, welcome.

    I am awed by your son's revelation. Way To Go!!! That must have been so hard for him. And it was an accumulation, not just a one-time event.

    Yes, get some therapy and a good diagnosis. I hope you have good ins.
    Is your son working? Does he have his own ins?
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    How wonderful that your son SEES that he has a problem, and is actually TRYING to make things right with people he has hurt.

    It sure puts a big burden on you though.

    I really wonder about adult autism spectrum disorder of some kind. If at ALL possible, have him evaluated by a neuropsychologist or a group of docs of varying kinds (multi-disciplinary evaluation, or MDE).

    It would also be a HUGE help to him to have you do a Parent Report. It is a report on everything that has been done to help him, past diagnosis's and problems, hopes and dreams and strengths, everything. There is a format someone here a long time ago came up with and it seems to work well. Here is a link to it:

    Take a look at it and fill in what you can. Do it in several chunks, not all at once, it seems to be easier to do it that way.

    I am PROUD of your son for SEEING that he has a problem and for ASKING for help. I think he will need help from a psychiatrist (with the MD - also called psychiatrist here) and a psychologist or other therapist (therapist). He might also get some help from the people at MHMR in your area. I really do think testing to see what is really going on should be a high priority - that involves a Neuropsychologist for most people. The neuropsyc is specially trained in how the brain impacts behavior - and how problems with the brain show up in behavior.

    Gentle hugs to the entire family.
  9. Alttlgabby

    Alttlgabby New Member

    Welcome! I am glad that your son admits he has a problem and is willing to seek the help he needs. That is a great first step. Now to get him the help and hope he can stay with whatever program. Kudos to him and to you for sticking by him. Just give him as much support as you possibly can!
  10. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Welcome! I'm on the same page as Susiestar! Take a look at the description of Aspergers Syndrome - your description in way up there in that realm!

    Kudos to your son for recognizing the issues. Considering that he's 22, there wasn't much support for kids or parents alike that would recognize some of his issues and would have just thought of him as manipulative or a toad!

    Keep us up to date! And again, welcome, you've met a good group of people!