Strange behavior-what could it mean?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by wyoche, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. wyoche

    wyoche New Member

    Hi, my son is currently clean (I believe, how can one know for sure?) has been for 5 weeks. He's living with one of his sisters, but the entire family sees him every week or so. Sometimes he seems so "normal" but at other times several of us wonder (independently) if he's taken something as he seems agitated, loud, abnormally tired ,has over the top reactions to minor inconveniences. He's been an addict (opiates, xanax and others, I am sure) for 8 plus years-could he be clean, and still act this way?
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    That could be a lot of things. It could be withdrawals if he is going cold turkey. The general consensus on addicts is that because they avoid emotional growth by abusing drugs their emotional maturity gets stopped at the age where they begin abusing. So, if your son was 12 when he started (not unheard of) and used for 8 years, at 20 he could still have the emotional maturity of a 12 year old.

    How old is your son? Has he ever been diagnosed with any mental health or emotional problems? Where is he living? Does he work? Does he go to school? Did he quit cold turkey?
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    I agree with Witz, it could be a lot of things. But due to his past history, my gut reaction would be that he's using again.

    Is this newer behavior or has this been seen all along since he's been "clean"? Newer behavior would also indicate that he's probably using again.

    Welcome to the board.

  4. toughlovin

    toughlovin Guest

    I agree it could be other things but my first thought would be drug use again. The behaviors you describe are what my son is like when he is using....What does the sister he is living with think?
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Considering you dont give us a whole lot to go on, I am not really comfortable giving much advice.

    Did or does your son have any other mental health issues underlying his previous substance abuse issues. If so, they could be showing back up.

    If he is somewhat normal at times and then really agitated at other times, it could be that when he is normal, that is when he has used something and when you see him agitated, than is when he is not using. I know that might seem backwards but after all this time a little fix might settle him down enough to make him calm. I think I might spring some UA tests if you can if you want to know for sure.
  6. KFld

    KFld New Member

    How old is he and what are the reasons you believe he has been clean for 5 weeks? If he's in a program that is drug testing him, then that is a good sign, but if he's not, then it's really hard to tell.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Hopefully it is the roller coaster of withdrawal. Most of our addicts have used substances to relieve the pressure of daily living for quite a long time. Without the aid of chemicals it is easier to be volatile. I know when I quit smoking I had good days and bad days. Does he have access to, or choose to access, any support system for recovering addicts? DDD
  8. wyoche

    wyoche New Member

    Thanks for the responses. I was trying to be succinct-you know how one can get started and never stop:) Anyway, more details. He started using at 15, pot and pills-got a DUI at 17, fine and probation-has been on and off (mostly on) since. Minor scrapes with the law (loitering and prowling ie: walking the streets messed up) Was on methadone for over a year-had a job, an apartment, car doing good-then started again, got second DUI-fines and probabtion. Went into detox, rehab and 6 months in halfway house-got a job, apartment, attended meetings for about a year-his dad died (alcoholism) he was okay for a while, even seemed more committed and stronger, then relasped. For the first time his sisters and I were able to agree to stop with any type of help. He lost his job, got arrested for prowling again, became homeless.......after a few weeks, he checked himself into a hospital. The doctor called us and suggested he was ready for some help so we brought him home, where he currently lives with one of his sisters, almost immediately found a job, gets around by bike, bus or walking, pays her rent, has managed to take trains and buses to other counties for court dates, is a good houseguest. Seems fine mostly, but sometimes we can't help but wonder about his behaviour. No, he has never been diagnosed with any mental disorders. He has seen many psychiatrists and none has thought he was depressed UNTIL this last doctor who prescribed him medicine for depression. He has attended a few meetings, but certainly not daily. He's 23.
    I think that answers everything. Thanks again for the suggestions.
  9. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My first thought was that he's using again, however maybe it's the doctor's prescribed medication. Because of his history, I hope the psychiatrist didn't give him anything that is addictive. What is he taking?
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Well, it sounds hopeful that he is doing well staying with his sister. Of course, at 23 he has to be the one to make decisions as to his health. Have you discussed it with him in a non-confrontational way? You could try approaching him along the lines of "How do you feel? Is there anything more that you feel you might like to try to help keep up the good work?"
  11. wyoche

    wyoche New Member

    Yes, I have tried discussing it with him, just as you suggest. In the past he's very defensive and of course denies everything. This time, he was very controlled, showed no anger, just disappointment and a touch of pity (for himself) that he was was being accused of something he was working hard NOT to be. However after a couple of days we spoke about my thoughts and he said he understood that it was his fault he wasn't trusted but couldn't help but be a little angry. I told him I understood and hoped he could understand that the family had always given him the benefit of the doubt in the past and we were ALWAYS wrong and weren't taking that chance this time. I am sorry, I can't recall what medication he is taking-I will find out. thanks
  12. KFld

    KFld New Member

    My son gets that way also when I accuse him of something he isn't doing, but I gently remind him that it takes a long time to gain someone's trust back and he can't expect it overnight. He seems to understand when I remind him of that.