Things Didn't Work Out As Planned

Discussion in 'Failure to Thrive' started by agingrapidly, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. agingrapidly

    agingrapidly New Member

    Hi all:

    I just needed a place to "cry." In August I posted that we were sending our son back to school after he was on medical leave for major depressive disorder for two years (and also smoking lots of pot during that time unbeknownst to us). We set him up with a therapist and psychiatrist, went out to visit him each month, and everything seemed to be fine. We found out he had an episode in October and stopped going to class. He is withdrawing from 6 units and hopefully can salvage 9 units (too many units I thought in the first place). The bigger issue is that he was lying us, acting like everything was going great. He even had us sign a leas for five months for the second semester. We only knew things were going badly because he stopped returning calls for a few days. When I asked him if he was smoking pot when this happened and he said he was in October. The truth is that I don't want him to come home...I really want him to muddle through and get his degree. I also don't want him coming back to live in the house (as horrible as that sounds). If he can't or doesn't want to finish the last 17 units over a couple of semester and summer, I want him to stay where he is (it's cheaper), get a job, stay with the therapists, and we'll help him with rent.

    He says that no medications help with the depression. I really do get the depression, but I don't get the lying. I really get the depression, but I don't get the pot smoking. I really don't get how he can't see how the two are related...the pot does not help the depression. Recently (about two weeks ago) he was put on the MAIO patch (which is safe).

    His brother is graduating this year at 21 and applying to PhD programs and his sister is a sophomore. They are doing great. Every time I think about his situation I feel like I am in the rabbit hole.

    Thank you all for listening and letting me have a safe place to just get everything off my chest to a group that can have some empathy and understanding (even if you think I am enabling :) )
  2. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    At his age, having him come home is NOT helping him. He needs to go get a job if he won't go to school. It is NOT bad to not want him to come home, NOT AT ALL. Do NOT let him make you feel bad about that. Your home is YOUR sanctuary and who wants a pot smoking depressed person lazing around all the time?

    Enabling happens. We ALL do it to some extent. You can only do so much, and sometimes you have to do things for you, and not for your kid. That means giving them a jacket, or some rent money simply because you cannot stand to see them out in the cold. Or whatever. But having him stay in his apartment and be responsible for some of the bills and part of the rent, and have you stand firm on that when the lights get shut out, will teach him some life lessons that he needs. Because life happens to everyone, even those with depression. If his depression is so bad that he cannot work, there is SSI that he can try for if you are in the US. HE can talk to his doctors about that. It should come from him, not you.

    I would urge him to stay there and tell him his room is not available. Turn it into a craft or exercise room or an office, something for you. My mom turned my room into an office when I got married. My brother would take off for work for 9 mos at a time but leave all his stuff in his old room so he wasn't 'moved out', but wouldn't pay rent or storage, so my mom boxed all his stuff up, even his huge porn stash (embarrassed bro to no end, lol, esp with the boxes labelled in big letters on each side), got a storage unit for him, and sent him the bill. His rant about that was a riot to hear. I laughed and laughed. I was NOT the sympathetic sister he wanted that day, lol!

    Above all, do what feels right to YOU. Do what YOU can.I can suggest things, but I am not his mom and didn't raise him. I would drug test him if he came home, and if pot isn't legal, it wouldn't be in my home. I would call the cops regularly if I suspected him of using or having it in my home if it isn't legal.

    Also, please look into what MAOI's interact with. I know they are complex medicines.
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  3. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Susie, you have always given such wise feedback. You did it again. Just love you being here and posting again.
  4. RN0441

    RN0441 100% better than I was but not at 100% yet

    Aging Rapidly:

    I think you are doing the right thing. We do not have our son in our home either due to his depression and substance abuse. We hope he will start school in the fall which he says is what he wants but we aren't pushing because he is not ready either.

    Our son is doing better not being at home and being more on his own. We are subsidizing him also but are okay with that as long as he is working and being responsible (more than he has in the past).

    You really can't compare him to your other children. He is not like them. Same thing in our family.

    I am seeing a therapist to help me deal with my son and not feel guilty and sad all the time. I am learning how to have healthy boundaries with him. It is not easy.

    I also have been beyond stressed out over our 21 year old son. It will take over your whole life and every thought if you let it. I can attest to that. But all the worry in the world really doesn't help them.

    I just wanted to offer my support!
  5. agingrapidly

    agingrapidly New Member

    Thank you! I think we (me and my husband) are on the same page that he cannot come back to the house to live. We are trying to work through what is really happening. If he can successfully complete nine units per semester, we would be happy with that and if he can't he can work.

    The MAOI he is on is a dermal patch the 6ml (or mg) dosage which is safe. It is not highly prescribed as most doctors still associate all MAOIs with the pills (which can be very dangerous). Also, he has a month trial prescription, after which it may be hard to get the patch covered by insurance. There are coupons available for certain insurances. The patch is about $600 per month based on my understanding (20 per daily patch). We live in CA...pot was virtually legal and will be legal soon. I am convinced the pot has a very adverse effect on him, but sadly he does not see this to be the case.
  6. agingrapidly

    agingrapidly New Member

    Hi RN0441:

    I too have seen a therapist. I have viewed the past few months as an "intermission." Sadly it is now over. Since we've been dealing with this for the past four years to varying degrees the punch in the gut is not quite as bad, but it is very hard for it not to take over every aspect of my life. Thank you for your support! Thinking of you too!!
  7. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    My son flamed out of college (was told to leave after a psychotic break and bizarre behavior from alcohol and stimulant abuse) He came home, and we had two and a half years of misery until we finally moved him out. I think your instincts to have him live away and work on his issues are good.

    He has been on the patch for a year, and it's the first medication that's worked for his depression in twelve years. But is it ever expensive!

    Unfortunately though, nothing, and I mean nothing, will work to its full potential as long as he is smoking pot every day. He's got to stop the substances. This is not just me... I was told this by his psychiatrist after his third hospitalization in a month.

    Is it wise to pay 600.00 a month for a medication if he's not going to stop the weed and make other lifestyle changes? Although I will tell you that it was about eight weeks into it when my son first noticed an effect on his mood, and the dosage was upped from 6 mg to 9 mg. Your kid has only been on it for two weeks, so he may have to give it some time.

  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Depression is so hard to treat. My son needs 3 antidepressant medications. One is for adhd, but still has an antidepressant effect. One is for sleep but still has an antidepressant effect. It wasn't until all were in place that he could really function and use the tools he had learned. I think we got lucky that he really hates drugs because I couldn't see him doing well on pot. He didn't finish college, didn't really see the point of most of the classes. THought they were a waste of his time and money. So he stopped attending. He is happy and has a good job with career potential though, and he is loved by his bosses, coworkers and customers alike at work, so who am I to complain?

    I hope you and your husband find a way to figure out something you can live with that doesn't involve your son moving in. It may take more time to find the right medications. I don't know what to say about the pot except I wish it wasn;t such a problem. It just is for many people.
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  9. mof

    mof Momdidntsignupforthis


    I just wanted to offer support. I'm a horrible example though. Our 20yr old lives at home, works full-time and his medications he finally got right has made an incredible difference.

    He has only one semester under his belt...but maybe someday.

    Much love..Mof
  10. agingrapidly

    agingrapidly New Member

    I am very hopeful that the patch works. I am not happy about the pot. In fact, we have consistently told every therapist and psychiatrist. We called his psychiatrist today to let him now about the pot. I am in total agreement with you. Since he wasn't working we limited the money, but he probably worked around it by buying food on his card and collecting money. I feel like I am the only one who is seeing the pot as a major issue! Retrospectively, but we don't really have much say, the switch in medications would have been better at the end of the semester.

    I think we are leaning toward paying rent/subletting (or part of it depending on what he makes) and having him get a job to pay for everything else. Hopefully this will not leave much money for pot.

    Question about the patch---my understanding is with the 9 mg dosage there are a lot of dietary restrictions. Has that been an issue?
  11. agingrapidly

    agingrapidly New Member

    Thank you! It sounds like your son is working and feeling well. It is just very hard to wrap my head around why he can't get a handle on things and the lying. But maybe the lying to us is really his lying to himself.
  12. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member

    There are no dietary restrictions. The medication bypasses the intestines, which is where the issue with tyramine, starts, which builds up and can cause the blood pressure to rise to dangerous levels. I had read that the manufacturer tested the drug with the high tyramine diet at the lower dosage and no reaction was observed, but they recommended the dietary restrictions at higher dosage to be safe.

    My son eats anything he wants and has never had an issue.
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  13. agingrapidly

    agingrapidly New Member

    He went to the psychiatrist yesterday and they added a very low dosage of lithium to the mix, which is supposed to be an activator. Of course when I heard lithium I immediately did the research. And so it goes...
  14. in a daze

    in a daze Well-Known Member


    Emsam (the patch) is supposed to be activating in itself, so much so that stimulants are not recommended to be used with it. For example, Ritalin or adderall.
  15. agingrapidly

    agingrapidly New Member

    I'll let you know how it goes. Things are up in the air with what is going to happen. Hoping he stays put...and works or takes a reduced course load and works. The pot is a big issue for me and I am sure he is lying to the therapist and the psychiatrist. I think part of the conditions will be for him to see the drug counselor in the therapy group and get tested weekly. Not that I can control him and how he spends his money, but at least the psychiatrist and therapist will know exactly what is going on. I wish he would give it 30 days of not smoking, eating healthy, exercising, using the light (for lack of sunlight), and taking his medications.