What are his options?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by CAmom, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    I'm beginning to think that my son may not be able to obtain and hold a "real" job due to his problems. His ADHD makes even filling out a job application properly a real challenge, and his anxiety keeps him from approaching a prospective employer in person.

    In his entire life, he worked for one week at a job a friend helped him obtain, but he was let go after he fell asleep at work several times because his sleep patterns are so disturbed that he's awake at night until all hours, no matter how physically tired he is.

    I have no idea whether or not he might qualify for Social Security since he's never worked more than that one week. He's currently still living at home since getting a place of his own is out of the question since he has no source of income.

    I've been very resistant to the idea that he may simply be incapable of working and have never pursued or asked him to pursue any sort of public assistance. Any suggestions?
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would have him ask his doctor what they think he is capable of doing. Do they feel he is capable of working or not? That is one thing Social Security will go by if he decides to apply for benefits. If a doctor or two says he is unable to work, it carries more weight than if he just cant do it.
  3. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    Hi CAmom,

    I've never known anyone who smokes pot consistently who succeeded in the work place. I'm interested to know why it was prescribed as your signature indicates? I don't see any specific dxes that match any of the qualifying conditions for the prescription and it seems it's not helping him master the challenges of his dxes.


  4. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    I would say that smoking dope might mellow him out, but isn't helping. That would explain the sleepiness, in my humble opinion.

    XH smoked morning, noon, and night. He was bi-polar, and the pot exacerbatedt that. Couldn't hold a job either, and if that doesn't scare you enough, he's pushing 50 and STILL can't.

    Just sayin'. Also, never known a 20yo with these types of diagnosis who was able to "self" medicate.
  5. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    The doctor who recommended medical marijuana (which our son had been using on his own anyway all along because he felt it helped him more than anything else he'd been given over the years and with less side effects) has been his pediatric neurologist since he was 5 years old and treats him for an anxiety and mood disorder. This is the criteria he used for the medical marijuana Rx.

    Having tried marijuana recreationally as a young person, I also can't see how anyone could possibly function at a job or much else, using pot regularly, but my son isn't an all-day pot smoker.

    He's certainly an intelligent enough individual and physically capable of working and actually seems to want a job, but he seems to freeze in fear and anxiety when it comes to actually doing anything about it.
  6. Robinboots

    Robinboots New Member

    I have anxiety. Not as much as when it started, decades ago, 'cause I have a lot of other stuff to focus on. ;)

    A Xanax, as needed, can do wonders for temp. anxiety, like application-filling-out. So can deep-muscle relaxation and breathing exercises, a whole host of things can be tried. The catch is that it has to be done every single day; the effect is cumulative.
  7. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    If the goal is to make your son a functioning and productive member of society, I would have to question the credentials of a doctor who continues to "prescribe" something that is so obviously not working.

    And since pot isn't a cumulative drug (meaning, he wouldn't have to be weaned from it), I'd yank the pot and change docs asap.

    One has to be motivated to want to change. Back in the day when I knew a lot of folks who smoked dope, motivation wasn't one of their strong suits.

  8. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    What about vocational training? If he can't master the learning of a skill then he probably won't be able to do the job. Community college's are a good place to see some choices.
    Encourage him to do part time work.
  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Is he on any medication for BiPolar (BP) and/or anxiety? Pot isn't going to help either one of those, and makes them worse in a lot of cases.

    I also would not recommend Xanax since he was using pot illegally prior to it being prescribed. He obviously likes a high and Xanax will give you a high. There are other medications that can help with anxiety - AD's, AP's, mood stabilizers, etc.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I have seen several articles where pot is rx'd for Autism. There's one mom of a kid who is about 10 baking it into brownies for him. She says it gives him an appetite and makes him more calm. I'm still picking up my jaw off of the floor on that. I just don't know what to think of it. I think my biggest problem is with the dosing difficulties with it being a plant. And the paranoia that it seems to cause now that it didn't so much 30+ years ago.

    Anyway, here's a blurb.

  11. Joyce

    Joyce New Member

    I've been reading this site for years, but finally had to post. I also have a 20 year old pot smoker. I fought the good fight during high school, but lost the battle in college. His drive is zilch. He also has high anxiety, maybe ADHD, and definitely the marijuana has taken away his drive. He went back to his psychologist from his younger teen years to get his opinion, and this psychologist asked him what happened to his drive! I took him to two different psychologists, one psychiatrist, one nurse practitioner, etc. over the years. The last psychologist said he is just going to have to learn the hard lessons on his own (i.e., school of hard knocks).

    And just to clarify, I do know pot smokers who were his peers who are successful in college. But I know more of them who were adversely affected by their use. Throughout the years I have found many studies which object to use in the still-developing mind. The only link I can readily find is:


    "Teenagers who are exposed to cannabis have decreased serotonin transmission, which leads to mood disorders, as well as increased norepinephrine transmission, which leads to greater long-term susceptibility to stress,"
  12. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Truly, I'd worry about any professional who thinks marijuana is an ok resolution for, well, any psychiatric problem. It makes one lack ambition. I'm in shock that it was prescribed. The doctor probably smokes weed and thinks it's good :tongue:.

    He has to have more going on than ADHD if he can't hold ANY job. I think he should see a new psychiatrist and get assessed again. A neuropsychologist is good at seeing his skill level. If he truly can't work, then I'd him him apply for disability and go into a program that helps low functioning adults get a job. He can't live that way forever.

    Does he drink a lot or use other recreational drugs? Is it possible?
  13. rejectedmom

    rejectedmom New Member

    When I read your post yesterday I could not respond. I needed to read up on the uses and side effects of medical marijuanna first.

    I have to say I agree with those here who question the perscribing and use of marijuanna in the case of your son. The only benefit I can see from this is that your difficult child can no longer be arrested for using his drug of choice. If I recall he started using pot around age 16(?). I have to ask how could anyone even know what his potential is when he hasn't been clear headed or clean of this drug his entire late teens? I really think I would try another avenue before giving in to this course of highly controversial treatment.

    I truly understand that keeping your son out of the judicial system is a top priority for you. So I am wondering; are you sure you and the doctor are not overly motivated by that possibility and therefore just giving in to your difficult child's manipulations?

    You say he is happy, on an allowance, living at home and not working. And smoking pot legally. So I asked myself: What has truly changed in your situation?

    I'm guessing that:
    1) You are no longer fighting with him over his use of pot.
    2) He is now allowed to smoke on your property.
    3) he may have dropped his pot-head friends now that he can get marijuanna
    easily and freely.
    4) he is not stealing
    5) He has ample pocket money.
    6) You no longer have to worry about the cops comming to your house and/or
    searching it.

    So basically he has had all his terms filled and now there is peace in your houshold. Peace is not over rated. I know that first hand. So my next question is:

    Are you truly Ok with this situation and will you still be ten years from now?
  14. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Having him re-evaluated with an eye towards either employment or disability probably would be a good thing.
  15. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    I can't say I was thrilled about the Rx for marijuana, but my son has been tried on SO many medications in the past and clearly remembers some of the excruciating and frightening side effects (as do I...), particularly, migraines and mania, that several caused and is very leery of taking them. He takes Seroquil for his mild BiPolar (BP). He's convinced that marijuana helps the best to "calm all the chaos" in his head when he's trying to relax, and it probaby does.

    As far as marijuana helping with appetite, that is DEFINITELY one of the things I remember from the days when my friends and I all used it recreationally on the weekends. There is a Rx drug, Marinol (sp) that is marijuana-based and used to stimulate the appetite for cancer patients, so I can imagine that those brownies would help the child who wasn't eating.

    I think the advice to have my son reevaluated with the focus on vocational training to determine just what he's able to do is a really good idea. At this point, I'm not sure if it's his diagnoses, the medications including the marijuana and/or Seroquil which might be contributing to his anxiety, a simple lack of motivation, or a combination that are keeping him seemingly frozen in time. I've stepped back over the past two years, hoping that he'd find his way at his own pace, but, at 20 years old, it's not happening yet, and I feel that we need to step back in to help/nudge him.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  16. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    RM, I'm thinking a lot about your reply. I think I may have overstated my son's happiness with his current situation which is really what got me posting in the first place. He APPEARS to be content. In an effort to shake him out of that state, we've offered all sorts of incentives including help to buy a car if he wants to drive (he's never gotten his license), first and last months' rent on an apartment if he wants his own place, etc., all contingent on finding a job so that he can, in a specified period of time, take over and pay for these things himself. He seems excited about moving toward independence when we talk about it, but then it comes out later that he's actually overwhelmed and fearful and is ashamed and hates himself for feeling that way to the point that, a couple of times, he's ended up with tears streaming down his face. So, no, he's not really happy with himself or the situation anymore than we are.

    I'm frustrated by his apparent lack of motivation, if that's what it is, and want to be sure that that's what we're dealing with as opposed to the slight possibility that he's really doing the best he can do.
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Reading your post at first I was somewhat leery as were some of the other posters about the pot usage. Now, I really am in no position to say anything because my son smokes pot too and it isnt legal here at all. I really wish we had medical marijuana because I think it does help him more than anything he ever took. However, he also has problems that cause him not to be able to work. Some of them are due to his bipolar disorder but the majority of them now are his physical disabilities. His body is breaking down on him.

    I really think that if anxiety is your sons major problem the seroquel would be helping him not hurting him. Pot could be exaggerating the problem. One time when I didnt have insurance friends told me that pot would help my pain and my bipolar so I tried it. OMG...I was so freaking out! I was in such a bad way. My pain was magnified and I was so paranoid. And yes, I smoked it back in the 70s. This was a whole different experience. I would never be able to function on it now.

    There could be something else entirely going on. To be so steeped in anxiety that he cant function is probably something that needs more than just seroquel and pot. He probably needs a very good therapist too. Maybe then he can work through all this and not need medication at all.
  18. CAmom

    CAmom Member

    So, an update...after a blow-up, my son admitted that he's not happy about his jobless, car-less, depending-on-Mommy-and-Daddy, situation and wants to change, but he hesitates because he feels overwhelmed and afraid of failing, i.e., taking the driver's test for his license.

    He was prescribed medication (Seroquil) for possible mild bipolar but admits that he's been taking it only at night instead of before bed and in the morning as prescribed because he falls sleeps during the day if he takes it in the morning, i.e., the reason he lost his one and only job the first week. He hasn't discussed this with his doctor.

    In an effort to determine whether he's simply a "lazy bum" (his words) or if he actually does have bipolar, and it's playing more of a part that we thought in addition to being incorrectly or incompletely medicated, I suggested and he, surprisingly, agreed to a psychiatric evaluation by a completely new physician who can take a fresh approach to my son and his issues.

    Only another baby step, but it's in the right direction and at least he's not standing still.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  19. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    A word of advice. When you go to the new doctor, don't offer too much. You won't get a true second opinion if you offer previous dxes, medications, etc. I learned this the hard way.

    I would suggest you answer questions about behaviors only, then let the psychiatrist do the evaluation.

  20. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    That's a very mature attitude for him to take. :) Suz gives good advice. Do what you can to have the new doctor keep an open mind.