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Carers UK Forum • Help with adult son.
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Help with adult son.

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:36 pm
by Anouk _1810
Hi everyone. Im really hoping I can get some advice and support here because everywhere I turn I hit a brick wall, including the crisis team. My son has spent years struggling with drug addictions and has been homeless on several occasions, not wanting to come home. Earlier this year he came off drugs, got a job and then lost it again. He finally decided to come home, ready for a fresh start. He got a job within a few weeks (he's 27) and within a couple of weeks lost it again. He has always had mental health issues (likely made worse by drugs) and finally decided at this stage he needed help. He saw the crisis team every couple of days, was given antidepressants and some meds for his nerves (not anxiety but for his nerves, as he's always shown classic signs of adhd). He's now been on a waiting list to see a psychologist but his mental state has gone downhill rapidly. The crisis team won't help, saying he has to approach them himself. Meanwhile I'm working full time and keep coming home in the evening never knowing what mood to expect. He's barely left his bed for almost a week now. His moods are extreme and in really struggling to cope. I don't want to kick him out on the streets and I wish I could get help to help him. I've even offered to pay privately for him to see a psychologist but he told me I was putting him in under pressure. I'm absolutely at a loss. Can anyone please suggest anything? I think he needs a social worker but the crisis team obviously don't think so. Thanks.

Re: Help with adult son.

Posted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:01 pm
by MrsAverage
Hi Anouk
My son has some sort of undiagnosed anxiety/mental health issues. He's 24 but not into drugs or drink. Apart from one vist to doctor for antidepressants he has stayed outside the system. I don't know if this is right or wrong but I do think we'd struggle to get him into the system because they don't see his behaviours as bad enough.
What we have done is set clear house rules which are also designed to increase his self esteem. Dad and i work, hes unemployed so we explajned that to live at hime he needed to contribute by doing jobs.
Over the past 3 years he has gone from not going out at all to now doing all the household shopping cooking and most domestic duties. At first I would just ask him to go to corner shop for milk, or to post a letter. I'd find some reason daily to get him out, sometimes the envelopes were empty :blush:
Gradually his self esteem increased and he learned to drive (what 22 year old thinks he couldn't drive? Mine did!)

We encourage physical exercise ( we pay for a gym), healthy eating, doing things for others (he now visits Gran weekly to do her shopping)

At first I found a counsellor for him and used to drive him to the appointment but I think that was unsuccessful. Later after a particular low point I suggested a counsellor again and this time just left him with the list of local ones suggesting he talk to 3 or 4 and see which one he got on with best. I did gently offer support such as did he want me to make the initial call . He picked 2 or 3 and has ended up seeing the first. We paid for him after each session so I would know he was going along.

This seems to have benefits. He has learned a lot. He needs clear guidelines, reassurance and support without pushing or nagging.

Sometimes it's difficult to know when to step forward and when to step back. I'd love him to get a job, but fear him losing one.

I don't know if any of this helps you, it helped us. I benefited enormously from this forum. I have learned to look after myself too, and put my health first. I exercise, have respite and work..I meditate and have counselling when needed. My husband is great support, even though I have to tell him what's needed sometimes.

Btw, your boy may respond better to inline or telephone counselling at first. He may find it easier than face to face. Show him how he can self refer online. Just Google cbt and your area


Re: Help with adult son.

Posted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 2:17 pm
by Karen Dee
Hi Anouk, welcome to carersuk. It is very sad to hear about your son. But you are not alone.
It's sounds like your son does keep TRYING to get back on track but he's finding things very difficult.
How long has he been taking the anti depressants and other prescribed meds?
Sometimes taking anti depressants can make the person feel 'like a zombie' , like they don't care about anything anymore.
Have a look at the meds he is taking and see if you can cut down on them, but talk to your son first about this. Does he think the meds have helped him in any way? (It doesn't sound as though they have).
If he does agree to cut down then take each step very slowly.

Re: Help with adult son.

Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:44 pm
by Ann-marie_1809
Hi I understand how difficult it is to get help when they wont/can't help themselfs I got nowhere for almost 2 years going back to the doctors to be told he had to do it himself I was watching his mental health and physical health go downhill it scared me after lots of talks him screaming I told him he really needs help Now. Finally like you I got him to the doctors they agreed he needed a mental health assessment but the waiting list was 18 months in my area so I did get him a private one if going down this route you must make sure it's a very credible one that the NHS and his doctor will accept. Anyway it did help as he had a few mental health issues and then I could go see the doctor mental health nurse ect on his behalf under the mental health act. I hope you can get him to agree to an assessment then you can get a better idea on how to help him help himself
I know it's not easy at all and I wish you all the best

Re: Help with adult son.

Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:05 am
by bowlingbun
Sometimes it helps to video someone with extreme behaviour, i.e. screaming at you, to show the GP just how serious the situation has become.