18 year old son with anxiety, depression, possible addiction

Carolyn - posted on 03/31/2012 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My husband and I are so totally lost. What a wonderful family we had, or so we thought. Our 18 year old son is having terrible, terrible issues. This has been going on for a few years now but has definitely hit an all time low. He's been smoking pot, was caught with Pot, is on probation for a year, so now he's been smoking that synthetic marijuana, which we know is WAY worse than pot. He's seeing a psychiatrist that does nothing but prescribe him pills. He's on Vyvance for ADD, Paxil for anxiety and panic and Klonopin also for anxiety. The Paxil I believe could really help him but it's not 'fast' enough so he just decided to stop taking it. The Klonopin I HATE as I feel it's very addictive. He's been having HORRIBLE episodes, screaming, cussing us out, trying to 'prove' to us that he has to have his Klonopin. Before Klonopin, he never did that. He has always had anxiety, I do know that. Had night terrors for YEARS and never outgrew them, hence the Paxil which was prescribed back in December. He's 18 so there's little we can do. We've threatened to kick him out or at least to stay with his grandparents for a while, they actually want him there, but he won't do it. So he cuts himself for attention or is he really suicidal? Who knows, he won't say. Does all this up front so we can see everything though. He was out all night again last night. I told him he had to call if he was staying with his friend. He did not. He has no cell phone because I had that cut off. Felt he was making some 'deals' with his phone so that was a goner. He's lost driving privilege and is failing every single class in school. He's a senior but there's no way he'll graduate and no way he'd graduate even if he went to summer school all summer long, he's gotten that behind. We are/were, the closest family I knew of and he was the sweetest most adorable little boy. Things started slowly going downhill when he was 15. Dropped all his old friends (first red flag) and now I can't stand ANY of the kids he hangs with. All druggies IMO. I've even mailed a letter to one of the kids parents about their synthetic pot use. I've so had it I can't stand it. When he had a terrible episode yesterday my husband wanted to call 911 and we probably should do that to get him into a mental facility but if he's 18 and refuses treatment, I don't know if we could do this short of having him arrested. He's actually on probation because he was caught with Pot so he knows he'll be tested but supposedly this synthetic $#!+ doesn't come up in a drug test. It's now banned and off the shelves and I PRAY they come up with something that will detect that in a test. I want my precious boy back. I want help for him so badly, what do I do?

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13 Comments

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Dave - posted on 08/27/2013

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Hey- My name is Dave and I´m a 28 year old recovering addict that also suffers from depression and anxiety. I have been in recovery from 2.5 years and it has def. been a roller coaster rider, especially the first 7-10months clean. I know how poorly I felt and can remember my mom crying, begging, and pleading with me to get help. So I´ve made a commitment to help as many people that need and want it. Through my website, RealTalkAddiction.com I´m offering free resources to educate yourself on Addiction through the Experience, strength, and hope of others that have been there. If I get enough people I am going to start another movement that I believe could reach to those crippled by addiction, depression, and anxiety from ever being able to reach out for addiction. This is who my heart goes out to and I´m willing to do whatever necessary to help.. Please visit RealTalkAddiction.com today and check out our free info and check out what we are planning!!!! Please also if you need help now email me direct at RealTalkAddiction@gmail.com

Sally - posted on 09/04/2012

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Call 911 next time. Get him into a mental hospital and use that to try to get some form of guardianship. If you can get any control over his medicine, find him a doctor who will help him instead of just drugging him.

Unfortunately, those are a lot of big ifs that you have no control over. If it turns out that you can't get enough control to try to help him, you may just have to let him go and pray. Kicking him out will make you feel awful, but letting him stay may put you in danger. Him wanting your help later can't matter if he's put you in jail or in the ground now.

Sorry you're going through this. Hopefully, it will get better.

Linda - posted on 09/02/2012

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I also have been through this particular horror myself. I love my son and wish I could have that child back who was not addicted but unfortunately after 5 years of smoking pot and stealing/ lying I know it is not possible. I resorted to Tough Love, and at that time he moved out at 18 (after graduating from HS) to live with his father who used to get high with him. I continued to see him weekly and then knowing he continued to lie to me I decided it was unhealthy for me to continue our association. It has been three months and no word, I no longer pay the cell phone so I don't even know if communication is possible. Amazingly, I am much healthier for this decision- I am no longer this huge bundle of nerves, I no longer stress about him driving my car, or about who has been in my home when I am at work. I no longer am missing money and don't worry if I leave my pocketbook in the living room not locked in my bedroom at night. I did everything possible to help my son- rehab, PINS, counseling and because he wasn't ready to make the choice to change his life it was all for naught. Now it is up to him, I don't know if I will ever see or hear from him again but I am not responsible for his choices. I have given him over to God and know that I can't controll this situation and now no longer feel overwhelmed. I know everyone will do what they have to do but there comes a point where its no longer about the addict but about you and your health.

Angie - posted on 08/04/2012

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The synthetic pot is 10x worse than the real pot. I have a friend's son who has been on it for 2 years and it has changed him into any entirely different person; they suspected he got mercury poisoning from it, but luckily he didn't. On good days, he's trying to stop, but stopping is about as bad as kicking a heroin habit. And another poster was entirely correct...mixing street drugs with prescribed psychotropic meds can have devastating results. My state of Missouri also has the Bakers Act - a 72 hour hold...even if they don't agree.

I think the only thing you can do is hold the stance you will help him as long as he is helping himself, but you need to have some guidelines to be followed in your home ~ otherwise you could be enabling his behavior. I hope things have improved as your post was from the end of March :)

Chaya - posted on 08/04/2012

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Find a different doctor, one that he likes. He's far more likely to cooperate with a doctor he likes.
Cutting is not for attention, it's a serious issue. My daughter is doing that, she's had been seeing a counciler, and will again. She isn't doing it now, but she wants to.
My parents were shoving psychiatry down my throat when I was a kid, it did no good because my dads wife was creating the problems.
You can kick him out, but he'll just quit seening anyone, he'll refuse to be in contact with you, and he'll likely shut you out completly for years or permanantly.
Do you have a( non relatative) friend he can stay with? He's far more likely to behave if he's a guest in the home.
You may be able to have him court committed, but, you'd never have a relationship with him again. You can put him on a 72 hour hold, if you wish to cut further contact with him.
He should not be living with you, he'll grow up and probably out of the issue if he's on his own and paying his own way, or going to school away from home. Away can mean two towns over or across the country. If he's on his own, he will more likely get better financial aide

Themasta - posted on 08/03/2012

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this problem will get worse sooner or later he will start using harder drugs lSD, cocaine, meth and other abusive substances and that he cut himself may be anxiety issues

User - posted on 07/31/2012

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I'm begging you, to save your child's life, if not now but even years down the road..., don't EVER think that a person is claiming that they are suicidal for attention. And I'm sure your family and friends tell you that he is "doing this for attention" too, I KNOW because I am going through the same thing. Don't ever give-up on him. His grades are the least of your worries, so throw that worry out the window and focus. He can easily test out and get a GED...later when he and you are ready and doing better. IT WILL GET BETTER!!!!



Has he ever been put on a 72 hour hold? (FYI - I'm from California so this is how it's can be done here, your state may be different.) Next time, DO call the police and ask for somebody from the PERT team (The Psychiatric Emergency Response Team) they will help you out, they can assess him, will see the scars from him self harming and probably put him on a 72 hour hold, or longer....the street drugs mixed with the anti-depressants are what can REALLY be screwing with him.



If he is too unstable and considered an adult, you MAY be able to get a Guardian ad lit-um. If you can get enough written proof from the psychiatrists and perhaps other doctors for the judge to see. (Here in CA a 14 YO has rights and can make their own decisions as far as medical treatment and other important decisions!!) I knew that there's no way my child can make those kind of decisions on her own, so I went to court and even though I am her mother, I'm also her guardian now (she is still under 18) the judge was very understanding and allowed it. You may be able to get the sameness thing...be strong and don't give up...there's hope!! much love!!

I wanted to add another idea. Something I did with my daughter. She too isolated herself from her old friends and started hanging out with kids whose family are criminal famil backgrounds just bad group of kids in general I made her "hot"meaning every person she got in contact with I'd go over ther house sometimes with witha police escort, I have made threats to her friends and parents I got a restraint order on one guy. Rumors spread that I wasn't one mom to mess with and now she is not worth the trouble to hanging around with anymore Spyware onher computers, cameras In the house and a tracker on her phone! Total bitch to her friends if they even cussed in front of me.

Karen - posted on 07/31/2012

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My name is Karen I'm 37 years old now and personally went threw this. I've been sober for years but when I was a teenager I put my loved ones threw this. First off drugs (pot) and such cause anxiety to intensify. I was a mess. The anxiety that started when I was a teenager on drugs still upsets me today. Iwas diagnosed with cronic panic and anxiety disorder. I did the kolonipon hated it refused to take it. Also if he drinks at all it can be fatal. I got drunk on it and my family couldn't wake me for 2 days. I use celexa and it works for me look into it. Luckily I didn't go to jail. But when things changed for me was when I decided I couldn't live that life anymore. I'm glad that I made this decision before I married and had children. My parents did a thing called baker acting. I had to stay if the hospital 72 hours. I hope things work out for you. Don't enable but show love. At 18 he will make his own decitions. Best of luck.

Jill - posted on 07/30/2012

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Dear Carolyn,
First of all this is my first time on Circle of Moms so I am very new to this. The story about your son sounds so much like the problems my 19 year old son is going through. I was wondering how your son is doing and hoping that we can help each other out and find some way to help our own sons get through this terrible nightmare. I am physically and mentally drained and would very much like to speak with you if I can. I want my old son back not the one I see now.
My name is Jill and hope to hear from you soon.

Renae - posted on 04/03/2012

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Oops. We hadn't raised him that way. We had tried everything. Do not be afraid to call 911. It may not just be pot. My son always insisted it was ONLY pot only to find out later on that it was pills. Prescription pills are now also a favorite recreation drug of choice for kids. Especially the klonopin, please count them on a regular basis. The thing to remember is that YOU are not to blame. Best of luck to you!

Renae - posted on 04/03/2012

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I am sorry for what you are going through. I don't know that I have good advice since I myself did it all wrong! My son now 21 went through similar things. At 15 started hanging out with the wrong crowds, smoking pot, doing badly in school. Dropped out of school his senior year, though did get his GED. Blessed me with a grandson (who I cherish) at 18. When his Dad passed away my son was 18 and problems escalated. Never held a job for any amount of time. Busted for possession of marijuana on several occassions. Suspended license for failure to pay tickets and child support. At age 20, escalated to not only stealing from me and my daughter but also to other family members. Finally arrested for shop lifting. This whole time he was still living in my home because he is my son and I love him and I worry about him. Things still continued to get worse. I had to get an order of protection against him on behalf of myself, my 16 yo daughter and my grandson. Had cops at my home on multiple occassions due to his outbursts and could not have him legally removed without it. He is now in jail on several counts of burglary and drug charges. We had not raised him thl

Monica - posted on 03/31/2012

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I really feel for you. I don't have advice. All I can say is I'm in the exact same boat. My son is 19. We have tried everything. Drs , therapy, rehab and kicking him out briefly bc I worried so much about him. I am thankful though posh was just banned this week in N.Y.. So I have renewed hope & will pray for all of us out there that loves our babies on the wrong path.

Christine - posted on 03/31/2012

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My dear dear parents I have been where you are.i strived to be strong I did counseling for myself to know how tho handle my son.I googled my son is 18 and a drug addict and read all the advice I could get.let me say one thing TOUGH LOVE.remember you and your husband must love and care for each other first, work together on the same page .Stop all privileges do not give money and hide all things that he can pawn...

Get him into rehab,sych ward,what ever you can.And know the police are there for you..

Remember your baby boy has gone he is now an adult and you will always love him no matter what even when he threatens and abuses you..

Do not ruin the family unit .One thing I know I is that we forget the good children and our energys go on the naughty ones ..but I have now bonded with my good children and tell my son he needs to do it on his own..I first removed him from my home at 19 now at 23 I have taken him back into the house he is clean still has no work but we are rebuilding it is hard but. Tough love Works



May god be with you love the positive not the negative

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