06-26-2017 09:55 PM - last edited on 06-27-2017 05:44 PM by Ngaio-RO
My 18 year old son has not left his room for three years. After experiencing drug induced psychosis at 15 he was cared for by youth mental health. However, once he turned 18 they dismissed him from their care and he has refused to seek help. He does make an appearance at meal times and will go surfing with is father about once a fortnight. I am anxious about his physical, mental and social well being and his future. I have limited the internet hours in the hope that he may find some other creative activity to fill his time, hopefully get bored and decide to get some paid work. This has not worked so far. I do worry that he has neurological damage and unfortunately at this time there is no way of find out. He does not seem depressed or anxious and is quite happy to stay in his room all day. Has anyone experienced this type of behaviour?
06-26-2017 10:31 PM
Hey @Chalker welcome to RO parents! Totally makes sense that you would feel anxious around this, I have heard it's getting more and more common for teenagers to spend exessive amounts of time in their room; and as their brains develop it's most definitely understandable to worry about the impact that's having. The surf once a fortnight does sound promising though, does he enjoy surfing a lot?
It's also good to hear he doesn't appear depressed or anxious, have you considered going to family counselling with him at all to see if yourself and your son could get some further insight into his mental health?
06-27-2017 01:48 PM
Excellent advise @TOM-RO thank you. If only he would agree to go to counselling. I have mentioned this several times to him. I think (he hasn't said it) he is a bit frightened of telling any one how he actually feels in case he is forced to be hospitalised again which was a traumatic experience for him. I get that sometimes the type of language used can be helpful. Any tips in this department? With regard to surfing it appears he enjoys it however, my husbands details how he never shows emotion during this activity. He Just wants to surf and then come straight home, so the interaction is quite limited.
06-27-2017 05:16 PM
How is he during conversations with you @Chalker? Can you talk to him in a way that dad can't? Not that it matters if you can't I'm just wondering if there's a window there.
Mostly so you can discuss the fear around being hospitalised. When I've worked with young people in the past who are very concerned about being scheduled, usually as a result of experiencing it in the past, I will talk to them about how hospitals are only concerned with safety, not judgement. So he can speak freely knowing that they will only keep him if he's a safety risk.
It's tricky because it might be tempting to 'coach' him to not say certain red flag statements to ensure he doesn't get detained but the associated risk of that is so high. In truth, it would be better for him not to go than to learn to self-edit.
What's his average day look like? Are there any small windows of time you could build on?
I'll do some research and see what I can find regarding drug-induced psychosis and the neurological impacts.
06-27-2017 06:03 PM
Thanks @Ngaio-RO for helping out with research. There are times when I feel I can talk to him and will take your advice. This may take many attempts but I will persist and not give up.
06-27-2017 11:14 PM
06-28-2017 05:27 PM
Hi @Ngaio-RO, he does have connections with virtual gaming but not with any "real friends" nobody comes over and he doesn't connect via phone or any other source with any body else. I believe he does not see this as an issue however, I do because social interaction is important to health.
06-28-2017 05:31 PM
Thanks @Beingme2017, special time is limited because he makes very few appearances. However, he used to enjoy cooking with me and maybe I could try every now and then to get him to help with with something in the kitchen. This idea is a good reminder of alternative things to try.
06-28-2017 06:57 PM
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