Need help now?

How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

Reply
Parent Peer Supporter
Chalker

How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

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?

Mod
TOM-RO

Re: How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

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?

Parent Peer Supporter
Chalker

Re: How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

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.

Super contributor
Ngaio-RO

Re: How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

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.

Parent Peer Supporter
Chalker

Re: How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

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.

Super contributor
Ngaio-RO

Re: How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

What about his online life? Do you know if he has connections there?

Is it possible he's getting what he needs 'virtually' rather than irl?

Parent Peer Supporter
Beingme2017

Re: How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

Hi @Chalker

I can understand this would be a worrying situation for you and the whole family but it sounds like your son is very lucky to have a mum who is trying to understand what is going on for him and try and work gently and sensitively with him.

It sounds positive that depression or anxiety do not seem to be an issue. It may well be that his comfort zone is what he needs most and for him that means the familiarity and safety of his room .

Do you think you can try and have a special time with him as well , like he has with his dad ? Even if he isn't communicative during those times it could make serve as another outlet and opportunity for him to be out of his room and engaging in something outside the security of his room.

And I just wanted to ask - have you got support emotionally for yourself ? Do you get 'me time' , or time with friends. Do you see a counselor ? Please do take the time to look after you.

And please know that you have us here to listen and be there for you


Highlighted
Parent Peer Supporter
Chalker

Re: How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

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.

Parent Peer Supporter
Chalker

Re: How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

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.

Parent Peer Supporter
Beingme2017

Re: How to help my son leave the four walls of his bedroom

Cooking is a really great activity to do because you don't have to really be face to face and you are on the move around the kitchen and busy!

Plus there is a sense of achievement in seeing the meal you produce together !

If he has shown an interest in it before then it just might be something you can use to bring him out of his room more

Let us know how you go @Chalker


Moderator Hours

On weekends moderators work:

09:00AM to 10:00PM

We are not a counselling or crisis service and we can't guarantee you'll get a reply, so if you need to talk now

Click here for help

The current time is Sat, 11:57 PM
(Australian Eastern time)