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(Trigger Warning) 18 year old son is not showering or leaving his room. Says he want to...

(Trigger Warning) 18 year old son is not showering or leaving his room. Says he want to...


(Trigger Warning) 18 year old son is not showering or leaving his room. Says he want to...

My son either leaves for 3 days at a time and gets angry with him for texting him or he stays in his room for a week alone without showering or brushing his teeth - which is not how I raised him - and says he hates his life and wants to end it.  He is so depressed but every time I make him a doctor appointment he refuses to go.  He is 18 so I cannot do much.  I have tried to help him find a job and every time he gets one he works for a week and then melts down and quits.  I have to bring his meals and drinks to his room for him, clean his room for him, do his laundry, go to the store, he cannot do anything for himself.  I'm afraid to stop because he gets so angry and leaves and then I'm afraid he will do drugs or something crazy and I won't have a son anymore.  I know if something happens to him it will be my  fault for being lazy and not wanting to continue to take care of him.  This effects everyone's lives and my 8 year old has to live through it too and it isn't fair to her.  I feel stuck.  I don't mind giving him money and taking care of him but he is mean and angry.  I know it's because he is mentally ill and so sad but it hurts to constantly be disrespected and sworn at and not be appreciated. I have to stop working sometimes because he has some whim that needs my attention but then I feel so bad for him. He doesn't have any friends or go to school and without working I don't know how he will meet people and build a life.  It's all just so a mess and I don't know what to do. He smokes pot every day and he says it's the only thing that makes him not feel anxious.  I think it makes things worse for a person and I don't do drugs but he just argues the point with me and I'm tired of fighting about it.  I have no idea how to help this kid and he is just getting worse.  He spent 3 days out and now he has been in his room for a week and in all of that time has not showered or brushed his teeth.  He just plays video games and watches videos online.  His sleep schedule is crazy.  He either sleeps for 20 hours or stays up for 2 days.  Does anyone have a suggestion of what I can do to help him if he won't go to the doctor or to therapy? I am out of ideas and I'm afraid, I don't want to lose him.  He is such a good person, he was the most wonderful little boy. I have ruined this child that came into this world and was my responsibility to raise and teach and I've made a mess of this perfect soul that was dependent on me.  

Prolific scribe

Re: 18 year old son is not showering or leaving his room. Says he wants to die.

Dear @kari1978,


I can hear your heart breaking in that story. It's so hard to be a parent sometimes. It makes me envious of those tough old-fashioned parents that would just send them off to the army or something at 18. 


I don't know what you can do with an adult, hopefully someone else knows the answer. I agree, he has a serious mental health issue. 


Can you bribe him? For example, tell him you will turn off the internet unless he goes to see someone? Or offer him some other thing he really likes, if he goes to see someone? What about paying him if he goes (and only if he goes)?


Hopefully you have also told him you love him, but that your energy is nearly gone and you are not sure what to do when you run out. "Running out" happened to me. I didn't think it would, but it did, and I was useless for a couple of months. It happened quickly. Maybe if you tell him he will recognise that if you cannot look after him his life will be much harder, that might be a motivator.


Finally, it's not your fault. I know as parents that always sounds a little hollow, because we are responsible. But it is true, and you don't need guilt on top of everything else.


Good luck kari


Prolific scribe

Re: (Trigger Warning) 18 year old son is not showering or leaving his room. Says he want to...

Message contains a hyperlink

Thank you for sharing @kari1978. Your love, care and concern for your son comes through strongly in your post and it sounds like this situation is understandably weighing heavily on you. 


You've noted that your son won't go to see a mental health professional at this stage but would you ever consider perhaps going to see someone yourself? I just think in these circumstances that self-care is so important and when we're caring for others it can often be forgotten. 


The expression that comes to mind for me though is "you can't pour from an empty cup" so really adding in any little self care strategies that you can could be helpful for you in then supporting your son.


 @Schooner suggested some good strategies to try and there is also the RO Parenting Coaching which you might find helpful. In the meantime we are all here to support you through this Heart


Also you may have noticed I edited a couple of words here and there in your post due to our community guidelines  I hope thats okay.



Re: (Trigger Warning) 18 year old son is not showering or leaving his room. Says he want to...

Hi Kari,


You cannot blame yourself for your sons issues. Reading your post, you come through as a shining have been a beautiful mum and have done so much for your son.


You do need to look after are worn out and burnt out like a lot of us other parents but beginning with these forums is a great start to looking after YOU.


I support the other response to your situation......get some counselling for yourself. I'm finally doing the same thing after trying to do it all single-handingly for too long. I also have a family member who I have allowed to step in and help after they realised the seriousness of the situation. I hadn't really told anyone about my sons mental health (for fear of stigma, my own feelings of guilt/failure and other negative emotions) and although i am feeling very sad over the current plight, I am now at least able to step back and BREATHE without living around aggression and constant anxiety.


Please look after YOU. Then, with support you can focus on your sons needs.


Take Care



Frequent scribe

Re: (Trigger Warning) 18 year old son is not showering or leaving his room. Says he want to...

Hello  darl ,

I   feel for you...I have  the same  son is 15   and  I have a 15  year old girl too..twins...sleepingwise   I   gave  him  melatonin   that is can buy it on the internet...and   herbs   like  ginger tea   or ginger  beer..if his sleeping is under control  he will improve..healthy   eating is  important too...myone    Did not eat vegetables so I am using   avocado oil   to  fry  his eggs    and  valeriana  is a herb too  for sleeping..cheers   Sylvia 

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