Hi there, I know how upsetting and lonely it can feel living with a grumpy withdrawn young adult son. In my case my son became increasingly withdrawn, irritable, self centred and what appeared to be lazy but looking back he was heading into psychosis. The phase before psychosis can be months or years. Depression, anxiety and other psychologal illnesses all have this character of withdrawal and irritability in young men. It can be difficult as an older female to connect with teen and young men. We and he didn't realise what was wrong. Looking back we did all we could. If your son is not struggling with a developing mental illness then I suggest you back off in terms of the emotional intensity. Guys don't respond to it. Keep things practical. Think and write a simple fair plan, a deal. When he's a bit OK towards you ask for five minutes then in a calm way, with few words, outline the plan. Eg It's my house, you are welcome to live here. Now you're an adult and work I expect a small amount of money to cover basic costs like food, loo paper, electricity, internet. ($50 or $90 per week would be very minimal and super fair). Set up a regular bank transfer by X date. I expect you to clean up the kitchen and bathroom as you are using it and leave it nice. These are what I would expect from a boarder of your same age. I love you and want you to live a full and happy life as you continue to grow into a man. We did this with our other son and it worked wonders. Then if there's a chance engage in fun things he likes doing like Nintendo, movies together. Take him out for a meal or movie if he will. But treating him as a man not a dependent boy. As a man, an adult, there are responsibilities that have to be shared. Very important to not get openly upset. If he is becoming mentally unwell these things may have less effect as he may not be able to follow through until he has some psychological and/or medical input. Hang in there!
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Hi, I just came across this ReachOut for parents today. I hope it's OK I joined. My son is just out of his teens. Through teen years he developed OCD and anxiety but late last year suffered a sudden psychosis and voluntarily was hospitalised for a few weeks. It's been a difficult, sad, worrying, challenging time. He's a lovely young guy, gentle and kind. It's a difficult road having a teen/young person with a mental illness, can be so painful, seeing them suffer while other young ones thrive. There is still so much stigma and silence, people (family etc) haven't been helpful like they would if he had a serious physical illness. There's also a lot of misinformation out there. Anyway.. Hello!! These words got me through the recent very tough time.."You have to believe in the purpose of what you’re doing — that what you’re doing is worth it." My son is worth all the giving, all support my husband and myself and his professional team can give. To recharge I enjoy the garden, flowers, birds, books, music and Netflix!
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