Worrying about my son

Hi there! Just joined this morning. I'm going through a lot of anxiety right now. I'm worried about my adult son who is currently in a mental health facility. I'm on edge waiting to find out what will become of him. I'm about 4 hours away and can't be there to visit him. He calls me from the facility. There's not much more I can do right now but sit and worry! Any suggestions for coping with this?

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  • Hi megajewel,

    Number one....breathe.

    Number two....breathe again

    Number three...tell yourself, you have no control over what happens there.

    Why is he in the facility? What are his diagnosis? Did he put himself there?

    Sometimes facilities are the best place for those who are experiencing an episode. I have never been hospitalized but I have been to a Respite Centre for mental illness. It was a blessing for me. While I wasn't suicidal nor a harm to others, I was on the verge of losing reality. I was there for 3 days. The best 3 days for healing.

    You feeling anxious is normal. You must try to keep a regular schedule of eating, exercise and sleep. If you aren't healthy (physically and mentally), then it will not help your situation.

    The more you fret, the more your son will be anxious as well. He can pick up on your anxiety and trigger something within himself.

    Number one...breathe

    Number two...breathe

    Number three...self talk yourself to a calmer state.

    Please believe me, I've been there. My daughter use to cut herself. I have learned to accept that all I could do was to be there for her and support her through positive and empowerment and not let my worries affect her. I had to role model. That was my job as a parent.

    Hugs for you

  • Good advice! I know these feelings won't go away overnight - if ever! He cut himself badly although he's changed his story about if it was a suicide attempt or not. He was moved from the hospital to a county psychiatric facility. He is still there for now. He's been in psych facilities four times over the last two years. He's been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He won't take prescribed medication; he continues to medicate himself with street drugs. I can only hope this time will be the last.

  • Well! That story sounds familiar. My ex used to work schizophrenics who lived independently. He was their life skill coach. The stories I would hear from him!

    Drugs... yes

    No medication...yes

    Episodes... yes

    Worries and concerned family...yes

    In and out of hospital...yes

    All you can do, more so now I know more is my number three on the list...accept that you cannot control the situation.

    The sooner you accept that, the less anxiety ridden your daily life will be. It is good that he is in a facility. He is safe, medicated, has a roof over his and is given healthy food choices. It really can't get any better than that!

    Who is his power of attorney? Who can make decisions for him when is mentally incapable of making them himself? Has this person thought of putting him in an institution until a proper routine and learned behaviours have been established? Does he or will he receive any community outsourcing? Home visits? Socializing outsourcing? Non profit organizations often have these resources and more.

    It may be a lot of leg work and/or paperwork and patience on your end, but in the end all will benefit greatly.

    One reality I want to point out... street drugs will probably never go away. It has been my experience if they are living on their own or living in an assisted facility (but not a lock down facility) they will always get their hands on what makes this feel good and escape their reality... drugs. That will likely not change if he isn't monitored 24/7. I don't mean to be a downer, but some hard facts have to be laid out.

    I hope I have given you some outside help and maybe relief.

    But always remember, you have to take care of yourself before you can take of others... regardless of the situation. The more in control of your emotions and mental state, you are, the better help you can be for your son.

    Wishing you the best,

    Hugs

    Lara

  • I'm trying to get him to give me Power of Attorney now. I have the papers already. It's been a crazy scramble to keep his affairs in order every time he gets put away. He doesn't have the "executive" skills to figure out how to get plugged in to the mental health system that can help him.

  • How old is he? Can you not file the papers to court to ask them to intercede and honour you as his POA? Given his prior history or admittance and his current mental state, they might override the current legalities of his rights and honour your request for POA.

    As for the mental health and social system, he may not be functional or cognitive able to apply for these resources, but perhaps you are or the social worker from the hospital?

    I'm from Canada, and I know here, it doesn't have to be the affected individual who reaches out, because often, like your situation, the individual cannot reach out, they lack those skills.

  • He is 26. That's a great idea -- I know a family law attorney who may be able to help.

  • Yup call the hospital tell them you would like to speak to the Dr who is incharge of that floor.call them tell the Dr.who you are your son give his name.ask how he's doing if he's on meds what are they how long does he think your son is gonna be there? Does he think the meds are helping any? Give him your number and tell him if anything changes to please call you what does the outcome look for your son, hope this might help. Now you have the number so you can call and ck on him.this will ease your mind alot and help you. Good Luck

  • I've been in touch with the social worker in charge of him. He did sign a release which allows the doctor (and other team members) to talk directly to me about him. So far, they seem as confused about the source of his problems as I do! He is a very difficult person to deal with. This latest episode started when he had to be taken to the emergency room for trying to sever his penis. He has presented several stories as to why he did that - suicide; practicing surgery on himself, punishing himself. He lost a lot of blood but the wound was able to be repaired.

  • Are you guys sure he's not on or coming off drugs,or Don't say NO so fast to this! Has he ever been asked if anyone has ever touched him ,made him touch them,or made him watch something in that order,this happens more than we know trust me I lived it for years,let it happen to me as an adult more than once.never say no not my kid!! somebody,a friend could have given him something messed his mind up I'm sorry BLOOD test don't show past problems,im proof of that.maybe he's been made fun of by a woman he cared for,maybe he just don't want to be a man anymore.most people will not tell you the truth is there anyone he really trust that might can pull it out of him. I sure hope you guys can find out soon!!they need to send him home to you so you can care for him if your able.best of luck to you

  • Praying for you. I've seen a lot of people at Al Anon groups and DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) groups, free support groups that usually meet weekly, and they help people to be able to live with things that we cannot control. And you have received some great advice from others familiar to the system. As I said, I'm praying for you. And yes, remember to breathe. Take care of youself.

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