My son

Is 32 and bottom line can’t cope with life. I think he’s got some form of autism/mental problem but has never been diagnosed. When he was small he smashed all the windows at the side of the school for no reason other than I wanted too did damage to a farm next door and other stupid things for no reason. Back then nobody had heard of autism or understood mental problems.

On the one hand he is highly intelligent got a 2-1 at university though done nothing with it, he sits at a computer all day and I mean all day not realising he needs to wash and keep the flat clean. He left university and has had a number of jobs where he’s irritated other staff boasting of his degree and upsetting other staff members until he’s got the sack. He seems unaware that his attitude to people is not acceptable and has been unemployed for two years now happy to live off the state unable to cope with the world. He has a girlfriend who lives with him 11 years younger a nice girl but admits she is retarded in many ways having had a bad upbringing with abusive parents. I'm not being unkind but it is the truth when I say he has always been attracted to other people who are not quite right in some way. Credit to her she has a job and has been trying to hold things together since he went off the dole because he couldn’t cope with having to sign on and being around other people he seems paranoid about things.

He suffers from depression and has been on medication for a year I wonder if the medication is making things worse.

For the past few months he has been smoking marijuana and I think this has contributed to his problems which were bad enough without this. His girlfriend loves him but now says she can’t cope with his mood swings he shouts at her and when she gets home from work and can’t seem to stop talking keeping her up all night so she can't sleep.

To help out we have paid their rent on numerous occasions and helped out with bills I think the idea he would end up moving back with us terrible now we are in our sixties and finally able to enjoy a bit of life since he moved out.

We have all tried to help and advise him until we’re blue in the face he nods but nothing changes.

Yesterday he came to see me and couldn’t string two words together that made any sense he has always had a problem with concentration. Yesterday I realised just how bad he was he does a good job of putting on an act for people playing a part that is not himself.

He has been to see the doctor since he’s got worse but has trouble communicating with her just sits there, so his girlfriend is going to make an appointment and go with him so she can speak to his doctor.

Don’t know why I’m writing this I think because it’s just done me good to get it down in print. Any advice would be helpful.

23 Replies

  • Hi there, he does sound stuck in a rut and depressed, he probably needs more than just a counselling session, it is very difficult trying to drag a horse to water, certainly beyond checking his thyroid, checking his vitamin d, b12 and D would be starting point, I would have thought, if he is not looking after himself and inside and sedentary. . He might do well with a psychologist as it sound quite deep rooted as in his habits, this would help him more than paying his rent! I feel for youl I had a friend in similar position and the combination of exercise, plenty of oily fish either eating it or in supplements and an improvement in daily routines helped. but being a mother it does put you in the unfortunate position of whipping post! I hope things improve. MaryF

  • Thanks for your comments he saw a psychologist a year ago but he's so intelligent in many ways he could see exactly where she was coming from which didn't help he said she wasn't very good and wouldn't go back. I will ask him to get his thyroid checked though.

  • Have you looked at the autism society website? They may have some useful information. I have read that people who suffer with autism/Asperger's are often depressed because life is very difficult for them on a daily basis as they don't understand social relationships. My daughter was diagnosed with Asperger's at the age of 28 - she is a teacher in a special needs school and suffers with severe dyslexia and her diagnosis has explained many things she struggles with. I wonder if the wacky baccy is making things worse as it can lead to paranoia. Your son is clearly bright but seems to struggle with social interaction which as you say may suggest autistic spectrum disorder. I think it is very difficult for adults who have not been diagnosed so just wonder if the autistic society might be able to give advice. Hope you find some answers.

  • Hi debjs no I've not looked at that web site but I will, but my son has looked at a few and said he thinks he might be autistic or have Asperger's, you mentioning autistic spectrum disorder is interesting I will look that up. It is interesting to hear of your daughter finding out she had Asperger's at 28 must be difficult for her. Yes he said he has stopped taking the wacky backy so hope he stays off it, he has an addictive personality though and gets very interested in just the one thing to the detriment of others. His girlfriend is going with him to see the doctor next week so she can explain what's going on as when he went on his own he sits there and hardly says a word - concentration v bad, and short term memory loss I think. Thanks for your comments.

  • Hi JanW

    I agree with contacting the autism society they are very helpful or just looking at there site has lots of advice. I think it does you good to put it all in to words it clears your head.

    I personally would write a letter to his doctor prior to his appointment even if you have to go and hand it in yourself if you haven`t time to post it, just saying what you have said on here, but backing his girlfriend, just voicing your concerns. The taking of drugs will not help how he feels neither.

    Hope you get the help you need.


  • Hi Sharon writing a letter to his doctor is an excellent idea and I will get onto it. His girlfriend will be able to hand it over when they go together next week. Thanks for mentioning that vey helpful. I agree the sooner he comes of his meds the better he has been on them for a while now and I don't see they are helping him at all. I know when they put me on statins I was like a zombie only took three and came off them horrible things.

  • You might want to look at Aspergers its rather more likely than autism

  • Thanks really fed up just finished penning a letter to his doctor I've asked if they will test him for autism and Asperger's so only hope they do.

  • We are in a similar circumstance to youself with our 20yr old son. Throughout school I tried to get him tested for autism. Teachers would say he had terrible lack of concentration and memory. That he was rather strange but they thought that maybe he would mature out of it. School assessors would get brought in but he would out smart them all. Having left school with no qualifications because he was too lazy to try..he works in retail and hates it. He gets sacked from most of his jobs because of his attitude towards people. He thinks he's above them. He has the most strangest habits at home that drive us crazy. He does not change them no matter how much we plead. An example...he changes bed linen everyday. This drives me bonkers and ive now taken to throwing out the bed linen so its not in the MASSIVE laundry pile he creates. He is the most unsociable person you can meet. He walks straight past visitors in our house or will ask me in front of them 'when are they leaving?'

    Myself and husband are now completely at a loss with him. I think he will be with us forever as I really can't see a partner ever putting up with him and his strange ways. I pleaded with our gp for help. He saw my son and told him to put the playstation away and read a book instead! We have given up. If my son ends up in a flat it will be a complete tip with clean bedlinen. X

  • Hi mowbli72 hate to say it but it's a relief to hear from someone going through the same problems. Our son lived with us for most of his life until he moved into a flat with his girlfriend such a relief he caused constant stress and like your son could be rude and uncommunicative to people. His girlfriend is putting up with a lot but loves him and is sticking by him - there is a God! As he doesn't work we often end up having to pay his rent but better than him moving back in couldn't bare that. His g'friend works and is trying to keep the pair of them.

    Sympathy for what you are going through and any chance you get of him moving into a flat or even shared housing take it life is short. My son also rubs everyone up the wrong way and has been repeatedly sacked for his arrogance. Just hope the doctor can help diagnose him.

  • mowgli72

    He definitely needs checking for Aspergers

  • GP wont be able to test him

    he will need referral to specially trained experts

  • Thank you for your reply. Our gp would need to be the one to refer him to a specialist. I actually have a good doctor but was angry when he told my son to come off his playstation, read a book and get more sleep! Myself and my husband had went to see him a few days before and spoke at length about his problems. We even left the doctor with a list of all his strange habits. My son didn't want to go see the doctor as he said nothing was wrong. I said "please go and prove me wrong then". We are now just trying to live with him and his ways but its so stressful at times. Xx

  • Yes I think your right I've just read mows reply and the doctor was going to send her son to a specialist just as well not a lot of faith in doctors.

  • The problem with my son is that he can't see any problem. It would take for him to speak to our gp now that he is 20yrs old but he doesn't think there is a problem. I tried on many an occasion to get him assessed but all they would do is assess him in a classroom environment and say he was managing fine. Teachers were just happy to pass him on to a new term and new teacher and hope he'd grow out of it. He was always well behaved at school. I think had he been a handful they would've done something about it. So we now feel our hands are tide. Unless he seeks help himself which I know he'll never do. Our 5yr old is completely aware that his older brother has strange ways. My older son is completely unaware of his issues. He just thinks its everyone else that's a problem. Never him. Thank you for replying. Xx

  • Doctors aye general practitioners who practise on people and specialise in nothing. You would think knowing how concerned you are he would send your son a letter saying he wants to see him that could easily do the trick, or on this rare occasion you could bribe him to go it's so important to get him assessed, teachers didn't help you either by the sound of things. debs j s blogged to say she had her daughter diagnosed at 28, my son is 32 and hopefully he will be tested and diagnosed your son is only 20 and it will help both you and him to have confirmation of his problem. Maybe your son knows he has a problem and won't face up to it. Stay strong and don't give up.

  • IMHE. Aspergers people do not recognise their problems until they are made to read books about the consequences of their behaviour

    i have seen it break a 20 yr marriage and severely damage 4 children in the process

    now at the age of 50 they are facing their problems for the 1st time but nothing will undo the damage done to their wife and children one of whom has inherited the condition too

    Often there is a strong hypothyroid link in the family along with the Aspergers

  • Hi reallyfedup you're right it puts a terrible strain on the whole family when one of them has mental health Issues. Our son has nearly driven us mad over the years and caused a lot of arguments, for a long time hubby wouldn't or couldn't understand that he had huge problems. Luckily we have a strong marriage or it could have finished us. Reading about others who have had similar ongoing problems like mine really helps as well as advice like yours. Good to feel you're not alone because you often feel you are. Today finally I know he will be seeing a specialist which is a weight off at least for now.

  • Hi , I saw this and had to reply.

    My son is 20. When he was younger he had so many ambitions in life and he had so much get up and go. There is lots more history to this but what I would like to bring up is the smoking weed. My son also does the same and the thing I noticed the most was the change in his mood pattern , his thinking and the way he saw life so differently. Believe me it messes with their minds and it makes them paranoid. He always says his girlfriend winds him up but being there and seeing first hand I know this is not the case. Its him his self.

    I love my boy so much but it breaks my heart to see that this thing they smoke has changed him so much. His out bursts are the worst because he can and has become uncontrollable. I never will agree with any one that says weed is safe because it isn't, because mentally its fry's their brains. My X brother in law was a life long smoker and he was so upset seeing a video off him self stoned and how he looked he stopped at the age of 40 and he is a happy guy with a good life. You cant se how it effects you while you smoke it , there is this screen and I have had a hundred conversations with my son over this. But what upsets me more is how they are going to legalize it .

  • Hi strongly agree with this my son was incoherent last Friday due to the weed he smoked, his girlfriend luckily loves him but it almost split them up. He has depression which started him sing the evil stuff and wouldn't listen to anyone when told to stop. This morning he has gone to the doctors with his g'friend and because of help I got from someone on this site suggesting I write a letter to his doctor simply because of my letter he tells me she is getting him an appointment to see the specialist.

    I agree with the mood swings and paranoia being down to weed but the underlying reason he took it started with depression - often down to being unable to cope. Like your son he had ambitions, got a degree but the black dog on his shoulder overwhelmed him. His mental health problems started - or should I say when we first noticed them was when he was 7 we just didn't know what was wrong with him.

    He said he is off the weed so hope he stays off the threat if loosing his g'friend helped.

    I hope you manage to get your son off the weed don't give up. If they do legalise it they will be mad but I bet they will for the revenue, government only interested in money, as you say fries the brain.

  • What horrifies me is the link of hashi parent and them having aspergers children and also the links to dyslexia

    certainly true the case i know plenty about

    I think the weed smoking is simply their struggle to cope with the inner turmoil that goes on when schools etc fail to recognise , aspergers, autism,dyslexia etc

  • Hi JanW

    I have an adult son who has Aspergers Syndome and he was diagnosed, after a running batle by me, when he was in his mid thirties. I am a retired teaching lawyer and am currently lobbying for an Aspergers Team in our area. Liverpool have had a prototype one for 11 years. There is now in place the Autism Act, which for the first time recognises adults on the autism spectrum, and makes provision for diagnosis, support etc. Sad to say not all local authorities have implemented this Act and there is revue going through Parliament right now on making it more effective, You can contact the National Autistic Society (you can google them), Many doctors have very little knowledge of this condition, so, adults have fallen through the gaps. It is the cinderella of mental health and had I not contacted the Chief Officer of the Clinical Care Commission I do not think that even, now, four years after the Act came into operation, anything would have been done.

    My son;s story is so horrendous, that this has motivated me to research and gather stories of other carers and those on the spectrum with a view to writing a documentary.

    Try the NAS, your local social services and the Clinical Care Commissioners and inform them that your son has a right under the Act to be given a diagnosis and support.

    I really hope this helps.

  • Hi thanks for the reply and good for you lobbying for an Asperger's Team in your area once your son was diagnosed, admire that more should do it in their area. I always think of doctors as jack of all trades specialists of none, trouble is they wield a lot of power when it's them you have to go through to see a specialist and my son has had an up hill battle with that. He's been a few times and got nowhere he has trouble expressing himself so just sits there. His girlfriend went with him yesterday armed with notes and a letter I had written to his doctor telling of the years since age 7 when we noticed he just wasn't right. She has finally given him the number of a specialist to ring so a huge weight off, we might finally be getting somewhere. When we get a diagnosis I will be able to contact people on his behalf and do more. I still think putting the power of someone's life and health in doctors hands only is all wrong there needs to be another option.

    Keep up the good work very little help for mental health problems though I think slowly the tide is starting to turn with the help of people like you. I really hope you make that documentary it would do a huge amount of good for many.

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