High Stress Levels in Parents of Adult Children with Mental Illness

Any caregiver is likely to be vulnerable to stress. However, parents who care for a child with a serious mental illness (SMI) are at increased risk for adverse physical symptoms resulting from stress. Those who care for an adult child with SMI are even more likely to experience the negative effects of stress because of the length of time that they have had to cope with the difficult task of caring for a loved one with mental health issues. Although there is a vast amount of evidence showing how caring for a child with SMI can negatively impact a parent’s psychological health, there is scant clinical evidence highlighting the deleterious physiological effects to the caregiver. Erin T. Barker of the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison addressed this specific dynamic in a recent study by examining the cortisol levels in individuals charged with the care of adult children with SMI.

For her study, Barker asked 61 parents of adults with depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar to complete a stress diary and submit daily saliva samples over a period of several days. The cortisol levels of the participants were compared to the levels of 321 parents of adult children who had no mental health concerns. Barker discovered that the cortisol awakening response (CAR) of the parents of adult children with SMI increased less significantly half an hour after they arose in the morning than the control group. This suggests that the caregivers had a higher stress level upon waking than did the control group. Additionally, Barker found that the cortisol levels of the caregivers declined less throughout the day than did the cortisol levels found in the parents of adult children who did not have SMI.

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“The fact that a similar pattern of hypoactivated daily cortisol in response to stress has been found across studies of parents of individuals with different diagnoses (i.e., schizophrenia, autism, developmental disabilities, and in the present analysis, SMI) and that used different measures of stress (i.e., behavioral problems of the adult child with the diagnosis, time spent with the adult child, and in the present analysis, daily stress not necessarily associated with the adult child) provides strong converging evidence for this effect,” Barker said. She added that these findings underscore the importance of addressing the mental health, physiological health, and coping needs of aging parents who care for adult children with serious mental health issues.

Barker, E. T., Greenberg, J. S., Seltzer, M. M., Almeida, D. M. Daily Stress and Cortisol Patterns in Parents of Adult Children with a Serious Mental Illness. Health Psychology 31.1 (2012): 130-34. Print.

© Copyright 2012 by www.GoodTherapy.org - All Rights Reserved.

The preceding article summarizes research or news from periodicals or related source material in the fields of mental health and psychology. GoodTherapy.org did not participate in or condone any studies, or conclucions thereof, that may have been cited. Any views or opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by GoodTherapy.org.

  • Leave a Comment
  • erin n

    February 14th, 2012 at 5:24 AM

    There is no parent that should have to deal with something like this in their child, but there are those who do and some handle it well and others are filled with the stress and pressures of having a child with this kind of disability. This is not something that most of us would imagine parenthood being like, but for many parents this is the reality that they have been dealt. It does not make it easier but there are some very good support groups out there who can better help them deal and face the issues that are sure to come their way.

  • Mary Grayson

    February 14th, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    I feel so bad for these parents who have dedicated their whole lives to taking care of their children who have disabilities. That takes so much strength, something that I am not sure that I would have the endurance to do for the duration of their lives. It seems so bittersweet that they have to dedicate all of this to those kids- I know that the children cannot help it and the parents are dealing with the cards that they have been dealt, but it feels like such a shame that all of these lives get used up in this way.

  • Randye Kaye

    February 15th, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I’m mother to a wonderful young man who has schizophrenia, author of the memoir about it (called Ben Behind His Voices), NAMI educator (Family to Family)and blogger…and the post I’m working on now is called Mental Illness and Families: the “Burden of Care”. This is a sensitive and important subject for us all, as we strive to balance our loved one’s independence with their needs, and our own lives with those of the people we love. Stress, indeed – I am not surprised. We do, like it or not, parent our children “for better or worse” – but I will say that education about mental illness saved our emotional lives. My family knows we take care of others when we can, but also must take care of ourselves or the results are not pretty.

  • Sam

    February 15th, 2012 at 1:54 PM

    I grew up with an uncle who had to live his whole life with my grandparents because he could not live on his own. They never once complained about the constant care and the sacrifices that they had to make because that was his child. Some people said it was a blessing when he died but my grandparentsgrieved and grieved because he was always their little boy and they loved him more than you could ever imagine. No matter the situation it is never easy to lose and bury your own child.

  • C n See

    February 15th, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Parents may love the child and take care without a single complaint ever but it does take a tool on them.It snot easy caring for an individual with a health problem and is bound to have stressful and thereby making things even difficult :(

  • michelle

    June 25th, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Then there are the added complications of legal problems some of these children experience. As a mother to an adult child who is bipolar, I was not prepared for him to also have to navigate legal troubles that resulted from his behavior. Truly, nobody I know can understand how terrifying this is. His birth mother is deceased so there’s no place to go for genetic history. And the courts don’t seem to care that the offenders have issues that incarceration alone cannot fix. It’s a very scary addition to an already stressful existence.

  • Angela

    January 16th, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    I have a son that suffers from a TBA from a MVA. He has the same things as schizophrenia. He also has so much anger. Me and his father are at a loss. He has tortured us now for the past 7 years. His dad has just had a break down. This can not go on forever, what can we do? We love him but he is not the son we raised.

  • Leslie Adamson

    May 6th, 2013 at 9:57 AM

    I am a mother of two schizophrenic daughters. I have been trying to care for them for 12 years. One lives with me and I cannot continue since my mental and physical health is now coming to an all time low. I have done this alone with the help of DMH. I know that I will have to find permanent housing for the one who has lived with me. This is an unbearable thought..it is like asking me whether I want to cut off my left hand or my right hand. I feel guilty that I am no longer able to bear it, but I am even more stressed not having her by my side. I simply can’t handle it anymore. I am working with DMH. Any words of encouragement or support out there?

  • Ingrid Brandao

    June 12th, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Hello Leslie,
    It seems that we have much in common….I have two adult sons, age 27 with schizophrenia. Fortunately, I have my husband, but our lives are very painful and stressful, as you know.
    Maybe, we can help each other cope.

  • Loretto

    August 1st, 2013 at 10:30 PM

    I’m actually on the flip side of this situation. I’m disabled due to a mental illness (Bipolar Type II and Generalized Anxiety Disorder) living with my elderly mother. My illness is not so severe that my mother is caring for me, but I started looking for alternate housing last year, when I realized that my mother is actually contributing to my illness. This past spring, I started to pull out of a three-year major depression in which my major form of exercise consisted of turning over in bed to lie on my other side for a while. I begged my mother to push me assign me a few household chores, make plans for shopping trips the next day for me to go along on, and her attitude was, I’m an adult, if I want to lie in bed all day I should go ahead and do that. As I’ve become psychologically less depressed, I’ve developed a lot of physical problems and illness, which I think is at least partly depression related. I had started managing my anxiety by meditation and other holistic means. And my mother has become increasingly emotionally abusive- not yelling and screaming, but playing sick little mind games. I’ve applied for housing in several other buildings over the past several months, but waiting lists for low-income and disabled housing are years long. Things came to a head last week. I had just gotten a part-time job as a video chat hostess working over the internet, and so while I’m stressed over my new job (I really like the job, but the apartment is too small for me to have a permanent workspace, so setting up and tearing down is a lot of work) she has been laying additional obligations on me, leaving housework undone at about the time I would need to be setting up my workspace, and nagging, nagging, nagging. You’d think she would be glad that I have something that helps with my sense of self-worth and contributes to the household income and cut me a little slack until I get settled into the job and can get a routine going. I had to go back on my anti-anxiety medication largely due to her abuse. The other day, I reached a breaking point, and contacted my DMH worker and told her if I didn’t get into new housing soon, I’m either going to commit suicide or become violent toward my mother. My DMH worker told me my situation is actually common- elderly parents will emotionally abuse a mentally ill or disabled adult child to the point that they crack and either threaten violence or actually hit them, then cry “elder abuse”, and once that accusation has been made, you’re guilty even after proven innocent and will never be able to get into disabled housing where there are elderly people living in the building (which is the case in nearly all housing for the disabled). The stress and abuse has affected my physical health to the point I’ve had to take off work in order to recuperate. I’m an independent contractor, so I can do that, but it makes me look really unprofessional and the company I’m working for is not happy. My DMH worker may be able to get me into housing within the next couple of months, but the rent will be more than 80% of my SSDI income, so I need to get back online and working again so I can start making enough extra income that I can afford the rent and utilities. Meanwhile, over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to be contacting the Housing Authority and see if I can get bumped up on the wait lists because I’m in a crisis situation, but for the time being, I just have to white-knuckle it.

  • Karen

    March 8th, 2014 at 5:11 PM

    I am having a really hard time. We have been parenting my son who struggles with depression, anxiety, mood disorder,ADHD, learning disabilities and now substance issues. He is 19 and we had to have him removed from our home. It is tearing out my heart and soul. I know that we have done all we can and will continue to support him as best we can. It’s hard to function like all is ok and to grieve for all of our suffering. It’s hard not to feel helpless as you watch things unfold. I look at other young men and wonder why.. It’s so sad.

  • Victoria

    April 16th, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    I have borne the brunt of my son’s bi polar outbursts and abuse of our entire family since he was a young boy. He is now 18 and we can’t really distinguish the mental illness from his abusive personality traits that smacks of his father’s behavior (which is why I divorced his father). I just can’t take anymore. My cortisol levels are through the roof, I hardly eat and yet am overweight, of course, it’s the cortisol, and my son’s revolting behavior towards my husband, his step-father, a man who has provided all a father could and more (his bio dad fled the country to get out of paying child support) has nearly destroyed our marriage. At what point, do I have the right to tell my son to just leave, get out and leave us alone. I have nursed him through two suicide attempts and now he uses the threat of suicide to coerce us into giving in to whatever he demands of us. I don’t even know who he is anymore, I mean, really, he bears no resemblance anymore to the sweet little boy I loved and tried as hard as I could to raise well and care for. Today he said something so cruel and vile to me that he finally crossed a line I cannot abide. My son has alianated his sister, his step-brothers and now finally me, his mother. He has been provided with all the medical care that can be offered, we have three mental health professionals on the payroll and yet nothing is working. I have paid thousands in co-pays, hospital bills and RXs and for nothing It’s like he doesn’t even want to try and cope with his illness, and we are all his victims…he has no care for the pain his reckless words and behavior causes us. I want out of this hell.

  • Kim

    May 24th, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    I came to this site because I felt like I was about to have a nervous breakdown over my adult son. He has been diagnosed with Bipolar I with psychosis. He is continually abusive to me when he is manic and says scary things. For example he calls himself lord Lucifer. He looses touch with reality during his manic times. I feel like I am watching a slow moving train wreck and worry about what he will do next. Will he end up in jail again or take another trip to the mental hospital? Will I survive this? Will he survive this? My son has been successful, owns his own business and performs comedy. He is able to keep it together for short stretches of time. But that’s it. Short stretches of time. Then the mania takes over and ruins his life and everyone around him that loves him. He is extremely abusive and dangerous. He stops showering, shaving and taking care of his house. I try to tell him to get help because he is on a downward spiral, but I’m speaking to deaf ears. He is in his own reality right now. I think this is going to kill me as his mother who loves him and worries daily. All I can do is to give myself some space from him and try to keep it together myself. But when I try to get space from his abuse he says that I’m not supporting him during his darkest times. Help! What have others done to get through this insanity and stay sane while trying to help them out of their trauma?

  • Cheryl

    July 12th, 2014 at 7:23 PM

    Funny how you kind of trip over things like this as you blindly search…..search…..search…..the Internet for anything to help: answers, information, support, empathy. And so I found this page — an interesting article, but more than that a collection of people whose stories are so much like my own.

    I am a single (divorced) mother whose husband washed his hands of parenthood a few years ago. My 24 year old son has suffered depression and anxiety since age 16, and is getting worse. He refuses treatment but continues sinking deeper into despair — becoming hostile and abusive (mainly toward me, but also to his sister and others), pushing people away, and having difficulty thriving and becoming self-sufficient in the world.

    I am perpetually holding my breath, living in fear that he will one day tire of the battle and take his own life.

    It’s sad to see the lack of responses to posters here who ask for coping tips…Maybe there are just no tips to be had. Maybe, like all of life’s tests, we simply survive it because we have no other choice.

    There’s a quote I’m reminded of: ‘I feel so much better now that I’ve given up hope.’ Maybe one key is to have low expectations: don’t even hope to be rescued. Once you resign yourself to it, there’s no more reason to think about it and you might find yourself feeling OK sometimes.

    I am in awe of the courage and strength I see here, and the infinite love of parents for their children. Godspeed to you all, and thank you for sharing your stories. I feel less alone.

  • Jacqueline

    July 16th, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Cheryl, Thank you for your post it was insightful…letting go releases you as well as your love one.

  • Louise

    August 8th, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    I wish I had some encouraging words. I am currently dealing an with an adult daughter with bipolar disorder who can hold a job, she gets them but cant keep them. she should be on disability, but is in denial and gets more than angry when I make suggestions. there is a little boy involved here to that often is caught in the middle of her wrath when she is angry, and she doesn’t care. I am ready to cut her loose totally just to survive myself. I am home from work today because of so much stress from last night when she told me she was going to stop one of her meds. Any advice for support would be helpful

  • Nicole Mclaurin

    August 31st, 2014 at 12:31 AM

    My daughter is 26 years old. She was a pretty normal person most of her life. She had three little boys one after the other. Her mental illness getting worse after each pregnancy. She left her husband and came to leave with me. Leaving with her was very inpredictable. She attacked me twice, stole my car and broke my windows. I had to get a restraining order against just to protect myself. She went to jail twice because she does not show up in court when she supposed to. And today she’s coming out of jail. I love my daughter with all my heart. She’ll probably never know how much I love her but I have to let her go if I want to save myself. It is a heartbreaking situation and I feel for all the parents who are going through this.

  • Sheila

    September 3rd, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    My son is 26 and has been diagnosed as bi polar schizophrinic since 15. Son has been in and out of our home since he became an adult. My husband is beyond ready to have our home to ourselves. My son just got on Medicaid does not have Disability does not know if He wants it. My son just this pass week end slit both wrist and they sent him home. I didn’t even go to the hospital this time in hopes that if I didn’t show up to rescue him they would actually possibly see how much help he needs. Instead they released him to a have a therapist call him who my son has been listed under for over a year, but has never seen. Finally, today the therapist calls to make an appointment with my son and apologizes for calling late because he has been moving offices.
    My son slit his wrist while drinking. He did this in my basement. Stole money from my wallet to buy the alcohol. Then I wake to find my son slurring his words again last night. I slept with one eye open in a chair at the bottom of my stairs by the front door.
    Where does this madness end?? Where does his life begin??

  • Kim

    September 11th, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    That’s my question Victoria. Just when do we have permission to start recovery from verbal abuse, financial ruin, and not having a life so to speak. I, as the mother of a 21 year of daughter with bipolar disorder, PSTD, borderline personality disorder, and more, do not suffer from any diagnosed SMIs but sure think of a way out by just running away from it all some times…I have no help and I’m just worn out. To top that I have Addison’s Disease myself and can’t even process stress like a normal person. Almost killed me twice…:-(

  • Linda L.

    September 16th, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    Dear Sheila, I know how hard this is for. My son is 27 yrs d and he’s schizophrenia is driving a wedge between us. We also had our son in the hospital several times. We kept putting off SSI in hopes he would get “better”. He hasn’t but now we are getting some financial help. They also pay me the care giver. Its so hard to deal with a grown man. Especially when he drinks. I really think they need to be pro active about mental health. The police had to pick him up last time. After two days, my husband said ” you know, it’s kinda nice. No yelling, being bullied etc”. He called 5 minutes later a was released! He’s a adult now. So we have no privileged info because of hippa. We know nothing more than day he went in. Its sad. We only want the best for our kids. But at 18, we are no longer involved on his plan of care. Best wishes to you all

  • A patient and victim of denial like what I'm hearing, blah, blah, blah

    September 18th, 2014 at 9:19 PM

    I hate to say this–because I see so many other women here–WOMEN–the men walk off and leave the women, and refuse to take responsibility–like my own father did, and he managed to drain my trust fund and my mother’s too while he was at it. Someone like me who inherited stock from a privately held oil company that was founded by one of my great uncles never should have been on food stamps, working 3 jobs, beat up from work injuries by the time I was 36 years old no one would hire me so I started my own company. Yes I’m bipolar–and it was only 5 and a half months ago, when I was 50 years old that one of these doctors finally diagnosed me with ADD–after I had been beating the guy senseless and spoon feeding him with symptoms–I really love my therapist, don’t get me wrong. He’s old school, hard core, and doesn’t take any of the BS I’m seeing here. People don’t RECOVER until they WANT TO–no one can make them do it.
    And how on earth do you think these thongs happen anyway? Darwin baby, get a clue–if you’re one of those people who says “we don’t have mental illness, alcoholism, drug addiction, gays, etc, in our family” you’re smoking some great buds, I’d like to know where you’re collective is located–SMH

  • h

    September 24th, 2014 at 11:55 PM

    My adult child(bipolar, borderline personality disorder, anger/relationship issues) and grandchild want to live with me and my spouse immediately).We live in poverty and are both in failing health. My parent is terminally ill, and these are my last days with her. I don’t want to lose my grandchild (foster care twice already)by saying NO. We have offered to take him in while she tries to get on her feet(never been able to do),but she wants to stay with him. We have tried to help her for many years(and so have countless others).She is on meds, but no therapy. She has difficulty keeping jobs, keeping shelter, paying bills. We cannot afford to pay for two households. I am not safe if she lives with me. Don’t know what to do. Pray for us all.

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    September 25th, 2014 at 10:00 AM


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  • Vicki

    October 3rd, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    My family is in the same boat. My brother is mentally ill and has many struggles. He has punched holes in my parents walls and has even slapped my dad. He was recently baker acted. Five days later the mental facility contacted us and said to come get him because they needed the extra beds for new patients to come in. They basically we’re throwing him out without being stabilized. Here’s what we did. We made an immediate appointment with all his doctors with the entire family together. We discussed a plan and have stuck to it. We have no expectations and just keep pushing on. We decided that due to the violent behaviors perhaps my parents have worn out there welcome with my brother. Not to any fault of their own as they are the greatest parents ever. It simply had taken a toll on them and they were too tired to keep helping him at the capacity that they were at. So we looked into a mortgage that people who are rendered disabled to get him a home of his own. We moved him out and hired a life coach. The life coach goes to his house several times a week to help by groceries etc. when he is depressed we spend time at his house instead of bringing him to our house or we may even spend the night. We take him to his doctors appointments still but this is working great because we can be involved and still over see everything but we don’t have to deal with it 24 hours a day anymore and wear ourselves down. Utilizing the life coach prohibits us from micromanaging his life and doing things for him. It teaches him to do it for himself. It is natural that we wanted all these years to protect him and just do everything for him but it created a person who already has mental issues to now have resentment because he could read us like a book and manipulate. And when I say manipulate it is not intentional. When he doesn’t want to do something because it causes stress and anxiety he acts out causing us tons of stress and to just give in, he is only self protecting himself from anxiety. So with the life coach he is less likely to fight the battle with a stranger and more likely to cooperate out of fear of not really knowing that person. So far things are looking up. He will probably never hold a job or even have relationships outside our family but we have enough love to make up for all that. Best of luck to everyone but sometimes excepting and letting go and taking risks is the only salvation for a family dealing with a family member with mental illness.

  • Danielle Collins

    October 13th, 2014 at 5:58 PM

    Good day. I am 44 living and working in Texas and my sister who is 2years my senior, is l iving off of my aging mother, who is on a fixed income and i have to sometimes supplement her income. My mom has had some health issues in past (blood pressure, 2 hrt attks, blood clot to her left lung…that one was the scariest, high cholestrol…you get my point) she does not need any kind of stress in her life. That being said, my sister who is 46, has not worked in several years. She continues to hop from one person to the next, can never take responsibility for herself, tried for 2years to get on disability claiming mental issues…that didn’t work or so well and now she is back in Texas living off of my mother, making multiple trips to hospital claiming physically ill, 4 x’s in less than 6 weeks with all visits laying 5-7 days or more. All tests come back normal, nothing is found to be wrong…she she plays it up and insist she is ill. As i am sure there is a mental condition for that, so i do believe there is something wrong with her, how do i go about getting her the PROPER help that it’s needed and not this merry go round routine wearing down my mother (since i work and live in another town, i can’t be there to deal with my sister personally as much as is needed to remove the burden from my mother. I hope i am not coming off as harsh, as i have alot on my plate already deali b g with my godfather being resently diagnosed with stage 4 lung, liver and brain cancer, so please forgive me i seemingly have no smypathy for someone wanting to be sick when i have another wanting nothing more than be healthy.

  • Barbara

    October 14th, 2014 at 7:20 AM

    I stumbled upon this site by chance, and I’ve seen nothing like it anywhere on the ‘net’. I have a 29 year old son who’s had severe mental health problems since he was 17 years old. He has his own flat, but spends most of his time living with me. When he’s taking medication (aripiprazole) he’s fine, but he hates taking it and periodically stops, leading to a rapid downward spiral. I am, to put it mildly, totally and utterly exhausted by it. I feel as if I have been living in a nightmare for the past 12 years, with brief periods of respite when he’s taking medication. I hope this site will help me to feel less alone. I live in the UK and there don’t seem to be any appropriate support groups here.

  • l

    October 15th, 2014 at 10:21 AM

    Looks like Vikki comment #24 is the only one offering a solution, which requires extended family involvement. I had never thought of the life coach idea. My son is currently Baker acted. He is 31. He has had problems since he was 6. I ended up divorcing his father for substance/mental health issues. He (father) committed suicide after we were divorced. My son has been in and out of facilities since he was 12. He does well for awhile, especially in controlled environments, was in the military, has held jobs, but the addiction spirals out of control and we are back to square one. He is married, but I dont see how it will last. I think the hard thing is knowing how involved to be or not to be. He is my son, and I love him, but it takes a toll. I have to try to focus on keeping myself well too. My heart is with all you out there who are living this nightmare. We are not alone.

  • lizette A.

    October 15th, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    We are parents of South Africa our daughter is 10 and we had living hell from the time she was born. She has 10 different diseases , Addison, multiple personality disorder , depression,ostioporoses , hart problems , left hip problems ,third disorder,hormone divescincy ,epilepsy ,list goes on and on. we love her and do our best but can say with all our love this life is hard and it sometimes feel like now one out there know how you feel and what you have to do to keep going every day this is not a joke. She has so many mental problems and with that Addison’s her hart is giving problems and a whole lot more. We can’t remember when last we had a decent night of sleep or did not get up in the morning with body pain of being so tired working your self to the ground and still not be able to meet all the bills in a end of a month some time me as her mother just want to stand on a mountain top and scream HELP maybe some one will come and fix everything.

  • Linda C.

    October 16th, 2014 at 10:42 AM

    Hi Barbara,
    Comment # 26 I am in a very similar situation to you and have been trying to find a carers support group in London to no avail. If you do read this please get in touch and maybe we can support each other.

  • Barbara L.

    October 17th, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Hi Linda, (#29)
    This is Barbara (#26). Thanks for replying to my comments. I live in London too! Maybe you could say a bit more about your situation? I wonder how many of us there are in London, looking for a support group! I would find it difficult attending a group, though, as I work afternoons and evenings. However, I would really appreciate being in touch with people who understand my situation. Hope to hear from you again.

  • Sue

    October 24th, 2014 at 4:31 AM

    To everyone who has shared their stories, wishing you strength. Mental illness runs in my family. There have been some very dark times but I still thank each day that my loved ones are still alive. One year my dad died of cancer and both my mother and brother both attempted suicide all within a week. Ever since I have decided that life is the most important thing even though at times it is hard to hope. For myself as the ‘well’ person, setting boundaries is very important. My love is endless but my money, time and sleep has to be protected or I can’t help anyone. I try to appreciate the small moments of calm and beauty like a sunset or the scent of jasmine. Probably sounds lame but it works for me. I am very lucky to have a good job and have developed the ability to switch my head into work mode instantly even after a stressful phone call or text conversation. Please everyone try to love yourselves and forgive yourselves when you reach your limits.

  • Matthew

    October 26th, 2014 at 7:40 AM

    I want to live full time with my Mom and Dad. I am autistic and I live in an apartment with supported living. I visit my Mom and Dad 2 times a Month and thay are 2 Day and 3 Day sleep over visits. Mom and Dad want to live their own life meanning thay don’et want me to live full time with my Mom and Dad and I don’et like that. Do you have any places where me and my Mom and Dad can go to or any suggestions?

  • Janet

    October 27th, 2014 at 5:16 PM

    Omg thank you for that. It gave me permission to protect my money, my sleep and myself. I had two bipolar adult kids. I now have one. My son died of a heroin overdose. Code for bipolar. My 38 year old daughter who is high functioning at work but not at all in her personal relationships to include ours. She says the most horrible cruel things to me and about me tho we are very close. She threatens suicide every month And attempts it often is shes a cutter. Her body is a chopped up mess. I just wait for that call again.

  • Deanna

    November 8th, 2014 at 9:00 PM

    I feel lost at times like life is leading me into a dead end never dreamed my life would be like this three beautiful kids and I am divorced and my ex suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar and is off in another state in his own world well I fight this battle alone with our kids. Two of my kids suffer from mental health issues my 13 year old suffers from sever depression and spends all day locked in his room and even skips school to stay in his room has suicidal thoughts and wont talk to no one not even me any more, my daughter my baby suffers from bipolar, anger issues, adjustment disorder,adhd and ocd I believe she has schizophrenia I see signs everyday is different with her, she has been institutionalized twice, all adults and kids are scared of her when she gets mad and she is only 9. I have a mental health social worker in home therapist psychiatrist, counselors, teachers and myself all working with my kids. Someday’s I feel like no one understand how can I be so alone in this big world helping to kids fight a battle within themselves. People tell me to lock my kids up realistically what kind of parent would do that a monster in my book that is always my last resort when the police have intervened and said it’s not safe for us to have her stay in the home anymore because of her outburst. I would never send my kids away turn my back on them because they have mental illness like my ex, yes some days are tough but I prey and I get threw it. I do feel like I am collapsing though not sure sometimes how much strength I have to do this alone anymore. I reach out to find anyone else who understand me and my situation.

  • Barbara L.

    November 11th, 2014 at 6:14 AM

    To Deanna, #34, I completely understand your pain and exhaustion. My son is 29, and has had issues with severe anger outbursts all his life. He had his first psychotic breakdown when he was 17, and has been in and out of hospitals many times. He showed signs of mental illness when he was a child but no-one picked up on it. He was my first child, so I had nothing to compare his behaviour with. He made the lives of his brother and sister hell, with his violent outbursts. I have been on my own with all three children since my eldest son was 7, my younger son 5 and my daughter 2. I am exhausted and full of grief that my son has no real chance of having a normal, happy life.I live in the UK. It is good to be in contact with people who understand.

  • Tina

    November 19th, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    When my son was about 14 I noticed something not quit right in his mental development. It was also about the same time he started sneaking out of house and using drugs. Before this he was doing great in school and in sports but then within a few months everything was upside down. I’ve raised him myself and have had no family around. It was difficult when he was young just trying to manage all the expenses and time to raise a child by myself but is almost unbearable as he is getting older. When he was 15 I moved to the other side of town hoping this would help. It didn’t. I found he was stealing from me and selling my things for drugs. The doctors said it is called self medicating. I started making police reports hoping the paperwork would lead to help. He was never charged- these were complaints. In many ways it did but it was a heartbreaking journey. I was missing a lot of work by trying to get him counseling and also the time chasing him down when he would disappear or not be in school. Since I was a single parent the state assisted by putting him into a forest care home which one parent was always supervising him. I request that the home be at least an hour away from Albuquerque due to my son going to local friends home that only embedded his behavior. He was with the other family for six months and while in the program the other family -along with myself and teachers agreed that if he stayed in high school that if may only make his behavior worse. So at 16 with only four credits of high school he went through the GED program. After the six months with the family he was released and had a probational officer assigned. However, the program was zero tolerance for drugs and he used pot on serval occasions. The state then siad they would either put him back into a two parent family so someone was always watching him or put him into a drug court program which was very intense. I chose the drug court program. It was a lot of work not only for my son but also for me. Almost daily we had to a counseling section or something with drug court. After a few months the counselor informed me he agreed with me that there was noticing something was off with my son but was not sure what it was and asked to run more testing. I agreed. This testing was done over a period of several months. The program was zero tolerance and if you messed up the Judge would put you into the juvenal center. A month before his 18th birthday he used pot and was being tested so instead he ran. He disappeared for a month. Two days before his 18th birthday he was picked up and once in juvenal center they did the last and final section of the full psychiatric test. He had going to spend a week in juvenal ,however, the test revealed that he had a developmental mental disorder which he no longer qualified to be in the drug court program but it was also very risky taking him out of juvenal center since his testing come back with multiple street drug in his system of a high volume. They keeper him in the center for five weeks to hopefully clean him up but this was the longer the Judge could hold him since he was also now 18. He was given medication which did help his behavior but after a few months he stopped taking. I couldn’t force him to take medication even with limiting what I would allow him to do. We applied for SS disability in NM in 2012 which we provided all the information and what he was diagnosed with and we went to their assigned doctor for the evaluation but have not heard back from SS. When he was 19 he did a semester of college. I though he was doing well. I took him and pick him up but at the end of semester he failed every class – he failed to do the work as assigned or instructions or had social fears which limited him. He is now 21 – no job- no school- odd sleeping patterns- outburst of behaviors- odd eating and very very thin- odd speech- very smart- a beautiful off mind. We have recently moved out of NM to MO and I just don’t know where to turn for help. He has no insurance and not a penny or asset to him name. Taking care of him is limiting me and we need help. I believe he needs to live in a group home that can help him with getting a job and on his feet. He is very bright but he can’t manage a bank account. I am at the point if something doesn’t change soon he may be out on the streets living because I need to survive and him continuing to live like a 10 year old I may be only abetting him if he doesn’t face hard reality . Him on the street maybe the only way to get government support but I don’t even know if that would be what it takes to get them to do something. If anyone knows of a program that can help support please let me know.

  • Pam

    November 24th, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    I hear your pain. It is lonely. The hardest part for me is I feel alone and no one understands or cares to understand. Some days I just want to stay in bed or end my life.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    November 24th, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    Hi Pam,

    We received the comment that you submitted on our blog earlier today. Thank you so much for visiting GoodTherapy.org. If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, in danger of hurting yourself or others, feeling suicidal, overwhelmed, or in crisis, it’s very important that you get immediate help! You can do one of the following immediately:

    • Call your local law enforcement agency (911);
    • Go to the nearest hospital emergency room;
    • Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TTY:1-800-799-4TTY)

    The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is equipped to take a wide range of calls, from immediate suicidal crisis to providing information about mental health. Some of the reasons to call are listed below: • Call to speak with someone who cares;
    • Call if you feel you might be in danger of hurting yourself;
    • Call to find referrals to mental health services in your area;
    • Call to speak to a crisis worker about someone you’re concerned about.

    If you are a victim of domestic violence, you can call your local hotline and/or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) (TTY 1−800−787−3224)

    RAINN provides support for sexual assault victims and their loved ones through two hotlines at 800.656.HOPE and Online.RAINN.org. Whether you are more comfortable on the telephone or online, RAINN has services that can guide you in your recovery.
    • The National Sexual Assault Hotline: If you need support, call 800.656.HOPE, and you will be directed to a rape crisis center near your area.
    • The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline: is the first secure web-based crisis hotline providing live and anonymous support through an interface as intuitive as instant messaging.
    • For more information visit http://rainn.org/get-help/national-sexual-assault-online-hotline.

    Warm regards,

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • LadyDi

    January 10th, 2015 at 1:52 PM

    To everyone who is suffering on this forum… I feel your pain. I understand how none of your family or friends know your pain because they have no idea the hell every second of every day is when a parent lives with a child, young or adult, with a mental illness.
    For ten years, my husband and I have done everything humanly possible to help our grown son. He is still not diagnosed correctly. He’s been to a dozen psychiatrists, been baker acted, gone to outpatient therapy, and he fools them all. We’ve been told he’s an alcoholic or he has ADHD, which he doesn’t… just so he can get on Adderal. He’s been prescribed that drug for almost 10 years.
    I look at my son and I see a little sweet boy, even though on the outside he is now a 30 year old angry lonely man searching for the normal life he should have had over a decade ago.
    He has many successes in school in terms of full scholarships and degrees. But he can’t get along nor socialize with others. He hasn’t had a friend in years. He was best all around as a Senior in highschool – athletic – popular – kind… then after going away to college something major changed in his personality.
    It’s gotten worse over the years and all the doctors say he’s normal.
    He’s been misdiagnosed and it’s like he’s still there trapped in his own body. He knows how to manipulate and work the system. He’s hurting inside, dying inside, all alone – a recluse for years.
    His thoughts are jumbled, he thinks he’s being followed or spied on, he blames everyone else for all the hell in his life. He talks to himself – his life is a sad miserable one and we don’t know how it got to this point. It is pure insanity. Everyone who knew and loved him are now afraid of him. He rants and raves and has huge anger problems. His father and I have planned an escape route incase he snaps – like the others on this site… only we know the pure hell of thinking night after night the baby you loved and nurtured might burst through your doors and end your life.
    Friends always give you advice, like stop paying for him and taking care of him, get him arrested, tough love… it’s easy to give advice when you are dealing with normal kids. If we stop helping him or anger him… he could kill us or himself.
    We all, parents with children with mental health issues live in a world of Insanity. We become insane because the insanity becomes a normal part of our daily life. We walk on eggshells and never know when the moods will change for no reason from one minute to the next.
    Our children have been in trouble with the law, other people, cannot hold jobs because of their strange behavior, do not understand what’s wrong with them, but know something is.
    They cry to us wanting to know why they’re not normal wanting so desperately to be. We see glimpses of our perfect sons and daughters and hope this time they will be the same… until the monster within them comes out again.
    When we try to explain to them they have a mental illness and need help they explode. If our children were diagnosed with diabetes and needed to go to a specialist, that is acceptable. But a child with mental illness getting help from a psychiatrist… they are labeled as “crazy” and resist because it’s a taboo. Mental Illness is an “ILLNESS” and the world needs to start treating it as such.
    It should not be a hush hush subject – just as any other diagnoses should not be. They did not ask to be born with a mental illness, just as a child with diabetes or asthma did not ask to be born like that. It’s an illness that needs to be treated without a stigma attached to it.
    When one has an adult child with mental illness – we cannot get or give any info to the psychiatrist UNLESS the patient with mental illness who cannot rationalize or make informed decisions for themselves, is the patient who has all the rights. We are left out of the helping and gaining and sharing pertinent info in helping our own children because they are over 18. This is ludacris and the HIPA laws do not work in these cases.
    I felt better having read your forums and don’t feel as alone as I have knowing others are going through my hell. I finally got my son admitted to a very expensive facility, but another problem is insurance helping defray the outrageous costs of getting help for a loved one with a mental illness. It’s not fair. All illnesses, no matter if they are in the brain, stomach, leg, etc… should be treated and considered equal. They are all an illness in the body.
    In closing, my husband has been asking me to “Pick One” either him or my son after the last few years of living this hell together. I could never pick between the man I love or son I love. He abandoned the family 3 months ago. I am all alone with my son dealing with the same hell by myself. He escaped. I wish I could. But I have a heart and am not a coward. I have a responsibility to those I love. We are all on this earth for a reason. Right now I’ve been wishing my life would end already. The stress and pain is too much for me to handle. I’m beyond depressed missing my husband yet having to keep my sanity in helping my son and aging parents everyday. Life can be hell.
    I can relate to you all.
    Good Luck.
    Keep the faith, I will try to do the same.

  • Irene w

    January 20th, 2015 at 3:40 AM

    Hi my son is 29 over the last 9years we have had diagnosis of anxiety depression bi polar2 adhd lots of meds and talking therapies to no avail. My son said he is depersonalised if you read about it it does make sense. He has been trying for the last 3 years to complete his 4th year of architecture in London He just doesn’t seem to be able to get himself together he says he can’t string sentences together or draw because he’s not a person and doesn’t exist. When he’s low he rings to say he wants to end his life as there is no hope or cure for him. I live in fear that one day he will do this I feel like I’m drowning in sorrow I don’t want to wake up in the mornings. At other times I’m so cross that most of our savings have gone to pay his rent and support him in London (we liveinthe north) there is a clinic at kings that deals with depersonalisation of course he says it’s no good and won’t even try to get referred. I’m at my wits end emotionally I’m of to the docs tomorrow for some pills that hopefully will help me to cope Sorry for the rant and after reading all the posts I know I’m not alone I just wish we where all in the same city so that we could support each other.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    January 20th, 2015 at 9:41 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Irene. If you would like to consult with a mental health professional, please feel free to return to our homepage, http://www.goodtherapy.org/, and enter your zip code into the search field to find therapists in your area. If you’re looking for a counselor that practices a specific type of therapy, or who deals with specific concerns, you can make an advanced search by clicking here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/advanced-search.html

    Once you enter your information, you’ll be directed to a list of therapists and counselors who meet your criteria. From this list you can click to view our members’ full profiles and contact the therapists themselves for more information. You are also welcome to call us for assistance finding a therapist. We are in the office Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time; our phone number is 888-563-2112 ext. 1.

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Barbara L

    February 4th, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    I wish there was some way in which I could meet up with other parents who are going through the hell of having an adult son or daughter with serious mental health problems.I live in London, and have a 29 year old son who has suffered from severe mental health problems since he was 17 years old. He will soon be 30, so his entire adult life has been ruined. The pain for me is almost too much to bear. People try to understand, and do what they can to support me, but the only people who could truly understand are the people who are experiencing it themselves. How I long for the companionship of such people, so that we could understand and support each other. If reading about such people can help, even a little, I know that actually being able to talk to them, face-to-face, would be immeasurably comforting and helpful. How do we get together to support each other? I live in London.

  • Jane

    February 5th, 2015 at 11:29 AM

    Hi Barbara
    My nephew done two and half years studying higher maths n science but they let him go as he was acting strangely. Still has not been diagnosed properly what kind of mental illness it is. He thinks he know everything, questions everything, is very rude but he thinks other people are not being fair,will only take tablets when HE thinks he needs it. Do not have friends. He will not accept that there is anything wrong. Will not sign in sickness benefit as he wants to work. But after couple of days employer lets him go.
    He wears you down after being in his company and I cannot stand his verbal abuse. So should I just tell him he is rude and stop his silliness..I know this is illness but this is no way to speak to people and get away with it.
    What do you think?

  • Jessica

    February 6th, 2015 at 8:19 AM

    My son just got out of the hospital last night. He will be 18 at the end of this month. He refuses to go to school, fights with my husband and me daily, and is cruel to his sisters. He doesn’t have a job, or any desire to find one, or so it seems. We feel so lost and alone. None of our friends or family knows what we are going through. My son has agreed to taking his meds, and outpatient treatment. Since we have been through this before, we know it will probably be short lived. The scary part now it that he will be an adult. I will have no control over his actions. My husband and I made a contract that he signed before being released from the hospital. It’s hard, but we have told him he will have to find another place to live if he breaks it. It basically says that he has to take his meds, go to outpatient therapy, and go to school or work at least 20 hours a week. I feel that I can’t expose his sisters to this behavior any longer. It is having a negative impact on them.

  • Jayne

    February 7th, 2015 at 2:18 PM

    Hi Barbara, I could have written your post myself.My son is 23 and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia at 17. Funny how that one sentence seems so matter of fact. Only someone who lives the daily reality of this stinking filthy cruel disease could ever understand the chaos, pain and devastation it has on all our lives. My heart goes out to you Barbara. I’d love to hear from you

  • cassie

    February 9th, 2015 at 11:01 AM

    Not sure if this support group is in London but there is a group called N.A.M.I. The way it looks is the way to pronounce it Nami! My son has been diagnosed with schizophrenia about 1 year ago and it really is heart breaking! I walk around all day with this heavy weight on my chest of what if my son kills himself before his meds can be figured out! He constantly talks about doing it almost every other day! Yes we all need someone to share with!

  • cassie

    February 9th, 2015 at 11:12 AM

    I will pray for you and your family! Yes your husband is a coward! A man will never have the nurturing love of a mother no matter how old our children are.

  • tonya

    March 4th, 2015 at 9:45 PM

    Hello cassie, I’m in the US Illinois my son was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in 2013 now he is twenty,he want take his meds or admit he has an m.I.,he had an psychotic break, attacked me went to jail and now has to get help in order too stay out,I feel like I’m grieving and I can’t shake it,the depression, the pain,guilt,resentment I feel daily has affected my life in so many ways,work,relationships,etc, the isolation,loneliness, we both feel,I feel like either checking my self in or death but then what will he do without or when I die,yes we need support. Hugs to everyone

  • tonya

    March 4th, 2015 at 9:56 PM

    They say its demon,drugs,poison or bad luck for his schizophrenia,what does it matter its hear and like many other illnesses,I don’t know what to do, but I just want to support him, no friends no girls,no normalcy I’m his only friend,some days are good some are bad,its like dementia,some days he is like his old self and other I don’t even know this person

  • Tamara

    March 5th, 2015 at 4:21 AM

    First of all, God bless each and every one of you for not giving up on your children. I too, am about at the end of my rope. My daughter just turned 18 last week, she’s been diagnosed Bi-polar II with Axis traits, Severe Anxiety Disorder, ADD and Depression. She has been in different treatment plans, hospitalized, etc. since 6th grade. She should now be a senior, but the school won’t upgrade her status because of her grades, even though she has 16.5 credits. The only thing that kept her going to school was Drama Club, and the Teacher of that cut her from the play citing grade issues. It’s really because he’s afraid to take her to State Conference (even though I would be there to help) because of her illness. She is very timid in school, she just melts down at home. She threatens suicide at every turn, has broken everything breakable in my house, says terrible things to me when she’s upset, blames me for not being able to do something about the school situation, etc. She refuses to do school work and by the time I find out she’s behind it’s too late for her to turn it in. I’m a single mother also, her biological father is just now coming around (now that she’s 18 and child support will stop). Her stepfather and I divorced over issues with her, and he basically supports us now because I can’t work, she can’t be left alone. We had a decent Psychiatrist for her meds, and a really good Therapist, and both of those women left their practices within a month of each other. Now back to square one and she just is stuck with the Dr. on staff that day, no one is taking an interest in helping her. My family is not supportive, they think I spoil her and she’s just doing it all for attention. I feel so incredibly alone all the time.

  • sally

    March 5th, 2015 at 11:57 PM

    I have a mentally I’ll daughter,age 32. I feel the exact same way. No one gets this or what it is like dealing with them and a system that does not help

  • sally

    March 6th, 2015 at 12:04 AM

    I have been through so much with my 32 year old daughter. She has been hospitilized more than 50 times over 12 years. It is so sad and no one understands.

  • Isabell N.

    March 6th, 2015 at 2:22 AM

    I have a son in his late 30s who has been seriously depressed for all of his adult life. He is even more dependant now, than he was as a child. I’m his only friend. All of my days off outworking are spent with him. Too much to go into and painful also. I’ll be 60 this year. I worry conconstantly. He is an only child of an only child. His father left when he was a toddler and has never been in touch. The worry of him committing suicide is constant. I’m at my wits end.

  • Manuel

    March 10th, 2015 at 2:40 AM


  • Julie

    March 13th, 2015 at 8:27 PM

    Hi Barbara, I am going through this with my 26yr old son. He also has ADHD. He won’t accept his fiancé breaking up with him. Threatening suicide, smashing things up. I am scared of him hurting himself. My mum and brother have schizophrenia and taken overdoses in the past. I moved away for my own sanity when my son was 11. Now I am going through IT all again. Here if you want to talk . I feel so scared and alone. He reads my texts thinking I am plotting against him so have to delete everything and guard my phone and IPad.

  • RescueRehome

    March 14th, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    Good Evening (Day) those parents and families who are trying as hard as I am, my name is Dori by the way, to hold tight by a fragmented thin thread of hope and of love… in the midst of a life that I know myself I couldn’t have ever fathomed having to actually live – with my beloved and absolutely gorgeous young adult son.

    My handsome and brave son has been diagnosed with first break schizophrenia. We have both known the meaning of fear and of confusion and of bewilderment since that diagnosis 3 yrs ago – beyond the depth of each of the meanings of those words. Those words however, scrape the surface yet describe perfectly these realities we are now faced with which we cannot wish away, and that is in every way, in all facets of life now, a mother and a son navigating a horrendous mental health system that adds more stress, heartache and full time energy, often than actual help! An endless list of case managers, psychologists, psychiatrists, treatment teams have replaced the everyday lives we thought we once had.

    I have been thru what seems like an endless nightmare-and I feel a hundred years old – and yes this has likely taken years off my life, I now worry about my son’s years ahead. I was a vibrant, beautiful woman fighting the aging thing well! In the 3 years since my son returned home from his first college year away- literally our lives have been ripped to shreds, torn inside out, glimmers of hope fading fast. That is with a relentless woman like me fighting every lying clinician, becoming an expert at the system itself and then trying to save my son his dignity all the while. Be relentless in your pursuit until your loved one is stable, when you have fought the abuse, pain, and every awful thing that accompanies parenting a suffering adult child-realize this: it is not a sprint, but a marathon with no finish line, if that makes sense.

    Please don’t misunderstand me, I am not here to vent and I am not a victim, neither is my precious son. We are however 3 years now fighting to get my son back, as much his surfing, riding, laughing and charming self as we can possibly grab a hold of – to a healthful life, a full and enriched life…a LIFE. A LIFE. This journey – this mental illness my beloved has is NOT going to run his life if I have a breath left – do NOT GIVE UP. That in a long way is what I say to me, and to all of you.

  • Reba

    April 2nd, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    I have a 22 yo daughter who has been diagnosed with bipolar, borderline personality anxiet and depression. She now has 3 beautiful children but has a difficult time dealing with having young children. She no longer lives with me but I am the only person she can go to when she’s having a meltdown. She has moved from place to place so often because of bad choices. She can’t hold down a job due to constant meltdowns. I do all I’m able to help financially but I am mentally, emotionally and physically drained by her constant needs. I work so much I’m completely worn out so that I can help her. Nobody in my family understands what I deal with. I’ve just been blamed and shamed for her behavior. My children were my whole life after they were born. Now I’m just trying to have some kind of a life of my own. I wishi knew where to find a support group.

  • Carolyn H W

    April 10th, 2015 at 12:19 AM

    I have a grown son age 45 has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and bipolar has been this way for so long now I have almost died for time I’m 63 years old he lives and his own apartment but is here everyday and almost every night he yells and screams throws tantrums one day he’s fine the next day he’s terrifying he scares me sometimes I love him with all of my heart I’ve gone through this for several years I do not know what to do he has been in the hospital he was on meds for 2 years he was doing fine then he went off of his meds and all hell broke loose and he refuses to go back on them he says there’s nothing wrong with him he’s angry he’s has weird thoughts he can’t stand women he’s not gay angry at the world angry at everyone hates the world wants to go to Japan constantly same thing all the time driving me crazy he’s on SSI because he cannot work cuz of his outbreaks what am I to do he is Health does that he’s diabetic type 2 he will not take any of his meds he won’t go to the doctor to get a check up won’t let them take his blood he is literally killing me and himself each time I get him help with stuff got him the apartment all the things he needed in his apartment then now he wants to run away ends up losing everything he has I’m at my wits end I don’t know what to do when I die he’s going to be in a lot of trouble he has no one else my only child my only son wish I knew what to do

  • Michelle

    April 11th, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    My prayers are with you. Life is hard enough. But when it’s you’re children that suffer, nothing can be worse

  • Amy

    April 12th, 2015 at 8:16 AM

    My son is 32 and lives with my husband and myself. He was misdiagnosed for ten years with various psychiatric diagnoses including ADD, depression, ICD etc. I now know that he has neurological lyme disease and we have a good doctor, but the ups and downs are so difficult. He really cannot take care of himself and the worst part is that he kind of missed out on 14 years of his life so he has no friends at all and is so isolated. He is on SSD, but any tries I have made at him living on his own have failed. I think the worst part for me is the isolation of not knowing anyone else who lives this life and
    I long for support from people in similar situations. The details od not matter, the grief and frustration are the same. I would love it if people could contact me.

  • Robert

    April 12th, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    A lady i was dating for 6 months has a child eho is msi. I could no longer be around the child. My blood pressure would grt dangerously high snd i would get terrible anxiety.
    The child eith msi is now 30 and requires constant care. Anytime her mother and I would sit together, she would curse, tell her mom she hates her and at times hit her mother.
    I am paralyzed from the waist down and have been for 30 years and that is enough stress in my life already without dealing with a child with msi.
    The mother has no life except working and caring for her child with msi.
    Am I wrong telling the mother I couldn’t handle being around the child?
    I told the mother and she was verynupset snd ended our relationship.
    I think thr mother is doing a disservice to her child and herself by not putting her in a safe, healthy group home.
    Do not understand

  • Ann

    April 17th, 2015 at 9:49 PM

    I sit crying and feeling intense grief and sadness about the life my 30 year old son has not had, and will neverhave. Although diagnosed at age 16 with rapid cycling Bipolar illness he was undoubtedly rapid cycling throughout his childhood. He also has severe ADHD and
    generalized anxiety. He currently lives in his own apartment in Colorado but it is always in horrible shape as he throws all trash on the floor. We live in Wisconsin and try to travel back and forth to clean his apt and open his mail to pay bills. At times he has opened credit cards(how can this happen since he does not have a job?) and constantly asks for money. We are supporting him but can’t afford to do so much longer. However we do not want him to live with us nor does he want to. He won’t apply for SSDisability as he says there is no reason to live if he can’t work. I found this website tonight as I sit in a hotel room in Colorado on one of my trips to help my son. Today I convinced him to see someone at a mental health center who helps with employment. During the interview he lashed out telling the interviewer how his parents have done a myriad of things to ruin his life. Although he has done this in appointments with mental health providers before(which I spend hours on the Internet looking for) I didn’t see this coming. As with all parents in this situation I feel such anguish from my worry about what will happen to him when we can’t be here for him. I also feel as though my life will be shortened because of the extreme stress I feel 24/7. It is a life sentence for both of us.

  • Ann

    April 17th, 2015 at 10:16 PM

    I understand the pain you are feeling also having a 30 year old son with Bipolar, ADHD and severe anxiety, all since a young child. I feel emotionally exhausted at all times as I have constantly looked for ways to try and bring some normalcy to his life. He has never had a date, gone to a school dance or experienced most of life that others his age have. He is trying to live on his own but it is draining us financially and his apartment is always in horrible shape no matter how often we organize and clean.
    I am close to you in age (64) and now take an antidepressant and sometimes use some anti-anxiety medication to help with sleep.
    I am planning to join a NAMI support group. Have you looked for support groups in your area? It is so important to have this kind of support to reduce the feelings of isolation and aloneness. While friends can offer empathy, unless they have to face each day with the stress from worry for a child with mental illness it’s not the same.

  • Amy Watson

    April 18th, 2015 at 10:45 AM

    Thank you so much for your post. I wanted to add that I also tried to put him into an apartment for a while, but the shape of the place was always filthy
    thought it would make it easier for me , but it did not. My biggest problem is that he has been diagnosed with lymes and he always gets a lot better when he is first put on antibiotics. For three months, my son was healthy, pleasant, etc. I try not to get my hopes up, but “I always do. Now we are in a bad place where he is is so agitated and mean and even though I know that his brain is swollen, I feel totally alone, frustrated, depressed, and isolated. Like your situation, he has no one else in his life and has no life so that makes it so much worse. I need a support person who understands this hell because I feel so isolated and alone.

  • Suzanna

    April 20th, 2015 at 7:23 PM

    I feel your heart ache. You are not alone. I have so many of the same feelings you described. I also have an adult son, younger than yours but I fear is on a similar road. I hope you and I both find a light at the end of the tunnel.

  • theres

    April 21st, 2015 at 9:00 AM

    I too came to this website at wits end.

    My daughter is almost 21 years old and has a dual diagnosis of drug addition and borderline personality disorder.

    We tried sending her back to college but that was a disaster. Her drug addiction just picked up and escalated.

    By the grace of God she got arrested for shoplifting so we brought her back home. It’s going to be a life long struggle and both my husband and I just have to be strong

  • Lisa

    April 24th, 2015 at 1:04 AM

    I have a 22 yo daughter who has Paranoid Schizophrenia and either rapid cycling Bipolar or panic disorder (yet to be determined). Her first psychotic break was when she was 19. First hospitalization when she was 21. Second hospitalization 6 months later (February of this year) because she secretly went off her med….She became so paranoid that she spent every waking hour trying to find ways to block the rays of “Direct Energy Weapons” from hitting her. I was able to see messages she wrote to some people on Facebook claiming that she was hearing a voice that was telling her to get her dads gun and kill herself. Thinks she is being watched and “gang stalked.” I gave this info to her psychiatrist who then wanted to put her on an injectable antipsychotic med. she refused so had to have her committed and got her medication court ordered. She begs me not to be on injectable meds, but then turns around and says she doesn’t think she’s ill and that Psychiatrists are in on her torcher….it has been nonstop drama for about a year. I am so exhausted. I feel that years are being cut off of my life. It is heartbreaking. I need to talk to other parents who are going through this. I can’t even think straight right now…

  • Edie M

    April 24th, 2015 at 12:13 PM

    Hi Lisa Maybe we can help each other I too have a daughter with Schizophrenia she was missing and somehow ended up New Mexico the cops call us we told her she is ill they took her to the hospital then let her go then she was calling boston threateining them the police not a good time to be doing that with the bombing anniversary we kept calling the police there asking to do wellness checks at the hotel we put her up in so she wasn’t homeless they finally put her on a 7 day hold now today they are taking her to the state hospital which is a hole we have no idea what to do we know no one there and we are not her guardian wouldn’t matter anyway cause it doesn’t cross state line This system is so messed up beyond they have no fricken idea what they are doing. You must not be sleeping either !!

  • Maya

    April 28th, 2015 at 10:15 PM

    Hi There is no support out there! Drs all they do is pill pop! The patient does not take the meds anyway!

    My son is 34 ADDH never treated although small group setting and accommodation even went to the university for 2 years!

    Lost his roommate which was his child school BFF! Died year 2000! My son snapped!!

    Now and then he has schizoaffective disorder /maniac depression!

    No support anywhere! I even wrote to the NAMI for help! Nothing !!

    I am sick and tired of being a caregiver and when my son despises me worst! His life is my fault!!

    I am bipolar myself so they say! I never medicated now at 57 to start Bipo meds! I don’t think so! I worked 38 years w/o major difficulties ! I would say I was just a problem person that did the job! As I was forced into SSD due to Inmmulogo disorder because of high level of stress and walking on egg shells!

    Everything I had is either broken or spit at! I’m just done!

    I don’t want to be a caregiver!

    Does that mean I don’t love anymore?

    I’m exhausted! My BFF was the casino and that just tore my life in 2 pieces, lost my significant other to brain cancer!

    He was the only person that could deal with me and my son roller coaster behaviors!

    I wish I can have better suggestions, but all I have is isolation, shame , disgust, insomnia!

    Thank god I quit smoking and drinking if not I would be in some corner loosing it!

    I think either I will be a statistic or my son will!!

    I want to move on! I’m a women and I delt with my demons and have lost many times!

    So I need to let go of my son so he can find his way in life!

    I can’t force a horse to drink water from the river! I refuse to keep beating on a dead horse!

    He is old enough to take care of himself! He gets his SSD find a partime job and if it makes him happy to live in filt then let it be ! May God bless us all!!

  • Jocelyn

    April 29th, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    I have a 26 year old bipolar daughter she has 2 children the oldest being autistic. Exactly a year ago she was hospitalized for a week as a result of bipolar psychosis in which God was speaking to her. This was her first real episode where I as her mother was unable to reach her and it terrified me. Her eyes darting rapidly, foam at the corners of her mouth and the movement of her head almost snake like. I was sure she was on drugs but her tox screens came back negative. Since that time she has convinced herself I want to steal her children and that I care for them more than I do her. No amount of assuring her this is not the case works however I am very worried for my grandchildren and weekly interaction with them is all that keeps me somewhat sane as I need to know they are ok. Approximately 2 months ago my daughter stopped taking her medication she says she prayed on it and God has healed her. She has become trembly paranoid of me and will not let the kids see me at all even when they ask to see me she has now made the statement that she is moving away after she gets her disability approved. Her father is sociopathic schizophrenic and I have been the only one to help her or be there for her in the last 12 years. She has had a long term boyfriend but every time she’s has an episode ( she is often paranoid or delusional) he leaves the state and leaves the kids with her. I have already had temporary guardianship on three separate occasions. I am heartsick that I cannot help her and so very frightened for my grandchildren.

  • Jocelyn

    April 29th, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    Ann I too live in Wisconsin, I have 2 daughters one has been diagnosed as bipolar with add and anxiety disorder and I believe my youngest also has the same yet different issues as the oldest. I have been searching and searching for support groups in south eastern Wisconsin if you reside in this area do you know of any? sometimes I’m so frustrated I just want to wash my hands of the problems that are associated with loving them but saying it is one thing to actually do it is impossible even without the grandkids involved, I just want my children to be ok. Anyways if you live in south east Wisconsin would you be interested in helping me to start a support group?

  • damum

    May 3rd, 2015 at 12:41 AM

    Hi there. Let’s remember that our person is ill and not a behavioral problem or a wild animal who can live outside. States have 1-800 #s for adults just like for kids. Please call this number and fight for your person’ s rights and needs. Parents do not have skills in all areas of care needed by their person. As we can read here, most of our kids have complex, multiple diagnoses. We need help. If you are at the end of your rope, have your person taken to the Emergency dept of a hospital with psychiatric care. They will have to evaluate your person and provide care and referrals. Do not let a suffering human being spend another minute sleeping in the cold, alone and without care. You have a phone, so use it. None of us deserve to be abandoned and ignored. And yes, I have an adult child, age 33, who needs care 24/7 and I am a disabled single parent providing for her. I give up several times a day! But she is my baby, and I am responsible for getting her the help she needs. She is in bed now. The most quiet it has been all day. Take that next breath slowly, and tie a knot in the rope and hang on! We don’t have to be perfect but we must be responsible adults in regard to our kids.

  • Mary E

    May 3rd, 2015 at 2:31 PM

    I a a single parent of a young adult son with schitoaffective disorder. I love him dearly but I am beginning to feel depressed. My whole life is affected by his illness. I am losing my self esteem, my energy and my joy in life. He was recently evicted from his apartment and is living in my garage/home. He has not ability to handle money and doesn’t seem employable. It is a rough go…for both of us. I am happy to have found this site. He is disabled and collects a minimal amout. I just need to read others’ stories..it is very therapeutic to know I am not the only person going thru something like this.

  • Deanna

    May 7th, 2015 at 10:33 PM

    I have a 33 year old daughter and have been trying to help her all her life she has suffered from depression as early as 5 years old.
    I always blame myself her father was abusive so I left when she was 4 months old. Then married again and my husband then adopted her and gave her a sister. My second husband cheated on me we divorced all of this has such an effect on my oldest daughter. She had troubles in school and the work place it was always some one else’s flaut not hers. Over the years we had her in counseling we had family counseling. I did remarry and have been married for almost 25 years so he has lived and stayed devoted no matter how bad it has gotten. Alisa has always thought of him as her dad they are very close. I have been working to get her on Ssi she is not able to hold a job and she has son to take care of she has lived with us off and on for the last 10 years. When I was visiting her sister in Houston she called and said she is moving to Florida to be with her husband who abused her and only saw his son twice in 10 years.
    She told me she hated me and that I ruined her life. She recently found her birth dad about 3 months ago and every since then she has become defiant and mad at me she says I was never abused that I lied and took her away from her real father. Her birth dad is the one who is helping her move she was trying to move out while we were on vacation so we made her move sooner we caint let strangers in our house and she thinks I am being unreasonable as usual and proves her point and said after she moves she will never speak to me again. My grandson is the one who will suffer because his mom just caint see with her mental problems she is not being rational. She is moving where there is none of her family and we can no longer bail her out it has drained us financially and mentally I have many health issues now and caint work I have hit rock bottom and we told her she can not live with us again and we will not be able to rescue her so far away. I have never felt so defeated just when things were looking up she got on Ssi it is still not enough to support them both I have always taken care of her bills and made sure her son was taken care of I don’t know what else I can do without bringing my own self down. After more than 25 years of dealing with this it has crushed my spirit and heart. After reading all of this it is nice to know my husband and I are not alone I am lucky in the fact that my husband has stayed through it all he is an amazing man and the Love of my life. Good luck to you all.

  • Holly

    May 8th, 2015 at 8:41 AM

    I’m right there with you. I feel like this is someone else’s life. Things weren’t supposed to turn out this way. My son is nineteen and newly diagnosed, although I’ve known it for a while. Suddenly, family members who were always there before, have disappeared. And my family was close. I feel like I’m mourning several losses at the same time. I feel like those who are experiencing this are my new family. I see the world and the people in it so differently now. Hang in there. Day by day. Big hugs

  • Diane S

    May 8th, 2015 at 10:49 PM

    Amy, you are definitely not alone! keep trying to find a NAMI support group and even if the distance is too far to travel maybe someone would be willing to talk with you. I feel my son’s lost about 20 years of his life but he has had a life just not the one I’d imagined he’d have! I struggle with depression but mostly about my adult daughter’s rages rather then my son’s schizophrenia. take it a day at a time and be grateful for small blessings then the journey you and your family are on will not overwhelm you.

  • Diane

    May 9th, 2015 at 12:17 AM

    I am a 68 yr old mother of two adult children, one with schizophrenia the other with a mood disorder. I have an easier time dealing with and have more compassion for the schizophrenia symptoms of my adult son then the frequent bouts of unexpected rages from my adult daughter…finding this website is a bright light in a stressful week! I am humbled by the compassion I hear in everyone’s comments and also challenged to reframe my thoughts about our families journey in mental illness land, thanks everyone!

  • Robin

    May 11th, 2015 at 6:55 PM

    Hello all
    I have read many of your comments and many of them I feel I have written myself. I am so over wrought and stressed to the max over my 35 yr old son. He is bipolar ,anxiety including social anxiety disorder, depression and lives pills like candy. Thousands of dollars we have spent trying to help him…….my husband is his stepdad…… Which is been very good to us but we are both just down to our knees. I feel so guilty for I want to get off this roller coaster and give up which has me so upset. Yes I am feeling health issues and my husband is at his end and beginning to have some marital problems and I cannot make my son do anything…….I am so mentally tired and it is killing me to see his life passing him by. I see no normal life for him or ever getting married and having a child….. In his heart he wants these things but I do not see him ever being stable enough to obtain them.
    Like all you say…….where is there any help???? Our monetary resources are tapped out to continue down this road…….I have a very loving husband that I am scared I may lose and a son that can steal and lie to me with no remorse.
    I have been the one to always say but he is my son and I love him and have to help him………but he has beat me down and I feel so guilty and a hole in my heart. Anybody that is living this way I would welcome just to hear from…….this is causing me such heartache and pain. I am in SC. God Bless You All!!!

  • damum

    May 11th, 2015 at 9:40 PM

    Hi Robin! You sound like me! Ready to collapse and give up!! At least we made it through Mom’s Day, right? Some times, you just have to get through the next hour. Just drop everything and try to make life nice for just one hour. You may have to ask your person to stop talking, leave the room, whatever. You have to fight for yourself at this point. Isn’t it crazy that our govt spends so many billions on wars we don’t even approve or understand, but we can’t get any level of help for our mentally ill adult children? Try to contact your state and county agencies, and see what they have for housing, job assistance, medical care, and respite for you. I was flattened one Summer and found out that I could have 2 weeks of Respite Care (in Missouri). I was able to deliver my Girl to 2 competent women who owned an Emu Farm!! I was so relieved and happy to have been directed to this fantastical, fun respite placement!! I enjoyed feeding and watching the emu and knowing that I could get 2 weeks of rest! Whoooppppeeee!! So, keep calling numbers and asking for help. So much of it is out there; we just need to discover it. Many blessings, Suzy

  • Ann

    May 12th, 2015 at 7:21 PM

    Hi Jocelyn,
    I have not joined a NAMI support group yet as there are several in the southeast WI area and I need to check them out. I guess I would like to see how the already established support NAMI support groups are before thinking about starting one. I took the NAMI Family-to-Family class and it was just great to meet weekly with other parents/relatives living with the same struggles we all have. I would highly recommend this to all.

  • Jocelyn

    May 13th, 2015 at 6:56 AM

    Thank You for responding Ann, I think I will begin with that class if I can find one in my area. There is a group here but it meets once a month in the A.M. and I am at work at that time. I have been talking with friends from another support group I attend I am part of a 12 step program. This last week has been especially hard for me as I have not spoken with my daughter now for over 2 weeks and my anxieties and fears have really been in full swing especially because I know she is not taking her meds and making very poor choices right now. One thing that people keep saying to me is “Why are you letting this effect you so much? It has happened before and she always comes back.” I had to really sit down and think about that, I think the biggest emotion I am feeling today is lack of control… I cannot control the way her brain works and it makes me feel helpless. When I feel Helpless I become frightened. There are many things that I can control though like whether I am acting rather than re-acting. I say this because as the years go on and my daughters symptoms progress I find myself re-acting more often and I think its possible this can aggravate her symptoms. I can take this time to work on me, sometimes a step back is good to put things in perspective (I say this because although that step was not voluntary it may be just what I need to regroup for myself) My daughter is 26 and the lat three years I have spent running in circles my days existing on checking on her and caring for the kids walking on eggshells so as not to over excite her or cause a reaction of some negative consequence … I am tired regrouping will be good. I am so thankful my husband sent this link to me as just being able to read others stories and share my thoughts has helped me greatly. I did contact one of the therapists from this site and so badly want to meet with her but it is well above my price range and not covered by insurance so I will keep typing away and in the meantime looking for other alternatives. Like I said earlier thank you for responding it is just a huge help knowing others are going through the same things as I am.

  • Tammy

    May 16th, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    Amen :)

  • eddy

    May 20th, 2015 at 3:01 AM

    Well,here is my story,I met my female partner 8 years ago,3 of my children and 4 of hers was living in my house ,ok its a big house,she was very regimental and never got on with my kids,they now are all gone ,but my girl now 31 who suffers bi bola and cutting and schizophrenia has to move out of her house as her boyfriend turned carer has decided to leave.So be aware that my girl was with me from the age of 18 to 27 ,she is non violent ,plays piano like an angel,and loves her guinea pigs,basically she has never grown up and she is stuck in her world.I love her dearly.

    I was put in a situation from my partner in that she did not want my daughter back,Well my respect and love for her has gone.And as such we are now parting ways.

    I will be looking after my daughter and find this not a burden,I brought her into the world and i have a responsibility to look after her.

    Not the support i was looking for.

    cheers eddy

  • Cassandra

    May 23rd, 2015 at 5:22 PM

    Hello, I am hoping someone may relate to my little story. Currently I am a person with a traumatic brain injury from a seizure fall and am unipolar. I was just about finished at ASU with my BFA when head injury occurred but had to withdraw due to memory issues. Anyhow, since I live alone it is not easy to gage how I am socially. Earlier this week I mistook something my mother did as a poke at my mental health and I snapped, quickly told her I had to leave, kissed her cheek good bye. I can tell I hurt her feelings and my two sisters have called ‘out-of-the-blue’, so I am sure they must all agree I travel by broomstick now. I do feel bad, maybe I overreacted only I don’t know how to make this whole thing ‘right’. Apologies don’t seem to be working. :(

  • carol

    May 26th, 2015 at 11:57 AM

    My son is 45 mentally ill and emi and is recently violent …throws things…fits…rants raves..etc etc etc……..he is ocd too…throws EVERYTHING AWAY…my clothes….you name it …..cup , silverware…I am way too old for this…the dept of mental health kicked us out because the say he has insurance……but his insurance is medicaide with hmo..the hmo claims to offer mental health …but I have yet to find a psychiatrist that will take the insurance………I am dying …mentally and physically…….I CANT TAKE ANY MORE OF THIS TYRANT CRAP….my husband is a working alcoholic…..and offers no help…just wants him out of the house…but he had never worked cant count or do money , educationally functions on a 3 rd grade level at best…….nobody to help us……

  • Patty

    May 31st, 2015 at 7:36 PM

    To Holly (#75) I, too, feel I am living someone else’s life. My 20 y.o. granddaughter was diagnosed with schizophrenia at age 18. Her mother left the state with a boyfriend. None of my family members will help me. I did get SSDI and Medicaid for her. I had her in an assisted living facility, but she left after 6 months and removed me as the payee for her SSDI. Since then, she has been in and out of the hospital. Last month, she bought a bus ticket for California and I had to find her and bring her back to Flordia. It kills me, but I do not feel safe with her in my house. I don’t know what to do. No one will help me…

  • Kim

    June 1st, 2015 at 12:06 PM

    Very well said! Not everyone is equipped to deal with this!

  • Amy

    June 1st, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    I am overwhelmed by hearing that the anxiety and depression I feel is not an anomaly, but is typical of someone in this situation. I feel a connection already from these posts that is helping me.

    My case a little different, but the feelings are the same. My 32 year old son actually has lyme disease which took forever to get diagnosed and it greatly affects his brain. When he first got sick at age 16, I used to tell doctors that he always did better on antibiotics, but no one ever listened to me.
    There is such a long story here, but his illness manifests in agitation, depression, and isolation. The hardest part for me is that he has no one else in his life and has missed out on the last 16 years.

    What makes it worse is that he has had months of total remission from alternative treatments like hyperbaric treatments and antibiotics and every time this happens, his whole personality comes back and he has made many attempts to try to start a life for himself. During those times, I have my intelligent son back and I unfortunately let my guard down.

    Unfortunately, every time he has gotten better, he has gotten really sick again and before he knows it, he is back on the couch all day with no mental or physical energy.

    I am finding it so hard to cope with this and feel like I keep mourning his loss over and over again. WE have been all over the country to various doctors and I refuse to give up on him.

    I have no extended family at all and my husband who is not his father is supportive, but it is not his son and he is sick of all the time I spend worrying about him.

    I have tried putting him in apartments, but it never works out because he is not very caring for himself at times.

    Does anyone else feel like this runs their life and they have trouble getting away from thinking about it?

  • lissette

    June 3rd, 2015 at 8:35 PM

    Hi Robin,
    I have a 26 year old son with paranoid schizophrenia
    I can feel your pain, my son lives on his own with another mentally Ill guy,I’m so frustrated of going to his house and finding such a mess, trash, clothes, cigarette buds, you name it is everywhere… it just drives me crazy with anger, because I don’t know what else to said to them, today I went to his house and found flies all over
    …they haven’t been cleaning the cats (4)litter box !!!!….I’m just tired of having to do it myself if I want anything done. You have a good support with your husband, Mine is not my son’s father and doesn’t care about him and I’m basically the only one taking all the burden….Do everything you can to take care of your marriage ,because you will always have the responsibility with your son and believe me is even harder when you don’t have a shoulder to cry on .

  • Cindy

    June 4th, 2015 at 10:29 PM

    I am worn out and beaten down. My 44 year old is blaming me for everything that is wrong with him. I feel I have enabled him all his life. I need to have more strength so he can be a more responsible person. He is a good person, but can be abusive, manipulative and deceitful. I don’t know where this is going. I need help.

  • Joy

    June 8th, 2015 at 8:37 PM

    My heart goes out to everyone who has posted. My story is along the lines of everyone here. No one knows the lonliness or the dread you feel when you have a mentally ill person. I lost a son who was 20 and to lose a daughter to an illness who takes her senses away at times is the saddest of it all.

    We struggled for 2 years and nine months and I had to let go and let God. In jail he reached out to her and told her she needed help. We still had to go through four more hospitals and a LOT of stuff when she admitted she needed help.

    Everyday is a new journey. A new thought. A new intention and eveyrday I get up, work on myself, work on my habits of cleaning the house, cleaning the cats boxes and taking care of me.

    She has a new kind of day, thought and motivation everyday. Our lives can be going one direction one minute and the next the entire plan is changed. I have learned to live this life alone with no one understanding but always having an opinion.

    Nothing in the world and no one in the world will know the pain or the suffering and sacrifices you give but God and yourself.

    There are days when I have thought all the things that others have said on this blog. However one thing I have found to cling to….God and his word. His word says…I will never leave you nor forsake you. The day I began to thank God for her recovery was the day I began to see great things happen.

    Today she is halfway through her Bachelors degree. Has her own apartment, bought a car and is in touch with her six year old son.

    Yes, we have crazy days. Yes, I have to pray and praise God ALL the time. If you knew me, you would think I was happy all the time but inside I am touch with God because he is the only one who really knows what I am going through.

    I know that this will work out to be a great testimony and it is with gratefulness that I give him honor and glory for all the things he has done and all the small details he has taken care of in her life.

    The struggle is not to lose yourself to the chaos they want to create. Not to get lost in the devastation. But to focus on the good things and enjoy those small tiny victories everyday.

    I have to be strong. I have to be solid with God and his word. I have to not get involved in her problems and let her work it all out. She always makes good choices and when she is rude, if I am quiet, she figures it out and apologizes.

    I am blessed because this has meant learning a lot of patience and learning most of all to take it to God. Every second of the day. Every minute of the day. It is his job to watch over her and not mine.

    I will put each of you on my prayer list.

  • carol

    June 9th, 2015 at 4:47 AM

    cindy and everyone,

    My son is 45 and mentally ill and also developementally disabled. He was denied a real education so he is further dependent on me. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia at 16…however, they diagnosed him several times with several labels . when he is good , its so nice. but he is also OCD, he throws EVERYTHING AWAY. meaning my clothes , my everthing. I am trying to lock things up. but its impossible. cups, silverware, his clothes too. He will break or rip things and say they are junk and throw them away. Thousands of dollars thrown away. We are not wealthy …even everyday necessities add up. If you catch him he is a tyrant. My husband is no help and just sits in his outdoor room after work and drinks . I am the only one my son has. We were kicked out of community mental health in November because they say his medicaide insurance covers mental health….My mother just passed away after years of struggling to find her help with dementia. I am worn out too …beaten down. I have NOBODY to discuss this with . I cant get help for my son . but I wont stop trying. My husband said If I die he will just call the police on him and have him removed..(he is not his father , although he has been with him since he was a baby). My son is not able to live on his own. He is totally dependent on me for everything. Im sure this adds to his issues……menta illness. Im sure he is afraid.
    We need help too……god help all of them and all of us caregivers……..NOBODY UNDERSTANDS WHAT THIS IS LIKE …..NOT EVEN THE “THERAPISTS’, DOCTORS .ETC

  • Sharon

    June 10th, 2015 at 2:25 AM

    You are most definitely not in a place to care for or understand your sister’s or mother’s needs. Simply sit on the sidelines and feel ‘level’ enough to analysis the situation from a healthy and priviledged distance. Let’s just hope the members involved in the day to day care understand that you ate not be n a position to help. It is the only issue you will have to deal with. Bless them and yourself in understanding this.

  • KathyC

    June 10th, 2015 at 8:05 AM

    thank you for encouragement….

  • Louise A.

    June 11th, 2015 at 11:20 PM

    It’s almost as though you’ve lost your child that you raised and have a completely different child and it breaks your hurt cuz I can’t fix it….my daughter has schizoaffective disorder and it’s one of the most mind boggling thing to understand. But I keep hoping and praying everyday that she will come back…I need a good support group of parents to talk with. Any in or around Muskogee or Tulsa Oklahoma area?

  • Louise A.

    June 12th, 2015 at 1:09 AM

    Yes I’d to also feel this way.

  • Jeanette J.

    June 13th, 2015 at 8:48 AM

    Hi Carol
    I’m from Chennai India and recently my 36 year old son was diagnosed with manic bipolar for which he is under medication starting from today. His condition is a result of years if ignorance on my part and like you I too suffered with an uncaring man who never felt that this was his son and who was going through phases of depression since 18 yrs of age. Yet I as expected
    ,blame myself for not seeking medical help in the early stages. I always thought he was rebellious and just spoilt rotten by me. His father passed away 7 yrs ago and I somehow got him to do several software development courses and he excels in that. A great programer too. He worked for two years but abruptly snapped two years ago and since then it is a harrowing experience every single day.
    He damaged ripped important documents and hit me on occasions. Today I had to seek medical help as he seems entirely anti social and threatening me with murder etc.
    He is in medication since morning. God bless you Carol …i am with u in this troubled situation…i will stay in touch once I hear from you.

  • Holly

    June 14th, 2015 at 10:26 PM

    Patty – Are things any better? Are you doing okay?

  • Robin N.

    June 16th, 2015 at 5:11 AM

    Sorry I have not been back on in a while….I myself have fibromyalgia and my memory is really bad, I forgot the name of this website.
    But I want to thank Damon and Lissette for their responses to my post…..I am still a mess over my son that just hearing from someone else is a comfort. All of us that come to this site is in need of support and hearing that someone cares and can really understand.
    My son is still in bad shape as ever and I fear he may be experiencing the beginnings of a nervous breakdown. His bipolar has taken complete control of his life along with the woman he says he is trying to break up with but cannot stop texting her and probably still seeing at times. He is so obsessed and I have real fears if he does not cut ties with her she may end up physically hurting him, she already has destroyed him mentally. So far she has busted his computer and slashed his tire which they were in a full blown argument during the time , he had called me in tears and I could hear part of their fight and she was doped and drunk and going crazy with a knife in her hand. The other day she did do something that hurt his thumb, I think maybe a pulled ligament.
    What is going to make this situation stop?
    I feel dread that something bad is going to happen to my Son, he is a grown man and I have no control over all these bad choices he is making. He is not working nor looking for a job for he says he is too stressed to work.
    I love him dearly, but I am so tired of supporting him and living his drama?
    What am I supposed to do?…..

  • Linda

    June 16th, 2015 at 7:18 AM

    Hi I really need to talk to you as I feel I am going to have a nervous breakdown because of my 29 year old sons abuse to me,my husband,and my daughter. have spent thousands of dollars maybe hundreds of thousands to try to help him. we don’t know where to turn and what to do

  • Barbara

    June 16th, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    It’s quite a long time since I last wrote here. My 29 year old son has been ill for 13 years, diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder (though every time he sees a new doctor he seems to be given a different diagnosis). He has just been admitted to hospital yet again. He’ll spend his 30th birthday in hospital, next Tuesday. He’s has no adult life at all, as it’s been destroyed by his mental illness. He has no friends, and has alienated his brother and sister with his hostile behaviour. I have no family, other than my three children, though I do have supportive friends. However, friends can’t help, because the only thing which makes me feel less alone is when I’m in contact with other parents who are going through the same thing. I would so love to meet up with some of you lovely people, but you live so far away. I am in London UK. I feel as if I live constantly with a bleeding, open wound in my heart. The pain is beyond anything I could describe to my friends, but you will all understand. People say I am strong, but I’m not; I have no choice in what I’m going through. It isn’t the kind of pain which makes you a stronger person; it depletes me. It makes me feel sub-human, because I operate on auto-pilot, like a robot, to get through work and every-day life.

  • Anne

    June 16th, 2015 at 4:17 PM

    I am a mother of a beautiful 26 year old daughter who battles with severe mental illness. She has 2 children (5 & 6 yrs old) and they all live with me. I am divorced. I have no immediate family near me. My question I have is this. Have any of you dealt with issues at your job because they don’t understand the enormous battle we caregivers face daily. I have worked at my job for 14 years and am just about to lose it. I’ve missed work because the last 4 months have been awful. I have taken vacation and sick leave, but am at the end of that now. The sad thing is that I work for a church. I am so hurt and angry that it has come to this. I sit in staff meetings each week and hear prayers going up for people with severe diarrhea and want to scream, “My world is falling apart! How about praying for me and my family for once!) I don’t say anything because I just can’t believe nobody asks how things are with us.They know I spent 27 hours in an ER and watched my daughter be taken by ambulance to a Psychiatric Hsp. a month ago and that she was gone for 10 days. I had to take care of my grandkids and couldn’t afford a sitter! It’s summer! I get my work done (Financial) coming in at all kinds of crazy hours. I don’t know how to explain this to them, because if you don’t live in this world..there’s no way you would ever understand what a toll it takes on you. I didn’t mean for this to turn into a rant. Any advice would be great.

  • Anne

    June 16th, 2015 at 4:21 PM

    (Continued from above)
    When I say “lose it”, I mean I’m about to be fired. Personnel committee is meeting tomorrow night. I refuse to be put in front of a panel of people asking me questions, because it is so difficult for me not to get extremely emotional. And I won’t sign a form saying I will be here everyday from 10-2. I can’t make a vow that I may not can keep. They ought to know that. It’s in the Bible not to do! (Anne)

  • Sally

    June 18th, 2015 at 7:25 AM


    This is so difficult and the only people who can understand are people who have experienced this. My daughter has gotten worse and I can not get her long term care. She has been hospitalized 13 times in the last 13 months, and many many ER visits and hospitalization before these. Truly have had it. Will talk more later.
    Take Care,


  • Joy

    June 20th, 2015 at 3:05 AM

    Hey everyone! I love reading your responses because it makes me feel like I am not alone. The journey is so difficult and there are times when it feels like I will explode.

    I am blessed in so many ways. But I have to learn to not “listen” to her when she is depressed. She says things which are so hateful and then I get to doubting myself.

    Its so hard because people who have never been through it will never understand and you can’t talk to people who have not seen this side of your children. My daughter presents a very polite and understanding person but I get all the inside hate and all the rudeness and telling me what to do all the time.

    I just got a new therapist and I am excited to see if she can help me with techniques to help me set boundaries.

    My daughter has an apartment but lives with me because she can’t be alone. which means no social life for me….no club meetings, no Bible Study and nothing that is life giving.

    No gym. It is just me and her. I work from home and she interrupts my work all the time. It gets so frustrating.

    The way I found out helps me cope with the situation is to sit and write about what is going on and why I am so angry. This way I keep the peace and she has a peaceful home to be home in.

    I just moved the entire tv and tivo into her bedroom so she can watch when I am working and that seems to have helped.

    Her divorce came through this week and that was a blessing because the man she was with was completely toxic and horrible to her.

    I have to view my home as a hospital of sorts. I keep the house very quiet and very still. NO one can come over because it is stressful for her and I just have decided that this is going to be the way it will be for the rest of my life.

    I have to find a way to cope with the lack of social interaction I have. The lack of freedom is very difficult. I don’t dare date because bringing another person into this type of situation makes the entire world a worst place.

    Yes, there are tons of sacrifices. So many. I feel so much of your pain and I have had to learn to be quiet and learn to let God do the talking for me.

    Three years of going through this and it is not easy. But I know that there is a light and I hang on to the moments when its quiet and she is asleep and I have time to do the paperwork and homework for my MBA.

    Thanks for reading!
    What a relief to see a forum like this.

  • Chris

    June 21st, 2015 at 1:28 PM

    Hi Barbara
    My son is 17 and has been in a secure psychiatric unit for almost a year. I am in London and know exactly how you feel so please get in contact for a chat.

  • Ann

    June 21st, 2015 at 10:51 PM

    I have been working very hard to diminish the level of fear I experience around my 31 yr old son’s Bipolar Illness. He has cycled into a more stable period the last month so I have used this time of respite to think about how to hold myself in a more emotionally stable mood. My fear emanates from many sources of his illness: intensity of his anger when manic and feeling traumatized by his verbal beatings, financial concerns realizing we will have to support him and not having figured that into retirement, wondering who/how he will be cared for when we’re gone, and the list goes on. I find that my sadness causes me to lose sight of still having some life for myself. It feels so selfish to enjoy anything when my child is suffering! However, I have started to take small steps in my thinking and actions toward developing some “selfishness” and find that it is creating a healthier balance for me. I am consciously working to replace old thoughts, so easy to slide into, with new phrases about it being ok for me to do things I enjoy and try not to diminish the enjoyment, no matter how small, with guilty and sad thoughts. As a friend of mine who is a psychologist said to me, “in the end we can only save ourselves.” To me that doesn’t mean that I do any less for my son but it means I see him more clearly as a person separate from me allowing me some self protective distance. Another phrase I am continually saying to myself is to not let fear rule my life. After stopping and thinking about the inordinate amount of time I devote to this emotion I realized how much of my day was taken over by it. When I see him cycling into depression or mania I am trying to stand firm internally and remind myself this will happen again and again as it has for 20 years. My loving him, supporting him financially as best we can, and his knowing that we are emotionally supportive is enough as in reality it is all I can do. Beyond that I find some peace in knowing that life will play out as it will and that I have to keep trying to hold a stable/balanced middle ground for myself as he cannot see beyond his own needs to make room for that.

  • Doglover

    June 22nd, 2015 at 5:12 AM

    My heart goes out to all you caretakers. My son is 33 and is bi polar. He has been
    On an extreme manic episode for the last 2 months. It’s amazing how he can
    Destroy his life every year and a half. When he is manic he can’t stop himself
    He has to keep moving. He always gets thrown in jail. This time he took his friends
    Car and just started driving. He ended up in jail for car theft. I did the most stupid thing
    Possible and bailed him out. I have been regretting that move everyday. Of course, he never
    Went to court, so we lost 3000 in bail. Next he got in the car and went until I blew up. My husband and I are retired and live in a small town in Mexico. He called me from a borrowed phone and told me
    He has crossed the border into Mexico ,with no.passport or ID ,of any kind. I am scared to death for
    Him. He has no money and w/o I D you can’t get him any money. We live in Baja Calif. almost to the
    Tip.about two day drive. It has been three days now. He called me from Ensanada. I don’t know who
    To contact. You don’t want to end up in jail down here. I should have drove up and got him, bout he is
    So confused and delusional , truthfully I am afraid of him. My husband is fishing for a living in Alaska.
    I haven’t told him what is going on because his job is stressful and we need the money! so I am on my own. I look in the direction my son is coming( if he makes it) probably a hundred times today. Don’t know how to find him if he doesn’t show up soon.i have such mixed feelings. I love him but I am also afraid of him. Anyone have any ideas what steps I should take if he doesn’t show up?

  • S

    June 24th, 2015 at 4:15 PM

    I am in my 30s, daughter of an undiagnosed 65yo bipolar father (my whole life, he has always refused to be diagnosed or treated but clearly exhibits all the symptoms to severe extremes). He is an only child, and his 85yo mother is elderly and lives alone. I find myself having to care for them both, and he cannot care for her even though doctors etc look to him for decisions. I strongly suspect that 40+years of this illness have caused him early dementia, has anyone else see this happen? Is there any hope for intervention from local government, especially in terms of protecting an elderly woman from him stealing her money? Right now, it’s looking like suing him is the only option I have. She loves her son and thinks he can do no wrong, even when he spends $50,000 a month on booze and strippers.

  • Sue

    June 25th, 2015 at 7:27 PM

    I too operate on autopilot to work and survive and keep my life private from coworkers etc who would never understand. I get upsetting texts at work from him and I have no sick days, can never leave job due to providing major medical care to others, and i have to block it out and smile to get through day. If i leave work i lose my job which supports us all. So while others try calling in for a sick dog i work knowing i could find my son dead any day from depression. If they only knew. My son is 21 & i pay to have him live in apt out of my home because i need to protect his younger brother from verbal physical outbursts as well as myself. Due to anxiety he won’t talk on phone, make appts, get license, etc. So i do it all, work non stop and suffer from chronic back surgery pain constantly. Not sure how long before break myself. Looking back i often feel i was young and niave having kids knowing family has history of depression etc but you never think of the life sentence for everyone involved. The kids and yourself. I love them more than life, but this isn’t living. glad i found this web page today. Sorry for venting!

  • Sue

    June 25th, 2015 at 8:11 PM

    I to feel the same and from WI. Often feel guilty for wanting to give up but know i never would. I would not even try to join local support groups due to fear of non confidential. Many don’t really understand mental illness and it’s sad how even depression is labeled as “you’re crazy” by employers, courts defenses for divorce, custody, etc. So many have no choice but to try to hide it, even if your intelligent, kind, have degrees, or are well respected in community- once you let the cat out of the bag you can’t get it back in, and many would use it against you to gain a leg up. So I tell no one about the struggles of my adult son or dealing with depression myself , and I’m thankful for sites like this.

  • Sally

    June 25th, 2015 at 8:37 PM


    Yes, I relate to this entirely. No one can possibly understand what we all go through. I too, do not have a life with this. It is pathetic. I am trying to find a way to enjoy and get my life on track.

  • Sally

    June 26th, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    I am really glad to hear from you. I am experiencing exactly the same as you are with my daughter. This is the saddest thing ever in life to deal with on a daily basis. Constant worry and an inability to have a normal life, and the pain we feel for them.This past year my sister lost her daughter who was 30 years old to a sudden death. Married and had a 2 yr old son and received her Masters Degree and working in a good job and up for a promotion.Very well loved. My sisters other daughter had been diagnosed heart disease called Pulmonary Hypertension and hospitalized and on a wait list for a heart and lung transplant 2 years ago. Anyways, it is possible that my niece had an undiagnosed familial heart condition,as well. The point is that people like us who are dealing with serious issues so often and worrying constantly are doing ourselves in. I am trying to get the right perspective and balance on this too. A sudden death, is not about worry constantly but profound pain suddenly. We can not control any of it either way.I too am relearning how to take care of my self better. Need strengthened faith, self love. Again, so glad to hear from you.


  • Sharon Dee

    June 27th, 2015 at 1:33 AM

    I have four children with SMI. There is little help for me in dealing with them. The government refuses to allow them to have SSDI, and makes them appeal their case, which can take five or more years…in the mean time, I am the sole support of my 41 year old son. My daughter who lives with me and my son, is working full time, but has personality issues which can be very stressful. There is a lot of talk about the problem of mental illness, but in reality, you are pretty much on your own. It would help if the government changed its policies of denying SSDI to everyone who applies. But then no one said that the government is helpful.

  • Patricia

    June 27th, 2015 at 4:52 AM

    I sure don’t have any answers at present, except to tell you I know how hard of time you are having. Finding yourself suffering And being unacknowledged is painful. Being a decent person and getting your butt kicked as payment for your efforts for trying to support your child and her children. I get it. I’m doing it. Other people telling you it’s your fault your kid broke your heart again cause you let them do it-and it’s your fault by continuing to allow them to do it to you…and it’s your fault fault fault… Isn’t there a big fat hug in any of this? You know somebody saying to you the following:Your wounded, you’ve been hurt and it was wrong…life isn’t fair but I acknowledge that you have been hurt. Another big hug. Let me help you work thru your grief anger and sense of helplessness and try to help you figure out how to make lemons out of lemonade–or to find peace thru breaking the dysfunctional connection you cannot control. You know that since I sought you out, I have an ugly version of your issue that I have not solved, and I can’t go on as it is. Well all I can do is listen and send you the big hug my inner child needs !

  • Pam

    June 27th, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    I have a 33 year old son, who has bipolar and schizophrenia. He is emotionally 12 years of age. He lives with me because he is unable to live on his own. We have tried several times. Each time, he would stop taking his medication. Start using drugs, which always led to a psychotic episode. Each psychotic episode became progressively worse until he had to live with someone who would give him medications, be institutionalized or dead.
    The longer he lives with me the angrier I stay. I have 6 things I expect him to do. Keep his room and bathroom clean. Walk the dogs. Take out the garbage. Keep the kitchen clean. Take his medication. The only thing he does is take his mediation because I hand it to him twice a day.
    I remind him to do the the things I expect. The answer I receive is later. Remind him again and the answer I get is stop telling him what to do. This cycle continues.
    At first my anger would come and go. Now, I am angry with him all the time. I don’t know what to do. I know if he lives on his own, he won’t make it. I also know that he uses this against me.
    I want the two of to be able to live in the same house with out all the anger. I really need help.

  • MJ

    July 4th, 2015 at 5:40 PM

    I am the mother of a 29 yr old male, who has Asperger’s , is Bipolar,and has Type1 Diabetes. His father is Bipolar and is a Borderline. My son has to live with me to survive. His father is out of state, and we have been separated for almost 4 yrs. He supports us, but I am sandwiched between them. I am 53, and the stress from the two of them has damaged my health, severely. I have no family left, and have no social life. People do not understand my stress.
    My son was diagnosed with Diabetes at 7, and he does not take care of himself. He was arrested for stealing at his job, and almost again for shoplifting. He gets very little Social Security. You know the drill. He is a genius, but cannot function in society, and his age group has fallen through the cracks with help in the Aspberger’s dept. The Bipolar cycles are all over the map, and they have him on max meds.
    My heart goes out to everyone here. I just need to know that I am, also, not alone.

  • Laurie

    July 6th, 2015 at 1:34 PM

    Have a 20 year-old with psychiatric disorder who’s father for many years convinced her to stop meds. He also told her that I am a bad mother. She stopped the meds and became revengful because “I” had taken her to the hospital when she was small, she didn’t make it home until fifth grade. She is revengeful for having had to take meds, she became very violent and has horrific OCD known as an obsessive disorder which is brought on by fears. She refuses any help and is ruining the home. Her father read about her psychiatric disorder finally very recently and finally understands but it an abusive man.

  • Billie

    July 7th, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    Hello, I’m new here, I’m bipolar.I’m 38 year old and I live with my Mother & step-Father. I originally came to this website to bitch about my Mother, instead I read all the things I am probably doing that pisses her off, take care everyone! Believe me, I feel ur exact pain;)

  • Andrea

    July 7th, 2015 at 9:44 PM

    We, my husband and I are just beginning this heartbreaking journey with my 21 year old baby boy. Listening to all of your struggles it quite honestly frightens me that this is going to be a very long road. Although my son is going to therapy and on medication, which at times he does not take, he sits home and watches t.v. all day which gives him nothing but time to think and that’s not a good thing as we have found a few times we’ve come home and found he has been drinking and then begins to cry, that tears at our hearts. He talks about how we did nothing, that we just stopped caring. Trying to explain that we had no idea is nothing he wants to hear. I do feel guilty because we were and still are very overprotective parents and the fact , as he states that he was a teenager at home while dances and football games were going on and we didn’t think anything of it, to us it was relief because he was home and not out in harms way so no we didn’t question it but looking back now I feel like we were some of the cause for his depression. Although the therapist tell us not to feel that way. I look at him and just want him to be happy, to enjoy whatever he wants in life he is such a bright boy and it hurts so much to see him like this. I will pray for all of you. Stay strong and supportive for your babies.

  • Val

    July 9th, 2015 at 12:27 PM

    Call your local or State mental health center or Child Protective Services and ask for Adult Protective Services. Usually a social worker for the county or State will evaluate her situation. Her money can be managed too. GOOD luck. Or see an attorney specializing in senior citizens (getiatric). If your dad is her official “representative payee” you notify the federal agency to challenge your father managing her money. More investigation and info from you can help the Social Security Administration etc.

  • Diane S.

    July 9th, 2015 at 3:08 PM

    This was a Godsend to find this site today. I have a 40 year old daughter with bipolar, borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, ADD, and severe anxiety. She is also medication resistant. She currently has been living in a residential care facility owned by her psychiatrist. She is currently getting ECT treatments but wants to stop. I go to court on August 17 for legal guardianship. Did I mention she also has a learning disability! I found you today because I Googled “can mothers of an adult with mental illness experience post traumatic stress disorder. YES WE DO. I love my daughter dearly, but it is overwhelming to deal with her. I hope this new rcf can take some of the burden off me. She’s been in the hospital 2 times in the past year..each time for a month. Dr did genetic testing on her to see how she metabolizes her meds, but don’t have the results yet. My heart goes out to all of us….I’ve raised my daughter by myself, having been widowed since she was 7 months old. Thanks for letting me talk. Diane

  • Anne W.

    July 10th, 2015 at 3:44 AM

    Life was hard as the only child of abusive alcoholics. They could be violent and disowned me more than once for my faith (Christian). I gave up professional singing to marry the man I loved and wanted a better, larger family. After our son was born I developed serious autoimmune problems–no more children. Then my dear husband got cancer at 44, and I did care-giving. During my husband’s years of cancer, my sweet son became angry and selfish to the point that his Dad and I would cry together in our room. My husband died in 2011, and now I’m a widow on disability, no family, and live with an abusive son who has isolated me in a filthy home where he ignores chores. I really don’t know what to do. When he bashed in my bedroom door in June, I thought police would remove him. Other times I thought they would help me, but even though I own the home, my son can refuse to move at age 20! They said I could try to get an eviction notice through a court, but then he would be more dangerous during the 30 days after it’s served… I can’t handle the stress and my son drives up my blood pressure. He’s driven away many people from from my life too…

  • Anne W.

    July 10th, 2015 at 4:35 AM

    Hello Manuel,
    I feel for your situation, which is so similar to my own.
    I don’t even know how to put my son out. God bless you, and please,I hope you do return.

  • Anne W.

    July 10th, 2015 at 12:49 PM

    I tried leaving a post, but perhaps my last name shouldn’t have been on it… There is a “diagnosis” for everything now, and it’s messing up lives. After going through an abusive childhood, I’d found my dream husband, but after getting a lupus-related disorder, my husband got cancer(those diagnoses are real, at least). During the 9 years I became care-giver, our son became more and more selfish and rebellious ( though they called it “oppositional defiant disorder”or ODD, though it should be called what it is–nasty).Now I’m a widow in my early 50’s on disability and I can’t just ask my son to leave my house! Even though he has no claim to my house, it’s his “residence,” and a lot of police won’t do anything even though he was arrested as a juvenile for attacking me. They say I can go to court to get him evicted, but that is too much for my health and will make him more dangerous. He’s 20 and still doesn’t drive or do daily chores.despite promising everyone I got to help that he would, plus the MST team assigned to his last arrest. Multi System Therapy finally said he didn’t comply so he should move out. Yet when he refused their offer of a free appartment, they did nothing to take him. Even when he last bashed in my bedroom door, police didn’t take him. I don’t know what to do anymore! I love him, but he doesn’t let me live my life and I’ve been a prisoner in my home since my husband was on hospice and died 41/2 years ago…Has this country gone nuts? He can just refuse because it’s his “residence” that he’s been getting mail at?

  • BettyB

    July 11th, 2015 at 5:33 AM

    My 30-year-old bipolar son lives at home. He ranges from hostile and rude to downright overbearing and clingy. He’s manipulative and controlling. One of the things that bothers me the most about him living here is the noise he makes. I’m a writer and graphical artist, and I work from my home. I need quiet so that I can concentrate. I also have severe noise intolerance. Noise makes me anxious. He comes in and doesn’t care that I’m working or that he’s disturbing me. He starts loudly calling for the dogs and playing with them. He hums and whistles, bangs doors, clangs pots, and rustles bags. He marches around the room repeatedly and won’t stand still. If I’m watching a movie, he loudly repeats what the characters are saying or makes loud comments about the film. If I’m having a conversation with someone else, he frequently cuts in on a topic that he knows nothing about.

    Right now, I’m in a high traffic area of the house as my dog is recovering from ortho surgery, but even if I was working upstairs in my office, he’d do the same things. Sometimes, he’d barge in, take a seat, and hijack my office, forcing me to have a conversation with him even if I’m busy or trying to meet a deadline. In fact, if he knows I’m under pressure, he’ll be all the worse.

    I believe he’s doing this on purpose. He seems to feel that I should drop everything and cater to him, that my whole life should revolve around him, but it shouldn’t now as he’s an adult. I’m so tired of it, and I guess I just needed to vent. I don’t know what to do or how to get him to move out. He does have a job and makes good money.

  • Sally

    July 11th, 2015 at 9:43 PM

    Dear Diane,

    Yes, this is so difficult! We are all so alone in trying to deal with this. We are not able to live the life we would have liked to. I guess we all need to look at the whole situation differently and truly carve out some space for ourselves. God help us all.


  • Diane

    July 20th, 2015 at 3:12 PM

    I just stumbled upon these comments looking for a forum for parents of mentally ill adults. My 26 year old granddaughter who lives with me whose mother is deceased and father unknown has been having mental health issues for the past 6 months. Two ER visits without meeting the criteria for psychiatric hospital admission. She’s becoming very reclusive now and paranoid along with extreme anxiety. It’s heartbreaking to watch. She left her job, has no income, no health insurance and cannot pay her bills. Just seems to continually spiral downward. I am a retired teacher on a very fixed retirement income and cannot afford to carry her financially. I can’t even envision the future for either of us. I make it a priority to put myself first as much as I can with my morning walks, after swims and daily meditation class. It all helps, but even so it’s so difficult.
    It helps to know that so many of you understand how I feel. Very few of my friends or family can relate.

  • Ruth

    July 26th, 2015 at 2:04 PM

    Hi Leslie. I’m sorry that you are faced with such an agonising decision. 7 months ago I was forced to make the same decision. We were moving house and decided enough was enough. I could no longer cope with the stress of living with my 22 year old son who has ASD and severe OCD. His mental health problems had got so severe that he had stopped going out, washing, changing his clothes, shaving and was barely eating. He was 6ft and weighed 9 stone. I could no longer bare the stench of urine in the house and could not cope with cleaning up the pee in the bathroom floor. Worst of all I could no longer bare the agony of helplessly watching him deteriorate. I made an appointment to see his GP and told him that we would not be able to accommodate him in our new home. This triggered an assessment from the crisis team who assessed him and decided that he would be best placed in a care home. I was heart broken and still live with the constant guilt but I know that I made the right decision. One of the AMPS that assessed him said that if he stayed living with me he would never have a life and neither would I. Sometimes you have to be strong and put your emotional feelings aside in order to do what’s best for them. It’s hard at first but things do get easier with time.

  • Ruth

    July 26th, 2015 at 4:17 PM

    I live in the UK so I guess the system works differently over in the U.S. We had very similar problems with my 22 year old son and carried him for 2 years without any income after he dropped out of college. His mental health detetiorated so much that he stopped performing basic daily tasks such as washing, changing, shaving and even struggled to eat one meal per day. He developed severe OCD and spent all day performing rituals instead. It got to the point were he was stick thin and would not go out the house and had started urinating on the floor and sofa. I too could not see a future for me and my partner as he wolf not engage in therapy and there was no way that he would ever move out or be able to live independently. The constant stress and worry was too much to bear and I felt that the only option was to move out of my own home. In the end that’s what happened. We moved house and refused to take him with us. He now lives in a care home and is receiving the help he needs. There is a big hole in UK government services for people with mental health issues who are not severe enough to be admitted and are too ill to receive care in the community.

  • Sarah

    July 28th, 2015 at 5:32 PM

    My husband & i are caring for
    Our mentally & physically
    Handicapped 34 year old daughter. She has had seizures since 8 months of age. They are fairly controlled by her medication at this time. She works 6 hours each weekday at a workshop. She had a boyfriend & was treated badly. She blames us for trying to
    Control her life. We cannot trust her around men. She is very friendly & is easily a target for a sicko. We are on a program which we get a sitter. Right now we are having trouble finding someone because of her behavior. She is verbally abusive to us & is manipulating. We are close to the end of our rope.

  • susan s

    August 3rd, 2015 at 3:52 PM

    I read a lot of the other comments but yours is the one i relate to most. My daughter is 22, diagnosed with severe aspergers, bipolar II, major depression, and now conversion disorder that causes seizures. i could handle her if she was only sick but she is continually angry and argumentative. She has never been able to keep a job more than a couple of weeks, she has been in 4 mental hospitals but actually thrown out of one for being disruptive. We are going broke paying for everything…trying to get her disability now. She fights when we ask her to clean around the house. But the worst thing is that my husband has mild aspergers. He gets along fine in life but together they are like fire and gasoline. the stress i feel is killing me. I have no life, no peace, and i live in fearful waiting of the next blow up where i have to physically get between them. Many people say “kick her out”, but you other parents of mentally ill children know what that feels like. They can’t take care of themselves and no one else will. I don’t know what to do.

  • susan s

    August 3rd, 2015 at 3:56 PM

    I replied to someone above but i understand you exactly. My daughter is 22 and we only ask her to clean the kitchen & take out the trash. Always “later!” screamed at me. The anger is eating me alive but she can’t take care of herself either. She even admitted to one of her doctors that she uses suicide threats to manipulate me.

  • Linda

    August 5th, 2015 at 4:39 AM

    Wow! I Am living your life in a lot of ways. I feel trapped like I’ve been kidnapped by my adult son. I feel helpless most of the time & wonder if I even love my son. I went to a counselor to see what advice he had to help me with my son. He said first you need help so you can be strong enough to help him. Never thought about that in those terms! He said I had major depression. I function ok but I am spent emotionally. At least your son has a job! I am doubtful that my son could ever hold down a job. I,guess I too needed to vent.

  • Darla

    August 5th, 2015 at 10:15 AM

    My family has suffered 8 years of hell, just push rewind and play over and over. We set boundaries,
    but sometimes are left defenseless when caught up in exhaustion- moving furniture and belongings for 3 days for carpet installation, , bad timing -middle of night , etc…. Our son came to our home
    last night and threatened to “go to jail ” if we didn’t buy him cigarettes. He lives out of town, drove here on fumes. My husband went alone with him and in my son’s car and bought him a case of
    cigarettes and gas. Almost repeat of same scenario before except this time our son brought him
    home promptly. Yes, my husband did not feel he could follow our crisis plan due to fear of present
    potential danger. We now have to figure out what to do. Figure we have a week, cigarettes will be gone then. He had been doing better . Recently got off trazodone. Non-compliant on meds and

  • Vicki W.

    August 5th, 2015 at 2:00 PM

    I am not in London but in Kent. My son has just been sectioned again- he suffers with delusions and paranoia, refuses to take any medication except illegal drugs and blames me for all his problems. He is 26 and my only child. I despair for him- he managed to get out of the PICU in Maidstone yesterday ended up coming back to me threatening to kill me or himself. He is now back in hospital. All the anger is slowly killing me. I am in utter despair so you are certainly not on your own

    Vicki x

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    August 5th, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    Hi Vicki,
    Please know there is help available! Working with a therapist can help you manage the anger and despair you feel, and give you tools to help overcome it. You can search for a therapist on the GoodTherapy.org directory here: http://www.goodtherapy.org/find-therapist.html

    Wishing you the very best,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • susan s

    August 7th, 2015 at 12:35 PM

    It makes me cry to read your words because i understand well. I went to a counselor to see what i could do to help my daughter and she told me that my depression was so bad that i could apply for disability. I love my child but i don’t like her. It tears you in half to watch them hurt & not understand but at the same time you want to run far away from them to keep them from hurting you anymore.

  • Caroline

    August 10th, 2015 at 7:53 AM

    I have no answers. My son is 37 and has had problems all his life, developmental problems, intellectual difficulties, lying stealing, failing at school, manipulation, estrangement from his siblings, my marriage breakdown, his homelessness, alcoholism, revengefulness, abuse, debt, and refusal to help me with anything around the house. He spends his day conniving and plotting on how to swindle people out of money, I am sick and tired of people knocking on my door looking for him as he owes them money. He won’t take medication because that will affect his ability to drink alcohol. Lately I have switched off I have had to for my own sanity, I wish he would get out of my house, I am tired of being his whipping post, I have no life of my own, I injured my back as an aged carer, work I was doing to support us because he can’t hold down a job. Actually he did work for 3 months, hurt his back and sued the company, gaining $135,000 which he spent on prostitutes and booze in a 3 month period. He gets disability support pension, the same as I do. I don’t care what people think of me, walk a mile in my shoes and see how you feel. I think I will have to move house and not tell him where I am going, yes I know he has a mental illness, but he refuses to get help, he uses it to manipulate people and gain sympathy. I have sought help here in Australia, I was told “oh you poor thing, it’s hard isn’t it”. Mental Health has become a HUGE problem worldwide, as I have read most of the blog, at least in the USA you have organisations to turn to.
    His father does not help, he doesn’t want to know about this son, he only likes the other son who has made a success of his life mostly thanks to me putting him through university financially, and our daughter who has 2 great kids. But the 37 year old is my problem, even though he would love to have a relationship with his father it will never happen.

  • wendy

    August 10th, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    Sooo grateful I happened to find all of you….I was “googling” how to cope with the stress of having a grown son with a character disorder +mood disorder+ + yes it feels very isolating…I am now estranged…he is 39…broke off contact with him in 2010…too many crises to mention….affected my health, finances and mental health…Al Anon helped …some of the tools were useful….but in the end having to live with “chronic grief”….my situation is NOT going to improve vs a vis my son…..anyway…agreed to try to repair relationship last winter….and the emotional and financial “abuse” started again…so I decided I cannot have a relationship with him for now…will post again just finding folks who share this “impossible” situation is comforting

  • Jenny

    August 14th, 2015 at 4:21 AM

    My husband and I are beginning this journey with our 23 year old son. He has always struggled with mild learning and social disorders, but was diagnosed with T1 diabetes before his senior year of high school and does not manage it at all. Within the last few months he has become depressed about his future with this disease and decided he will live like he doesn’t have it. Big problem as the diabetes will eventually (slowly and painfully) disable him. We were able to convince him to seek counseling, but after an intense and hopeful week long program, he is back to work a crappy job and see someone weekly and we are seeing the same patterns arise. This week he was involved in an auto accident which hurt no one physically(thank God) but emotionally has sent him back to square one. It seems his eyesight (already low due to a birth defect) has been compromised because of the diabetes rendering him unable to drive. His dad and I are heartbroken and scared. His future and ours looks dark. I know by reading this forum that we are not alone, but we definitely feel like we are. How do we help AND deal with the guilt we feel for being angry he refuses to take care of himself?

  • Sally

    August 15th, 2015 at 12:50 AM

    Dear Wendy,
    Thank you for your post. Yes, there is nothing that can fully describe our overwhelming feeling of sadness and being powerless with this. It is very difficult to get away from it. I feel we are all living less of a life than what we envisioned for ourselves. The sooner we take back our own life the better we will be. They are tormented far more than we are. None the less, we deserve to live our live and divest ourselves of this sadness as much as possible. Take care and hope to hear from you again soon.


  • Andrea

    August 15th, 2015 at 4:49 AM

    I hear you Wendy…my son is 30…I haven’t seen him in 3 years and I hear he’s homeless…it’s heartbreaking…I don’t know how I
    ‘m coping…friends/fam are powerless also…if we ever needed a time when we could be able to commit a person until they stabilized, it’s now…

  • Maddie

    August 15th, 2015 at 5:05 AM

    thanks to all who contribute and share their pain and feelings. I feel such relief to have found a group of people who understand and it makes me feel less alone.
    Stay strong together

  • wendy

    August 15th, 2015 at 4:08 PM

    thank you for support and comments…this site is a “treasure”….who knew we would land on a page re: an academic
    study and find each other….
    meant to be

  • Shel

    August 16th, 2015 at 10:26 AM

    hi there ,
    Like many of you on here my ex husband and I have been struggling with my sons mental health for years now!!! But I find that we seem to stumble from one saga to another never quite knowing how we got there..
    My son is now an adult and has been quite bad over the years scitzophrenia brought on by ..yes you guessed it cannibis or skunk as they call it.
    We’ve got to a point where he is living alone..drives his own car and pays his own bills, and has been determined to get down on his meds..which he has , 2.5 miles alanzapene every other day , and he was rewarded by the government cutting his benefits before he could get on his feet and find a job.
    He is about to go back up on his meds a little because of the stress brought on by interviews that he’s not quite equipped for yet! .. He is in the gym every single day.
    Has anyone got any idea how I can help find him a job. ???? He is with a trust doing voluntary work twice a week and they’ve had no luck either.

  • Ellie

    August 17th, 2015 at 9:22 AM

    After reading countless and countless stories all very much the same. I search and search for hope but never find anything but the same heart breaking stories that mirrors my own. I should stop reading these stories because they just make me feel worse. I am angry because there is no help!!
    My son is 22 and I have no hope at all. Countless institutions, medications, doctors, work programs, therapy and so on. He’s too normal for ssi.haha. and too different to hold a job or take care of himself. So I get the joyous job of living in fear and hell supporting my son that will never amount to anything or do anything with his life. All he does is consume everyone else with his whims, meltdowns, and fits. I am so sick and tired I just don’t think it is worth it. I have to roll my eyes at those that tell me to give him consequences, right…because they work so well and he listen so well. Yes, I took away his Xbox and he broke my TV. I came home to every window in my house broken. I got beaten and left with a concussion because I made him mad. I got cussed out at 8 this morning because I asked him to turn down his guitar amp. I have to stay in a relationship I don’t want to be in because otherwise I am scared my son will beat me again or kill me. Oh yeah I should call the police. Haha. I have had every cop in my county call to my home and half of the cops in the next county over. I left my last house Due to the massive humiliation of having the cops out to my house every other day. I nearly lost everything including my mind over the years. I could go on and on. I think death would be easier.

  • Centrina

    August 18th, 2015 at 7:45 AM

    good morning

    My heart goes out to you Ellie. Please do not give up hope. Try to find the beauty in life. Go outside feel the fresh air look at nature. Do things that make you happy.
    I to have a son 22 who is going thru in and out of the hospital one moment happy next voices take over get angery and punch the wall screaming yelling. He really makes me fear for my safety. I have to walk on egg shells around him. No one seems to help him. No job no school and no girl friend. His only joy is the Xbox. It’s hard for me every day seeing him my little boy suffer so much. All I do is try to stay as positive as possible that one day things will be better. I go for walks in the park with my little pug and watch nature. The birds, bees, the wind and trees. Fresh air away from all the pain. Yes I too have had cops come and hurt him to get him in the hospital. Life is not fair but I know it is a lessen for me to learn. Wishing you all the best, Centrina

  • Diane

    August 18th, 2015 at 10:04 AM

    I agree with Centrina that being out in nature helps enormously. I walk and swim every day outdoors. I also find learning to meditate has been a great stress reliever. I try to meditate every day if only for a short time. Our lives are so caught up in the unpredictable never knowing what will happen next that good care for ourselves is vital.

  • susan s

    August 18th, 2015 at 11:44 AM

    I understand too. My daughter is 22, been in and out of hospitals and even jail twice. It makes me cry to think those were the only peaceful times i had in my life in the last 7 years. We are walking on eggshells too and its stressed us so bad that now i’ve started having panic attacks and majir depression. we are waiting to see if she qualifies for ssi. If not, i don’t know what will happen because she is killing us living here. I feel like we are being held hostage. People say “throw her out” but you know these kids can’t make it on their own. I feel i am torn between choosing whether she lives or whether i do. i already don’t have a life anymore. My husband and i want peace more than anything as we grow older and we can’t even leave her alone for a weekend.

  • Sally

    August 18th, 2015 at 11:45 PM


    It is do difficult and sad. The system is broken everywhere. Here in the U S we have a zillion programs that do not work to help them especially if they are severe. They find every loophole to get out of doing anything. My daughter has been hospitalized over 50 times in 15 years. For the last 15 months, has been hospitalized every month. I am currently still going through this. She was also hit but a car. Two weeks later she was in jail for 2 days gor trespassing and they released her. It is do hard to get an LPS Conservatotship. It is not right. So sick of it all.

  • Sally

    August 19th, 2015 at 12:23 AM

    Dear Ellie,

    You are telling the complete and utter truth about this. I tend to feel and talk the same way you do. It is a road to no where.The illness gets worse and we become ill as well. I don’t sugarcoat it either. But trying to develop some faith to deal with this and other things.
    We have to get unstuck.

    Talk again soon.


  • Sally

    August 19th, 2015 at 12:35 AM


    We need to see major change in getting those with severe illness committed/conserved. They have too many rights and no one wants to address this problem and establish decent long term housing facilities that can contain them, as they get worse. They need controlled decent environments with jobs onsite. Something they can do and get paid for. Parents who are doing all this caretaking and are being financially drained need to be compensated too. No one can stay focused on the job with everything this takes to deal with. Talk more later. Sally

  • Centrina

    August 19th, 2015 at 6:22 AM

    Good morning,
    I have a very long history of mental illness in my life. Both of my parents were in the military and both developed different mental issues when they got out.
    My father OCD and very abusive physical and mental and my mother Schizophirenia. My mother is still living 100% disabled in a home. For two years I tried to take care of her but her illness got so bad it was more then I could handle. My son was straight A student and a collage scholarship to Stanford in the 11th grade. Then had his heart broken by a girl. He was very sad and anxious which the doctor decided he need meds. Now if I knew now what was going to happen I would have never ever gone to that doctor. But we followed the doctors advice and next thing we know he is hitting his head against the wall screaming in pain. Getting violent towards his younger brother and sister. We could do nothing but call the police. I thought I was going to die inside watching my son being taken away by the cops he was only 17. Now six years later and he will be 23 in Sept. He is home with us after two months in the hospital. And still the doctor have not found a med that is right. Even taking his meds he is one minute happy next mad next crying next talking to the voices next thinking we are going in his room taking his things. Both my husband and I are working full time and at times he is alone in the house. We have gone thru were my husband blames me my genes for our sons condition. We have had ups and real lows in our relationship. But have not given up hope. Right before he got out of the hospital we spent one day at Lake Tahoe Ca on the MS Dixie boat. So romantic and relaxing which made up for all the pain we have had over the years.
    Please no matter what moments matter tiny moments with a look or a smile. If anything I have learned to be strong through all of this mental illness and go outside away from cell phones, TV, and people and just sit and see nature. Life goes by so quickly and we must cherish the good things in life. Even when things are so very bad I see good in My son.
    I wish for everyone to feel peace and find the joy out of life. Do something that makes you laugh be silly what ever it takes to live.
    All my best Centrina

  • Rose

    August 20th, 2015 at 12:57 PM

    I have a 36 yr old daughter that finally left her abusive husband she stayed with because of being depressed, anxiety, & bipolar. She has a job but these keep her from going to work so she is on fmla a lot. She moved in with me as a temporary thing till she found an apartment. I don’t see how she will be able to live on her own. She has tried to work several times but ends up leaving because she can’t cope. I’m 62 and recently on disability because of being a passenger in a mva. So I can’t afford to help her. I’ve already helped her as much as I can. She can be nice, but try to talk with her about anything serious and she becomes verbaly violent and can destroy things. I made it clear she could not live here if she destoyed anything so it’s only verbal for now. It is still hard. I have to walk on eggshells. Shes been here 4 months and all she does is stay in her room and sleep and watch tv. She also has diabetes but won’t eat right. Never feels good enough to help with anything. But seems fine to go do things with friends. I’m alone so I’m afraid to set her off by talking to her because of past experiences. When I ask for help it’s always tomorrow or next time. I also have lupus and heart problems so I’m slowed down, but don’t let them stop me. The stress is getting to me. I think I’m getting depressed. I own my home and had it fixed up nice and it’s a mess now. I don’t see how she will be able to live on her own. I love her but want my peaceful, clean home back. Sometimes I feel guilty I hate having her here but I enjoyed living alone. She gets up all hours because of sleep problems so I’m not getting needed sleep. I feel like at my age its time to enjoy my life not have to take care of her. I won’t put her out on the street, but I’m concerned about my own health. I’ve asked her to apply for financial help and housing but she refuses. She just keeps saying she’s going back to work on… but it doesn’t happen. It is hard enough for me to adjust to not being able to work now and the loss of my income. I can’t afford to go to a counselor and there are no support groups in the area. I’m glad to find you. To bad we can’t all meet somewhere and have a break with others who understand. What happened to f2f support groups?

  • Shell

    August 20th, 2015 at 2:57 PM

    It is a shame that we can’t all meet up rose, but I bet we are all over the world…I’m in England , Great Britain.
    The whole thing with mental health is a struggle, but recently my ex husband said to me that he feels that my son leans on his mental illness to get things ..eg money .
    And that it is part of his personality to be nasty.
    I’m not sure .

  • Centrina

    August 21st, 2015 at 5:55 AM

    Good morning
    I would love to meet up if anyone lives in the Bay Area North Ca

    Rose your life means so much and please try to do what ever you can to reduce the stress. I have found for me when things are really bad I do projects out doors in the sun. To keep my mind off my son and the issues and keep busy. Last night just finished ripping up grass for a walk way that I’m doing in my yard. Everyone has different things they like to do. I can not get my son to do anything for himself. So I try not to focus on what he does not do but on what he is doing. At least for now he is taking his meds.
    Thank you for this website really is helping me not feel so alone.
    Wishing everyone peace
    Best regards Centrina

  • Tracy D

    August 21st, 2015 at 8:32 AM

    Victoria, I feel you’re pain. I divorced my husband when my youngest daughter was 9. My two girls lived with me and he got them every other weekend. Or should I say they were with his parents and he went out and partied. I divorced him because he was mentally abusive and he destroyed the home. Anyway he didn’t want the divorce but I did.

    Fast forward to my youngest being 16. She started acting out (typical teenager stuff). So one day after stopping her computer time she called her Dad and told him she wanted to live with him. He came and got her instead of saying to her you need to work things out with you’re Mum and running away won’t solve a thing. He took her to get back at me for divorcing him. Because two weeks later, I asked to meet with him about our daughter and all he said was. You’re the reason for the divorce. Not very helpful as you can imagine. She told him lies about me which I later found out. So she could go to his place. I warned him that she was starting to act but he wouldn’t listen to any of it.

    Anyway shortly after trouble started. She ran up a 300 dollar phone bill for him, she drove a car without a license and stayed out all night at a boys house (her Dad called me looking for her) I said you’re the one caring for her and you don’t know where she is?

    Now scoot ahead to her being 17 years old. She got into a car with her gf’s. The driver didn’t have her license and they crashed (they weren’t wearing seat belts). My daughter got a concussion and 6 months later she started having seizures. Before this she was perfectly healthy.

    And you guessed it, her Dad washed his hands of her. And then decided being with your Mother is what’s best for you. After he spent all that time disrespecting me to her.

    I’ve taken her to endless Dr’s, neurologists and to a brain surgeon. She had electrodes attached to her brain to see if she would be a good candidate for surgery and they told me no as the seizures are coming from both sides of her brain. She then had the Vagus Nerve Stimulator put in and she’s on new meds. Since doing all of this she’s down from 8 – 15 seizures a day to about 6 or less a month.

    The problem is this. The seizures are nothing compared to her Nasty, nasty attitude and outbursts.

    Anxiety comes part and parcel with seizures I’m told. But she’s nasty even when she has NO anxiety. She switches moods faster than you can flick a light switch, she has pushed me more than once, she had flicked her cigarette as on me, she makes threats about killing herself ( has for many years) tells me she won’t go to all her Dr appointments, then always goes, threatens to leave home but doesn’t. Although she did go through a faze of running to shelters ( I’ve taken her back 13 times). She pushed a woman in a shelter and ended up going to jail/court.

    She blames everyone and never looks at her own behavior and when I go to my bedroom to avoid the drama she texts me with more verbal abuse and threats. I believe she’s bipolar to be honest. Today she had an appointment with the cannabis Dr to see if they will put her on CBD ( the oil) which won’t make her high but should help with anxiety and her seizures. And for 3 days she’s been saying she’s not going. Yet this morning she was ready to go.

    These roller coaster mood swings are truly unbearable. I’m emotionally on my last nerve. I pray the CBD works but it won’t give her a better attitude. I don’t want to tell her to leave but I can’t stay in this home that’s become my prison.

  • Tracy D

    August 21st, 2015 at 8:40 AM

    BTW My daughter is now 25 years old.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    August 21st, 2015 at 9:40 AM

    Thank you for your comment, Tracy. We wanted to provide links to some resources that may be relevant to you and your daughter here. We have more information about what to do in a crisis at http://www.goodtherapy.org/in-crisis.html

    Warm regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • Julia

    August 25th, 2015 at 2:36 PM

    If he is 20 you are legally allowed to just change the locks when he goes out and refuse to allow him in the house, as long as it is only in your name. Yes I understand this is hard for you to do as he is your son, but there comes a time when our children need to be responsible for their own actions

  • sherie haines

    August 26th, 2015 at 1:25 PM

    Your problem with your son actually makes me feel humble, I too have a son with mental health scitzophrenia he blames everyone else In his life for his problems and blames me most for sectioning him when I did , today we had the dreaded news that he’s been allowed too come off of his meds completely by some brain dead doctor that hasn’t read his notes !! My only gratitude is that I live in England because the police are very understanding over here .. We are waiting for the violence to start .
    Heaven hell us all ..

  • Vicki

    August 26th, 2015 at 2:33 PM

    Heard the news today that my son has now been given a Section 3- his Section 2 was coming to an end and he was sure they would release him. He has been trying to convince the doctors that his delusions have disappeared as he now accepts the results of the tests that show his head is not full of tapeworm. This evening on the phone he again told me that as he was dying from the tapeworm there was no point to anything. He has talked about killing or beheading random people. Thank goodness they have seen through him this time and finally are looking at some sort of long term care plan rather than releasing him and expecting him to comply with medication. I fully expect this to take months as the NHS is under so much pressure but I have a glimmer of hope that maybe just maybe he will get some help this time. Fingers crossed

  • Vicki

    August 26th, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    I can completely understand how you are feeling- I have many good friends but it is hard for them to understand exactly what I have been going through. My son is currently in Dartford, Kent awaiting a forensic assessment. I have taken a break and am with relatives in Devon for the next three weeks- trying to take my mind off this awful situation but it’s always there. I will be back in Kent mid September and if you would like my contact details leave a message here.

  • sherie h

    August 29th, 2015 at 1:54 AM

    I’m sitting here thinking that you may as well remove your husband as he is no use ?? Is that cruel ? Sorry if you think it is ! .
    But surely having someone living in the back room and being of I support at all must be worse than having none.. Unless he supports you financially it must add to your stress.

  • sherie h

    August 29th, 2015 at 1:59 AM

    My ex husband and I think and talk about this continually , it rules our lives .
    Neither of us have met and moved on in another relationship since he’s been ill.

  • sherie h

    August 29th, 2015 at 2:03 AM

    Eddy , I think you have basically manned up to the responsibiltys of your child . And you have my respect.

  • Shell

    August 30th, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    Hi vicki , well that’s a relief.
    Maybe they will find a medication that suits him and it will be for the best ,..my son went to littlebrook and was on a section with a proffesor there.
    And I’m pretty sure that he sorted out his meds for him..he took him off of everything and then started again.
    It was hard.
    I’m in a different place now, we moved from dartford as my sons friends used to all take drugs and I believe that it’s a better place that we live in.
    He’s come off of his meds completely now, with his doctors advice , I know there’s gonna be firework but here we go again.
    It’s like a bloody merry go round isn’t it???.
    I hope he’s sorted , they seem to only act if the patient talks about suicide or killing other people ..it’s madness.

  • Kelley

    September 3rd, 2015 at 7:36 PM

    My 31 year old microbiologist son was diagnosed 2 years ago with schizoaffective disorder with manic behavior. He has lost yet another job, and now lives with me, but won’t leave the house. I can’t get him to a doctor, it’s a fight every time I even try to talk to him. He has delusions of grand proportions but when I confront him, he has no proof. Im at my last rope and no mental health facility will help because he’s not suicidal or homicidal. I can’t even talk to him on a regular basis because he thinks I’m out to get him, as well as my family. I have nowhere else to turn. He sits in his room and vegetates, and it’s heartbreaking. Does anyone have any advice?

  • Diane

    September 4th, 2015 at 4:36 AM

    Kelley: have you contacted NAMI? They have a helpline that might be able to assist you. Also, my police department told me to call 911 and explain that you have a family member in your home experiencing a mental health crisis and the mental health crisis team would come out to my home. Additionally, search to see if your city has a psychiatric ER, My city does and it is open 24/7. They also have a crisis phone line.
    My heart goes out to all of us living day to day, never knowing what each day will bring.

  • sherilynn

    September 11th, 2015 at 6:17 PM

    All three of the tips you gave Tracy have been done by, I would guess, most of us. You just don’t get it. Can’t learn it in a book.

  • Sally

    September 11th, 2015 at 8:07 PM

    Hi Victoria,

    I understand the verbal abuse and anger from your son. My 33 year old daughter is the same way. I too, have not had a life with all of this chaos for 15 years. Trying to get an LPS Conservatorship to contain and control her. It
    Is unrelenting and tired of it. It is not fair for them or us. Please take care. We have to deal with our own anger and live our own life. Have not got the answer yet. There is nothing like this. Over 50 ER hospitalizations. Constant suicide attempts in last 20 months.


  • sherie h.

    September 11th, 2015 at 9:52 PM

    Hi Linda , I don’t think my sons capable of holding down a job either , I am .. I work three waking nights at the weekend , two cleaning jobs during the week and two pet walking jobs !! Because I have to subsadise his living and simply because the uk government have cut all benefits … Sometimes I’m so tired , I’ve taken an allotment so I can grow my own veggies and I ask him to work on it for the money I give him .

  • sherie h.

    September 13th, 2015 at 1:12 AM

    Be strong loretta you’ve come this far ….

  • Rose

    September 15th, 2015 at 9:04 PM

    Thank you for your kind encouraging words. I haven’t been on for a while as I find it difficult to use this site on my phone. It’s my only internet access. I’ve tried to respond to someone many times only to lose what I typed. I miss having a computer.
    I’m from S.W. Idaho so not to far from you. I think it would be great if we could all meet for a healing cruise retreat. It would be wonderful huh.
    Back to reality. I’m struggling with balancing what I should or shouldn’t say to my daughter (36). It is hard sometimes with the stress building and bills pilling up and wanting to say “grow up and be responsible” when they have a good job but aren’t able to get up and go to work. And knowing I am financially sinking deeper and can not help. I sometimes want to yell “you are an adult act like one”. But know it won’t help anything because she can’t. In fact it might send her into a deeper depression. Or even worse she could manic. So then the decision of what I can tell her in order to be honest and let her know I will not take care of her but will emotionally support her to help her become stronger. I want her to know she has to be willing to do her part to get better too. It is hard to know if it is her mental illness, or if she just doesn’t want to get up.
    I’m thankful to find this place where others understand..

  • Diane

    September 16th, 2015 at 10:21 AM

    Rose….I feel much the same as you. I have to bite my tongue sometimes so I won’t say the very words you mentioned. It’s so hard to keep on keeping on…especially financially when you have an adult child living with you who does not contribute. My 26 year old has so many back medical bills that even though she is working again, her bills take every paycheck. I do not help her financially, just provide a room and some food. It’s such a Catch 22 that we are all in.

  • JRC

    September 16th, 2015 at 2:15 PM

    I am a 61 years old mother in a bit of a unique situation with my 38 year old married daughter. She and her husband live just a few houses away from me. They have a 10 year old son. My daughter initially began having mental health issues after the birth of her son. Since the birth of her child, she has been under the care of various psychiatrists after being diagnosed with post partum depression which spiraled into major depression/anxiety. Over the past 10 years she has had 3 hospitalizations and has undergone 2 rounds of ECT after learning she suffers with treatment resistant depression. In spite of the treatment resistant depression, she remains on various anti depressants, anti anxiety medication and sleeping medication. I retired from my teaching position three years ago due to the seriousness of her condition, hoping I would be able to help her find the right treatment plan. Sadly, that has not happened. She is getting worse. Her marriage does not appear to be healthy or happy, although her husband has a very good job and financially supports her. My grandson, an only child, has had to grow up too fast, due to his mother’s illness and lack of interest in him and his well being. She spends the majority of her days in bed. I’m constantly being asked to help with the care of my grandchild, household chores, grocery shopping, meals, laundry, etc. because my daughter is basically a non functioning individual. I’m exhausted, heartbroken, weary and feel powerless. My husband is unable to cope with this situation and has basically distanced himself from it as well as my married son (healthy) who lives out of state and another married daughter (healthy) who lives nearby. My daughter’s mental illness has destroyed our once intact family unit because when she is around, it is unpleasant as she just sits and appears to be a shell with nothing to offer. The mental health system in our country is broken and it not only destroys the individual suffering, but the negative impact it has on a family unit is beyond heartbreaking. I’ve sought counseling but did not find it very helpful. The last counselor’s final words to me were, “you need to begin distancing yourself from your daughter because her mental health situation will unlikely not have a happy ending.” This is obviously something I did not want to hear.

  • sherilynn

    September 16th, 2015 at 3:16 PM

    JRC: I am so sorry for your situation, especially when your grandchild is involved. I don’t have answers; I just now found this site myself. My story is very compelling as well. I am almost 69 years old (in Jan) and had my only child at age 40. I was married for 27 years to her father. She had many many health issues and mental health issues throughout her life even tho we could not get help for the mental health issues. She is now 28 living with me and sinking further and further into the abyss. Her father walked out on us four years ago to be with another woman and he left me helpless as he took all of our money. It has been a nightmare. My dtr has a serious auto-immune disorder, psoriasis, covering 95% of her body, in remission now, and then turned to alcohol. She also developed grand mal seizures; depression; anxiety and panic attacks. She cannot deal with her father’s abandonment (he has moved to France) and I have been dealing with divorce and settlement for 4 years. She is violent when she drinks even against me. It is all such a nightmare. I have struggled to support her and take care of her. I love her very very much. We are just now being accepted into a smaller town home so we can get out of this large family home after all these 4 years. My dtr finally got into a good psychiatrist and we are seeing a neurologist about her seizures. (So much more in between.)
    I just wanted to let you know that I feel your pain and suffering. We love our children no matter how old they are and I will never abandon or leave my dtr. no matter how much I suffer. I just want her to be well and get on with her life. I am sure you feel the same way. The medications all come with side effects; in my dtr’s case, she has to have seizure medication which has caused her weight to plummet to 88 lbs. It is very hard at this late stage of life to deal with these devastating mental health issues. The only thing I can suggest for you is to keep your head and chin up high and we both have to accept what is. Find an outside source of comfort for yourself – girlfriends, luncheons, shopping, painting, coffees; whatever. I even go to movies by myself just to get out of my head for a bit. (Usually a comedy!) Yes, the mental health system is EXTREMELY Broken in this country! They took my dtr to a “behavioral health center” (mental health hospital) and it was bar none ridiculous!
    Good luck to you! I will look for more posts from you. My heart feels your pain and suffering.

  • Centrina

    September 16th, 2015 at 3:51 PM

    Well here it goes again
    My now 23 year old son had to be hand cuffed by the police and taken to the hospital today. Just six days ago he was doing so well. Started working again taking meds with no fight with me. Seemed so happy and balanced. Then as each day passed he started again being Angry, happy, sad, back to anger. Destruction where ever he went to his room and his cell phone not working anywhere. Today he spent an hour hitting his head against the wall and laughing. When he would look at me it was very scary
    like it was someone else not my son.

    I have a friend ThunderBeat.com
    who suggested to try playing Chakra Journey Cd this has helped me today
    It even made my home feel so peaceful.
    Not sure it will help you all but it does not hurt to check out her web site

    Wishing everyone peace and love from my heart

  • Rose

    September 17th, 2015 at 10:25 AM

    I have finally finished reading all the posts this morning. It saddens me that there are so many of us all over the world in so much pain stuggling to do what is best for our loved ones. And that there is so little help. I wish I had the money to start a retreat for all of you to get away for free for a break. There is so much sacrifice going on because of the love for our ill ones. There were very few posts that mentioned us caring for ourselves so we can go on helping them. I wish I had answers, but I do know that it has made me think a lot about what I do or can begin to do for myself. With my own health problems I’m concerned about how my daughter will live when I’m worse or gone. So I want to take care of my needs too so I live as long as I can. Life is difficult but There has to be things that will help us survive all of this. This post is a good example of one way. Nami gave me some good information but around here anyway once the class was over no support.
    I can’t afford counseling so I will have to get creative on my own. Before my accident I used to write a lot. Some people call it journaling. I have notebooks full of things I’ve written. Poems, silly stories about my life, angry rants or blessings. Thankfully no one else reads them. It is physically difficult to write very long now so it’s been a while. On my phone I am able to speak and it types for me. This morning I started writing again using that. There are programs for computers too. I can say/type things I feel and would never tell anyone else and put a password to lock it and it felt great. I also recently bought myself a coloring book and plan to take a few minutes alone regularly to work on that. I am choosing to stop caring if the house is messy and stop to play with my sweet little dog. She has given me so much love and helped me survive all this and I know she feels the stress too. I don’t have the money to go shopping, coffee, lunch, movies etc. But I can take my dog to the park on a picnic. I’ve spent my retirement money helping my daughter. Now on disability from the mva I’m having to learn to live very frugal. Thankfully my house payment is less than what rent would be. I love to garden so this year had to learn to downsize it to a few plants in pots. I have a large double lot yard and have let the extra lot go, spraying it so nothing grows there. Thankfully I live where I can do this. My lupus keeps me from much time in the sun but I still make sure I get a little. I would love to hear ideas from others.
    Btw I also have a 46 yr old son who used to live with functional Aspergers like my ex until he was rear ended while stopped at a light by someone going 55 mph. He will never be ok again. He moved back and lived with me 4 yrs after that and sat in the rocking chair watching tv for hours every day. It was hard to to see my very intellegent son gone. He is now on ssdi living on his own and has a social worker checking on him. For some reason he has decided not to speak to me for 3+ years now. Every since he had a bad episode and was hospitalized not long after he moved out and called me for help. We were always close and spoke often before. I’ve had to let him go and put him in Gods hands because I could do nothing. Sometimes that is all we can do.
    Please everyone find ways to do things for yourself. I’m starting to see we can’t help them if we don’t take care of ourselves. Love to you all. Rose

  • shel

    September 17th, 2015 at 11:41 AM

    Hi rose , you sound like your struggling and my heart goes out to you.
    Keep up with your mindfulness ,that’s what we call what your doing in England.
    My son is off of all his meds now and is leveling out soon, calm before the storm or will it all work out for him!! It’s the not knowing that’s hard for us because the person he becomes isn’t nice.
    I have taken on two allotments and he helps me and I pay him (arghh) the government have stopped paying him any benefits because he’s off of his meds.
    In other words they’ve dropped him when he needs them.
    His dad also employs him and he’s up the gym (mindfulness) every night.
    Were all in a pickle but what your doing is working for you.
    Keep it up .

  • Rose

    September 17th, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    I’m so sorry to hear you got your hopes up that all was going well then have him start acting out again. I hate it when that happens. Its a never ending cycle. I am amazed we are able to keep it up some times. My heart goes out to you. I know that unrecognizable look. It brings tears to my eyes just to remember it. Hopefully you’ll get a break while he is there to do something just for yourself. You’ll be in my thoughts. Rose

  • wendy

    September 17th, 2015 at 5:57 PM

    thank you ‘x’ for your kind words and support

  • Kelley

    September 22nd, 2015 at 5:32 AM

    nami has been no help. I’ve called 911 out to thr house, but they won’t take him because he’s not sick enough. They suggested I evict him, but as a mother, how can I do that, he has no money, no car and no job. He’s extremely intelligent and knows what his rights are so its hard to argue with him. I can’t take him to an er department because he won’t leave the house.

  • Kelley

    September 22nd, 2015 at 6:28 AM

    I have a similar situation with my 31 year old son. It’s like being held hostage in my own house. Miss piece and quiet. Just wondered if your situation has gotten any better

  • shel

    September 22nd, 2015 at 10:08 AM

    It’s been a fortnight since he has stopped taking Alanzapine , he’s come down slowly but not as slowly as I would like !! He’s told me that he doesn’t care if he ends up living on a bench he no longer wants medication .. So we’ve gone along with it.
    So far so good .. I’ve been here before and ended up back at the start again .
    So I think we will see how it goes for another two weeks.

  • Sandra

    September 22nd, 2015 at 9:59 PM

    1. If your adult child is abusive and dangerous, remove him or her from your home. You will worry. ‘What will happen to my child?” Well, they will find a way to survive, even if it means going to a shelter. Shelters have case managers, addiction specialists, etc. If your child is dangerous, removing them from your home is the direction you’re going in anyway. How long can you tolerate having things destroyed in your home, being punched, not knowing if you are going to be killed by your own child. Don’t let them come back. Don’t believe their story that they will stop the behavior. They can’t if they aren’t on medication. Does you child have a history of going on and off meds? If yes, keep them out of your home. If it will make you feel better, help them find a room to rent, etc. Help them pay for the rental.
    2. Train your mind to stop worrying. As the song goes, “whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see, que sera, sera.” You always imagine the worst, and it doesn’t happen. Can you stop the worst from happening? Maybe this time, or the time after that, but what about all the times to come? You are wearing yourself out thinking like this. You know doggone well that there is always one crisis after the other. Try to live with the uncertainty. One suggestion, go to bed and get a good night’s sleep so you can wake up sane to go to function.
    3. Stop giving away all of your money. Develop a budget to help your child. Maybe it’s $100 a month, or whatever you can afford. It’s really stressful when you give so much money to your child that you can’t pay your own bills.
    4. If they’re homeless and don’t want to go to a shelter, don’t feel like you have to put them in a motel room every night. Too expensive. Say no.
    5. Treat them like an adult. Don’t fuss over every little thing. Let them figure things out on their own. If they don’t have anything to eat, direct them to organizations that provide hot meals. Chat with them on the phone. Get off the phone when they become threatening. Don’t listen to that crap.
    6. Incarceration. It’s a shame, but what can you do? Jail is a revolving door for some of our adult children. Actually, some parents say they only have peace of mind when their psychotic children are locked up or hospitalized. Don’t waste your nest egg on legal fees if you’re middle class. The lawyers we can afford are actually no better than a public defender. They all just try to get a plea deal. Few will work up the energy to mount an insanity defense. Be careful with bail.
    7. Civil commitment. You could go to court to get a commitment for outpatient treatment. Be prepared for a backlash from the child, even an assault.
    In conclusion, get your home back. Let your home be a sanctuary for you. Help your adult child from a distance. Stay in touch. Help when you can. Stop thinking the worst is always going to happen. Get some rest so you can function. Accept what is. You can’t make someone go into treatment if they don’t want to. Make a list of social services where your child can get food, clothes, the location of drop in services to do laundry, etc. Keep pushing them towards independence.
    I have been there and done that, so that’s my advice.

  • wendy

    September 23rd, 2015 at 6:42 PM

    SANDRA ….you said it all! I let go of rescueing my only son (today39) 5 years ago…I had a physical and mental meltdown gratefully I had accumulated several months of ‘sick leave and 1/2 pay” …long story…a support group helped me learn the tools of “detachment with love”….he called me last winter….I agreed to allow him back into my life….someone helped him access services but he was “starving” and almost homeless for a while…it was very painful for me to interact with him…..because he is very smart but mentally ill…..so he would go off into monologues….5 months into our ‘new relationship” he began asking me for money…experienced one crisis after another and called to be rescued ….and when I refused sent me scathing emails…full of contempt and insults….so again I have made the decision to break off the relationship…..its painful but I have to take care of myself..I am 67…and I did everything in my power to help him for 25 years.

  • shel

    September 25th, 2015 at 9:59 PM

    The absolute worst thing with all of this is that your so alone with it all !!.
    My ex is going away for a week with my daughter for a break and then after he comes back or maybe even just before my so should be levelled out , I’m praying that he will make it this time, he’s come down off of the meds so slowly and still does the gym every evening … This is all such a struggle.
    His temper is starting to flare a little now and again but on the two occasions that he’s tried o come off before he was much worse .
    So I’m still waiting o see if it’s going to work .. I have two allotments a d he helps me on both … He also goes to his volountary work still twice a week , they haven’t helped by moving him on to another place further away … More petrol money.
    So fingers crossed.

  • Dana

    September 26th, 2015 at 11:51 AM

    Sandra- thank you gor the encouragement. My 23 year old son is currently hospitalized and so mentally ill I dont know if he will ever be well . I wont go into detail. Im sure readers have their own horror story. No need to hear mine. But I need to keep reminding myself I not a horrible person for refusing to buy into his drama.

  • Diane

    September 26th, 2015 at 1:59 PM

    Shel, I agree about being so alone. My 26 year old has been relatively stable for the past few months, but today the paranoia has reared its head again. And now she believes her identity has been stolen and wants to involve the FBI. I’ve told her she needs to discuss this with her therapist and that I cannot be involved or talk to her about her disturbing thoughts. And that I cannot have these issues affect my surroundings. If it escalates, I will have to call the 911 crisis team for assistance. There never seems to be an end, does there?

  • shel

    September 26th, 2015 at 2:38 PM

    Hi Dana , it’s so hard not getting involved though !!! I looked at it with my son that as it was drugs that caused it I had no guilt !!! But I still had the need to get involved and try and get him well.
    Scitzophrenia brought on by a fine selection of drugs , I’m still trying to help him but he does drag me down and blames us for just about everything that’s gone wrong in his life .
    I think by reading these comments that we are luckier than most because he wants to get well and fights for it !!
    We’ve decided to give him a few more months and then stop subsidising him so he gets out to work …. Fingers x

  • shel

    September 26th, 2015 at 8:15 PM

    Hi Diane , no there really doesn’t , do you live in America may I ask ??? , I’m wondering if your treatment over there is the same as ours in England ? Do you have to have your child sectioned and is it as hard as it is over here ? The doctors over here seem to try and help them to come down slowly off if there medication ? Do they do that over there. ? And the medication is it the same as over here ? My son Has Alanzapine !or he did until he stopped taking it recently ?? .. And are drugs a big cause of your daughters mental illness as it was my sons ? Sorry about the questioning .. And you really don’t have to answer but I’m curious ? X

  • shel

    September 26th, 2015 at 8:21 PM

    Sandra , your so right !! But it’s so hard .
    How can a mentally ill person find work to earn money if nobody will employ them ?

  • Diane

    September 27th, 2015 at 2:23 PM

    I am in Texas. She has not been diagnosed even after 2 ER visits this past summer. Apparently at the must recent ER medication was advised and she said No. She is working again, but with the paranoia escalating I think it won’t be long until she is unable to keep the job. I told her yesterday that her disturbed thinking cannot impact me or my surroundings and she needs to discuss this with her therapist. It seems unending as no professional has given a diagnosis and she has periods of being functional.

  • Sue

    September 27th, 2015 at 4:51 PM

    I’m the parent of a 37 year old son who was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 3 1/2 years ago. I am now a widow and my son moved in with me because his second marriage was failing. I would like to know how to go about applying for disability ( in the United States) for him because he is unable to keep a job most of the time because of his illness. He has 3 children and 1 step child and is completely overwhelmed with child support that is past due.
    Also the cost of supporting him has exhausted my resources. Any advice?

  • wendy

    September 27th, 2015 at 10:45 PM

    Sue….please consult an attorney that specializes in Social Security DIsability….in NYS they work on a ‘contigency” fee.
    she/he will explain..getting SSD and Medicare is a process and it is helpful to work with someone who understands.
    good luck……ie attorneys listed in phone book

  • Diane

    September 28th, 2015 at 4:50 AM

    Sue…Maybe this will help you begin the process to receive SSI ssa.gov/planners/disability/dapply.html

  • Rose

    October 2nd, 2015 at 12:19 PM

    3 days ago my daughter informed me that she had been feeling guilty that she had been lying to me. I am still in shock and have stayed busy and away from her since because I’m so hurt that I am speechless. Finally today I’m able to cry. I need time to think. I will talk to her over the weekend so she won’t have an excuse for missing work. She has been playing me for 6 months. The real reason she was missing work was to have an affair. Yes she was having guilt and anxiety because being a christian it made her feel bad. But those days she stayed home sick or crying was guilt not her bipolar and anxiety disorder being worse and uncontrolled like she said. I feel so manipulated and used. I gave her my only safety net money to leave her husband, store her things and pay movers. My summer was spent driving her to and sitting hours in hospital emergency rooms, worrying she would never be ok or on her own again and of course blaming myself and my failed marriages for her problems.(they couldn’t handle her behavior). I was uncomfortable going camping due to leaving her alone in my home. She moved in for what was supposed to be only 2 months. She refuses to be careful with lights and water therefore running up my utilities costs and really messes up my house. It has turned into 6mo so far. All the while claiming she was too tired and sick from being manic keeping her from sleeping to help me. It more than doubled my work load keeping up my house so I had to let the yard go because it was too much. I had to run up my credit card for food. We will now be eating beans and peanut butter. If she doesn’t like it she can go without. I’m going to get my credit card paid off. To make it even worse the man she has been with is someone from her childhood that tried to get her in a relationship when she was 13 and he was 17. I even had to call the police on him back then because he threatened to kill me when I told him to stay away. I’m afraid of what he will do now at 40. I know he’s taking advantage of her. Nothing I can do because she is not legally disabled. She is numb and dead brain like a zombie that can’t hardly think right. She just lets life happen to her. She makes no decisions just what ever happens and no emotions. I’m beginning to think illegal drugs may be involved. Or the dr has her over drugged. Has anyone heard of 4 mgs of lorazapam regularly. On top of sleep meds, bipolar meds and anti depressants. About 20 bottles of stuff. Seems like a lot to me. It’s really expensive to get guardianship but lately think that it might be necessary.

    I told her he was not to know where I live and that she needed to move out immediately. But she has no money. What little she has made, since in 6 months she has only worked about 10 days, which has gone towards a 6 inch pile of medical bills and to hopefully pay her medical and car insurance. I really don’t want to put her out on the street it gets really cold here. I’ve seen no signs of her packing or looking for a place. When I told her she destoyed my trust in her and that I’d have a hard time ever trusting her again. Also that I felt scammed and used. She became very angry. Which can be a bad thing for me and my belongings. I’m going to buy a key locking doorknob for my bedroom today and put anything important in there. Although from experience I know that may not stop her. I will call the police on either either of them if needed. I just don’t need this garbage in my life now. With my health problems I need things more calm, not this. I understand it is not easy to kick her out if she established this as her home. I thought we were close despite her mental problems, but now I wonder what if any of it was real. Part of me has had it and wants to walk away leaving her to live with whatever mess she gets into and have nothing to do with her. And she’s using no protection so will probably end up pregnant or diseased. Not a good thing with all the meds for bipolar and anxiety she is on. Sorry for ranting. I’m hurting and confused. I have no one safe to talk to and can’t afford counseling. I’ve been searching for f2f support groups but we just don’t have them. Anyone else been taken advantage like this? I would appreciate your sharing. I know if I put her out on the street I’d feel bad too. So there seems like no way to bring peace to my life .

  • shel

    October 2nd, 2015 at 7:00 PM

    Hi rose , can you look up on google as to wether she should be takingXxx lorazipan and how much of the dose she would need or get her to sign something to say that you have right to take control of her life ?? …

  • shel

    October 2nd, 2015 at 7:06 PM

    The periods of being functional and their ability to bring normality to the table when an doctor or specialist is questioning them seems to be the problem with most of them.
    I’m in the stages of my son levelling out from slowly coming off of all of his meds and the FBI thing you spoke about was a similar thing that happened to me last time he came off …

  • Rose

    October 2nd, 2015 at 11:45 PM

    Thank you shel, I did look it up. I am concerned. I fear all her dr is doing is teaching her to medicate instead of teaching her how to be ok with feelings and how to work thru bad feelings. I always taught them that the best way to deal with tough things is head on because if you avoid it then it stays there till you do deal with it. She even remembers that. But I can no longer teach her, she needs more help
    than me.
    My dtr came home very angry and exploded towards me tonight. Accused me of all sorts of wierd things.
    I should have expected it. She has done this all her life whenever she gets mad at me and she is angry because her lying to me made me not trust her. She runs to anyone that will listen and say how awful I am. She has caused me so many problems with people. Till they get to know her. I’ve lost many friends and dates because they didn’t know how to deal with her. She lives for crisis and for some reason directed at me and anyone I’m close to. The only person who’s ever been there for her. It’s scary to let her stay with me not knowing when/if that would show up. I asked her if she would go stay at the womans shelter because that would give her all the help she needs that I can’t afford to do for her. She exploded and swung at me like she was going to throw something at me or hit me but I shut the door between us. I then told her she needed to leave as this was unacceptable and she knew it. I refused to even keep her dog. She started screaming about me being crazy for being upset about her doing that. And even her dr thinks so.(funny since she doesn’t know me and she hasn’t talked to her since she swung at me) I had to threaten to call the police before she calmed down and left. So there is finally a night of peace in my home. And new locks are on too. yea. For how long I don’t know. I’m turning off my phone so she can’t bother me. She’s already been calling. You know I’m sure I am a little crazy from living with all this for 36 yrs. I’ve learned to go numb, walk on eggshells and keep a phony smile on, it’s the only way I can deal with being around her. The only way I kept working all those years. I do sometimes think I’m close to a break down. I love her so much but I really need a break from her and some help dealing with all this. I hate her disease. It’s to much to continue alone.
    I know she is going to want to come back. I hope if I don’t let her so I can take care of myself that I won’t be condemned for it. I need to feel safe so I need some time to figure out if I can take it any longer. It is making me sick. But she may be sleeping in her car. It’s so hard.
    I don’t want the responsibility of being her guardian. Not without more and better help.

  • Rose

    October 3rd, 2015 at 12:02 AM

    I just spent hours trying to explain how my daughter attacked me tonight and wanting 2 post about it. it was refused. I also tried to answer what someone else had said to me. I am stressing out. I don’t understand why it was not allowed to post. Is there some limit to responses.
    Well in case this gets posted. I kicked my dtr out tonight I can’t take it anymore I don’t know where she is. I feel bad because I love her I wanted to talk about it. I feel bad but I need to be safe. Can’t take her here any more .

  • Diane

    October 3rd, 2015 at 5:05 AM

    Thank you, Shel, for your most recent comment. My granddaughter seems to have periods of normal functioning where she can apply for and get a job and then after a few weeks she has some sort of relapse and is eventually fired. Her reasons for being fired are always that the employer thinks she is stealing from the company! Even thought his time the employer told her it was because she didn’t interact well with customers. Mental illness is so confusing and baffling and exhausting.

  • shel

    October 3rd, 2015 at 12:26 PM

    Hi rose , when I wAs reading your answer I felt suddenly very sad for the dog !! It must wonder what the hells going on .
    I don’t know what’s going to happen to us ..
    I live with loads of guilt. X

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    October 3rd, 2015 at 12:33 PM

    Hi Rose,

    Thank you for your comments. I am sorry that you thought we had not approved your previous comment. We do moderate blog comments, so this may be why you saw some delay before it was approved. I hope this addresses your concerns.

    Warm Regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Support Team

  • Rose

    October 3rd, 2015 at 4:10 PM

    Yes Shel, I too live with an enormous amount of guilt. Boy do I understand. Yes I worried about the dog as much as my daughter. But I also know she wouldn’t let anything happen to her baby. And the reason I did this is she has taken advantage of me watching the dog so much and it has bit me, gone to the bathroom all over my house staining carpet and has torn things up and I’m just tired of it. She will not train him and never has. I have to be here at all times when he is here to protect my things and I needed a break. He is her therapy dog so should be with her it helps her. He is 13+ and not used to no dog door to come and go as he pleases. I’ve tried so hard to train him but his brain and eye site is failing. I’ve felt heartbroken for him all day. He wanted to stay with me,she scares him when she acts out. My dog hides from her too.
    Its been so nice to be alone and have peace and quiet. I even had a friend over. My dtr called and is begging and apoligizing wanting to come back. There will be some things that have to happen first. And in writing. Including facing and telling the truth to those she lied to about me. Has anyone tried that? If so did it work?

  • J Ray

    October 4th, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    I have a 37 year old son with a mental disability. He has gotten worse over the last year with seeing things, hearing voices, and sometimes describing terrible acts of torture. We have been waiting for his Meducare card to kick in so he can get treatment in December but that’s too far away. He is Schezophrinic and talks out of his head and it’s getting worse. He needs hospitalization but how can I do this? It must be done so he can get the right diagnosis and medication . I don’t want him hurting himself or someone else but it feels like he is getting close. Help as to please advise. I need him hospitalized now

  • shel

    October 5th, 2015 at 1:26 AM

    Hi Diane. I’m not sure that I sent my last message !?
    The only way I found was to lie and say he’s talking about commiti g suicide.
    This normally happens any way , they do talk about it!!
    But they wait until it seems that the problem is unmanageble
    Then it takes copious amounts of medication to put them right !!

  • Rose

    October 5th, 2015 at 11:11 AM

    J Ray,
    I don’t know where you are from, but here in usa they used to have emergency medicaid. But he’d need to qualify for it. This used to help pay some of the recent back medical bills also. I hope they still do for you. It is so hard to watch them hurt and not be able to do anything. You’ll be in my thoughts.

  • Kari

    October 12th, 2015 at 7:06 PM

    I have a 24 yr old daughter who was recently diagnosed with Non Verbal Learning Disability. She had been diagnosed with bipolar, schizoaffective, depression and so on. It took weeks of testing with a neuropsychologist to find the true problem. She has been on so many meds that I cant list them all. None helped, some even made her depression worse! The depression and anxiety she has is a direct result of not getting the help she needed as a child. Now, we are left to pick up the pieces and deal with many of the mental/behavioral problems listed on this forum. We also have a 19 yr old daughter with autism. Because her condition was obvious, she was able to get into special education and received all the necessary interventions. She is a happy and well adjusted adult who goes to an adult program monday through friday to learn life skills. I’m so upset about the difficulty we had in getting the right diagnosis for our older daughter. It was very difficult to tell what her actual disability was. She seemed normal except for a lack of social skills and trouble in academics. She had alot of trouble making friends, always said the other girls were mean to her and didnt want her around. She struggled with social cues and always seemed to make people angry even though she didnt mean to. I suspected Aspergers but was told by more than one psychologist that she didnt meet the criteria. But her social difficulties were obvious to anyone who spent some time with her. My question to everyone on this board is, did your child struggle in school with schoolwork and social situations? Did they seem to have a hard time fitting in? They may have a learning disability. Some are not obvious to the untrained eye and they get labeled as having a mental illness. The behavior is actually years of frustration and misunderstanding. Where I go from here is anyone’s guess. I can’t find much on how to cope/help an adult with this condition other than buy books for her to read. It is exhausting and I’m not sure how much more I can take.

  • Ann

    October 20th, 2015 at 7:44 AM

    My daughter is 22 years old and although she has not been formally diagnosed, she has the majority of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder. I could write several paragraphs on all the problems since she was quite young. I’m a single mother and pretty much always have been. Currently, my daughter is living with me, but spends her days hanging out with the local riff-raff, riding public transportation, and being with her boyfriend who is 28 and has a host of problems himself. She lies constantly and it’s very difficult to believe anything she says. She has begun stealing money from me. She has been given the opportunity so many times to seek help, but she refuses. She also refuses to go on birth control and I’m quite sure she is trying to get pregnant. Despite trying to set limits, my daughter ignores what I ask and now is having her boyfriend at our house during the day while I am at work and I know they are having sex in my house and I find this very upsetting. I have talked to mental health professionals and I’ve been to NAMI meetings and I keep hearing the same thing, she won’t get better until she hits rock bottom. I’m meeting with a lawyer today to find out about starting the eviction process. I don’t want to have to do this, and I’m getting conflicting input from friends and others, so I fluctuate on my decisions and I don’t know if I can go through with making her leave. I’m fortunate that I’m very valued at my workplace and I have a lot of leave time stored up, but I feel like I’m not doing a good job at work because it’s difficult for me to compartmentalize my feelings. Any advice would be appreciated.

  • Rose

    October 20th, 2015 at 11:45 AM

    Ann, my heart goes out to you. If you’ve read my posts you know I am also a single mother and your story is in many ways so close to mine. I too had many others offering conflicting opinions. And talk about guilt, I have never felt so confused and bad. I finally looked at what I needed to do to take care of myself and stopped listening to them. I did make my 36yo daughter leave. I didn’t have to evict her because she didn’t know I had to in order to get her out. So far it has turned out to be a good thing. She stayed with someone on their couch. In days she was miserable and begging for forgiveness and asking to return home and willing to live with my boundaries. She also agreed to look for other housing and go to counceling. If she didn’t do these she would be required to leave again. So I let her back for now with conditions. I also notified her that police will be called and if needed charges will be pressed if her “friend” comes around, anything goes missing or if she hits me. So far she has keep to all boundaries.
    She has found a room to rent from a friend and is moving in on the 30th. She is cashing in a small retirement acct from a previous job. She can’t seem to make it to work and wouldn’t apply for help or admit she needs help before, so it will be interesting to see how it goes. I figure she never will as long as I am here to bail her out. Making her leave scared her into following through with some things. She’s afraid of being homeless. I cried a lot as it was so hard. But in my case it turned out to be for the best, but you can never know for sure.
    Are you in the US too? Can you get an order for her “friend” to stay away from your home where you are?
    I live with nerve damage from a car accident in constant pain and lupus. I could not take care of myself and tolerate her behavior too. I can be of no help if the stress makes me worse. I also put a keyed lock on my bedroom door.
    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Keep us posted it helps to voice how you’re feeling.

  • Diane

    October 20th, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    I feel much the same with my 26 year old living with me. Right at this moment we are on a good spot. But, things can change on a dime. If I were to evict her, I’d have to move far away as she will return home and pound on the door creating a disturbance and cause me to be evicted from my apartment. It’s such s catch 22 for me. I have no advice, just do understand the dilemma you are in. There never seems to be an answer.

  • Kelley

    October 21st, 2015 at 6:21 AM

    A few days ago, I gave my son an ultimatum, either agree to see a doctor, or leave. He packed two bags, and left in shorts and flip,flops. It was freezing outside. He was gone for 5 hours. We called police and we were all out looking for him. He finally returned at 3 am, we called police to come back, they determined he was not well, but refused to take him to a hospital. They suggested next time he is manic, to call an ambulance instead, or evict him. I can’t seem to do the eviction tho. He literally has no where to go, no money, no friends. He isn’t a threat to himself or others, just seems content to spend every waking moment up in his room. If I ask him to help me around the house, he does so. He is just a shell of himself, and it makes me so very sad. I wish there were doctors who,could come to my house, as he wont leave mine, even to get a haircut. I sometimes think the successful microbiologist i raised was a fake, and this is my real son. NAMI meetings were no help, as the other parents in my situation were just as frustrated and no one could offer any advice. My only alternative is to call an ambulance to come here next time he gets manic, but I’m so sick of hitting a brick wall. I’ve probably called police 5-6 times and no one does anything. If my son thinks he killed Osama bin laden, isn’t that a threat to me to have someone living with me who thinks that way? I just don’t understand the system at all.

  • Renee

    October 21st, 2015 at 9:33 PM

    Kelley! I am in the same boat ~ I really wish there was someone I could talk to going through the same thing as I. I have a 22 year old son still living with me. He has PTSD and Manic Depression. He just got a really good job a week ago, but quit today for no reason. We’ve tried all meds and they only make him worse…I come home everyday depressed myself. I simply do not have a life ~ he is not the son I raised. He went into the Marine Corps when he was 18 ~ finished boot camp and as he was training, he feel very ill with a horrible fungal infection…he refused to train one day from being so ill and so he was discharged with a OTH ( Other than honorable)…we have been fighting it, but the Marines are not responding to anything. I don’t know what to do. This is not the sweet, funny caring boy I raised. I’m heartsick.

  • Kelley

    October 22nd, 2015 at 4:38 PM

    I started reading a book called I’m not sick, I don’t need a hospital. It has amazing tips on how to deal with people like us dealing with mentally ill adults. It has given me a whole new outlook on how to deal with my 34 year old son. They also suggest calling all the hospital and asking if they have a mobile crisis psychological team that will actually come out to your house for an evaluation instead of calling 911 and the cops not doing anything. It’s a great book, try it

  • Shell

    October 23rd, 2015 at 7:53 AM

    In England we have early intervention , it’s brilliant !!.
    They really do a lot to help and it looks like this is the same thing.
    They even had meetings arranged for me and my ex husband to meet other people with the same problems.

  • Rose

    October 23rd, 2015 at 9:15 AM

    Shell, I’d love to hear more about the early intervention you have in England and what they do. Maybe I could try to get it here in U.S. How does it work? Who runs it? It sounds great.
    I’m going to get the book Kelley recommended too. It sounds helpful.

  • Ms S

    October 24th, 2015 at 4:23 PM

    I am glad I am not the only one, although I wouldn’t want anyone to go through this. I have a 24 year old daughter who started having paranoid personality changes between 2009 through 2013. Her PCP was no help and would not refer her to a behavioral health provider. In 2013 my daughter had hallucinations and thought people was saying negative and obscene things to her. It broke my heart. She held offices in several activities and groups, but did starting to cut herself off from friends. She was heavily into church and started discussing with me how we are too privileged by having a car and paying to have shelter and utilities. She felt sorry for the homeless where she decided to live with them. It scared me. She kept feeling like God was punishing her for living in a way he never intended. She wanted to only eat fruits and vegetables. She wanted to wash her clothes at a lake, not take care of her hygiene, and quit college. It wasn’t until 2013 when she had an episode at work that led me to taking her to the ER. My daughter was so different. I had no idea who she was and why she thought she smoked and was talking really vulgar. She was referred to a behavioral health hospital for eval afterwards. When we got to the behavioral health hospital, she was evaluated and I was told they had to commit her. OMG! to have someone firmly tell me they will have to keep my daughter and there was nothing I could do was confusing. I am glad she got help. She has had several medicine changes, but doing better. The obstacles is her getting defensive when I suggest anything, jumping out of the car when she doesn’t agree with me, dealing with a codependent boyfriend she met at a center that helps mentally challenged adults. I am thinking about moving to the Atlanta area where she may get better help, but I really don’t know.

    Ms. S

  • Kelley

    October 25th, 2015 at 2:45 AM

    I’m not sick, I don’t need help is the correct title. I started implementing the tips in the book and I’m finally getting my son out of his room and to join family time. While what he says still is delutional, I’m learning how to ask the right questions to get him to trust me again. It truly is a great book

  • Erica

    October 25th, 2015 at 3:47 AM

    What about those of with children with SMI? My 15year old daughter was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder 2 years ago after attempting suicide. She has been seeing a therapist & a psychiatrist for many years ( she is a shaken BAby survivor & has ADHD).she is also a self-harmer. Over the last couple years she has been hospitalized 5 times & has had multiple psych evals to see if she needs to be sent to a juvenile facility. My husband & I also have a 3 year old daughter that recognizes that her big sister is sick & sees the cuts. Our lives are not easy. There are nights that I must sleep in the room with our oldest because we are scared she could try to harm herself. I haven’t slept a full night since her suiside attempt.

  • Diane

    October 25th, 2015 at 4:58 AM

    Ms S….although my 26 year old’s paranoid episodes are not as severe as your daughter’s, I have some inkling of what you are going through. Living with someone in this state of mind is so unpredictable and surreal. It’s extremely difficult. I’m glad your daughter received the help she needs. And I agree with trying to figure out the future. Everything is so uncertain. I know what you mean about your daughter getting defensive. Mine is like that as well. I have stopped advising her on anything and just make general conversation. I do the best I can to take care of myself so I can live as well as I can. It’s really all I can do.

  • shel

    October 25th, 2015 at 1:01 PM

    I’m going to get that book tonight. !! X

  • Arlene

    November 2nd, 2015 at 9:43 AM

    I’m so glad I found this site. I have a 46 yr old daughter who is possibly bi polar. She has been a handful since she was about 16. She had a diagnosis 12 years ago but decided it wasn’t true? when she was 30 I moved to a different state without her, it was the best thing I could have done. She was living on her own, and it gave me a ten year break which I needed because I’m back and in the thick of it again. She got pregnant and decided to keep the baby. I feel that this was more a manipulation than anything else. So I’m back living in the same state so I can help my grandchild. I have her every weekend for the past four years. And of course dealing with all my adult daughters drama. Some days I just cry and others I actually feel okay. After reading the stories on here I guess I don’t have it as bad as others. This really isn’t a real comfort and I feel for the other people on here. I never imagined having a child was going to create a life that was so very very painful. This is not what I wanted, I sometimes blame myself for her condition, although I know this can’t be. I thought old age was going to be easier, oh well.

  • shel

    November 2nd, 2015 at 10:34 AM

    I feel like my life should be calming down but instead I’m working more to subsadise my son whom doesn’t want to take medication and is being penalised by the state because of it !!!.
    I’m praying that despite him having no people skills and not wanting to work alongside anyone that he finds a job !! Which sounds very unlikely.

  • Christina

    November 9th, 2015 at 12:12 PM

    My daughter is 30 years old and I am 61. She has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, conversion disorder with non-epileptic seizures, severe anxiety disorder, and for good measure, the Dr’s, threw in bi-polar disorder as well. The past 14 years have been a roller coaster of one crisis after another with her. My husband and I have tried distancing ourselves from her tornadic lifestyle by establishing boundaries, but she has always managed to circumvent them. She lives alone in a house that we pay for, cannot work due to her disability, and receives SSI and Medicare. That little bit of income she has (approx $600 per month) she manages to fritter away in about a week, leaving her demanding more from us for necessities like food and clothing. We are not well off, but have taken care of her needs in hopes she can live independently from us. But now she has managed to lose her license for dwi and evading police and we have become her source of transportation. The courts have also mandated that she continue her two-to-three times weekly therapy or risk being in contempt and going to jail. We live in a rural area and public transportation is not an option. So now I am having to drive her 1 1/2 hrs each way to therapy (my husband works full-time) and am being subjected to her crying, guilting, self-pitying, yelling, and other assorted emotional manipulations. I love my daughter with all my heart, but I am getting to the point where I resent the cards life has dealt us. I truly do not know how much longer I can endure the emotional and physical toll her illness has cost me. Just wanted to get this off my chest.

  • The GoodTherapy.org Team

    The GoodTherapy.org Team

    November 9th, 2015 at 4:20 PM

    Dear Christina,

    We saw your comment and would like to encourage you to reach out. If you would like to share your concerns or talk to a therapist or mental health professional for any reason, you can search for one using our site.

    You can search for a mental health professional in your area by entering your ZIP code here:

    Please know that help is available. We wish you the best of luck in your search.

    Kind regards,
    The GoodTherapy.org Team

  • wendy

    November 9th, 2015 at 5:36 PM

    Cristina…I am so sorry . What really helped me with “tools” i could apply was a 12 Step support group for
    “friends and families” of folks who are abusing drugs/alochol….and the tools were helpful in coping w/my family member’s mental illness and character disorder.
    wish you the best

  • Katie

    November 12th, 2015 at 6:41 PM

    Rose, I’m so sorry hearing about your life and the suffering your daughter brings to you. I understand as I have a mentally ill 30 yr old that has basically destroyed my life and stripped me of all finances and even my retirement. The mental health system here is broken. My son is not suicidal or homicidal so he gains entry into no hospital to get help. Insurance will not cover residential care. My saving grace has been my faith in God. Without Him in my life I would have ended it long ago. But I place my trust in Him. I enabled my child for so long hoping he would find help. Boundaries were not set up in the beginning. But I’m to the point you are now. We can’t save them. They need to want help. We give them the basics they need that keeps them on life support until we are on our last leg. I don’t want to turn my back in my child just like you don’t but it gets to the place of survival. I want to find a support group. Need to talk to people that understand. This is what you need too. I’m putting your name in my bible and I’m going to,pray for you every day. For your miracle. For our miracles! I hear you. God sees you! Cry out to him. Lay it all out. He loves you. His Son died for you because you matter. Don’t give up. Get mad! Find help sweet Friend. Take care of you. I’m praying Rose. Love, Katie.

  • shel

    November 12th, 2015 at 7:48 PM

    Hi Katie .. My son Gave up his medication two months ago to become normal , and at first he seemed to keep the normality and just literally dissapearing when he became angry or anxious .
    Well he’s just got to the last day tommorow of a job that we had to really struggle to get him too it was for just two weeks and with one day to go he walked off of the job , I’m gutted .
    And the worst thing is he’s saying and doing things that make not a lot of sense , but I’m not going to make him go bAck on meds as I’ve never heard the end of him bring on them .
    So now I’m wondering what’s going to happen , me n his dad have had a two week reprieve of him begging for our hard earned cash .
    I feel like running away

  • Kelley

    November 13th, 2015 at 6:15 AM

    My 31 year old son quit the dream job of a lifetime, because the FBI or CIA told him to. He now lives with me. After various attempts to get him hospitalized, I have just given up, and until he decides he needs help, I guess this is my new normal. He’s not suicidal or homicidal, so I’m lucky there, but he makes no attempt to get a job, his drivers license or have any quality of life. I can’t get him on disability, because that would require a doctor visit, and he won’t agree to go. His disease has taken over his life, and instead of being frustrated every day, I guess I’m just putting my head in the sand until something makes him want to get help. I am living this way because I couldn’t take the stress anymore of trying to convince him he’s mentally ill. Police want me to go to court to evict him, and I cannot do that. He has nowhere to go. It’s pitiful. Praying someday he realizes he’s sick, but not sure that will ever happen.

  • Diane

    November 13th, 2015 at 11:23 AM

    Kelley…I understand completely. My 26 year old has paranoia and holds similar beliefs, Her thinking is so disturbed that she has lost or quit job after job. She lives with me and like you I don;t have it in my heart to toss her out. She’s in somewhat of a good space now, but it never lasts long. She has seen many medical professionals, but doesn’t want medication. My heart goes out to all of us living with mentally disturbed adult children.

  • Shell

    November 13th, 2015 at 12:03 PM

    Early intervention is only allowed before the person is 25 yrs old,. But they step in and take the mentally ill young person on and basically organise one day per week out ( dry slope skiing etc etc) the young person gets to meet other youngsters like them selves and they also have coffee morning s.
    They have a centre that they leave open for droppins at any time during the day.
    On the medical side they also have psychotherapy available and a psychiatrist that has the young persons best interest at heart .
    And meet up with them on regular basis to judge wether they’re taking the right medication.
    They also arrange for the carers to meet each other and have meeting where you can swop experiences and its amazing how much you have in common.
    It’s brilliant and I miss it ..cos my son is 30 and now we’ve been dumped.
    No medication so no doctor.
    No medication so no benefits.

  • Rose

    November 13th, 2015 at 1:54 PM

    Katie, thank you so much for the prayers and encouragement. Yes, without God to help me I would not have been able to make it through this, or what is to come. One of the hardest things is wondering what will happen to them when I’m gone. My biggest fear is her living on the street. Especially since with all my medical and having helped her, I have nothing left to leave.
    I will put you on my prayer list too. I agree we need people to talk with. I wish there was a way to talk privately to people that post. Thankfully we can post as it really helps. But unfortunately there’s no private chat room here.
    So far asking my dtr to move out is going ok.
    She is living with a friend of hers since grade school in a converted garage room. Her friend is also bipolar and has been getting help and married w/3 children. So hopefully she will be of some help to her.
    She has been working 1-3 days a week now.Thankfully they have put up with it and not fired her.
    She told me living alone makes her go to work.
    She says she wants to feel better and is taking her meds, they just don’t seem to help much. But she doesn’t want to do the work to help herself. Even though she likes her counselor she cancels most of the time. And if it requires any kind of physical energy it won’t happen. She refuses to go to physical therapy and lives on junk food.
    All I can do is pray for her now. But every day I wait to hear from her wondering if she is alive today. It’s a horrible way to live. But I am happy that for the first time in her life she is living on her own. It has already changed her attitude towards me, she is much more kind and understanding. She is struggling and calls me crying. I encourage her a lot but won’t take care of her. I will give her food if she needs it. I’m actually growing tomatoes, green beans and 2 kinds of squash in planters in my house this winter. Tomatoes and beans always do well the others are a test.
    I haven’t been able to find a support group anywhere near here. And can’t afford counseling. I do have a massage therapist neighbor that I let store some boxes in my garage in exchange for a couple massages a year. It really helps. I’m looking at better medicare advantage programs for next year so I’ll be able to get a counselor. Sending a hug to you.

  • Vicki

    November 13th, 2015 at 2:28 PM

    Less stress as my 27year old son is in residential environment but still won’t take any help as he is convinced he has tapeworm in his brain and isdying- I need to get checked according to him, as I gave him undercooked pork to eat when he was young. The antipsychotics don’t seem to be working but at least he is detained under the Mental Health Act and the facility at Godden green, Sevenoaks seems better than where he as been before. He seems reluctant to get involved in any of their programmes a as he says he will die soon because of the tapeworm so that is stopping him from getting involved in any cognitive therapies to get him better.

  • Rose

    November 13th, 2015 at 3:00 PM

    I know that people on here are from all over the world. The news report just came on the television. I pray that none of you are living in Paris and if you are I’m praying you are all safe. You’re in my prayers. And my heart will be with you, my heart is breaking for anyone living there. You have enough going on without this too. Love and prayers.

  • shel

    November 13th, 2015 at 6:52 PM

    Hi vicki , you and I seem to be the minority on here that come from England , I know of the godden green facility , my son was in Maidstone and dartford .

  • Kaye

    November 14th, 2015 at 11:59 AM

    Hi I have a 28 year old daughter with a mental illness she is stayi g with me at the moment .she was ok for a week and after that she she became abusive and controlling . She has fits of rage. She to will not take her medication . I have tried tough love changing lockks its a long story . At the end if the day she has nowhere to go .in Australia we dont have facilities for people with mental illness . I really believe we are a hidden society nobody knows what its like unless they go through this . Kaye

  • Zoe

    November 14th, 2015 at 1:48 PM

    HI everyone
    It is a gift to find this forum in times of despair. I am so sorry that so many of us struggle with sever mental illness in our families. I too have a son with smi living wit me. He is 29 and is mostly sweet young man and pleasure to be around. it took nearly 7 years of constant effort and not giving up for him to rich the insight about the necessity of medication. Slowly he is working through his emotional maturation and is far better off that I ever though he would be. I survived the worst I hope , he only can get better from now, under the condition I stay functional and cheerful. AT current I am worried about my 20 years old having no motivation and plans for future. It is hard to stay cheerful, being single mum, only provider and migrant in another country trying to get ahead. My traumatic life took toll on me. I am trying to keep strength the best I can and I so wish some of you live in Australia in Newcastle so we can meet and talk. Wishful thinking.
    Stay strong , all of you, things do get better, really do, it is all in cycles.

  • Diane

    November 14th, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    I agree with you about cycles. With my 27 year old it seems to follow this pattern of severe paranoia then less and then a period of calm for awhile before it begins again. Right now irbid calm and I am taking this time to restore my energy.

  • Kelley

    November 14th, 2015 at 3:45 PM

    I’m wondering how you able to get through to him during those 7 years? My son also is very sweet and harmless, just will NOT consider seeing a dr or getting back in his medication. I’ve given up on trying to convince him he needs medication because I’ve learned he has to figure it out on his own, just wondering how I get him to realize it.

  • Zoe

    November 14th, 2015 at 7:58 PM

    Few hospitalisations and court injections did the job. After few months he wad well enough to realise to stay on them. Was nor in hospital for 5 years now, finished some courses and trying to get job😃
    I used all emotional strenght for rhis yourney do lacking energy for youngest

  • renee

    November 14th, 2015 at 10:58 PM

    amen god is good!

  • Mary Johnson

    November 21st, 2015 at 8:17 PM

    Thanks to all who have written. I am grateful for your words of encouragement to others as well as for your great personal courage. I am 80 years old and the mother of a 56 year old daughter who has been ill since her teens. I’m not sure of her current diagnosis because , of course, her doctors can’t discuss it with me and she only tells me what she wants me to know. But I know she has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder on two occasions when she was hospitalized over the last few years and she meets the description of someone with BPD almost perfectly. She refuses to take the drugs prescribed at the hospital but does take several other medications. My husband died 6 years ago. Through many years we supported each other in trying to help our daughter and endure her sudden mood changes, rages, accusations, inability to work or to function much of the time. Coping is harder now that I am on my own. She can’t get along with anyone for very long. I provide most of her financial needs. As I can’t live with her, I co-sighed for an apartment and pay her rent. I’ve also been paying some expensive dental bills and I’m in the process of buying her a car, which seemed to momentarily please her. She was severely stressed when her car became unfixable. She became ill and began picking fights with everyone. She is arguing and causing tension with the management of her apartment complex. She was forced to leave her last two homes because she couldn’t get along with the owners. Tonight, just as I thought things would begin to get better , she called to report a conspiracy among certain people to be rude to her and run her out of town. She said she plans to call the police to report this conspiracy, which includes people who manage her apartment. This is similar to what happened 2 years ago at Christmas. The Police came then, and because she was hysterical , belligerent, out of control, she was taken to the hospital and involuntarily committed. But she didn’t stay long and I can’t say it helped. She was not allowed to return to that apartment. Now I’m afraid her hostile remarks will cause her to lose her current home when the lease is up in two months. She won’t listen to my advice, and after her call tonight I was at wits end. I can’t move her again and she can’t live in my little condo. My money is running low. She has a brother who is a good son, but he tired of her rages and insults, and distanced himself in order to protect his family. Half the time I tell my self I can’t die because I don’t know what will happen when I’m gone; the other half I hope I don’t live too long.

  • Patrica

    November 22nd, 2015 at 12:56 PM

    Oh, we are kindred spirits, same age, same cluster of adult child symptoms–except I am forced to live with her because of my 4 year old granddaughter whom I adore!! ( what a hellish box I’m in). In addition to your issues she is outrageously messy and has no boundaries…I have nothing that is not used abused or stolen from me! I know I look like a door mat, but I don’t know what to do. No decent choices. The seizures are terrifying…but I’m no Buddha I am angry! And I don’t handel these seizures well as I feel like I’m being manipulated …I know I’m not I think but I just can’t Handel this madness well. I don’t like her and I frequently want to ring her neck. Nothing works. Pleading crying howling nothing. I have a therapist but it isn’t particularly helpful. I just would like a big hug once in awhile…I want my life back!!! I get it..and I am sorry for you and your drama. I don’t have the resources to move her out, but I sometimes think I wanna climb on a bus going anywhere but here…since it’s a fantasy I’ll take the 4 year old with me!!!

  • shel

    November 22nd, 2015 at 2:48 PM

    Hi Patricia , I’ve just read your comment and I feel gutted for you … That feeling of running for the hills is Proberbly on the front of all of our minds !! But we all know that the guilt would be too heavy and we would all run back down again.
    When I was growing up I never heard anything about people having mental health and now it seems to be everywhere .
    I feel so down sometimes and then I read the comments on here and I feel that I’ve got off quite lightly . X

  • Diane

    November 22nd, 2015 at 3:13 PM

    My heart goes out to you, Mary Johnson. I am almost 72 and feel much the same way as you about my 26 year old who also believes people are out to get her. It is so hard. I will keep you in my thoughts.

  • Margaret jones

    November 23rd, 2015 at 3:44 AM

    Hi everyone I couldn’t read all posts and am shocked of the amount, but just shows we are not alone. I am in Cairns Australia, my son is 36 and diagnosed at 31 with bipolar and borderline. He seemed ok for past coupla visits from melbourne wher i have paid his rent. Brought new girlfriend up, big break up, had mania from easing off meds, and doing ok, then she triggered a mania, taken to horrible mental hospital and seems now far worse and so angry towards me. Like others he holds me accountable for all his mistakes in life, can’t take any blame, abused via phone every 2nd day. Love him so much, wher did my son go ? Can’t say anymore I am so stressed by him anger towards me. I have actually alot to say but choked for words. Bless all you other suffering parents.

  • Jonna

    November 23rd, 2015 at 8:57 AM

    Hi: Reading all of the posts has helped me tremendously to know I am not alone. I found the site after feeling such frustration and hopelessness, that I typed “I wish my son had never been born” into Google. God forgive me. He is 27, bpd2 and struggling with the side effects of the meds and the inability to find a job. He moved to south Florida to be with us about 4 months ago and has not been able to find work. We moved down in January. He is still receiving care from Wisconsin (our home state), does take his meds, and does work. I’m just at wit’s end because he can’t find anything here. And I think he should apply for SSI. Thank you all for helping me feel less alone. Jonna

  • Diane

    November 25th, 2015 at 4:26 AM

    I am feeling in solidarity with all of you right now as my 27 year old has finally been diagnosed as schizophrenic and is on an antipsychotic med. It has taken almost a year for this diagnosis to come about after some extreme incidents, 2 ER visits and appointments with several medical professionals. Although I had suspected this diagnosis based on her behaviors, it still hit me hard because I know the burden she will have to bear for the rest of her life. Managing a mental illness is not easy and I hope she is up to the task. She’s a beautiful, smart and talented young woman. My own self care routine will be even more important now as I know I cannot fix her, only myself. Meditation, my crafts, walking, swimming and get togethers with friends and family all help me keep my head clear and spirits up. I have bad days like us all and sometimes it takes every fiber of my being to keep on….but this is the life we have and so we live it. Knowing there are others like me with adult children suffering from mental illness is a real comfort. Thank you all.

  • Jan

    November 26th, 2015 at 6:33 PM

    Dear Mary, I relate to everything you said. My daughter does live with me because she has a son. When I let her move back I did not know her problems were so severe. I hate to come home! She’s depressed, cranky, unmotivated to do anything. We’ve been to a few doctors. She sees a psychiatrist for her meds, but nothing is better in three years now. She has isolated from everyone accept her son. She hates to leave the house. I’m about to lose my home from all the money spent for her insurance, food, clothes etc. I took think what would she do if something happened to me. Yet, I’m so tired of this depressing situation. I stay away as much as I can and that’s no life. I had a great Thanksgivng until I came home. Now, I’m in my room to get away from her negativity. I could go on forever! Jan

  • Rose

    November 27th, 2015 at 6:13 AM

    I have the same issues with my daughter. I have been a single parent since she was 2. Her symptoms began around 14. I believe she would be so much better if she had never taken any medications. But that is water under the bridge. Now she is literally addicted to her meds which adds to her Anxiety disorder along with her BPD, OCD, PTSD, and the list goes on. This is a horrible existence for her. I wish I knew how to fix this for her.
    I am constantly broke. She is verbally abusive to me much of the time. Blames me for all her problems. I have to work a high stress job to earn enough to get by. Her father has never been involved. Owes me 14 years of child support. His mother had many of the same problems. She committed suicide the year my daughter was born. I need guidance. Anything that would be helpful. I have serious stress and need to have a destress routine. But I can’t do it at home or work.

  • Rose

    November 27th, 2015 at 6:18 AM

    I am so sorry for your situation. This makes me cry as it is how I feel at times. I keep thinking we are missing something. A thread that connects the dots. Something that could help them with these horrible feelings. Sending you prayers.

  • Rose

    November 27th, 2015 at 6:23 AM

    My daughter found a friend that happened to see a psychologist and was willing to see her as well. Then the psychologist, who was a true blessing at the time, was helpful with diagnosis and information. However, obviously no medication through her. I have found there are so few Psychiatrists who know what they are doing. Its really sad.

  • Kay H.

    November 29th, 2015 at 5:45 PM

    I found this site as I searched for help when an adult child is in crisis but I am finding much more. I deeply appreciate the honesty I see, and I share the anguish that so many people feel when facing mental illness in a son or daughter. Reading the comments I feel a small moment of calm and that is unexpected. I am grateful. I know my journey is just beginning and I will need every source of strength.

    This morning our daughter called to say she just found out that her brother, our only son, is in a deep depression. His ex-girlfriend contacted our daughter with this information. Our son is working and living in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. He has worked for at least three straight months, long workdays, everyday. It is cold and dark, the sun won’t be up for nearly three months. It’s the worst possible setting for him right now. He is far away from family and friends. Apparently he did get five days off, which he spent in Anchorage. During that time he made references to suicide to his ex-girlfriend. I believe that he is in a deep crisis.

    Immediately upon hearing all this his dad and I texted our son and I composed a heartfelt letter reaching out to him. He is working today and probably won’t read the email letter until tonight. I hope he will talk with us and we will continue to reach out to him. His dad worked on the oil pipeline for over thirty years and he knows the right medical person to contact. He will do that tomorrow but we’re hoping to connect with our son tonight. I just want to get our son out of there and down here with us in Oregon where we can get him professional help.

    I don’t know what I can do next but worry and pray, even though I don’t have a strong belief in a intervening diety. There is more to the story but these are the basics of the crisis. Our son will turn forty-five on New Year’s Eve. I am terrified of losing him.

    Thanks to anyone reading this who can hold Joshua and his family in her heart.
    I’ll read more comments, am doing this in my phone right now. I feel a little less alone.

  • Gina

    November 29th, 2015 at 7:07 PM

    I think I need to provide a little background here first. My husband and I have been married for 36 years. We had two children in our twenties, a boy and a girl, now ages 34 and 32. We had another, a boy, in our mid forties who is now 11. We are 57 and 59 now. Moving forward, at age 21 our daughter was diagnosed with MS (she is not physically disable but cognitively disabled). She cannot hold a job. At age 27 she had a child with a 19 year boy. She temporarily lost custody of son to his father about a year ago for abusing medication and putting him in danger. She has since been diagnosed as being bipolar and I’m not an expert but I would also add narcissism and passive aggressive to her list mental illness. Issues with her are: she has the best room in the house above our 3 car garage, she gives us $400.00 a month for both her and her son out of the 2,000 she gets from SSDI, this includes everything and when I say everything I mean everything! In regards to everyday household chores she doesn’t lift a finger, she reads, or is on her cell phone all day. If I didn’t see to it that my grandson ate some healthy meals he’d be living on chipsahoy cookies and doretos. She expects everything and gives nothing and uses her MS and bipolar as excuses. She is a chronic liar. Tells people we are horrible, that we are mean and take her money (we occasionally make her pay for things like a gallon of milk or toilet paper). Not a bad thing when you’re getting 2 rooms in a eight room house, free food, free heat, free AC, free HD cable, person chef, personal maid for any mess made by her or her son that is not in their pig-stye bedrooms. Also free babysitting which I finally started saying no to, personal mechanic. I feel like my venting is getting out of hand and apologize. I have grown to hate her and If it wasn’t for my grandson I’d throw her out on her as%!!

  • shel

    November 29th, 2015 at 10:36 PM

    I think we all know how you feel.
    I’m lucky my son lives in a flat subsadised and I make a habit of walking away from him when he starts to get aggressive. , I don’t need to sit in a public place and be humiliated I’ve been a good a mum as I can be !!!
    So I just say , it’s time I went home.

  • shel

    November 29th, 2015 at 10:46 PM

    I know it’s wrong but I tricked my son into signing a bit of paper saying that I can speak on his behalf when he stopped taking his meds !! (With doctors permission ) I couldn’t stand to go through what I went through I. The begining trying to get him help but. Of being able to do anything without his permission .
    So stupid .. This system turns us into liars and abused parents constantly trying to find help , it’s so un fair

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