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Need advice...how do you help your adult child if he doesn't want help but needs it?

Posted by on Mar. 8, 2014 at 8:19 AM
  • 30 Replies
3 moms liked this

Good morning. i just joined this group and am hoping there will be other moms out there going through the same thing as I am with my adult son. He is 25 years old, doesn't live at home anymore but with his gramma ( my mom) only few minutes from us. He has been battling depression since he was a teenager and most recently alcoholism this past couple years. He  does well when he is sober and is a good dad to his 6 year old son (when he is not drinking)but when he is drunk, goes into more of a depression and admits he's depressed but won't seek help  (states wont help anyway) or take whatever help we try to offer him. Its just frustrating because he will call me  and want to talk when he is drunk about how no one cares about him, how he never had a father, etc and so on and I listen but its hard because when I try to tell him that we do care about him and want him to get help so he can be happy, he doesn't really listen) Any advice? Any other moms going through the same thing? Thanks for letting me share (sorry so long)

by on Mar. 8, 2014 at 8:19 AM
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Replies (1-10):
LEK19
by Platinum Member on Mar. 8, 2014 at 10:17 AM

You can just be there for him and let him know that. It is tough to watch our kids go through rough times. He needs to be ready though to help himself. Have you exhausted any other kind of outside help? Good luck. 

rosebud727
by Rose on Mar. 8, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Well because he is an adult, you really can't force him to do anything and just support him when he needs it. Unless he is physically hurting himself or someone else there isn't a lot you can do to force him to seek outside help.

When he's sober I would (as a mom) maybe take him out to lunch and say, "hey I know your struggling with x,y,x and I want you to know I would like to support you and help you out. Have you thought about this?" When he say's "mom you just don't understand, I don't want to do that" is when you can say well how is the current method of working with your depression working out for you? Often times people don't want to get help because of a few things, embarrassment, fear and of course finances. Those are all things that have to be addressed first and put aside for treatment to be effective.


louannwilkins
by Louann on Mar. 8, 2014 at 11:30 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm sorry.  I know how you feel and sadly there isn't one thing you can do.  He has to want a change.  I'm learning that it's not an easy lesson for sure.  It hurts so much to sit back and watch your child (whether an adult or not) destroy themselves.  I'm sure he knows he's loved and that you're always there for him.  Hugs to you!!!!

luvnoah10
by Member on Mar. 8, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Thank you ladies for the advice. I have made phone calls and written down information for him as to where he can call to get help. I even called crisis intervention and unless he is willing to go, there wasnt much they could do. They do come to your house but they said they don't come if the person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He is actually suppose to go to AA meetings and drug and alcohol counseling as part of his probation but has not called to set that up yet.  I does go to AA meetings about once every 2 weeks when he is suppose to go 4 times a week . I have talked with a really nice lady at our county drug and alcohol commission who was very supportive and told me that I should just be there for him when he needs me...and he needs to want help before any of us can support him so  I am doing better with not pushing help on him but just standing back and letting him figure it out and be there when he does...its just so hard to watch him spiral down this path in life. He  i s an adult  but he is still my son...I will continue to pray for him as I have been doing and if anyone else has a similar story to share or have more advice, I'm listening...Thanks

GypsyRayne
by Member on Mar. 8, 2014 at 12:58 PM

I have a very similar situation with my son.

Feel free to pm me if you want to talk. I would rather not post the info here.

mac1940
by Mary Ann on Mar. 8, 2014 at 12:59 PM

It is super hard to help someone who doesn't want but needs help.  As an adult not living in your home, you can't make and enforce rules.  Options might include calling Dr. Phil, staging an intervention or just standing by and waiting for him to hit rock bottom at which time he might seek help.  I am sorry  that you are experiencing this and hope that he soon is on the way to recovery. In the meantime, I echo that you be there for him.

jabs54
by Jeanine on Mar. 8, 2014 at 1:40 PM

Sorry your son is struggling :(  He definitely needs AA but until he decides to go there isn't much you can do. Is he working and paying rent?  I wouldn't enable him.  I would start attending Al-anon in the meantime.  Good luck!

Mariagma3
by Silver Member on Mar. 8, 2014 at 3:09 PM

 

Quoting luvnoah10:

Thank you ladies for the advice. I have made phone calls and written down information for him as to where he can call to get help. I even called crisis intervention and unless he is willing to go, there wasnt much they could do. They do come to your house but they said they don't come if the person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He is actually suppose to go to AA meetings and drug and alcohol counseling as part of his probation but has not called to set that up yet.  I does go to AA meetings about once every 2 weeks when he is suppose to go 4 times a week . I have talked with a really nice lady at our county drug and alcohol commission who was very supportive and told me that I should just be there for him when he needs me...and he needs to want help before any of us can support him so  I am doing better with not pushing help on him but just standing back and letting him figure it out and be there when he does...its just so hard to watch him spiral down this path in life. He  i s an adult  but he is still my son...I will continue to pray for him as I have been doing and if anyone else has a similar story to share or have more advice, I'm listening...Thanks

 You mentioned that he is on probation? That makes it alot easier in one sense, for you. If he doesn't do all he is supposed to for probation reasons, they can and WILL pull him off probation. That is much worse. He needs to step up whatever he's doing or not doing. With probation, you either comply or pay. Meaning, he could go to jail over it. Remind him of that. PM me if you like. Unfortunately, I know too much in this area.

luvnoah10
by Member on Mar. 8, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Thank you

Quoting Mariagma3:

 

Quoting luvnoah10:

Thank you ladies for the advice. I have made phone calls and written down information for him as to where he can call to get help. I even called crisis intervention and unless he is willing to go, there wasnt much they could do. They do come to your house but they said they don't come if the person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He is actually suppose to go to AA meetings and drug and alcohol counseling as part of his probation but has not called to set that up yet.  I does go to AA meetings about once every 2 weeks when he is suppose to go 4 times a week . I have talked with a really nice lady at our county drug and alcohol commission who was very supportive and told me that I should just be there for him when he needs me...and he needs to want help before any of us can support him so  I am doing better with not pushing help on him but just standing back and letting him figure it out and be there when he does...its just so hard to watch him spiral down this path in life. He  i s an adult  but he is still my son...I will continue to pray for him as I have been doing and if anyone else has a similar story to share or have more advice, I'm listening...Thanks

 You mentioned that he is on probation? That makes it alot easier in one sense, for you. If he doesn't do all he is supposed to for probation reasons, they can and WILL pull him off probation. That is much worse. He needs to step up whatever he's doing or not doing. With probation, you either comply or pay. Meaning, he could go to jail over it. Remind him of that. PM me if you like. Unfortunately, I know too much in this area.


luvnoah10
by Member on Mar. 8, 2014 at 4:45 PM
Quoting jabs54:

Sorry your son is struggling :(  He definitely needs AA but until he decides to go there isn't much you can do. Is he working and paying rent?  I wouldn't enable him.  I would start attending Al-anon in the meantime.  Good luck!

I do realize that now...i didn't always...i thought if I tell him and show him how much we care and want him to get help, he would realize it...but unfortuniately he is not to that point in his life yet...i have considered al-anon...thanks

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