son has gone AWOL and was found in hospital

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bunrab

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Nov 7, 2017
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#1
It is hard to cope with a family member who often seems self-destructive, even liking a punkish song with lyrics about destroying yourself, which he will play repeatedly. Now he has ended up on a medical ward after staying on the street for a day and overnight and more. Very sad. I long for a resolution to his lack of taking good care of himself. But his social worker, when I spoke to her on the phone, thinks it is important for me to get therapy, though she has never met me in person. Again, I think a health professional is making an assumption prematurely. She should be focusing on my son, her patient, and his needs more than on his mother, who is currently his only source of basic support: a place to live and finances. Why start telling me what to do with myself when my son self-abuses and ends up in the hospital? Please, someone teach health care professionals to stick to what are the facts and what they know directly, and not try to go on hearsay and making a diagnosis about a carer before even meeting the carer!
 
Poopy Doll

Poopy Doll

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#2
Hi bunrab. Certainly it would have been better for the social worker to meet you in person before making any suggestions. However, if it were my son, I would be all too glad to go to therapy; anything to help my son. These things usually have family dynamics involved. I'd want to find out if there was anything I could do differently to help.

When my son was having difficulties, no one offered us therapy and I wish they had. I wish I'd have thought of it but I didn't know it was a good idea. My son decided to join the army. They sent him to Iraq. He was bipolar with mommy issues and they sent him to a war.

You say you long for a resolution to his lack of taking good care of himself. When I was younger, I wanted my mother to come to be in therapy with me but she was very proud and would not come. The resolution with my mother did not happen until she was in her eighties.
 
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bunrab

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Nov 7, 2017
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#3
Thanks for the reply. I am considering doing therapy; however, I would like to see my son and others focus on him and what he needs to do. For him to focus on what is wrong with anyone else can become an excuse for him not to change. Right now his not taking care of himself has gotten to a catastrophic point. I am not sure that my going to a therapist would change the way he treats himself. He needs someone to point out to him that he is on a downward path that he can make the decision to change, or to help him change himself, not others. He is a capable person in many respects, but his being able to take better care of himself and his belongings is something that I don't see my going to therapy having an affect on. I have tried to remind him countless times to take better care of himself and his belongings, and he often yeses me then does not always change his behavior.
 
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bunrab

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Nov 7, 2017
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#4
As a postscript to let anyone know, due to my age and not having a car, I will probably focus right now on taking the trouble to visit my son in hospital, rather than trying to commute to a therapist, however that might be done (walking, public transit, taxi, etc.). A medical professional at his hospital recommended I visit, so I will take that person's advice. I can do that and so be helpful to my son, I think. This is my choice of how to help my son right now (in addition to continuing to pay his bills and let him know that he has a place to live if he wants it).

I have been in a mental institution before, but that does not mean that I need to talk to a therapist for the rest of my life.
 
Cazcat

Cazcat

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#5
Hi,

Whilst the social worker might not have approached this in the best way, it is good that she is looking at you getting enough support to in my opinion. Supporting someone through serious mental illness is tough, really tough. I support my husband who suffers with psychosis and has himself been on the streets for a few weeks following disappearing when really unwell. I have seen a counsellor on and off for the last 8 years and find that it helps me to stay well and that the support that she gives me enables me to support my husband better. We have also had family therapy where we saw a psychologist jointly which we both found incredibly useful. Our experience is that my husband's mental health team aim to support both of us as a family unit because they know that if I go under I can't support him and the whole situation falls apart.