How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Sarah Your Own Question

Sarah
Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience:  Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
24585293
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Sarah is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a 34 year old son that I am deeply concerned about,

Resolved Question:

I have a 34 year old son that I am deeply concerned about, but don't really know what I should do. He lives with me. He does not work. He has no friends. He rarely leaves the house. He believes he is highly intelligent. Sometimes when we talk we have to go outside because he thinks the house is "bugged". He blames me for his situation. He feels he can't succeed because he does not have an education, which of course is my fault. Pretty much everything is my fault as I should have done this or that. He says I should have had a plan for his life before he was born. According to him I abandoned him when he was small, as I had to work to support myself and kids. I'm not sure if he is excusing himself by blaming me or if he is mentally ill (or maybe I am). Is he just trying to make me feel guilty, because I do. I divorced my husband when he was about 7, so my son didn't really see him, so according to him his father also abandoned him also. I know I am assisting him to do nothing, but I don't know the right thing to do. He told me recently that he needs help but doesn't want to be labeled as autistic or some other thing. Can you help?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Sarah replied 4 years ago.

Hi there,

 

Well done for continuing to support your son, even though it sounds very difficult. I was relieved to read that he is willing to see some therapists, because it is he who needs to be able to discuss his 'stuff' with someone and you can't do this for him, despite how much you may love him. I am hoping that your son may consider seeing an EMDR therapist - this stands for Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing and I believe your son would benefit dramatically from this therapy, given the situation that you have described. This therapy is based upon the belief that when we experience a highly emotional experience, even as a child, the subconscious mind can absorb beliefs about ourself and/or the world that are often unknown consciously, but which can have a very powerful effect on the life, which is distorted to fit withe these beliefs. For example, it could be that your son truly believes that he was abandoned, because his young mind at the time of you needing to go to work was not skilled enough to recognise that you were in fact working to give him a better life. When his father left the home, his beliefs were strengthened. It sounds also that he is living under some kind of 'what's the point?' belief - so nothing is ever done, or is ever worth the effort. It really isn't useful for me to guess what his beliefs are, as they are his alone, but I am using these examples based on what you tell me and to give you an explanation.

 

Usually we process away the anxieties of the day at night during REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement) but when the memories are so strong, they are not processed away in this manner. They remain lodged and are triggered in daily life, so the person re-experiences the pain from the past. This is why he continues to blame you - he is talking on behalf of the small boy who has not yet applied his adult mind to the situation in order to understand it. This DOES NOT mean it is your fault - it is simply how children can misinterpret your good intentions in their young minds.

 

EMDR can be an emotional therapy as your son would be asked to go back to some situations in the past in order to process them away, which means that although we cannot change the past, we can let go of the emotions and other baggage that are intrinsically interweaved with the memories. This leaves the future looking much less distorted and more positive. However, it isn't a talking therapy and your son would be able to do most of the work in the privacy of his own mind. It might sound a bit crazy, but I would definitely recommend it for your son. Have a look on the website www.emdr.com for more information and to find a local therapist. I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX both the very best with this issue. Best Wishes, Sarah

Sarah, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 143
Experience: Chart'd Psych, 12 yrs exp. English prisons, Clinical Hypnotherapist, EMDR Therapist, BPS, HPC reg'd.
Sarah and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education