My son is now 20 years old and thus not a child; however he is experiencing some difficulties moving forward. It seems he has no motivation and has lost his sense of identity - for 15 years he was a swimmer, he began this particular sport because he had lots of energy has a child and I thought it was better to keep him busy and structured rather than medicate him. He also took Focus Factor as a child and a myriad of vitamins as a teen to help him focus. However as a senior in high school he injured his shoulder and now has nerve damage - after much testing he was diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome (there is no cure/treatment for this) - he continued to swim his freshman year of college but the pain became too intense and PT does not help, nor do OTC medications. We even tried a chiropractor. He has now gained about 50 pounds, his grades in school have dropped signficantly, he quit his job and has no motivation to move forward. I am still financially supporting him, but he is acting very entitled and goes from being very frustrated and seeking help to angry irrational outbursts where he dismisses everyone in the family. These are often followed by periods of remorse, but he trusts noone but me and I am at a loss. He believes the world is against him - often claiming that noone listens or trusts him (he often lies to me so this is a tough one). His swim coach in high schools was hostile and his injury is a direct result of her inattention - she was fired for this. We come from a family that has always trusted the coach so I did encourage him to follow her direction and it was way too late by the time I realized he was right and she was abusive. We are frustrated but do not know what type of therapy to seek for him? He has always been anxioius and seems to misinterpret others actions toward him; he has difficulty focusing on basic things yet will play with odd items like pencils/army men - lining them up in a certain order and getting very upset if anyone picks them up or even touches any of his 'stuff'. Help.
Person's Gender: Female
Person's Age: 40
Numerous specialists for the pain and neurological issues; PT; and a chiropractor on the medical side and supportive as well as very blunt discussions on the family side.
Hi,It must be upsetting for you all especially for him from having to move from an active life because of the injury. His weight gain might be partly due to his limited physical activity since he had difficulties with swimming.The mood swings you mentioned appear to be the result of frustration,anger,helplessness and hopelessness.Most of the time following life changing incidents it would take lot of time to readjust to the new role in life and often pride comes in the way to accept the necessity of changing role and seek help.The snappy attitude towards the family might not be more than expressing a way of frustration.But I would like to focus on two other issues here as well.You mentioned that he has a tendency to misinterpret others actions and also mentioned that he has a way of playing and would get upset if anything changed. If the misinterpretation is reasonable,was there since childhood then we can interpret as a part of the personality But if it is something new this needs to be further evaluated to make sure it is not becoming severe paranoia.Regarding his playing with pencil, if you think he needs a structure to a day and would be very disturbed if anything changed from routine,have difficulties in establishing relationships, significant difficulties in social interaction, alongside restricted and repetitive patterns Of behaviors and interest please arrange for him to be further assessed by a psychologist.The reason I am suggesting is it appears he has way of playing with pencils and getting upset Sid anyone disturbs them or touches them appears like he wants a routine and would not take change lightly. It is important because if this is the case it must have effected him dearly the though to limit his swimming activity (after 15 years) due to pain. The psychological therapies like Cognitive behavioral therapy might be very helpful as this would help him to understand the feeling,thoughts and actions. I would briefly explain about CBT below.CBT is a way of talking about:how you think about yourself, the world and other peoplehow what you do affects your thoughts and feelings. CBT can help you to change how you think ('Cognitive') and what you do ('Behavior'). These changes can help you to feel better. Unlike some of the other talking treatments, it focuses on the 'here and now' problems and difficulties. Instead of focusing on the causes of your distress or symptoms in the past, it looks for ways to improve your state of mind now.CBT can you to make sense of overwhelming problems By breaking them in to smaller parts.These parts are A situation (an event or a problem) -From this can follow thoughts,emotions,physical feelings and actions.Each of these areas can effect the others. CBT would help to understand them in a better way and helps to deal with these in an effective way.I would strongly recommend if you want to pursue your son for CBT to get him seen by a Well qualified Clinical Psychologist (there are number of CBT therapists and they do good job as well).this is important because in your sons situation it is not only CBT you are looking in to but also some diagnostic clarification if he has any of the symptoms I mentioned above.I hope this helps.I wish him and you all the best. I want you to know that you are helping him as much as you can and sincerely XXXX XX would accept your advice and help.Thank you