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Dr. G.
Dr. G., Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1492
Experience:  Licensed Psychologist.
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hi. how do i find the best treatment for my son he never leaves

Customer Question

hi. how do i find the best treatment for my son? he never leaves his room, much less the house. he showers twice a month if i'm lucky. he is 6 ft tall and weighs 120 lbs wet because he hardly ever eats. he has withdrawn from all of his friends and has minimal conversations with my husband and i. the only interest he has is in a computer game named WOW. in my humble opinion, i believe he is suffering from some sort of depression and anxiety. we have taken him to our family physician and all he said was, find a pychatrist. we had him start seeing a couselor, but he quit going because of his anxiety with leaving the house. i am at the end of my rope and don't know how to help him. any suggestions?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 6 years ago.
How old is he? How long did he see the therapist? What did the therapist recommend for him? Ever tried unplugging the computer? Does he cook, clean and do his own laundry? Does he help you out around the house? Any meds he has ever tried? How long has he been like this?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
*he is 22.
*he has seen two therapists. the first one was only two or three visits then a six month break and the second one was four or five visits.
*the only thing my son told me about his therapy sessions is that the therapist wanted him to try to get out of the house at least once a day. i never pryed because i didn't want to sabbatoge his effort at going..... plus, unfortunately, he is a complete pathalogical liar - honest to God, he would swear the sky was green if it meant he didn't have to go out.
*i'm afraid to unplug the computer because at this point it is his only "human" contact. the game is one of those global games where he plays with a group of about 20 players....those are his only "friends". it scares me to death to take it completely away because in the past six months he has had three total meltdowns (crying uncontrollablly about not being able to "fix" himself", shaking, talking non-sense, and saying things that maybe it would be better if he just wasn't here anymore). I have already buried one son and i know i wouldn't survive doing that again.... so i guess in a sense i have been enabling him.
*i tried to implement a "chore" list at the beginning of the year. it lasted one month and then he just stopped.... however, that one month was like pulling teeth to get him to cook one night a week, do his own laundry, and clean his own bathroom. right now, i couldn't honestly tell you when the last time it was that he changed his clothes, brushed his teeth, or took a shower.
*our primary care physician started him on zoloft (i think), now he is on effexor and lorazapam (?)
*also, he has severe insomnia. he says that when he tries to go to sleep, he can't get his mind to shut down so he can't get to sleep.
*just a side note - so you know - he knows something is wrong. he knows he has severe anxiety and is depressed, but he is frustrated that we can't find a way to fix this. he lost a scholorship to college (he was going to be the first in our family to go to college), he has lost two jobs, and his girlfriend over all of this. he desperatly wants help, we just don't know where and how to get it. this is a person who took the SAT in 7th grade and scored higher than most graduating seniors that year. he is extremely intelligent and i think that makes it much worse for him because he thinks he shuold be able to fix it or find the right person/place to fix it.
*looking back, i believe there were early signs of this behavior when he was a sophmore in highschool. i hate myself for not seeing the signs before jan 2010. maybe is we had sought help while he was in high school there would have been more resources available because when we look up treatment centers, there are centers for drugs, alcohol, and depression, but we haven't found one that will help specifically with his anxiety and overall self loathing.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 6 years ago.
Ok well whatever the past might be let's deal with the present. The bottom line is that he will not get better if he continues doing what he does. At this time it is uncertain if he is motivated to seek help. He has checked out of reality and is living through video games. He may not know the way to get better but you and I do. So...........Step 1)Ask him nicely to seek out a therapist and stick with it because he has problems that are beyond the scope of what he or the family can help him with. Step 2) Ask him nicely to being living a normal life (i.e. chores, bathing regularly, going outside, eating and sleeping at predictable times, etc). Step 3) Ask him nicely to either get a job or finish college because he is wasting his potential. Step 6) Tell him that you are behind him 100% in helping him get his life on track BUT that he needs to take the initiative.

Ok everything mentioned above is the ideal situation which probably will not happen because of the enabling that has gone on for to long. So, after he does not follow through with any of the polite requests, you do the following. Step 1) Son, we care about you and want you better, and because you are not taking the steps to get better then we can no longer enable you to waste your life in your room playing video games. Step 2) In order for you to live under this roof then you are required to do certain things. Doing these things is totally up to you to do or not to do but if you chose not to do them then you chose not to live here (NON NEGOTIABLE). Step 3) Here are the requirements we expect of you in order to continue living here (here is where you fill in the blank as to all the nice requests you asked him previously). Step 4) The timeline to accomplish these things is___. If the date arrives where you have not met these requirements then we will help you pack and place all of your belongings out of the house. Step 5) Remember, we love you so much that it kills us to watch you waste your life and so for our own sanity we can no longer partake in this self-destructive behavior. Step 6) STICK TO THE PLAN!!! Good luck.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I respect your reply but have to tell you that we have tried all of the above with the exception of kicking him out of the home. I have already buried one child and could not bear to do it again therefore I can't bring myself to kick him out knowing very well that his current mental health issues will prevent him from landing on his fact, my gut tells me he will either (1) fall so much further down the perverbial black hole that there will be no hope of ever getting him to a point of success or (2) he will give up completely and choose the easy way out using the rationalization that if we can't love and support him no one ever will.
Are there any on-site treatment centers any where in the United States that can help us? Everything I come across that seems to fit his needs is only for children under the age of 18. There has to be some place that can help him. I truly feel he is so detatched at this point that he is only hope is to enroll in a 30/60/90 day program that can help him deal with each of these issues around the clock instead of a one hour therapy session once a week.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 6 years ago.
Where do you live?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
San Antonio, TX ..... however geographical location is not on our priority list. We (all three of us, son included) will go to the ends of the earth for a program that can assist him in getting his life on track.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 6 years ago.
Here is a link to a directory of mental health facilities in Texas.

Search by inpatient care or residential care.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am extremely frustrated. I took your suggestion and looked at the website you provided. Short of calling each facility individually, there is no way to know what facility offers what type of program. I feel as though you are giving me text book answers all of which I have found on my own or learned through watching shows such as Dr. Phil. I specifically asked for assistance in finding a facility in which my son would have a chance at turning his life around. I was more than forthcoming with the situation my family is currently in and what I was looking for in exchange for the fee you are asking for. At this time I feel as though I am not receiving the specific information requested but sent on yet another "do it yourself" wild goose chase. I apologize if this comes across to you as harsh criticism
but I feel that if you are wanting to receive payment then the service requested should be provided.
Please let me know if you have anything else to offer me.
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 6 years ago.
I gave you very specifics in my previous post and you don't want to do it. Instead, you choose to parent out of fear and avoid placing some responsibility on your son. You also choose to enable this behavior, again, instead of putting some responsibility on your son to get his life in order. I give you a directory of inpatient facilities across the US and that is not enough for you. How about having your son call each and every place until he finds one that fits him. SO your problem is solved of doing all the work for him. Or you can continue to enable him and hold his hand all the way through life to ensure that he never gets hurt. The choice is yours.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I feel as though you are not getting the it. My son is paralyzed with fear and anxiety. He does not have the tools at this point to take any responsibility. If he burns french fries in the oven I can see the horror of his failure in his face for hours. Each and every failure he has experienced in the last few years has paralyzed him more and more of attempting anything for fear of another failure. I have to find a resource to help him or help me help him to start gaining confidence in order for him to even consider taking any type of action whether it be his hygiene, doing chores, getting a job, or finishing college. I feel as though your first attempt at helping us is for someone with mild depression or maybe had a horrific tragedy and just needs a boost to get going again. Your second attempt at helping us is a website that offers nothing but names and phone numbers. I did not want to bring myself into this conversation because my priority is the health and well being of my son however I feel that maybe if you had some insight into my life you might understand my frustration. I am currently on Social Security Disability and undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Due to my current health treatments I have limited energy. It would take me a whole year to call all of those centers listed on the website. I apologize for my ignorance, but when I needed a specialist for my medical needs, my primary care physician was able to refer me to a treatment center that could concentrate on my specific health care needs. I was under the impression that because you are a specialist in the mental health field you would know where to refer a patient of yours to a treatment center that could concentrate on that patient's specific needs. If my son and I were in your office asking you to refer us to a specific place that could begin to help him, what would your answer to us be?
Expert:  Dr. G. replied 6 years ago.
I would look at the treatment facilities in the area I live. I am not familiar with the facilities in Texas. I do see that there are inpatient treatment centers in Texas but do not know how near or far they are from where you live. He needs an inpatient facility to start the ball rolling and they can evaluate what further intervention or level of care he needs. Of the list provided on the website provided, call some of the nearest ones, tell them he is chronically mentally ill and that he needs intensive treatment. That is what I would do with my patients.

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