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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5808
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am concerned about my 25 year old son, he has always had

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I am concerned about my 25 year old son, he has always had mood swings but at present seems depressed, is drinking far too much and stays in bed all day. When I try to encourage him to get up he is usally rude to me and when he does get up you never know what mood he will be in. When he is really drunk (which is frequently) he becomes even more aggressive than usual. He and his father don't get on at all and find it difficult to communicate and yet he sent a text message to his father recently saying that he realised that he was drinking far too much and that he needed help, that he was only happy when he was looking at the bottom of a glass or playing rugby. He asked his father not to tell me so its difficult for me to try and help but his father is incapable of doing so, apparantly he said that I am his boulster the one time that they did try to have a discussion. Advice would be greatly appreciated please. JaneUK
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

Getting someone to get help when they refuse is always difficult, especially when dealing with an adult that you have no control over. You want them to see the importance of taking care of themselves but for some reason, they refuse. It can be upsetting when you care about the person and they will not listen. And when the person is depressed and using alcohol, it can be even more difficult.

It may help to ask your son what he might be willing to do. If you can, talk to him again and let him know you are upset because you are concerned about him. Ask him how you can help.

Also, try asking him if he is willing to see his doctor. Sometimes a person who won't see a therapist or get other help will see a doctor. If he is willing to go, contact his doctor ahead of time and let him/her know what you are seeing with your son. The doctor may not be able to talk with you because of confidentiality, but you can still talk with them.

Here are some other resources to help you with ideas on how to help your loved one:

Consider a family intervention. This is when all family members get together, preferably with a therapist, and gently confront the person with what they are doing. It is highly suggested that a therapist is used so the situation remains fair to everyone and no one ends up feeling hurt. And it also increases the chances that it is successful. Here is a resource to help:

In the end, your son is an adult and at this point in his life he needs to be supporting himself. You are not obligated to be sure he has a roof over his head, especially if he is not contributing to the family income. You may have to set a date for him to have a job and\/or be out of the home and on his own if you have tried all the options to help him. Sometimes being tough on a loved one who won't help himself is the best way to get them to see they have a problem.

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
I hope this was helpful to you. If you have more questions, please let me know.


May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have replied I hope you got it.

No I didn't. Sorry, must be an issue with the system. Can you try again?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I have tried the first three ideas and he is so insular he is not willing to talk to any one. The third has occured to me but he is adopted from 6 weeks of age and I know feels that one woman has deserted him so I don't feel that I can do the same. Whe he was at one of his 5 schools (privately) he saw a lady who was in your field but she got no where with him and he finished up doing his GCSEs from home before he left education for good.

I do appreciate your advice and no this is not an easy one!!

I understand your feelings about not wanting to hurt him, but at this point, you have done all you can to help him and he won't take that help. He is not going to get better unless he either has a reason to or he decides he needs help. Parent's guilt is difficult to overcome, but sometimes getting tough on your child is the best way to help them. Just as you did when he was little, setting boundaries can help him to know he is loved and cared about. Kids don't like being told there is a limit, but in the end, it is what helps.

You may also want to consider therapy for the family, with or without him. You are dealing with a very stressful situation and over time, it can affect you and the family unit. And it will help you cope with the parental guilt over the situation.