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How to support our adult son with anxiety?

Our 24 year old son has anxiety and is in recovery for alcoholism (self-medicating). He lives in another town. We financially support him but our ability to continue is fading. He is on medication but refuses or is unable to get started on cognitive therapy. If it was just his addiction, we would be "co-dependents" and advised to tell him we will no longer support him financially unless he is in treatment. But this is a mental illness. How much support should we give? Is it helpful or harmful? What impact on him if we tell him he has to move home for financial reason? Do we candidly lay out our concerns knowing that compounds his anxiety? Thanks.
Category: Anxiety 7 years ago
Dano1
Asked 7 years ago

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That's really hard question, I don't have any kids, but I know I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for some hard talking from my family, I was made to move in with my sis when I lost my mum, instead of going it alone, as the old saying goes, you've got to be cruel to be kind, I know I know grumble a lot about my sis now, that's because she's changed so much in the past few years for the worst.
titchy
Answered 7 years ago
titchy

hi im a new mum and suffer anxiaty, your question in my eyes isnt hard ( sorry to sound hard up) if my son was goin thow this very lonly scairy illness i would give my hart and soul in to hepling him on his road to recoverey. remember he wouldnt have developed fears or anxiaty over night so he wont recover over night it can be a long road. but a road he needs to walk down to become the person he will b longing to be. dont hold his hand down this road just be beside him reasuring him but not pushing him he needs to walk and u follow. anxiaty is an illness and like any illness it takes time to recover. dont get fustrated remember his brain functions different to both of yours, allow him to feel the way he feels he need to stop fighting and go with his feelings good or bad to reprogram his brain that all the feelings are normal and relax with the good and bad. in time his own time he will relax and allow himself to acccepted that this is part of him. i hope what i have said doesnt sound to hard but i hope it helps. and i do hope your son does go downthe long road and gets to the dead end and accepts.
Samjones91
Answered 7 years ago
Samjones91

It's hard for any of us to say if you should or shouldn't continue support for him, I can tell you that I have a son that struggles with alot of the same issues I do. Probably not to the extent that I do, but because I grew up without a support system in regards to my mental health, I always make sure that he knows he's not alone and that we get him any help he needs/wants.
Answered 7 years ago

That's a tough one. What he wants and what he needs may be two different things. I think letting him know that he has people there for him, who won't judge him or make him feel uncomfortable for his anxiety is one of the best things for him. That doesn't mean you have to treat him with kid gloves or beat around the bush. As an adult male with anxiety one thing I dislike is when ppl treat me like I'm made of glass. I may be anxious but I won't break if you're honest with me. I can't get into the financial aspect because that's a personal issue. And if you're able to and are comfortable with helping him than more power to you. But I would let him know that his refusal to seek more help doesn't only effect him, it effects those around him and those that love him as well. Find out why he doesn't want to go to therapy. Does he not want to be alone? Does he see it as some sort of "weakness"? I know I found it VERY hard to go to therapy because I couldn't guarantee I would be able to make it out of the house once a week for an appointment. Add to the fact that I had to take public transportation and that made it near impossible (for me). Try to find out why he won't go and than find a work around (if possible). Let him know that you guys love him and support him no matter how anxious he is. But doing nothing is not an option if he wants to actually move ahead and get better. It's hard to be there for someone when they actively work against their best interest. Be there for him, but know when you're enabling him to stay in a rut as well.
Answered 7 years ago

The first thing that come to my mind is an episode from the Golden Girls - "Blind Ambitions (Season 1, episode 23)" (Did I mention I am a hardcore fan?) All right, sitcoms aside, there is a few things you must bear in mind. First, the financial impact. While it is understandable that you feel obliged to provide for your children, especially since he has a mental disorder - you must be aware that at some point in time, you cannot provide for him. You said so yourself, that you find your support "fading". That much, you should bear in mind. Like others, I do not know enough about your situation to make any comments. Second, there could be other reasons for your son not wanting to go therapy. As Jonos has rightfully pointed out, you should find out what is stopping your son from treatment. In psychology, there is a term that might be useful to you "Secondary gains". Know that change will not come unless change is less painful than the current situation. While I can sympathize with you on how to break such a news to your son, the issue at hand would be to prepare your son for therapy. That much is certain - without therapy, it is unlikely that he will become independent. With so limited information, my suggestion is to gently suggest that your son take a long, hard look at his life and to ask himself, is this the life he wants? Be aware of everything going around him. Hopefully, he will see that this kind of behavior is highly destructive, to himself and to others. Nonetheless, a mental disorder is no walk in the park, so help him realize his own problematic behavior with lots of love and understanding.
Stanley Schwarz
Answered 7 years ago
Stanley Schwarz

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