Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, see our mental health web guide which can point you to expert advice.
I posted a while ago here about my 22 year old son in July.
He was diagnosed with depression and given mirzopine (sp)
He is getting worse and worse, the tablets don't do a thing for him, and he has being going back to the gp, who keeps upping the dosage and doing nothing much else, maybe because my son hasn't told him the severity of his depression - i don't know.
My son is very very tearful, he doesn't sleep for 3 days at time, then collapses with sheer exhaustion. He spends 45 minutes checking and checking the house at night.
He is at the end of his tether and so last night he confessed to injecting heroin.
Just so he could find some peace. He just wants to sleep and make his chaotic thoughts go away.
He doesn't take heroin because he needs it (yet) he takes it because it dulls his depression. He said he was suicidal, but wouldn't do it because of me and his brother, and couldn't cause us that much pain.
I am devastated, and I have to get him some help.
This morning I went to the gp who was like,,, so what do you want me to do?
I wanted some help, some support or a direction to take, to advise me.
He just said, send him in to see me this afternoon and we'll go from there.
I fully appreciate that the gp can't directly discuss my sons medication, but I expected a bit more help.
I don't know what to do
Well ladies here I am again.
After the diagnosis it was a day of tears tantrums and hope.
The hope came from you ladies,
The tears from the realisation of what he has shouldered all these years
The tantrum because I hadn't done anything about it sooner, and it was left to him to source relief.
I think I might move over to the teenagers board,so as to keep it all in one place.
shebangsthedrum, like lazymum99 I have been advised to let him go, but I can't take the risk now. I would never sleep at night.
See you in teenagers
lazymum99 That it the one question that you can only ask yourself. Addicts will use their vulnerabilities to play on your emotions and from my experience can turn on the tears in a heart beat. Sometimes rock bottom is the only place where an addict can truly decide to take themselves in hand, yet rock bottom is different for everyone. As many others have suggested you need to get in touch with CDT (community drugs team) if you haven't already and he should be on a methadone program. One solution for him could be to ask him to move out and to give you space, but at the same time stay close both physically and emotionally. Your last sentence struck a chord with me, WHATEVER HE CHOOSES IT IS NEVER YOUR FAULT. Help him the best that you can but remember that you have a life too, also remind him that MH and drugs do not mix and his MH problems will just get worse until he gets clean. One other bit of advice, arm yourself with knowledge about drugs and users, speak to parents of other uses or former addicts the more you know, the better able you are help him and yourself. good luck xx
shebangsthedrum what is your opinion on throwing the young person out of the house? I have been told often that my son will not want help unless he reaches rock bottom and that will only happen if he stops being supported by us. As said above the drugs started as self med to get rid of anxiety etc. so there is the extra issue of throwing out a young man who is very vulnerable due to his mental health and could no way look after himself. We have not been able to do this as could not forgive ourselves if anything happened.
take it from one who knows. He has found utopia the big H his crutch, gear. It truly is the nicest,most normal he has felt for a long time. He will have been using for a good bit, you toot it first, nearly all the users I know toot before they dig, sometimes for a good few years. He will never get a hold of the mental health issues whilst he is on the gear, but he has to REALLY want to leave the gear behind FOREVER before you put him into rehab, it has got to be his decision. A warning to you is if he is digging (injecting) he is already very addicted. Please stay close to him have an open mind and be prepared to listen that is truly all you can do as a mum. please pm me if you want, mental health and drug addiction is something I can speak from the heart about. Never lose heart, I know many who have come out the other side.
Quetiapine is very good at reducing anxiety. It will make him sleepy as well. My son took it for a while and has also been on olanzapine which is also an anti psychotic. The medication should make him feel lot better quite quickly. When is the psych seeing him again. As Maryz said you cannot blame yourself. If it is schizophrenia this is a mental illness, it was there whatever his circumstances. What we all do with troubled 'young adults' is mourn the child/adult they could have been and keep asking ourselves what if. But this does not help and just upsets yourself.
You have done the best you can in getting him help. As the pills kick in he will become calmer.
The sleeping tablet beginning with Z will be zopiclone and its not a bad sleeping med in terms of addiction and can be really good in helping to get your sleep pattern back in order. Quetiapine is an anti-psychotic that can have anti-depressant effects, so it's a very good one for him to be on. I take both and the quetiapine, certainly has changed my life from being a depressed misery to someone who is back in control of her life. I really hope that it has the same effect on your DS.
If he's agitated, the Quetiapine will help him with that, but certainly while he's getting used to it, he will feel a bit dopey.
You didn't do anything wrong.
You should come and join us on the "challenging teenagers thread". There are a lot of us who are facing the fact that our children are not the adults we hoped they would be, either through mh issues, SN, meeting the wrong crowd, or whatever.
Sadly many of us have had to come to the realisation that there isn't much that we can do to change them, but we can change ourselves, be nice to ourselves, and in doing so become stronger for when/if they want to change themselves.
In your son's case (and having briefly read this and your previous thread) it seems to me to be a combination of issues. Some of your description of him sounds very Aspergery to me - and so the possible schizophrenia can sometimes fit with that. NOT that AS leads to schizophrenia or vice versa, just that sometimes kids with AS go on to develop depression, start to self-medicate, and their mh issues can become a lot worse.
Can you bear to look at this as a positive? Firstly he has gone to see someone, which is a massive thing for him to do. Secondly, she has taken him seriously and accepted that he has problems (sometimes kids manage to hold it together and get a "perfectly normal with control-freaky mum" as a diagnosis.
Thirdly it sounds as though the mh issues came before the addiction. Which can be difficult, but is sometimes easier than the other way around. In that if they can get treatment for the mh issues, then the addiction may be dealt with at the same time.
Does he know what he wants? Can you remember a time when he was positive about the future? Do you ever see even glimpses of who he was before this all started (and how long ago did it start?).
In any event, it is very unlikely that any of this is your fault. And above everything else you have to look after yourself. Do you have anyone in real life you can talk to? Any counselling for you? There are many charities who deal with people who are self-harming, using drugs or suicidal. Many of these help the families too.
Some (like al-anon) are difficult to go along to when you are a parent. Because a lot of it is recognising "you didn't cause it, you can't cure it" and telling you to walk away. As a parent you can't do that. We can never give up on our children no matter what they do. But some charities are very good googling comes up with a few, for example adfam has regional support groups.
I accessed counselling through a youth drug and alcohol network here, and it was great because they really understood where I was coming from and were supportive of me even though ds refused to get involved.
Came back today with a handful of Quetiapine
She said borderline schizophrenia
don't worry about the heroin
Oh god what is the future for this boy. what did i do wrong
Bloody iPad, brain rewired not retired
Post should hav started with 'I have experience' sorry
I hav e prurience of a young man self-medicating to feel better cos of mental health issues. Since my last post in January my son is back on opiates. Addicts cannot stop on their own. Their brain has retired to purely seek out th pleasure of the drug. Will power alone won't help. When is his private psych apptment? This is what he needs. He needs to be assessed by a psychiatrist an put on a program of detox and then rehab and then follow up fora very long time. You will hav to pay for this and it won't work unless he want o come off. Said with experience of wasting alot of money. Any good addiction program will deal with underlying mental health issues.
Unfortunately very unlikely to get on NHS but possibility.
If you can pay look at Clouds House in Wiltshire. If you can pay huge amounts look at the USA, they are mies ahead with their rehab.
First step if you can afford it is a privat psychiatrist with experience in addiction.
We are waiting for our son to agree to get help. He has admitted to being terrified of a future without drugs and will not go away for help.
I'm just marking my place here to catch up later
Chin up, you can only do your best.
And so to to-day.
DS FINALLY gets an appointment to see a psychiatrist at 2:00
I pursued the private route first, and emailed her. She said she would be in touch with the GP. GP called him in and offered something beginning with z?? a highly addictive sleeping tablet. GP didn't want to perscribe ad's, as she didn't want to interfere with what the psych might give him. So no meds for 3 weeks - back to the heroin.
Unlucky83- you were right, gone back to self medicating again.
Sometimes, as time has gone on, I have come to the conclusion he doesn't WANT to break his world of control over everything. If he is in control, then nothing can hurt him?? There again what do I know?
So, we will see what happens later.... he is insistant that no-one can help him and that he is on his own again.
'He is in purgotry, if heaven is above us, then we must be in hell. There is just no point to life. What are we here for? we get up, go to work, do useless pursuits, go to bed, and then do the same thing the next day and on and on and on it goes, then we die....what is the point' Whilst these statements are being said he's pacing, pacing, pacing. FFS sit down DS.
Somedays I could just scream. If this psyche doesn't help, then we are scuppered.
Sorry for this - I am really trying to help...
Are you really really sure he has stopped the heroin? Sorry - it is extremely addictive, as others have said very rare to start off injecting and addicts can be very manipulative/deceitful/selfish...IME it would be rare for someone to be honest about it...
(I know of an addict who when told by hospital his mother (also an addict - liver failure) was going to die within days, pretended to be devasted and need a few moments on his own with her - only to ask her for her benefit cheque so he could cash it 'for her' )
Maybe not wanting someone else paying for his treatment is more an excuse than anything -he wants an excuse to stay on drugs -I'm sorry )
To me (like dontrunwith) he doesn't sound 'depressed' (no expert -see below) - he does sound like he has other mental health issues. I don't know what to suggest...apart from look at what Pirate has said ...stay on the list of the NHS (not sure about CBT in this case??? - a psychiatrist probably better) ... but try and persuade him to go private too- if, as he says, he could pay for it why doesn't he? what harm can it do trying?(question for him -not you) - and if you can't persuade him - remember (small comfort I know) while you are waiting he will get urgent NHS treatment if he has a 'crisis'
*I have suffered from depression - at the worst suicidal -I understand the not feeling 'worthy', not wanting to upset /inconvenience anyone...really hard to admit how I felt (I am sure I would be dead now if a GP hadn't caught me off guard at a routine appointment)
But once I had, I know I would have done and tried anything to just 'feel better' ...it is really hard to explain this ..(with help and medication) I realised I didn't really want to die just couldn't continue to live feeling the way I did - if that makes sense...and longer term you learn to recognise the start of the downward spiral, how to manage it and (hopefully) know when you need help...
Good Luck flowers flowers
It seems to me that you somehow need to get him to see a psychiatrist. The first thing I thought when you described him is whether he has bipolar. If so, antidepressants can make things much worse. Sertraline caused my depression to worsen to a horrible agitated low where my brain was contsantly bombarded with racing horrible thoughts that wouldn't stop. It was unbearable. Eventually they realised what was going on and stopped the Antideprssant. I'm now on mood stabilisers and back to normal. A GPis not equipped to understand these issues. He needs to see a good psychiatrist.
He doesn't want to burden you and his dad with the cost of treatment.
I think you are doing the right thing by trying to find private help. I think his father needs to talk to him very openly and sincerely and tell DS that his life and happiness is much more important than any money in the world, he must not feel pressure if the sessions do not work, he will not owe his father anything. If the first therapist doesn't work then you will just look for another one.
Hi. It sounds like you are both having a really hard time. I manage a Tier two drug service, the aim of our service is to work with people who are using drugs and are not in treatment to assess their needs and refer them on to appropriate agencies. We advocate for our service users to try and help them access the support they need. Mental health issues are often a factor so we liaise with mental health services and GPs for our clients. We do home visits or meet people for a coffee to engage with them, as we understand it is difficult to come to a drug service for the first time. It may be worth seeng if there is an agency similar where you live for your son. Also, you may find a concerned others group useful. These groups are for parents or partners of people who use drugs, and I know a lot of people who have found them very useful. If you would like to message me and let me know where you live, I vp am see whether the charity I work for has any appropriate services in your area.
Well here I am back again. Getting help via the nhs has been a nightmare.
Pathway to Recovery was not 7 days as they said, it took 2 months to see him. They offered meditation, acupunture and group therapy. He does not 'do' groups
Gateway - a referral from the GP mental health unit wanted to assess him over the phone using a questionaire 1-10 scale. There is no way he could do this. He rarely speaks to me on the phone, let alone a stranger. I pleaded with them to see him face to face which they did last week. Again only by an assessor. She told him that he will have to wait 6 months to get on a CBT programme. My son will be dead by then.
He is now convinced that no-one can help him and he will deal with his depression on his own. In his own words, 'professionals do not understand depression' they shove us about and drug us because they don't know what to do with us, it is not an exact science,'
So, then well off Dad stepped in to pay for private CBT. BUT son will not do this and this is the crux, and I ask you all for your opinions please.
Son will not go to private phyc as 'if I thought paying for treatment would help, don't you think I would have the intelligence to do it by now myself.? He will not let his Father pay because 'the pressure of having to respond/perform correctly to CBT is too put far to much stress on him and make him WORSE not better'.
I said that I would pay for it and he could pay me back. He said that he would rather take drugs as he knows they work, 'there is nothing to gain from a few chats with strangers for an hour, CBT will NOT work Mum - I'm too far gone'
The good news is he has stopped the heroin. (for now) answers please ladies, I am stuck. It is now April and I am no further on.
Hi OP, oh thank god you found the right person, I'm sure many stumble on from pillar to post getting nowhere near the help they need, it's very sad, I'm a firm believer in treatment not punishment for heroin addicts and the like.
Yes, please do keep us updated, will be thinking of you both, he's very lucky to have you.
Thank goodness you found the pathway place. Your GP is useless. It is obvious even to the untrained that heis using drugs to self medicate to ease his suffering. The chaotic thoughts and checking soundalike OCD. He is seeing the righ people he needs to realise that with treatment hex feel better and no need the drugs.
My son has self medicated with drugs sinc he was 17. Now I think the addiction is a worse problem than the underlying condition (OCD and bi-polar). A psychiatrist and therapist should be able to deal with what they call co-occurring conditions. However I think he might have been using drugs for longer than you think cos injecting heroin is a big step and not usually the first.
well it's all been a blur really but what has happened is that we went back to the gp in the afternoon, and he was still very judgemental which i found difficult to understand from a forty-ish male doctor, however, he agreed with my son that he would change the ad's, so has put him on setralin - but only 2 weeks worth. Then he gave him 7 tablets of zopiclone to help him sleep. He said that the Z's were highly addictive so wouldn't be perscribing any more, what is the point of that, to give an addictive drug to an addictive person. Anyway, son took one on the first night, but missed one last night, so will have to see how it goes. He said he would refer to a psych, but was 95% certain that he wouldn't be seen because of the heroin! so why bloody tell us that useless piece of information!
In the meantime, my friend had found a place called Pathway to Recovery, so later in the day, in my very emotional state i blundered through their door and a very kind lady came to my assistance.
My son is waiting, no longer than 7 days to see the psych there.
He will be assessed and assisted and treated with both the depression and the heroin.
She was the ONLY person to say that the depression came first, i couldn't believe it - she was brilliant. She got that the heroin blurred the depression, NOT that the depression was caused by the heroin.
There is light at the end of a very very long tunnel, i shall come back and update if thats allright.
And we will change gp's
One of the first things it is important to know is that it will be hard to diagnose and treat a mental health condition whilst someone is using drugs and alcohol so his first priority needs to be getting heroin free. You should have a local drugs team, he can contact them direct or he can ask for his GP to refer him.
There are guidelines for the use of antidepressants and maybe it is a good time to try a new one, maybe using an as needed prescription for sleeping too.
I am not sure that a psychiatrist or CMHT would see a role for themselves yet but it might be worth trying to get them involved if only to signpost to more appropriate services.
I am sorry he is feeling this way, it is horrible and I really hope he comes through this soon
X x x
You need to get him to ask for an urgent (like this week) psych referral, even if it is to the community mental health team (cmht). Before next weekend, when it all kicks off again!
If he wont, then call his GP. They can't discuss with you, but they can listen and act appropriately.
Join the discussion
Please login first.