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Problems with ds not looking after himself and dh not wanting to get him help

(81 Posts)
dhisaconspiracytheorist Sun 13-Oct-13 08:18:19

ds has dropped out of uni and has spent a year at home. He has not signed on so just sponging off us. He went out with dh last night and I went in his room to get washing. It was squalid. Moth lavae in clothes and the carpet, wet towels, rubbish and plates and cups.
He came back and felt that his space had been invaded. We had words and I said keeping carpet clean is non negotiable as condition of living here. He stomped off to the river and I asked dh to follow him, take his phone and call police. Dh eventually went but came back without finding ds and refused to call police. ds came back later and I got out of the way. This is getting long, sorry. dh slept on the sofa. Back story = I work full time and dh doesn't. We have had major rows about cleaning as I do not have enough free time at the weekend to do it all. Dh won't let me get a cleaner. I want to get professional help for ds but dh doesn't. What can I do?

Dear goodness, I could have written this! I can only really tell you our story and what we did and how there IS (touch everything wooden in sight) a potential happy ending.

DS is ASD, but very high functioning. However I think we had all persuaded ourselves he was higher functioning than he was. He started Uni last year, all seemed fine, was back for Xmas, all happy. Come end Feb, I had a funny feeling something was awry, went to visit him, after 24 hours it emerged he'd dropped out academically in the October after getting behind with an essay and just hid, ostrich-like (YTAF did the Uni not contact me/him??) and then socially too, as was embarrassed in front of his friends, so just sat in his room, went nocturnal, survived on Nutella (found 24 jars in his room)...I whisked him home.

He saw the GP, was put on ADs (even if he hadn't been before, 4 months of isolation would send anyone potty) and referred to the mental health services. I had to fight for all this to happen ASAP. Screaming matches with receptionists etc. They put him on a course of CBT and he also saw a private counsellor about mindfulness (he genuinely enjoyed this).

We had 4 pretty shitty months, when he just sat on his PC, that's if he was up at all. DP went into work mode ie problem/solution and kept coming up with various star charts eg if you go swimming every day/get a job we'll go to Nandos/sushi...Didn't work.

All that did was time, understanding, lots of heart to hearts with me, the ADs kicking in, and then some gentle planning for the future.

We visited another university and had meetings with their MH people and got DS registered disabled so he now has weekly meetings with a mentor to keep him on track (he started there last month). He also used some of an inheritance to go travelling, and I disagree with some of the posters above - it gave him something to focus on, plan for and get excited about. He managed really well - re-learning independence, responsibility etc. He checked in with a relative of mine who lives there halfway through so that gave me some peace of mind, and I insisted on daily texts.

The single best thing though was, like you, I got him on a short course with one of the tutors at our local uni on a vaguely connected subject that he's always been interested in. It got him out of bed twice a week, and started to rebuild his self esteem and worth (and got DP off his back).

With your DH...I dunno. Maybe you two could go out for dinner and in a non confrontational, neutral setting, rather than having harsh words about it all when you're freshly exasperated at everyone's laziness, talk instead about how it makes you feel, value, respect, lack of etc...and then also agree a joint plan for DS. But crucially, DS himself then needs to be part of and sign up to that plan.

Hope this all makes sense - do PM me if you want to talk more as it's eerily similar and I suspect you might be feeling like I did - heartbroken, failure as a Mum etc. It DID get better x

stowsettler Mon 14-Oct-13 09:27:09

OP I think we all get that you don't want to do anything your DH doesn't want to do, and I'm sure we all realise that there has to be a bit of give and take within a marriage.

The trouble is, it sounds like you're doing the giving and he's doing the taking. Even if that is not true, we're not talking about who puts the bins out here, or whose turn it is to do the shopping. We're talking about your DS's mental health and, quite possibly, the rest of his life.

IMO that adds a whole level of urgency to the situation, and if your DH can't see that (or won't see that) then you simply have to go it alone. You owe it to your DS.

HoopHopes Mon 14-Oct-13 22:12:40

Re: your ds, being at home for a year with no reason to get out of bed could cause the apathy and low mood or he may be like that because of low mood. Regardless he either needs to: see a gp for assessment, treatment options or needs to find a structure to his day and activities ( ideally out of the house) to motivate him.

You say you are funding him. Could you sit down with him and lay down basic ground rules and tell him you will not fund him any more so he needs to find a job etc! If he had a small job, a routine, it could help him find friends and give him some self esteem etc. and if he cannot manage that then he needs medical help.

Sounds tough.

Shame your dh will not allow a cleaner into the home. Could you book one to come on a day he is out at work and give her a key so it is not an issue?

MrsMinkBernardLundy Mon 14-Oct-13 22:37:29

Would showing dh this thread help convince him perhaps?
Also knowing that a diagnosis of a MH issue is by no means a life sentence nor is it something that need adversely affect job prospects.

dhisaconspiracytheorist Mon 14-Oct-13 23:17:05

That's really helpful stinkingbishop ASD was the first reaction of one of the sws I work with a few weeks ago. 24 jars of nutella also rings parallels, he went through a phase of energy drinks when he dropped out and nocturnal too, although now he does not have internet in his bedroom, he seems to have a better sleep pattern. Glad to see things are working out for your son.

Hoophopes I would book the cleaner but unfortunately dh has zero hours contract so he doesn't work regular hours.

MrsMinkBernardLundy I agree that DX of MH is not a life sentence - I have been through it myself with post baby hypermanic episodes/psychosis and also spent a time as an inpatient 10 years ago. I now manage to function pretty well and know how to manage my own mh.

So I phoned the gp from work and unfortunately they could not phone me back until I was home. Had a good chat with gp and explained how worried I am and why dh does not want ds to get a mental health dx. GP was very good and did say that they are loath to label people, which I know from my own experience of psychs is true. Dh's reaction to me making the call was however very worrying, I now think his own mh is worse than I thought. Anyway we had had a chat on the way into work this morning and I had told him that I was going to call gp about my worries. And after dh had come back from the shops after the call, we discussed it and he did seem to be less stressed about it, and I am hopeful that he will come round to taking ds to gp. GP said that I could ask him to phone me again when we have persuaded ds to go and see him and he will fit him in despite no available appointments. Ds vacuumed his room today, dh has finished washing all of his clothes (!) and they are going out to get ds a new winter coat tomorrow so progress of sorts.

LIZS Tue 15-Oct-13 07:22:58

Sounds as if you have made some progress. Has your dh had any MH issues in the past , could he be afraid that ds is going through similar and may not receive support therefore it is easy to avoid the issue?

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