I know he's 23 but...(30 Posts)
My son worries me. He hasn't got many friends so when he gets invited out by work or uni friends he drops everything to go. Of course I have no issue with that. But he never comes home when the rest of them all leave to go home. Instead he wanders about trying to hook up with strangers and has even asked and stayed overnight at strangers houses. When he lived away from home he would drink a lot on nights out. So much so that he'd end up in hospital with alcohol poisoning. None of his so called "friends" made sure he was OK, instead they left him lying in the street till an ambulance picked him up. I'm so concerned with his destructive behaviour. I've tried to explain to him that what he's doing is dangerous and affects our family. He really doesn't care, he just wants to have "fun"! Am I really being unreasonable?
I have no useful advice to offer but it does sound like your son is unhappy. I don’t think you are being unreasonable being concerned for his safety. Again sorry I have nothing more useful to say.
I’m sorry there have not been more responses. Of course you are t being unreasonable if he’s ended up in hospital for alcohol poisoning. It sounds like he has a drinking problem and can’t stop once he starts. I am no expert and don’t know what to suggest. Maybe you coukd talk to his best friend or a person he respects a lot and see if they share your concern. Maybe they coukd talk to him. Meanwhile a book about alcoholism? And please try to go to a few al anon meetings where you can find people who know how to help both of you.
I know a few men who can't stop drinking when they go out .
Yet can go years not drinking...
Not sure what you can do.
I’m wondering if his “so-called friends” even realise that they are his friends.
Thinking the same as @Flaverings. You all call them ‘his friends’. But do the friends think they are just ‘acquaintances’?
Do they phone and text him each day? Come over? Possibly crash at yours? Go to the cinema/paint balling/bowling/gigs together? Has he met all their families?
He sounds lonely and depressed. And between the ages of 16 to 23, I was similar to how you describe him. But never ended up in hospital with my drinking. Often went home with randoms, often abused, often kipped in parks etc. I wasn't always drinking, sometimes I was off my face on disco biscuits and speed. I was a total space cadet. I was very depressed, very lonely, anxious and didn't know how or where I fitted into life.
I think he needs to chat to his GP but it sounds like he probably won't. So just be there for him and reiterate that he is loved and wanted and hope he one day changes his tune because you're scared of losing him.
Your son is holding down a job- he is doing something well.
How are his grades at uni?
When he isn't drinking - what is he like?
To be honest his drinking might be the reason he has few friends. People might be amused at that age now and again by someone living it large but if it happens often and to that extent they could well find it quite a turn off as a friend. It's out of control and dangerous.
He has a drinking problem and you need to talk to him about it, encouraging him to seek help - through the GP or AA. But he needs to acknowledge he has a problem and that might be hard to get him to do.
Not sure what you can do apart from show him how concerned you are, explaining it is not about policing his movements but concern for his safety, and how anxious his behaviour makes you.
It sounds as if he’s going out for drinks with people he doesn’t know too well, gets hammered instead of having just a couple and everyone else goes home and then steers clear. I had an ex who would have the tiniest sip of alcohol and be incapable of stopping until he was passed out, quite often ended up in hospital. But could happily go weeks without a drink. It sounds like your son is unhappy, it’s hard to know whether the drinking is a cause or a symptom of that unhappiness but either way it makes it difficult for him to form relationships.
I’m sorry, I really don’t have any helpful advice. It sounds so worrying for you and sad for your son.
I would focus on trying to persuade him to do something/join a club at uni or home, something where he will meet people and can make genuine friends. It sounds very much to me like he is lonely.
It sounds to me as though he is desperate for the company is dropping everything to go out but then something goes wrong. Why doesn't he leave with them? Why is he asking strangers to go home with them?
Have you seen him drunk OP? What kind of a drunk is he? Silly/giggily (me), maudlin, loud life and soul of the party, or does he get rude and aggressive? I would he is a shy person but he thinks alcohol gives him confidence and then he becomes a nasty drunk, I can't see anyone leaving a friend face down in the street with alcohol poisoning.
I don't have an answer for you, but really hope that your dearly loved child finds a way out of this maze. A hug, hope it comforts a bit.
Perhaps he is lonely & wants more friends? We never stop being mums who want our children to be ok, whatever age they are. Has he always been like this with friends? Does he have a partner? I expect that would really help him focus on someone else. The suggestions of clubs sound good, if you can encourage him to go.
When you say he goes home with strangers, is it to drink, or is it for sex? Or both?
A few people I went to uni with were like this - and they did grow out of it. However they were able to maintain friendship safe in spite of being rubbish company on a night out.
You probably won’t stop the binge drinking and he hook ups, but he needs more interests, things to do with people around his age hat doesn’t involve drinking. Sports for example.
Have a chat with him, he sounds unhappy.
It would be good if he played a sport as a way of meeting people and making friends but it's hard to take up a sport as an adult - could he start squash/ tennis / runnunig with a family member to get into it. Then there will be loads of opportunity at uni.
It sounds like he is lonely and because he doesn’t go out regularly he overdoes it when he does get asked out.
Could he start doing a few things on a weekly basis so going out for a drink is not turned into the huge night out it has become.
Even doing a bit of bar work in the evening so he can see how people interact on a normal evening. Or doing a sport or night school course, anything to get him out in the evening in a controlled environment
Poor son. I feel for him and for you. I think more people feel depressed and lonely than we realise.
It's difficult growing up and the world can seem harsh and uncaring when you get there.
It would be perhaps a good idea to encourage him to integrate socially by joining a club or society? What are his interests?
Is her on the spectrum eg Asperger's?
I have two male friends who behave similarly. They are both autistic; vulnerable; desperate to be liked and have friends and fearful of missing out.
I'm not going to offer an armchair diagnosis on this alone but social difficulties; lack of self care; lack of awareness of social 'norms' could offer an explanation.
He does sound unhappy though - I agree with that.
I would support what Blood says - it sounds like your son is lonely and very unhappy, and probably needs help. If there's any way you can persuade him to visit a doctor to talk about how he feels, then I would try that. He probably won't be able to talk to family because he'll feel like a failure, but sometimes men find it easier to talk to someone who's a relative stranger. I have quite close experience of a man who has mental health issues, and binge drinking and putting on a 'show' for strangers was part of it. It may not be the case, but I really don't think you should rule it out.
Thanks for your comments. A lot of what you all are saying is true. When he was younger he was found to be on the autistic scale, although only slightly. So he's always struggled with making friends and having a social life. He craves interaction with others outside his family, so when he gets the chance to go out he jumps at it. He does enjoy going to the gym and as far as I know he's formed some friendships there. As a mum, I just want him to be happy and live a fulfilled life. Wish I could fix it for him but he doesn't like talking to me about it. I think encouraging him to talk to his GP might be the way to go, although I'm not sure if he'll admit there is a problem.
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