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DS, 23, very difficult situation

(9 Posts)
RoseWei Sat 13-Aug-11 18:31:26

Have posted before about DS1, 23, who came home after nearly 2 years away and adamant he never wanted to see us again, ever. Sorry, lost old thread, hence this new one. But thanks, all, for your positive and supportive replies. They meant a lot. I wrote in some of our blackest moments - so thanks.

MH services here are not helping a jot. Confusion over whether DS has been "assessed" or not (he has been seen but what constitutes assessment they haven't worked out). We're being passed pillar to post from GP to CMH and back again. Neither GP nor CMH will support applications for housing - not least as DS doesn't want to "engage" with services. He clearly wants to stay put. Has got younger DS to clear out of his room and into his old small one - saying that that room is his. Well, it was but he left for 2 years and was clear, then, that he didn't want to see us again. Also wrote the most excruciating letters to 3rd parties - it was an awful, awful time.

Now DS1 claims to remember none of this - barely talks to us - is very, very difficult and younger siblings worried and even frightened. I posted before - he was horrible to them, too often (now we know but didn't then, that he was taking hard drugs).

What to do? Have told all and sundry of our predicament but no offers of support or practical help. Has even been flagged up as an issue around child protection because of the youngest but still nothing. Out on the street? Difficult as a parent - not least because he has tried taking his life before (when he was living away and in a psych hospital) and because he is now not eating - almost literally.

And if there is any genuine memory loss, should have physical examinations including, as a locum recently said, a CT scan. Or is it dissembling? We don't know.

Privately rented accomm hard to find at reasonable prices and he's so unlikely to be willing to go. In past few weeks, since he's come back, he has come straight home from places we found for him.

Does anyone know of any organisations who might help? Tried YMCA but you need local connections and not one in these parts of the SE. Courses? Something to fill his time this Summer and give us some respite. Any of the MH charities run schemes for this age group?

Thanks for reading this far! I'm desperately tired (DH and I sleeping on sofas, small house) and so despondent. xx

midnightservant Sat 13-Aug-11 23:09:04

Darlington Mind do a lot of different things - supported housing, drop-in centre, computer courses, counselling etc. As each branch of Mind is independent, it varies what is on offer.

I think I remember your other thread. And yes, I do think psychotic episodes are not always remembered by those who experience them.

Sending you my warmest thoughts.

thisisyesterday Sat 13-Aug-11 23:16:34

can you afford to have him assessed privately?
sadly mental health services on the NHS are pretty dire in most places now.

can i ask why you allowed him to make your other son move out of his room??? i think you need to be firm with him, make ground rules and stick to them. he can't just come back and have everyone pussy-foot around him

will he consider getting a job? volunteering? something to give his life a bit more meaning?

RoseWei Sat 13-Aug-11 23:28:33

Thanks for the messages and support. tiy - you're quite right about ground rules. And I'm resolved to being tougher - doesn't help DS1 when I capitulate simply because I am so exhausted.

DH and I got home from work one day to find that DS1 had bullied youngest into the room move - quite wrong and DH in particular was livid.
Youngest didn't want us to make waves - he really is frightened. What a situation.

Just before I read these messages, I was googling independent provision but hadn't thought of independent assessments - will set to so thanks for that. Modest incomes but may need to rise to this because the provision in these parts is so sparse.

DS1 had to go with DH to A and E tonight - he asked to saying he felt very ill with strange 'urges' and generally very unhappy and confused. Doctor examined, said couldn't find anything physically wrong. Mental Health practitioner was contacted (CPN we'd met before in A and E) who apparently said that she wouldn't see him - it was all down to community mental health which has, quite frankly, given up on DS1.

We feel so alone - it's good to have MN. Younger kids continually ask me when DS1 moving out. They don't really understand how hard DH and I are trying to find suitable accommodation or that we can put him on the streets. They're unaware of his suicide attempts.

MS - will approach local MIND on Monday - got a message from them about advocacy services for DS1 but of course they offer so much more than that - so thanks.

thisisyesterday Sat 13-Aug-11 23:34:05

that's awful treatment from a&e :-(
i'd be tempted to ring the hospital back tomorrow and ask why he was not seen by someone appropriate, although it may get you nowhere.

do you think he would be amenable to going in voluntarily as an in-patient if you could get him a space somewhere?
if he's willing to go to a&e when he is feeling strange then it's possibly something he would consider?

i really feel for you, it must be so hard. I've suffered from MH probs in the past, although not this severe, and the lack of provision is just terrible

Ungratefulchild Sat 13-Aug-11 23:40:50

Advocacy is a good place to start.

As his nearest relative under the mental health act you have a right to request that he is assessed under that act. He may not meet the criteria for detention but it might help him into services? Does he have a diagnosis? is he on medication? Is he a danger to your younger children? What does he want to do?

Thinking of you xxx

midnightservant Sun 14-Aug-11 16:17:34

I thought each A & E had a duty psychiatrist - clearly I was wrong shock

There is now a service user and carer network of sorts throughout the country - it's a bit patchy but might be able to help you? PM me your area and I'll try and find out what's available.

Upwardandonward Sun 14-Aug-11 18:53:09

I think it also depends what is said - A&E may screen for MH issues of sufficient degree/nature and risk of harm to self and others. If they don't see those, then they would redirect to CMHT.

saintlyjimjams Sun 14-Aug-11 18:59:40

God it sounds awful.

Do you think he is at risk of harming one of you or himself? If so I would email (then it's in writing) whoever the relevant body is (or bodies - for example if you email the CMH team then copy to SS for the child protection issue). It is very helpful (I have discovered) that if you are concerned about harm that you write very clearly 'I will hold you and X department responsible if anyone s damaged as a result of your inaction'. You usually find they do something then - but you have to make it very clear that you will blame them and you are telling them that now.

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