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Helping DS with personality disorder

(2 Posts)
NChelp Wed 10-Feb-16 15:53:50

I need help on how do I deal with DS (19) with personality disorder.

I don’t want to drip feed so this may be long, sorry. DS started uni in September but had a few problems with isolation, girlfriend breaking up with him and basically being overwhelmed by everything. He had been seeing a counsellor in the summer for his anxiety and depression but had been OK before leaving. He saw his new GP who referred him to the mental health team in Manchester, they diagnosed a potential personality disorder with anxiety and prescribed a low dose anti-depressant. He had a visit home and seemed OK but 3 weeks later I received a phone call from the uni to say they were concerned about his behaviour and he was being suspended and returned home.

That was at the end of November and the suspension is still in place. The uni have dragged this out with a hearing date in March which means he won’t be returning this year, if at all. Obviously this delay has added to his anxiety (and mine) and he is waiting for another mental health assessment but because he was now registered in Manchester, he has had to re-register here and he still doesn’t have an appointment.

He has had problems in school from age 5/6 when we moved house and he didn't fit in and was bullied. We moved again when he was 8 and by that time he struggled to make friends and would sometimes get into trouble – usually with others but where they would deny it, DS always admitted it eventually – his automatic response in the past has been to lie and then give up little bits of information until the truth comes out. He was OK at secondary for about 18 months then the phone calls from school started again. In Year 10 he moved schools again and it was OK, still a few phone calls but he managed to get to the end of Year 13 without anything too stressful.

So when he left for uni I breathed a sigh of relief. Of course I worried about how he would deal with the day to day, money in particular but really thought he seemed OK. I have terrible guilt about causing this by moving him miles away from his grandparents at age 5, his sister was born soon after and he hates her – he blames her for a lot and told the mental health assessor that too.

He will be 20 this year and I can’t keep blindly fighting his corner, it is affecting our family life (we have 3 younger children) and causing arguments between DH and me. Because of this suspension we had a visit from Social Services just before Christmas, and although they have closed their case it was extremely stressful for us all. He can’t seem to take responsibility for what he does and I fear for his future. It isn’t usually actions, it words – saying stupid things that he knows will provoke people, and he cannot maintain friendships because of it.

I just don’t know how to help him anymore, I don't know what more I can do to support him.

YouCantCallMeBetty Wed 10-Feb-16 16:04:01

OP that sounds really, really tough. I'm sorry I can't be much help but didn't want to read and run. What I do know is that you can't have 'caused' DS's difficulties by moving away from family or by having another child. If he does indeed have a personality disorder (whatever that actually means, it's a hugely contentious diagnosis), his difficulties will be the product of a number of things. Family relationships can be a factor but so can many other things. Life sounds hard enough without extra guilt trips for you.

Without knowing what kind of PD is being suggested or having examples of his behaviour/words then I can't say much more.

Do take care of yourself though, the mental health team may have some family support set up. Where I work, anyone who is registered with the mental health team as a carer for someone on the team's caseload (this can be parent, partner, anyone who has significant involvement not necessarily traditional caring role) is entitled to have their own support from one of the recovery workers.

Best of luck OP.

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