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SS with drug/mental health problems...Any advice?

(60 Posts)
squirrel3 Tue 03-May-05 11:51:26

Don't really know how to get this all into words but here goes...

SS has had a drug problem for a while now, he was going to come to live with us for a while but he seemed to be slowly sorting himself out so his mother said he could stay at home.

This morning DP had a frantic phone call from BM because SS had smashed her home up (again) but then he collapsed in a heap and started sobbing and screaming that he needs help and begging for someone to help him, DP has (of course) rushed over to see what he can do, I told him that he needs to take him to the GP and ask for some emergency counselling.

DP texted me and told me that he has phoned a hospital and SS is being admitted this afternoon, my worry is that this hospital is for people with serious mental health problems, I don't think that SS's problem is that serious, I feel that he needs drug rehab not this kind of hospital, (then again I haven't seen him today) I’ve known off people who have gone onto this hospital with one problem and come out with several more. I've tried to phone DP to find out more but he has switched his phone off and I'm sitting here imagining the worst. I feel so useless; I don't know what to do.

Surfermum, I could use your sensible approach and advice right now

NomDePlume Tue 03-May-05 11:57:12

Your step-son needs to have a proper assessment with a Mental Health professional. Once they have established his problems they can organise a care strategy. Does SS have any MH support currently ?

squirrel3 Tue 03-May-05 12:05:13

No, he had been to the GP a few months ago, th GP put him on anti-depressants and told him to get in touch with a drug counsellor but he wouldn't take the tablets or phone the counsellor, I don't think he was ready to get help, I think that now he does want the help so in a way I supose that this morning was a good thing, I'm just so worried for SS and DP. I think that DP feels a little out of his depth and doesn't know what to do.

squirrel3 Tue 03-May-05 12:17:18

Think I'm just panicking because I don't know what is going on, wish I could be there for DP and SS I guess, but I supose that SS's Mum and Dad is who SS needs right now, so I'm just going to have to wait and try to support DP and SS the best way I can when I know what is happening.

tarantula Tue 03-May-05 12:27:08

Oh squirrel Im so sorry to hear this. I had thougth that things were gettign a bit better for your ss. Looks like this might be a cry for help from him. I know how difficult it is to sit nto knowing what is going on It is very frustrating as you want to be able to help.

squirrel3 Tue 03-May-05 12:30:59

Tarantula, they did seem to be getting better, but I guess SS was just getting better at hiding it.

Still, I hope that today is the start of his recovery as he was asking for help this time.

tarantula Tue 03-May-05 12:38:08

I so hope that becasue he asked that it will be ther start of his recovery. I think that him seeking prefessional help will be of benifit too. Im sorry I dont know much about drug dependancy and mental illness but asking for help is Ive heard a good sign. the best thing you can do is to try not to worry too much and be there to support your dp when he gets back. It aint easy to do that I know so have lots of big knickers at the ready

squirrel3 Tue 03-May-05 12:43:30

Thanks tarantula, you've just made me laugh

I'm sure I have still got the golden big knicks somewhere, I will use them wisely.

Why can't I stay serious for long?!?

Must be being a stepmum, maybe I can stay in the same hospital as SS, just so that I can be on hand to help, I'm sure my straight jacket won't hinder me too much!

tarantula Tue 03-May-05 14:06:08

Glad you are feeling a bit better Squirrel. Have you heard anymore news yet? Do keep us all informed.

squirrel3 Tue 03-May-05 14:17:51

Haven't heard anything yet, this is so frustrating, I wish DP would phone and let me know what is happening.

squirrel3 Tue 03-May-05 15:23:35

Have just spoken to DP, SS has seen the drugs counsellor, he was in there for two hours talking, he has admitted that he has recently started to take harder drugs but now he knows he can't cope with it and wants to stop.

He isn't being admitted but he has got another appointment in two weeks time.

DP sounds exahusted and at a loss at how to help him more but I told him that it has to come from SS, he has to want to get off them and he has made some really big steps today to start his recovery.

Surfermum, where are you? Could do with a bit of advice on what to do next.

Surfermum Tue 03-May-05 15:47:06

Hi Squirrel. I've just logged on. In a way it's a good thing that this has happened, as he's now reached the point where he's wanting help - but not only that he's also been able to access it right now and not have to get referred and join a waiting list. Poor lad, he must have been feeling pretty desperate.

Drug taking and mental health problems can go very much hand in hand. Where I work there's a specialist nurse who deals with people with both, but this isn't necessarily your ss. Sometimes the patient has mental health problems and takes drugs as a way of self-medicating, and sometimes they start of taking drugs and this leads to them have mental health symptoms - eg depression, paranoia. Addiction services very often come under the umbrella of the Mental Health Services, so it could just be that that is where the addictions worker was based - not that he needed admission to a mental health unit.

It's excellent news that he's seen someone and had a good length of time with them. I expect they were doing a full assessment. I do hope he can keep this up and accept the help that he's being offered.

Just being there for him right now and supporting him through all this I'm sure would be the right thing to do. There are agencies that will support families and I will go and look up their details for you.

DD has just woken up but I will keep peeking back if there's anything else you want to ask. Hope this is of some help. Good luck to you all and hugs.

squirrel3 Tue 03-May-05 15:58:50

Thank you surfermum, see I knew you would be able to calm me down and be sensible about it, think I just panicked because I thought SS had stopped and was sorting himself out but I was wrong and he sounded so desperate, unhappy and begging for help. It was just a bit of a shock really.

I supose we should have expected it but we've had a lot of 'other' stuff on our minds lately, feeling guilty now, we should've known, but at least its come to a head now and he has made some big steps forward.

Surfermum Tue 03-May-05 16:28:53

This organistaion might be of help for you, your dh and ss's bm, and give you some advice on how best to support him.

squirrel3 Tue 03-May-05 16:39:50

Thank you Surfermum

tarantula Wed 04-May-05 11:15:55

Hi Squirrel Jsut wondering how you are today and how things are going with dp and dss? Hope you are ok and feeling a bit better after all the stress yesterday.

Surfermum Wed 04-May-05 11:22:43

Me too! How are you today squirrel?

squirrel3 Wed 04-May-05 11:27:27

We are ok, thank you tarantula.

Think we have come to the conclusion that SS should come and stay with us for a while,to get him away from the crowd he is hanging around with and to give his Mum a break, her Father has brain cancer and its spreading all over his body, so she has got a lot on her plate ATM. At least I know that my Grandfather is in a home with 24hr care and he's life is not now in immediate danger.

I know its going to be hard, so bear with me if I need to rant at times or ask advice over the next few months.

Crikey! What have I taken on?

squirrel3 Wed 04-May-05 11:28:43

Surfermum our posts crossed, thank you.

Surfermum Wed 04-May-05 11:30:20

That sounds like a good idea. I know one of the things our workers encourage our clients to do is to stay away from the environments where they used to get their drugs, and other drug users.

squirrel3 Wed 04-May-05 11:34:30

Really sorry, Ive got to go, I've got a driving lesson, catch up later?

squirrel3 Wed 04-May-05 12:45:16

Hello, I'm back, sorry I had to rush off like that. Driving lessons, I hate them!! Don't think I'll ever be able to drive confidently.

Surfermum, SS is suffering from depression and paranoia, only we are not sure which came first the drugs or the other probs.

I wish there were 'set steps' you know, first this will happen, then the next step that will happen etc but I supose every case is individual and needs to be treated differently but wouldn't it be handy if you knew what the next step was going to be so that you could prepare for it.

MamaMaiasaura Wed 04-May-05 13:30:13

Hi squirrel. Just read your thread re ss. I dont know if my advice is of any help. I think you are very courageous as mental health/drug issues is a very challenging area. The professionals often be sure of whether the drugs causes mh problems but there is much evidence that states it excarebates mh problems esp paranioa and symptons of schizophrenia. I think it is importnat to have firm boundries and rules in place and that you, dp and all others involved have a meeting with ss to set down a 'plan' of action. SS needs to be involved in this. THere are also many support agencies, voluntary and laso local mh team accessed through GP. SS may push these boundries as well and may fail to give up straight away. It will take alot of strength from all of you. hth and good luck x

squirrel3 Wed 04-May-05 14:02:15

Awen, thank you for your support,

I am not a total stranger to mental health problems, my DD suffered from severe depression (along with physical disabilities) when she was a teenager and tried to take her own life several times. So I 'sort of' know what to expect with SS and I hope I can get the balance between being understanding without him 'playing' on it too much and 'taking the mickey'. I hope I've experienced enough to realise when he is doing that, and I'm sure he will try to pull that one!

Your right about having a 'meeting' with SS about what will be expected of him and what behaviour will not be tolerated. DP and I have already worked out a lot of what we want to say to him. SS respects DP and wouldn't go against him lightly as he would his Mum. His Mums a bit soft, don't get me wrong, she is lovely but she is really out of her depth and wants to protect him and wrap him up in cotton wool.

I think that he needs a firm, but understanding hand.

I realise that the reality of living with him maybe quite different, I'm under no illusions about that. I hope that we can be strong and do the best that we can for SS.

MamaMaiasaura Wed 04-May-05 14:04:48

you sound like you have got it realy together squirrel and your experience will set you in ghood stead no doubt. I wish that many of the youngsers i get to see had the sort of supportive family you sound like you are.

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