47 year old son with mental health problems

He is an ex heroin addict he hasn’t used in 25years. But he smokes weed and takes a small amount of precription methadone. He has anxiety and depression. He also had lots of medical problems. He has very bad feet due to diabetic neuropathy. He has to go to podiatry at local hospital each Friday to get them checked and new bandages put on. He has had 5 operations on his eyes but says he still can’t see. I feel sorry for him and try to help when I can. I am in recovery from oesophageal cancer where I had to have my oesophagus removed 4 years ago. I am cancer free but still unwell. His mental state is bad. He has a lovely new build flat where he lives with his son Andrew who is 26 years old and is a good hard working young man. He stays at his girl friends mostly now as he says he can’t deal with his dad anymore. His behaviour can be terrible. He get paraniod and starts shouting bad things out so every one can hear him. For instance. two weeks ago he said the lady who lives three floors above him was having sex with three men. He said he could hear them (3 floors up wow) she heard him call her names so she called him a smack head and kicked his door in. They have also moved a young girl into the flat above and he says she is banging on the floor all the time. ( he has complained about every neighbour he has ever had) He received a letter from the housing association telling him to stop this behaviour. I could go on and on about him. He has never had a proper diagnosis of what his mental health is. When he was a baby and child he was labelled hypoactive. One doctor told me to take him home and give him a good hiding. Well he is 6’3 walking skeleton he has now decided that if he doesn’t eat much food his blood sugars will stay low and that will give him more scope to eat sweet stuff. I have come to the end of my tether with him. I have been to his gp’s and asked for help but they are useless. I don’t get any where. or any answers. I have bent over backwards to try and help him ( not financially he is good with his money) He wants my attention all the time. I’m tired and I’m not well. I just basically want him to leave me the hell alone for while. Now i have typed that I feel guilty. Maybe that’s what I’m looking for. How not to feel guilty when I tell him to leave me alone. I’ve just come off the phone to him he wants to come on Friday to buy stuff off my laptop. I have to do it for him the stuff comes I have to take to him he pulls a face says he doesn’t want it gets in a strop with me then i have to take whatever home with me and return it. He says he can’t do it himself because he doesn’t trust anyone with his bank card but I can use mine. And he can’t get out to the post office because he has got holes in his feet. God I’m so sorry to have gone on so much. I just need a break. Thanks for listening

Don’t feel guilty at all. He is an adult.
You do not HAVE to do anything for him.
Does he have a key to your place?
After Christmas, plan a break away somewhere, anywhere, Covid permitting.
There are lots of cheap deals. Even if it was just 20 miles away, but somewhere you could relax, eat, sleep, read, without being disturbed. Not selfish, it’s what you need.

Can you put some boundaries in place and tell him that he needs to get his own laptop or use the ones at the library. Say your not feeling well and your not doing it anymore returning the items as well.Or say its broken and your not bothering at the moment. Whatever to get him to sort out his own affairs.
Also I’d be pointing him in the direction of the local drug/alcohol service or AA, whatever where they have groups and strongly suggesting he goes there. I’d be just seeing him now and again for an hour or so. You need to be firm and put your own health needs first.

Hi Pauline,
welcome to the forum.

Firstly, can I recommend that if your user name is your real name that you change it to protect your and your son’s identity.

Secondly, I agree with BB and Elizabeth, you need to focus on your own health and wellbeing now and it’s time to start setting some boundaries. I realise this is not going to be easy, but its the only way the situation can improve for you. We are here to support you as you do this.


I feel very sorry for your situation. Is there anything I can do to help you?

It’s a very sad story. But you have to accept the fact that this is the life he chose for himself when he became an addict.

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