Advice caring for adult son with mental illness

Hello all.
I’m new to this forum but am hoping I’m not alone with my situation.
My 28 yr old son has mental illness but has no insight and is convinced his health issues are physical (believes he has lots of things wrong with him) he’s been sectioned in the past and has recently had a further psychotic ‘breakdown’. He lives alone and completely isolates himself. I’m literally the only family member he will allow to visit him and sometimes he won’t even allow ME to visit because he thinks I’ll ‘catch’ whatever physical health issue he has at that particular time. Sometimes he doesn’t answer my calls, texts etc… I consider him to be quite vulnerable and he attracts the wrong type of people - people likely to take advantage of him for money etc…- however there’s no convincing him that these people are NOT his friends! I work full time and have another son at home (aged 21) my eldest son can be quite verbally abusive towards me when he’s having a ‘rant’ and for that reason I don’t want him moving back here even though I know this would probably help with his recovery. I’m in a complete dilemma because I have to think about my youngest son and my own mental health (which has already been impacted massively by my sons illness). I feel the only option I have is to offer to let him move back in here to keep him safe and to try to help him get better but I know this will be at the detriment to my youngest sons wellbeing and my own as well. I just can’t stop these feelings of guilt. I feel I should put my unwell son first and the rest of us should just ‘put up with it’ i wish I could run away from trying to please everyone around me and all the while actually getting nowhere! Can anyone help me to put this into perspective please? I’m going to pot with the worry and stress of trying to help my son with his mental illness. I wish there were mental health carer support groups locally that I could attend (UK Manchester) but I can’t seem to find any. sorry for the rant but thanks for listening.

Hello and welcome!

Get him talking. See if you can find a online MH support group or forum. Additionally perhaps you could try to see if there are any local counselors or therapists? This is a list of mental health charity helpline numbers to call for advice. Mental health services - NHS

Hi and welcome. I had exactly the same issues with my son when he was 17 he was sectioned once and had repeated admissions for acute psychotic episodes. He also thought it was physical and many times phoned ambulances for himself. He was living at home with us and my advice to you is if he is already living away from home then try to get him help without him moving back in. My husband had a breakdown and was suicidal due to my son’s illness and the strain it put us under was unbelievable. My daughter moved out as she couldn’t deal with it which broke my heart. My experience of mental health services was because he was living with his family he was deemed to be in a safe environment so he wasn’t given the help that he needed and we were left to cope. Is your son living in supported accommodation? If so then his support worker should be helping. I found a support group called rethink which helped a great deal . Don’t despair there is hope, my son is now 26 has been diagnosed as schizophrenia and is living in supported accommodation whilst knowing I will be there if he needs me. He now is doing voluntary work and fully accepts he has a mental illness but this has been a long tough road to get here. You have to keep well yourself to enable you to deal with this and that will be extremely difficult if he moves back in not to mention how it would affect your younger son . I send you virtual hugs and message me if you need to talk also feel free to rant on here we’ve all done that

Hi Debra
Totally agree with advice given. I’m in a similar situation constant guilt regarding the fact that I cannot allow my 22yr old son with my issues back home, even though as a mum it would be the instinctive thing to do. Find myself justifying to professionals why this cannot happen.
My son was sectioned before Xmas now ‘informal’ which I don’t agree with but have no control ovrr. He has psychopathy no formal diagnosis. Two years ago he had to leave home and go into supported living. He begged to come back was very hard but we had been through he’ll and I had to think of My marriage. My family has nearly been broken by the strain of mental illness which has impacted on myself, his stepdad and our other two sons. You do have to think of them, it’s not putting them first or your son last. I almost have to compartmentalize it, his needs come first in so many other ways and I feel so guilty about that. The evenings I go to see him after work, the weekend s I spend cleaning his flat, washing and shopping for him. It all adds up and takes me away from my family. My son is the same,he totally isolAtes himself.
I feel your pain and in a way it helps to know there are other mum’s out there going through something so similar.
I hope you got through xmas. XX

I’m going through the same with my son who is 28 he lives independently fine but he is a vulnerable adult on meds and gets involved with other friends from hospital who equally have the same issues ie self medicating on drink and drugs.
My sons Illness was brought on with drugs and drink . His a lovely son but at time’s I feel I’m helping too much and I’m working plus I have elderly parents to look after. it’s hard.
I have got support from the charity that my son is housed with but I don’t like the support worker I have my concerns about.

But because my son is still ok with the support I can’t change anything it’s so worrying as you want to have support but then you don’t always trust the support being given.


its been some time since you posted and i hope things have improved … you may find our Facebook group helps you