I can't carry on like this

I’ve been supporting my adult son for many years although he doesn’t see it as such. He has mental health problems after suffering many years of trauma in his childhood due to bullying and gang violence in his local area.
He has been homeless for a long period of time and spent months in a homeless shelter and then was temporarily housed due to the pandemic. The housing org has made it clear it’s only temporary and constantly put pressure on him to ’ engage’ with them but owing to his mental ill health he misses calls. So they have been threatening to kick him out

I have ended up financially supporting him every month and I’m ending up having to work two jobs and all weekends and my annual leave to pay all his bills food internet phone etc. It’s costing me hundreds and hundreds of pounds every month.
He refuses to phone up for the PIP form and won’t give me any authority to try and get help. As such he’s on basic benefits he has no current diagnosis and no help from GP or anyone. I’ve tried to get help but to no avail. He has had severe mental illness. Most of time I’ve dealt with all his episodes.

Today he was meant to sign up for a course and he text me to say he had no electric so was on hold to energy company so couldn’t answer call for course. He said he was stressed out as he really wanted to go on course. I ended up sending him money and never heard from him for rest of afternoon. His course provider said he didn’t answer phone so they couldn’t enroll him. He ignored all my calls and I even drove to his flat and knocked on door but he never answered. I ended up phoning the police as I was worried. By time police arrived I was back home and my son finally phoned me to ask why police there. I told him it was for a welfare check. After that he put phone down and then never answered any more of my calls.
It’s like this on a regular basis. I can’t cope with working all these hours every day , him spending all my wages and me being left in debt with nothing. I don’t know what to do as if I stop giving him money all hell breaks lose.

I’m at my wit’s end. I’ve tried to get help but as he’s 28 noone will let me try and get him assessed or support as he’s over 18. I’ve tried welfare rights and the support staff who are currently meant to support him but just seem to threaten him all the time.

I don’t know what to do but my life just seems to be an existence. I have no friends or family and I just work all the time and see to my son. He needs things nearly every day and I’m also spending a fortune driving to his flat on a regular basis to sort out problems for him.

I can’t carry on like this. It’s been going on for years and is just getting worse.


Hi Marie, welcome to the forum.
I have a son of similar age 28 this month. He has never been able to hold down any job, but he does get ESA . He has been diagnosed as having mild Aspergers and is taking anti depressants.
I’m sorry I don’t really know how to help you and your son. Have you told your son how you’re feeling? Show emotion - let him know how desperate you feel. Tell him you cannot continue like this anymore. He can apply for PIP online - he doesn’t need to send off for a form.
Don’t keep visiting him - let him come to you instead.


whilst you carry on working every hour, rescuing him every time he runs out of money and supporting him when he has a MH crisis; you are unfortunately enabling him to carry on as he is. I realise it’s a complex situation and as his Mum you are emotionally involved; however, the situation will continue until one of you makes a change and that’s going to have to be you.
Unless you say enough is enough and stop bailing him out, he and the services to help those with MH problems and the homeless do not need to take responsibility for the situation.

You really do need to start putting yourself first.


Think ahead. How is he going to manage when you are ill, broke or retired???
He has NO RIGHT to any of your money. Stop giving it to him. Sadly, it’s the only answer.

Thanks for all your replies

Yes Karen I have constantly told him what this is doing to me and how I’m having to take on more and more work. He just tells me off for having a go at him and sees it as me dumping my problems on him.
I’ve told him to apply for PIP and he won’t. He says he’s not being labelled mentally ill. He gets full blown psychosis and doesnt even get any help from the GP. I’ve given up trying through the mental health team as just get nowhere as he’s over 18.

Yes I stopped giving him money when my job ended and I ended up homeless as my other job didn’t pay enough for rent and bills. This resulted in me not being able to help him out as much as I usually do. He was sofa surfing at that point as he’d lost his job due to his mental illness. As I couldn’t help him anymore he ended up in a homeless shelter and became psychotic.
with a near miss suicide attempt. He lost loads of weight and he looked like a tramp.
The shelter just put more and more pressure on him and he ended up in debt as they charge for food. He’s still paying it off now even though he’s now in a temporary flat where he has to pay all bills on basic UC and they constantly threaten him with homelessness if he doesn’t pay up every month. They seem to be worse than loan sharks.

Unfortunately leaving him to it to me is the easy way out for families. I ca y just carry on and watch my only son deteriorate further and probably end up dead.

I pay taxes and pay for NHS and services. Why aren’t they helping? The GP , hospitals and homeless support services are all useless. I’m just so frustrated and at the end of my tether. I don’t know what to do.
He won’t survive without my help. People told me he would last time and I nearly lost him.

He has psychosis with rapid cycling bipolar and I’m sure he has a brain injury too from previous physical assaults he’s suffered.


I’m not sure what you want us to say?

Unfortunately leaving him to it to me is the easy way out for families. I ca y just carry on and watch my only son deteriorate further and probably end up dead.

It is certainly not emotionally easy to leave someone you love to it. But what are the options?

I pay taxes and pay for NHS and services. Why aren’t they helping? The GP , hospitals and homeless support services are all useless. I’m just so frustrated and at the end of my tether. I don’t know what to do.

They don’t need to as you are always there, supporting him, rescuing him and he won’t engage with them…

I can’t carry on like this. It’s been going on for years and is just getting worse.

No you can’t. Your loving and supporting unfortunately hasn’t worked. Time to think about making changes.

There is information here on:

Guidance on offering emotional and practical support, > what you can do when someone doesn’t want to seek help, and supporting someone to seek help in a crisis> . Also includes information about making empowered decisions and seeking help outside the NHS



Marie, my heart goes out to you. My son is the same age and has also has similar mental health issues. I was told by my family and friends to distance myself and to let him get on with it and stand on his own two feet. Thank goodness I didn’t listen as I believe he would be a lost to me now if I had. I have always gone with my gut instinct as a mother and even though my son is stable for now I am aware that could change at any time. I will still support my son ( not enable that’s different) and help him . That’s my advice Marie if you need to message me please do you are having a nightmare time right now

Have you contacted DWP, the section dealing with Appointees?
Explain your son is very I’ll and because of that won’t accept he is I’ll and entitled to PIP?
Make you becoming Appointee the condition for further support?
Is he in touch with any mental health service at all?

Marie - I understand that you are worried that your son may self harm or worse if you stop helping him financially. You are in a very difficult situation.
However - you are an important person too and I’m worried that you are going to make yourself very ill due to all this stress and anxiety regarding your son and financies.
You could try some subtle changes such as when he asks for money say ‘yes, you can have £20 but first you must help me with the washing up/ help me now the lawn/ start applying for PIP online etc.’
This will change things between you so that he has to earn money from you rather than just be given it. This way you will feel you have some control over the situation. Plus he will learn an important lesson - if you want money you have to earn it.

Thanks everyone.
Following on from my post, he has just spent £250 in just under two days.
I’ve decided I can’t take anymore. He literally spends all my wages. I’m working two jobs a full-time and a part time and also doing other odd jobs to keep up with amounts he spends. He still has nothing to show for it all and still claims he’s atarving and his flat is sparse with no carpets. He’s still under the homeless team who seem completely useless.

I’m getting pains in my chest and sick of having to use my annual leave to do work in other jobs just to see it being spent by him. I can’t take anymore. It’s killing me off. I don’t want to carry on like this. I feel like I’m a slave working and working all hours every day evening and weekends and annual leave and then seeing to him in between. I can’t cope any longer. I have no friends no family. I just work and sort him out and am left with nothing. He’s already made me homeless once.

I can’t cope any longer. I just want to cut him off completely. I can’t deal with him. He rings me for money every day, sometimes several times a day which he’s done today. I feel like I’m being tortured and my chest is getting really tight.

Block his number. Tell him he must agree to you, or someone else, being his Appointee, applying for the benefits he is entitled to, and managing them for him.

I agree, tell him there is no more money coming from you - no exceptions. He needs to choose you or someone else to be his appointee, to claim benefits on his behalf and pay his rent, bills and give him an allowance to spend on food etc preferably weekly.

If you can think of anybody you could visit or find a B&B somewhere that you can afford - it would really help to get away from this for a few days to give both of you some space to think.

He needs to see you getting on with your life, as a role model for him and because you deserve a good life too.


Thanks for replies.
I can’t go away anywhere as I’ve no money. He’s had it all. I’m on verge of having nothing left. He’s already made me homeless once before.

I live very frugally and he spends more of my wages than me…

I’ll be glad with the phone not ringing several times a day asking for loads of money and seeing my bank account dwindle down to almost nothing knowing I have to try and survive the month.

I caved in yesterday and he was back on the phone again getting more money out of me. He always has a desperate story to tell and I find it hard to refuse him. He’s been battered before for debts he owes and this seemed a similar situation.

I’m so worried about him but my chest pains are getting almost constant now and I’m not sleeping at all and I’ve still got loads of work to do on my annual leave as I take on other jobs to pay for everything. I can’t remember the last day I didn’t have to work
I work most weekends evenings and annual leave as well as my full time job. I just feel like a slave.

The worse thing is seeing all my money go after I’ve worked and worked so many hours. It’s a killer.

I am worried how he will cope though. He’s very good at getting money out of people but can’t seem to do anything else. I often wonder if he also has a brain injury from all the batterings but Ive tried to get help but as he’s over 18 noone will listen and the homeless shelter people just have a go at me as does the receptionist at the GP practice if I attempt to try and get him an appointment. I had to give up trying as that was so stressful and I was just seen as the enemy.


I caved in yesterday and he was back on the phone again getting more money out of me.

Only you can make this situation change, it’s up to you. Either you continue working every hour to support his spending habits until you make yourself physically ill/ have a breakdown or you say no to giving him anymore money. Read through the replies in the thread. You have been given lots of good advice.



So sorry to hear you are having such a hard time.

You said he is in a housing organization property. Can you not ask for him to be put into supported accommodation for people with mental health issues? I know they are hard to come by but they do exist and they are allocated a key worker who will sit with them for an hour once a week and help them with a plan, i.e. budgeting and what not.

Refer him to the mental health department and tell them he struggles to meet appointments etc. so they know what support to give him etc.

On the verge - I tried trying to get supported accommodation a while back. They weren’t interested once they knew he was on just basic UC. They said they charge at least £900 a week on rent for a basic room in a shared house with a support worker twice a week.
It’s a money making scan really
Melly1. When your son is saying he’s starving and has no food and that he’s going to get battered I have a tendency to help him. I don’t particularly want to witness what I have previously when he’s been held down to the floor and had his he’d kicked in by a group of lads off a rough estate that even the police won’t go into. There’s also alot of stabbings where he is so I’m not risking it as he’s been chased with a knife before. They don’t tend to put the homeless in nice wealthy suburbs!

I’ve spent years trying to get help from GP and mental health team. They all just pass the buck to each other. My son hasn’t even a local doctor at the moment. As I said before as he’s over 18 noone will let me help. They are very resistant and just stop me from helping due to gdpr

At the end of the day the services only work for some. Others are left to care.
I pay my taxes like everyone else and feel it’s wrong that some people get help and others don’t. I can’t take much more of this there’s no easy way out unless I dump him like some people , not all, are suggesting on here

Marie - if it seems too drastic - stopping his money completely, then you could give him a small set amount each week just enough to keep him going. But you must stick to that amount so that you are not giving him money every time he asks for it. While you keep paying him - he will keep asking for more!

Hi Marie I really feel for you, I also have a 28 year old son with severe mental health problems. He has suffered with psychosis, depression etc since the age of 14. He lives at home with my husband and I and is our only child, fortunately I have managed to get him PIP with the help from a lady who works for a mental health charity (The Mary Francis Trust) she basically filled out all the forms for me. However he refuses to engage with the mental health team or our GP so I don’t get any support for his behaviour. The crisis team are useless they just tell me to take him to A&E which he won’t attend. I told my GP I was struggling to cope with him, but he basically said as long as you are looking after him you won’t get much help, basically I need to chuck my son out which I won’t do. I don’t have any answers for you other than let you know you are not alone.