Suicidal AS

Old 03-15-2012, 08:14 AM
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Suicidal AS

Hello, everyone. I have read posts that reflect other people's experience with what I am about to relate, but since this is my first time through this kind of thing, I thought I would seek some specific advice and comment. I banned my heroin-addicted son from the house last Friday. He had gotten out of a 12-day in-patient detox/rehab stint at a local, highly respected addiction treatment facility, and went back to using the very next day. He did not follow any of the after-care treatment plan provided by the facility, and if anything, his acting out was worse than it was before he went in. He moved back into our house after treatment, which I now know was a mistake. After a week of this, I identified a couple SLE's and told him that he had to get with the program and move into one of them, or move out on his own - he couldn't stay with me any longer. His response was to go out of town for a week to stay with the worst of his heroin-addicted friends so that he could use with abandon. In the midst of all this, he quit his job, which his employer had been kind enough to hold for him while he was in rehab. While he was gone, I changed the locks, sent him by text the name and number of an SLE, and told him that he wasn't returning to my home. He came by at the end of the week to pick up some of his things, and that was that.

Yesterday, he texted me that he was trying to get into a different treatment facility, but they hadn't called him back. He then told me that his friends and girlfriend knew everything now, and they no longer wanted anything to do with him. He went on a self-pitying tirade, talking about how he hates himself, that he doesn't deserve to be happy or to have anyone love him, etc., etc. I kept telling him that he could change things, to stop looking back and to look forward instead, and made suggestions regarding recovery. This seemed to fall on deaf ears, and when I called him out on this, he said that he was afraid to pursue recovery because he was sure he would "f*** that up, too." He said repeatedly that he thought suicide was the answer, that he thought he should just die.

My AS is 19. I don't know where he is staying right now (I didn't ask), but he said he has nowhere to live, no job or money, and I know that he tends to be rather clueless on how to live on one's own. While in rehab, the doc's put him on Paxil and Neurontin, and my son said that he had stopped taking these a few days ago. One of the warnings on Paxil is that in teens and young adults, it can make one suicidal, especially if one just stops taking it cold. I told my AS this, but he didn't seem inclined to start taking it again - it seemed like he wants to suffer right now.

He know that I will be here to help him if he chooses recovery, although I have made it clear than he can't live with me at this point. He knows that I will help him figure out what is available to him from a recovery standpoint and will help him get into the program he wants if he is unsure how to do it. He also knows that no matter what he says or does, I will not lift a finger (or spend a dime) to help him if he is not pursuing recovery - suicide threats or no. That is the stance I have taken. Is it the correct one? Is there something else I should be doing? The suicide threats scare me, especially since I'm concerned that they may be in part artificially inspired by his cold turkey quit of the Paxil.
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Old 03-15-2012, 08:31 AM
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Suicidal ideation is a tricky thing to deal with. On the one hand, you have to take something like that very seriously. On the other hand, it can be, as often is, the cruelest form of manipulation. Most people that talk about ending their own life really don't want to die; what they want is to not feel pain. My suggestion? If he's threatening suicide and your gut tells you he's in danger, call the cops on him, and if it's determined that he's a threat to himself or others, they'll hospitalize him.

What I like about your post is you've set a boundary with him -- he can't live with you. Now it's up to you to maintain that boundary for your own well-being. You can't help your son. You can't make him take his meds. You can't stop him from using. You have to allow your son to make his own decisions and pay the price for those decisions.

I also suggest, if you haven't already done so, find a local Nar Anon or Al Anon meeting near you. You need to heal as well, and while coming to the board is a great first step, it doesn't compare to listening to others share their wisdom and being able to interact with each other.

Please take care of you.

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Old 03-15-2012, 08:38 AM
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I can't tell you whether you are doing the right thing or not. Each individual here has their own basis of experience and they don't know enough about your situation to tell you whether you are making the right decision.

My AS has threatened suicide so many times I can't even begin to count. When I've known where he was, I called the police. When I didn't know where he was, I braced myself. And there have been times when I've swooped in and rescued him. This has been going on for about 15 years but escalated in the last five or six years.

I've realized that I simply can't handle this. I've let go and he is in the hands of his HP. That is how I've had to deal with it but that is me and my situation. We all do what our mother's hearts can handle at any given time. I pray a lot.

I'm so sorry that you are dealing with this. It is very hard.

gentle hugs from another Mom
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:15 AM
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Like your son, my daughter relapsed upon returning home from rehab. In her case, it was from three back to back rehabs. She was not done.

Upon learning of her relapse, her psychiatrist ceased all prescribed medications. Like you, I was very worried about the impact of an abrubt cessation. Her MD told me she was at substantially greater risk of a poor outcome given the dope and the lifestyle, than she was from abruptly stopping medications.

Like your son, my daughter was jobless, friendless, penniless, and homeless because of addiction. Like your son, her coping skills, at the time, were undeveloped. Experiencing consequences of addiction is painful.

I resisted the overwhelming urge to rescue her and in parallel universes I think we both just sat with our respective hopelessness. This led us both to independent decisions to save ourselves.

This is not medical advise nor is it an attemot to tell you what to do. We all have to live with our choices and respect that others will , too.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:16 AM
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I know that my ex checked himself into the psych ward more than once. (after a crack binge when he would be in the depths of the pit)

in MN if you are a threat to yourself and it is related to drug use then they keep you safe for a few days and then send you to treatment.

he checked himself in, but I am sure the police would do the same...
desperation can be a good thing

praying for you and your son
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:30 AM
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I will pray for you and your son.
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Old 03-15-2012, 10:44 AM
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For what it's worth. I think you absolutely did the right thing.

My daughter is a meth addict and I have been where you are. NOTHING I ever did made any difference with her situation.

But stopping the codependent insanity in my life made a huge difference for me.

Major kudos to you for drawing your line in the sand and sticking to it.

Very very difficult to do.....but so very necessary.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:10 PM
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Sorry that you are going through this.

My D abruptly quit taking Celexa and was sick but I will never know how much was due to stopping Celexa and how much was due to other simultaneous drug abuse or withdrawal. Despite telling us she was suicidal, she managed to take herself to the ER and get treated. I don't think she has ever really wanted to be dead, just to make the pain stop.
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Old 03-15-2012, 02:50 PM
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Hi Seeking Growth,
You are right to be concerned about the suicide talk. I am in no way trying to scare you, but I knew someone young who tried to commit suicide while being on Wellbutrin.

Suicide is one of the side effects of anti-depressants and young people on them must be closely monitored. Her attempt was not to get attention; she was in critical care for a couple weeks. Taking other drugs with anti-depressants can increase the risk of suicide and it also gives the person the means to do it-overdose.

Perhaps you could talk to your sonís doctor and let him know there has been a threat, also, you may try calling the county mental health and at least they might evaluate him.

You are in a difficult and tricky situation, and I know that suicidal threats are common ground in addicts. Letís face it- they usually feel horrible about themselves, so they probably do think about suicide, but they also use that tactic to manipulate us.

I have to tell you I am not qualified at all to tell you what to do; I think you may need to talk to a professional that deals with addiction. I think that would help- Maybe you could make an emergency appointment?
Take care
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Old 03-15-2012, 04:01 PM
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"Suicide is one of the side effects of anti-depressants and young people on them must be closely monitored"

Suicide is also one of the potential outcomes associated with depression, regardless of a person's age.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:12 PM
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Thanks, everyone, for your many helpful comments. I received a call today from a nearby reputable drug treatment facility (different from the one my son was at before) asking me for my health insurance information so they could check to see if my AS was eligible for in-patient rehab, since it is so soon after the last round. Apparently, my AS had, ON HIS OWN, contacted the facility and asked to be admitted. Turns out a brief rehab/detox stay is covered, and he is going in tomorrow. I haven't been able to get in touch with my son since I was informed of the approval (maybe he is having one last hurrah with his DOC), but I think this is very good news. Assuming he actually goes in tomorrow, of course.
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Old 03-15-2012, 09:50 PM
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SeekingGrowth: That is very good. He is apparently taking action on his own. Good for you for setting your boundaries and for sticking to them. Appears that is exactly what he needed.
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