Making assumptions

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rough sea
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:29 pm

Making assumptions

Post by rough sea »

Today I feel like a terrible mother. I have posted on here about my son who has self medicated with drugs which affected our relationship to the point I didn’t want anything to do with him. I have had the lies, manipulations, accusations etc.

I made a decision that if he seems ok I will try to support him, no money or stuff to enable him. He was previously sectioned twice, got no help from MH as soon as any mention of drugs.

He got his own flat last year, I tried to support him, decorating with him, spending time with him. I suspected he was using drugs as his MH was up and down, I backed off and stayed away. I didn’t see him for a few weeks as I suspected he had had some drug or other, but Saturday he called me, very pleasant, some paranoia but we got past that, spent Sunday and Monday together and it was lovely. But last night he began with his paranoia so I didn’t respond to him

This morning I got a call from a MH Social worker who told me they were at his flat with the police having got a court warrant to section him and complete a MH assessment and asked would I object to him being sectioned. I gave them his history. He had an assessment and I was informed he was sectioned and on route to hospital and told he is extremely unwell and no drugs involved. Initially I was shocked, well in disbelief, then I felt so bad as I had suspected him of using but I missed that he had told me the truth for once that he wasn’t using anything and his MH has clearly deteriorated.

It is so hard to tell the difference between drug induced MH and MH because someone is unwell when we are used to drug induced MH. I feel as his mother I should have known. I am grateful that he is safe and I hope he finally gets help he needs


Posts: 1050
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 6:04 am

Re: Making assumptions

Post by LM66 »

There's no way you could have known thst this was MH issues, not induced by drug taking. Please don't beat yourself up.
They tell so many lies, that it's nigh impossible to know what is true and what is not.
This could be a big positive as he will now get properly assessed by MH professionals. They won't touch them if they are using, as it's impossible to get an accurate assessment.
You know where he is, that he is safe, and getting help.
Sending love
L x

Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 2:06 pm

Re: Making assumptions

Post by dramaqueen »

Dear RS,

LM is right - there is no way you could have known. Also, the MH condition and drug use are interlinked - one can cause the other and vice versa. Even if this particular episode was not drug induced, you are not a qualified counsellor and could not have helped him through this MH episode. His condition is clearly so severe that he requires professional help. You cannot be all things to all people. He knows you love him and care for him. He is in the care of people qualified and equipped to help him. Be kind to yourself.

Sending you a big virtual hug.


rough sea
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:29 pm

Re: Making assumptions

Post by rough sea »

Thank you LM and Dramaqueen for you lovely supportive replies.

Today he has been given 2 diagnosis’s paranoid schizophrenia and mental and behaviour disorder. He was sectioned twice just over 2 years ago, and I argued with the MH professionals at the time, urging them to ignore the drug induced MH which it was at that time, giving them a full history of behaviours before he ever used drugs and suggested to them he had certain traits and behaviours which linked to various MH conditions but they would not listen. I also told them he was self medicating as he couldn’t deal with it.

When they advised about his MH this yesterday, they always start the conversation with your son is very very unwell. I could not help myself, I did my I told you so conversation very nicely and asked them to in future not to just label drug induced MH for others, including my son to be dismissed, long conversation was had and I was Reinforcing that as a professional myself working on the front line closely with MH in families and MH professionals I always see drug and alcohol induced MH ignored and untreated.

If I’m honest I believe the only reason my son has not been dismissed this time is they are clear it is not drug induced and they can see his MH issues clearly. It makes me think, what is the point of parents, spouses or relatives and friends giving history if it is not used when assessing.
What was interesting is that the diagnosis of mental and behaviour disorder is as a result of drug abuse, but the underlying MH is paranoid schizophrenia which was sort of suggested that MH would understand a form or substance misuse with the underlying MH condition.

I think I want to change my job and start doing training to professionals, who dismiss vulnerable people who self medicate or abuse drugs, alcohol and self harm to make sure they don’t just get labelled and ignored. I am going to look into this further

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Joined: Fri May 11, 2018 1:59 am

Re: Making assumptions

Post by Poetry »

As the others have said, there is no way you could have known. That is the problem with parenthood. When kids are little, we are all powerful, they are with us at all times and we KNOW when things are not right. That needs to diminish as they get older, and become responsible, but addicts are never responsible and we are too tired and traumatised to keep getting everything right.

Most certainly not your fault, and now, I am sure you will be there to support your son in his MH needs, but as has been observed, those are confused by the drug taking, so the picture is complex. My son is out of contact but does keep channels open with his younger bro and his sister in law by his other bro. He was seeking a diagnosis of ADHD, which he got, though (and of course I am no expert) I'm dubious. Of course, there seems to be no cessation in his drug taking, witness a series of abusive texts my husband got (all crazy)about a month ago.

I find it hard to be sympathetic to my son's MH problems. The paranoia seems to be a direct result of drug taking. He's now forty and began taking drugs at uni (we never knew) so its well established. I survive by being very unsubtle-you take the drugs and are TOTALLY responsible for EVERYTHING that happens.

I am unsure as to why some health professionals do not listen to family, though. Your input in the past sounds very valuable. It's a different scenario, but my husband and I are ex teachers and have been teaching our nine year old granddaughter over Zoom thro lockdown. She's in school a few days a week as mum is a part time key worker. The teachers are lapping up our support!! Common sense. Sending love and best wishes. P

Posts: 93
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:29 am

Re: Making assumptions

Post by Paulette »

And just to add to what others have said, you could not possibly have known. And tbh it could well be that drugs have induced the MH problems or exacerbated them.
But I do strongly agree with you about families not being listened to. I've had terrible experiences of not being heard with my addict son. We've had endless run arounds of hospital admissions after a suicide attempt, only to be discharged with no assessment and then he's in my experience you have to put everything in writing, you have to ask them firmly to read the notes, you may have to get your MP may need legal's a total nightmare. And yes, they say oh it's drugs, we can't treat him unless he's stops. Eventually I decided that they may be right. But then how do you get them to stop? We can't. So, in my son's case he's ended up in prison. At least I know where he is, and during lockdown they can't get drugs.
Career wise - well good on you!

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