ADD / ADHD Community
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Avatar universal

adult son w/ADHD

My son is 28.  He lives at home.  he was diagnosed with ADHD when he was young.  He is only 5' 3'' and acts like he doesn't have a problem.  He takes Concerta (and ritalin for the AM an PM.)  He is a chronic liar and will not take responsibility for anything. He is often verbally abusive when confronted with a lie or a problem.  I feel horrible about wanting him to move out because he seems to have many issues ( depression, anger, trouble sleeping at night with daytime drowsiness.)  Is there anything I can do to help when he won't even admit that he needs the meds.   Sometimes I think the meds make him more irritable. He doesn't take them as prescribed either.  This doesn't help. Often he is loveable and happy and we get along great.  I just never know when the hammer will fall. Would you kick him out? I feel that he would not survive on his own.
22 Responses
Avatar universal
Does he have a job? Did he go to college? did he finish high school?  You should also post this question in the expert forum "relationship decisions".  The doctor in that forum is very helpful. You will need to provide more information about your son's ability to work and the type of activities that he does on a day to day.  Does he cook, wash laundry and such?  Until you use tuff love, get him counseling and let him live on his own for a while, you will not know if he can live on his own.  You probably need a third party involved such an ADHD coach or psycholigist to help you evaluate the situation.  If he has a steady job, he should be on his own.  He also should be adult enough at 28 to manage and take responsibility for his meds.  Good luck and God bless you.  Try the Relationship Decision Forum.
Avatar universal
My son gets jobs, but doesn't keep them.  He always starts out gung-ho and then screws up.  He often gets sleepy when his meds are wearing off, so he takes more.  This leaves him short at the end of the month and he crashes for a week.  Not good for keeping jobs.  He finished high school with a lot of help on our part.  He went to community college and flunked out. His organizational skills are horrible.  He hates doing anything that is not interesting to him.  If it's not fun, he really has a hard time paying attention.  His IQ is fine. He is extremely immature and is very unrealistic.  He has volunteered a couple of times for the SCA as he is interested in the environment.  He was gone for six months on one internship, but housing etc. was provided.  I want him to live a normal happy life.  It seems like we are destined to have him here forever.
Avatar universal
He is 28 and living at home, pays no rent and has no responsibility. Why would he want to move out when he has it made? You need to come down on him, and make him take responsibility for his own life, as this is the only thing which will make him think twice about his actions and think more clear when deciding to do things. Obvisouly he has no motivation to get out the door and actually make something of his life, and needs this to complete his growth. I can understand if he left, and came home after difficulties or to regroup, but if he never left then I would be skeptical as to his true intentions. If he is going to live thier he needs to help out, chip in with bills and be responsbile around the house. You need to tell him you love and will support him however you can, but that he needs to leave and start his own life because you wont be around forever. I am 26 and I left home at 18 and live halfway across the US from my parents. This forced me to grow up and get real to the facts of life, and I could not have been or felt better. Once he moves out, you will also devlop a new more special relationship that you do not have now.
Avatar universal
it could be his medicine that is making him this way,if he was not like this before being on them.

I myself don't like concerta ,my son was on it and he started the being sleepy durning the day and couldn't sleep well at night.and he would twitch in his sleep .also he would just stare and act like he couldn't hear you.

we come to find out months latter he was having seizures .and I took him off the concerta.before that he was on adderall. and one of the side affect to concerta is seziures.
and this was back in 2006 and now he is still having seziures and the medicines are not working.they have also told me my son my be bi-polar.witch I am not going to treat him for because the medicine could make the seizures worse.

good luck with everything.

Avatar universal
It's been awhile since I posted.  Still in same boat.  I love my son with all my heart but I just can't get him to admit that there is a problem.  He works sporadically and has difficulty paying his own bills let alone pitching in around the house.  My husband wants to retire soon and we will have a tough time if he remains irresponsible.  Concerta, when taken properly is a good drug, but not many adults can do that.  It's hard to feel sleepy when you need to be motivated and know there's a pill in your pocket.  My son always figures he'll just skip his meds on the week-end and catch back up.  Something always comes up and he ends up short at the end of the month.  I love his sense of humor off the  meds.  He is easy going but unable to stay on task.  On his meds he is irritable, defensive and hard to get along with.  Where's the happy medium?????
757137 tn?1347200053
He is on speed. That would make him irritable. Try taking him off it - slowly.
Avatar universal
Personally, I prefer to be off meds and eat better. I've found that by taking a liquid multi vitamin, eggs with cheese, avocados and spinach help me get focused in the morning. As long as I eat lunch I do ok but if not then I just don't make it through the day anymore. I have a bad habit of not eating because I forget... I know sounds like a good habit at times, but not when your blood sugar and brain get all out of wack without the proper nutrients.
Junk food and gluten products seem to make me worse. Sugar of course is an enemy of mine but I have to give in once in awhile with honey or chocolate. I use stevia to sweeten tea or coffee. I've never been a big coffee drinker, but used to have soda's instead. Now I'm not doing either on a regular basis.
Also, it sounds like he's got no direction, and no consequences for him to be responsble for. Has he ever had a dog or a cat where he was the sole provider for? I say those two animals simply because they interact with us as humans and demand attention from us. They are in their own way ADHD as well. Dependant and lovable but annoying at times... hee hee.. atempt at humor here...
What is he interested in? I think it would be good for him to get involved with something that forces him to have boundaries and structure. If he like the forestry thing, let him go for it... I bet he'd be good at working with troubled teens as well. He's probably pretty intuitive and sensitive although he won't show it out of fear.
He messes up at work because he's afraid of failing and so he messes up on purpose so that he's in control of when he does as he figures it will happen anyway, as it always has, simply because he's self sabotaging himself.
At 28 he's not going to take on any responsibility if he isn't forced to. It's called tough love and it's called co-dependancy as well.
I know that by my experiences within the last few years, I don't do well on medications of any sort. Most of them act totally different on me than they should so the results are totally unknown and unpredictable. Not at all the way I want to live my life.
Also if he doesn't have a job, how can he afford meds? Hmmm...
Hope my experiences help you out some... It's nice to have family that care enough, but you also have to shove the guy out of the nest so he'll know that his wings indeed do work and he can fly on his own...
Cheers, Tamra
Avatar universal
I find a lot of truth in what you are saying.  Rather than fail at something, he gives up first.  He always says" I have never lost a job I really wanted. "  When he did SCA interns he was gone for 6 months at a time and loved his work.  It's the mundane jobs he hates.  He has tried alot of different fields looking for a good fit.  Physical labor suits him best, but due to a malabsorptive condition, he has small stature.  I would love to talk him into tapering off the Concerta but he loves his spurts of concentration and ability to stay up past 8:00pm.  I think this would get better with time.  I do not pay for his Concerta.  He goes through a program that Johnson and Johnson has for people with no insurance.  His Dr. does the paperwork and he gets it free with a card they send him.  I thought when he turned 26, he would seek natural alternatives due to cost but his doctor took care of that.  He has taken Concerta since he was in college.  Because of growth problems we would not allow it when he was younger.  I am afraid he would find a way to self medicate, anyway.  I wish I could do the tough love thing but my family would never forgive me.  They all adore him the way he is.  He has begged for a cat.  I agreed that when he had a job for 6 months and was able to support it, I would allow it. Also he has to clean his room on a daily basis.( as he would a litter box.)  Never happened.  His doctor acts like he is doing wonderfully. I give up.
Avatar universal
Let me guess, he got on here and posted the last comment himself... As to whether what he said is true, that's between you and God. If indeed there is an issue with alcohol and a man who needs to be put in an assisted living situation, then maybe you need to take a look at what has made this situation like it is. I'm not judging, nor condemning as I don't live your life.
As far as your family loving him the way he is, then send him their way and be done with it. It sounds like he's making excuses to stay and if what he said was true, then why not call the officials for elder abuse? Like I said, not here to judge, that's God's job ultimately. But if you need to take stock in your situation, the mere fact that he broke into your account on the computer shows his lack of respect for you and your things. This will never change and I'm sure there are other areas that need some attention to as well in regards to him.
Set the bar, keep the bar and stick to your bar regardless of what family might say. If you need help in the home, then get it. If you need help to work this out, then by all means get it. If he can get his doctor to take care of the cost of the meds, then he's capable of figuring out how to get someone else to take care of him as well.
If you are elderly, you have enough problems to deal with than continuing to care for a peteous child who's old enough to have kids of his own.
Just my 2 cents, well one with inflation...
Nothing is perfect, nothing will change if you are not willing to accept either and work towards a goal to fix them.
Best of luck to you~
757137 tn?1347200053
Your son is only 5'3." Did you know that Ritalin and its ilk stunts the growth of children? Who knows what other problems the addiction causes. And yes, he is addicted. That may well be the primary source of his problems.
Avatar universal
I forgot to address the short stature issue. As I said in previous post, we did not medicate him when he was growing up due to a medical problem causing malabsorption.  He was not healthy and spent a good deal of his early years in and out of hospitals.  We were aware that Ritalin can stunt growth and were not willing to risk this. In order to reach the height he is presently at he took growth hormones and anabolic steroids.  Not an easy road. It was a high school teacher that suggested ADHD meds. His growth had stopped and the doctor agreed with treatment.  Wish we hadn't gone this route.
757137 tn?1347200053
I wish someone with tell teachers that they are not doctors. They probably have more to do with the increase in ADD diagnoses than anyone. Then the parents, pressured by the school, take their problems to a doctor (usually someone not specialized in this sort of problem) and the compliant "doctor" prescribes drugs. We need guidelines for this sort of thing. I cannot imagine how many children's lives have been ruined by this questionable ethical behavior.

By the way, the school was after me about one of my daughters who was very mischievous (and hated school). I told them to go fly a kite. Fortunately I had some medical knowledge so could protect her. Most people do not and rely on "experts." My advice? Say no to gain time, and then gather all the information you can. Niney-nine times out of a 100 you will reject the drugs.
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