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I need help with out of control 18 year old boy

I have been raising my nephew who has several mental health issues. He parents did meth when he was an infant and beat him badly.
He is now 18 and thinks he can do what he wants. He steals money from me and my partner. Along with food or anything else he wants. He stays up all hours on his computer and nothing else. He will spend 19-15 hours talking with people. I have called the crisis hot line on him but with him being 18 he needs to ask fir help. Today I completely shut our WiFi off. My partner wants to throw him out, but I’m concerned that he has no where to go. He’s verbally abusive to us and won’t help us at all. I’ve been thinking about going to court and having them declare him incompetent but my resources are limited. It’s the only way I can think of getting him help he needs. He can’t even take care of him self, he has become a hermit locking himself in his room and sneaking out to steal from us.
Any suggestions or help would be awesome.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Crisis hot lines are for suicidal people.  This is a chronic mental health problem, and for that you need someone who treats that to treat him, which would be a psychologist to start with and a psychiatrist if medication is determined to be necessary.  Does he have a job?  Does he go to school?  If not, you need to give him an ultimatum that he has to go to school or get a job, and given that he's now 18 and I'm assuming from what you say considered legally an adult where you live, it's up to you if you want to keep him as your dependent or not.  I doubt you can get him declared incompetent if he's capable of understanding what's going on.  At some point he is going to have to leave the nest, and if he's not willing to work or go to school he's not a child or a boy, he's a man, and he either starts to act like one or you are going to eventually going to have to part ways with him.  He needs to know that and then make his choice.  You can't force someone to conform to your wishes if he's an adult, but you can force someone to live by your rules if he wants to live under your roof.  It sounds like he is profoundly troubled, and troubled people have a very difficult time coping.  That's why he needs professional help, and the only thing you can do is force him to choose that or finding his own way in life.  One thing to be concerned about is whether he shows any tendency to be violent or act in criminal ways with others the way he is stealing from you.  Jail won't help him any.  
3 Comments
You don't have to be just suicidal to call the crisis lines. They advise on many areas related to mental health.  Just fyi. Also, if anyone has insurance, they often have counselors manning phones for discussion and advise so that's a route to take as well. Agree that real help will come if he wants it and from professionals he meets with.  It's really hard when they don't want help.  
Okay, too much of a generalization, but what I meant was crisis lines are for an immediate crisis.  Advice is useless.  Action is the only thing that helps with emotional illness, and that action has to be taken by the person who is emotionally ill.  This isn't the kind of crisis a hot line can help with as it's a chronic problem, which I said and what I meant.  There's probably a lot more to the story than what we've been told, but again, an adult doesn't have to conform to anything as long as no crime is being committed to anyone and there's no self-harm.  He does get to live any way he chooses, but not anywhere he chooses.  It's very difficult when someone has a personality that annoys everyone else, but it's also not a crime to be like that, it's just a bummer.  We have a young adult who so far all we know is likes to be on the computer and talk to his friends or acquaintances than do anything else, and steals money from his guardian, which is a crime but not one we'd lock someone up for usually.  If this behavior extends outside the home, this is a criminal in the making.  Is that emotional illness?  Don't know.  From the description, he might be happy as a clam living this way.  So we have two problems here -- his future is at stake if he goes on like this and what it portends doesn't look good, so the loving thing to do is try to steer him clear of this.  The second is, his guardians can't live with him anymore because of how he treats them and acts.  Neither is a crisis, but both are problems that won't go away by themselves and need attention, which can only be given if he agrees to it.  Very tough situation.
With a teen in this situation, I'm just saying it may have been awhile since you investigated these things.  Being heard and talking about your mental health troubles is a problem for a lot of teens who feel isolated and at the other end of crisis lines, they are there to listen, help and guide.  Not just for suicide.  It's for caregivers, those who are suffering both.  It's come a long way.  
973741 tn?1342342773
Ahh. I feel for you and the boy both. This is really hard.  So, was he ever evaluated for any delays or issues as a child born to meth addicted parents? Does he have developmental delays?  Learning disabilities?  What's going on with those?  What kind of mental health treatment is he in or has he been in?  I know it is hard as once they are 18, they can refuse care. But wonder what would be motivating for him.  Have you considered anything like trade school for him?  That kind of gives him a future of independence.  

I don't think I could just throw him out either.  Boy has had a traumatic life full of sadness.  I am so thankful you took him in and have provided for him. But it's still emotionally hard for someone without mental health issues and since he does, it's that much more complicated.  

How does he respond to house rules?
13167 tn?1327194124
Frank,  I don't have any real solutions for you,  but want to say you are very kind and generous to have taken this difficult young man in and given him a home.  Prayers somehow he turns a corner and is able to live a more positive life.
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hummm,  shutting off the wifi should get his attention.  Now make deals with him on how to get it back on.   Start easy.  See if there is any place that he can volunteer at for just several hours a day.
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