"Children show respect for parents by obeying them. Parents show respect for children by expecting them to obey. "

When an Adult Child Needs Help

Question

Our 29 year old son was essentially a model child growing up- a good student with very few behavior issues. He graduated college in 2010, during which time he was was
charged twice for possession of marijuana. He also was prescribed anti-depressant medication during this time. Upon
graduation, he took a construction job which he then lost due to a DUI and driving illegally on a restricted license. We had noticed behavioral changes after graduation - he developed an aggressive, sometimes hostile demeanor. He agreed to see a psychiatrist, but stopped after a short time. As his behavior became increasingly hostile and erratic we suggested that he return to see the psychiatrist which he adamantly refused to do. Finally, after one particularly disturbing episode, during which he came to our home acting very strangely and ultimately became verbally and physically abusive, we, upon the advice of a psychiatrist friend, called the crisis mental health hotline and had him involuntarily committed to the hospital. We repeated that awful experience twice in the following month due to his continued bizarre behavior and his refusal to follow up with the mental health support team which he had previously agreed to. He is currently living alone in a house we own, and refuses to get a full-time job, preferring to try and get by doing odd jobs for people. Due to privacy issues, we never got a definitive diagnosis from the hospital, but nurses we spoke with mentioned schizo-affective and bipolar disorders. The psychiatrist he had seen prior to his hospitalization had advised us to stay in contact with him and to make sure he had food and shelter. His behavior continues to be unpredictable and we are torn between cutting him off financially and telling him he is totally on his own, or continuing to be supportive, not knowing for certain just what his mental status is. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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