Today I am not pondering love or the genetic factors in addiction. Today I am thinking about yesterday. Yesterday I was just trying to have a civil, adult conversation with my son before he started consuming various substances which makes rational conversation more difficult.
I was trying to ask him what it will take to make him finally have that moment of clarity that things need to change. He insists nothing will make that happen. Surely there must be something that scares him enough to think if that would ever happen than he would know enough is enough. I am asking too much I guess because he is of the mindset still that if he stays in the comfort of his home, hiding from reality, taking his drugs, eventually it will all go away.
So much seems to be happening, from my point of view, yet nothing has seemed to cause a reaction that results in a change in behaviour from my son.
Random recall now makes me remember yesterday as the clearest. The psychiatric nurse from the early intervention in psychosis team came by yesterday and talked to my son for about 2 hours. While discussing my son's "issues" with drugs and behaviour and the ramifications of his actions and the implications it has on the family all my son could say in a casual way was that "all this is an over reaction to someone who just wants to take drugs". My son expressed his resentment that he feels he is being forced into doing things that he does not want to do. The nurse then asked my son if that means he feels "manipulated" by others and that he feels powerless about it. My son agreed that that is how he feels. When the nurse then pointed out how the substances that my son is taking is in fact also manipulating him and making him react in ways that are untrue to him and that those chemical reactions are out of his control, my son did not have an answer. What he did say though was that drugs give him a sense of well being and a sense of self and without them that well being would be taking away. Most people work toward a sense of well being through work, relationships, security etc and with drugs that is like "cheating", he is getting the reward without the work or effort but that reward is getting smaller because the drugs do not give him as much as he would like as well as the added pressures now on him from outside factors to give up that reward system.
The outcome from the visit was that EIP (Early Intervention in Psychosis) is not a service that can offer my son any support because he is not displaying any psychotic symptoms and the key issue is his drug taking. Of course he can experience some disjointed thinking and his brain patterns have been altered which affects his thoughts and behaviours, but it is not psychosis. He will write the necessary professionals but he will be discharged from that service.
Yet reading the information on this link, http://www.nepft.nhs.uk/for-families-and-friends/ it states that:
Mental illness can cover a range of conditions including depression, anxiety, stress, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, phobia, addiction, eating disorder, self-harm and personality disorder to name a few.
Yet, if you are not presenting with psychotic symptoms they apparently are not the correct service for you. How about the addiction, depression, anxiety, stress and possible personality disorder?
Of course the psych nurse tried to put the emphasis on how life will not improve while he takes the drugs, and that he is too intelligent to believe that the drugs are improving his life. He also tried to reiterate that his sisters are a concern and that agencies are involved. My son did not seem convinced, he seemed indifferent.
Speaking of agencies involved, we have had our third Social Services " Child in Need" meeting. I have expressed my opinion more than once regarding the so called "help" that Social Services has offered us. I feel that our new Social Worker is not much of an improvement from the last, however, he seems to be taking matters more seriously, which may at first seem like a good thing, but in fact may prove to make all this a very serious matter indeed.
In our meeting it was understood that things need to change drastically. We will be discharged from Social Services when the agency, Family Solutions, begins work with us. However, my son is expected to start attending sessions with his key worker and get on board. If Family Solutions is unhappy or dissatisfied with the way things are going or if any new information is disclosed and another referral to Social Services needs to be made, then we will be looking at a much more serious intervention from Social Services in the form of A Child Protection case, that is when removing children from the family home becomes the object of the case if serious changes are not made.
Not even this realization that the matter will be no longer in my hands but in the hands of Child Protection, doest it seem to hold a big enough reality check for my son. My son is still adamant that things are not so bad, or correction, things were not so bad until I started making an issue of it all. He admits he hates Social Services' involvement, however he does not see that he must start playing ball or the outcome may be devastating. When I was trying to get him to answer my questions about how things can start getting better, asking him what he thinks needs to be done, his answer was, "I am being forced into all this and I have to keep doing what I am being forced to do until they go away". I pointed out to my son that he has been saying this for weeks and yet in fact he has done very little in regard to what others want him to do, so in fact he is not really being "forced" because he is not doing them. As even the psychiatric nurse observed, my son might actually be doing things on his own accord (such as keeping a log of what he takes, when he took it, and how much) but as soon as someone tells him to do that thing he has already been doing, he stops. He likes to be in control and he likes to challenge people.
The problem is that while we wait for Family Solutions or Social Services, or the Key Workers, any professionals or me for that matter to try to "get through" to my son, we live the same way despite all my efforts. I am worried that in the process of all this waiting, the message being sent to my son, and my daughters, is that he can get away with it, he is in control, nothing is "working" and mom is unable or incapable or too weak to make the changes needed to make everything OK again.
As I have said so many times before and I keep saying, I still cling on to hope that one day things will be different and better for us all.