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Forums / Supporting family and friends with a mental health condition (carers) / Kicked stepson out - how to help him when he doesn't see there's a problem

Topic: Kicked stepson out - how to help him when he doesn't see there's a problem

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. LilyChicken
    LilyChicken avatar
    8 posts
    25 April 2021

    My 21yo stepson has had depression and anger issues most of his life. He had counselling when he was younger but nothing since he turned 15. Hubby and I both have depression and are treated with medication, counselling and self-help.

    For the past year stepson has done very little around the house. He works nights so we don't ask much of him. Maybe 30min here and there. Each time we ask him to lift his game a bit he stops talking to us for 2weeks. His idea of reconciliation is to buy his dad some takeaway for lunch, but there's never any attempt to fix what caused him to stop talking to us in the first place. So over time I've stopped talking to him because every time I do he cracks it again and I'm too exhausted with my 4yo, hubby's depression, my own depression, being pregnant and having chronic fatigue syndrome. I have no energy left to help someone who refuses to help himself.

    We've tried numerous times to talk to him and see if he wants us to make a dr appointment for him but he keeps insisting nothing is wrong. But he then turns around and says we never listen to him which is frustrating because he doesn't talk.

    After an argument yesterday about him refusing to help his dad, hubby told him to pack his stuff and get out. He's now living in his car and blaming hubby for everything.

    We don't know what to do. We've said he can come back home on the condition he gets help because we can't keep living like this. He doesn't seem to see he has any problems. He's driven away a lot of his friends which to us is a red flag on his behaviour and attitude and it not just being us that sees there's a problem.

    what should we do? Im also conscious that I need to look after myself given I'm pregnant and have my own health and mental problems.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. Katyonthehamsterwheel
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    Katyonthehamsterwheel avatar
    1565 posts
    25 April 2021 in reply to LilyChicken

    Hi there

    When I was reading this it reminded me that my parents went through the exact same thing with me at 18. It reminded me of how I felt at the time - I just didn't get it. You look at things differently at that age. My parents also stopped talking to me, and eventually I left.

    That's not to say I have the full picture here, but a possible way of looking at what's happening. From that perspective, I wonder if it would help to get some professional advice about how to engage with him? We communicate as adults, on different levels than young people. If we can find strategies to communicate better, we can work together, to make sure everyone feels heard. It might be worth discussing with your counsellor. They could either offer strategies, or direct you to helpful resources.


  3. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    30 April 2021 in reply to LilyChicken


    Well done for reaching out to try to find a way to help your stepson. At a time when I was really stressed and busy with my second child and a sick family member, I began to have trouble getting my eldest son to help with the smallest tasks. Sometimes things that would take less than 2 minutes of effort would take an eternity of reminders to get him to do. He was not like this at all when younger and it caused a lot of conflict for a while, with me getting frustrated, and finding it was easier to do the tasks myself, but then I would be annoyed at him.

    There is a simplified video made for people with ADHD that explains the 'wall of awful' that can be a barrier for people doing things that seem simple from the outside, but can actually be really difficult for those that are struggling: .

    I had been very close to my son when he was younger but I had been spending less and less time with him as he got older and more independent (he is 13 years older) because I had a younger son who was very demanding. I did come to realise over time though that my eldest had developed a sort of depressive paralysis due to his emotional state, and the accumulated sense of rejection and sense that he was failing or disappointing people in his life, and the loss of the support he used to have. I found the solution over time was making him feel more included and accepted, and building up his contribution through noticing everything good that he did.

    It sounds like you and your husband are already in a difficult place, but at least you have each other. Your stepson has lost his home and family. He needs positive acceptance and reinforcement that he is cared for even if you do not find a way for him to be at home. He may be feeling rejected by his father and may be jealous of the protection and attention that is given to you and your children (I don't know you, so forgive my hypothesizing I am just trying to help). I understand that is intensely frustrating that he does not help with chores, but family relationships are more important than this and there might be a more positive path to find it to the place you all want to be.

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