25 yo son with gaming and alcohol addiction. Feeling as though I'm loosing him and not sure how to move forward

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25 yo son with gaming and alcohol addiction. Feeling as though I'm loosing him and not sure how to move forward

***Trigger warning - Suicide, anxiety, depression, swearing*** 


Our 25-year-old son has gaming and alcohol addiction.  I believe this is self-medicating for his anxiety and depression.  Is this the norm for other parents and their kids?  I mean are other kids also self-medicating?  I'm perplexed. 

In January, he was suicidal because I was in the US (we live in Australia) his best mate picked him up from the hospital and looked after him until we could get home.  His best mate then shot himself in February (none of us knew he had depression) we were and are all gutted. 

Since February, we have tried repeated support options but were not detached.  He has lost his job, his house, his girlfriend and his car - the first three due to gaming and drinking.  He's also had a stint in court where he will be "locked up next time" according to the judge. 

I have gone to Al-anon and I am learning to detach however, I'm struggling with feelings of abandonment. I want him to fall on the bones of his arse and find rock bottom before gaming, alcohol, depression and anxiety kill him.  I don't want to abandon him though.  

I called today and left a message which surprisingly he called me back. He's been ex-communicative since I called him on something he said was my fault that was actually his.  All I could think to say to him was that I 'was thinking of him, hoped he was alright' and if he 'needed anything to let me know'.  But that last part is bullsh**, if he needs anything and he can't do it for himself then he can ring me.  But that's not what I said... 

it all feels like I'm walking on eggshells and it continues to be exhausting. :( 

Any help, feedback or support would be greatly appreciated.

Polga's picture
Last seen: 2 days 35 min ago
AdministratorOLG-Anon memberOLGA member
Joined: 02/17/2014 - 11:33am
Welcome Mumseekingsupport !

Welcome Mumseekingsupport !

One of the signs of addicition is that they blame everyone else for their problem. As parents I think it  about realising the child needs to take responsibility.

There is a thread with links to information around dealing with a childs addiction. I would recommend that you read as much as you can so it starts to become a part of you and inform your inner wisdom. It's linked in my signature below. i recommend the thread 'about enabling' http://www.olganon.org/forum/discussion-parents-olg-anon-members-only/about-enabling-what-we-need-stop-doing-really-help

Another really helpful place online for suppoert is here :https://www.conductdisorders.com/community/forums/parent-emeritus.18/

We all want to help our children, but there is a fine line between enabling and helping. Yiou need to find where that is so you can help your son and also stay sane yourself. It's so easy to get carried away with emotion about things we cannot control ... that will not help the situation either. If your change your mindset and remove the guilt, set boundaries and know the reason why, then how you come across to your son will change, and that may help to precipitate change in him, when he knows that he alone is responsibile for getting his life on track and finding his meaning in life.

Setting healthy boundaries about how you deal with your son is not abandonment; it is self care and loving care towards the long term wellbeing of your son. Enabling keeps them in addiction longer.

I speak from experience of having a son living away from home who is not making good decisions about his life and is not moving on. I have learned to accept there is nothing I can do expect hold my boundaries around what is healthy for us both.

Those boundaries are no money from me, trying not to give advice about what he should do, not spending needless time worrying about his business. If I tell him what he should do then it takes away his own power and gives the message that he is not able to make decisions. He tends just to shut off anything I say around how he should live his life; and that then creates a barrier to any harmless communication ... he fears that whenever I want to talk to him I will say something else that makes him feel uncomfortable. He makes very little contact; which is only hurtful if i chose to see it that way.

So sorry you are having to deal with this. Look after yourself and live for the day. Do not worry about the future he may never have. One day at a time. Seeing a therapist to support you (and not your son) may be helpful.

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