29 Year Old Adult Son With Extreme Anger Issues
My son has always had problems with self control and anger management. As his mom I suspected he was ADHD from a very young age-2 years. I would bring up my concerns to his pediatrician, but it was dismissed as being an active toddler, then preschooler, then just being a boy.
He was given an IEP evaluation in 2nd grade and again in 6th grade. Both times he tested with no learning disabilities and no ADHD. As his mom, I was happy to find he was "normal", but intuitively I knew he was not. Finally at age 14 with a private psychiatric evaluation, he was diagnosed as ADHD with numerous red flags.
He was put on ritalin, his grades soared to honor roll, he was easier to be with until at age 16 he took himself off the meds. He said it made him dull. Life then resumed to bad grades, explosive behavior. When he entered his senior year, he decided to resume taking his meds
to be able to study and prepare himself for college. When he went to college he stopped the meds. He has gone to 3 colleges, yet no degree.
He has a hard time with the task at hand and following through. He has had 4 serious relationships, all ending with anger, he is very controlling with extreme rage at times. If things aren't done his way there is always a problem. He is father to a 3 year old daughter, relationship #3.
He has gone to counseling with all his girlfriends, been put on meds. Time would be good for awhile, till he went off meds, then anger, hostility, rage. Basically he is very difficult to get along with 50% of the time, with extreme explosive behavior. The other 50% he is awesome. But when he is bad, it gets really nasty.
I think he has gotten worse, and I am afraid he will hurt someone badly. He has said some terrible things to his girlfriends, such as he wanted to go find other women just for sex. He has been arrested for pot 3x's, at 19, 21, and 24 and has been on probation. He has a bad driving record which has affected his employment.
He is a body builder and I am not sure if he takes steroids? It seems as though he is wired with anxiety and frustration.
My husband and I have been happily married for 35 years, both of us are stable with good careers. We have a 33 year old daughter, who is college educated, successful, married with a 1 year old in California.
I do not know where his anger stems from or why, especially since we have an extremely peaceful household and always have. He is currently living with us since his breakup, hopefully temporary. I try to talk to him, but he will not listen. Is there any advice you can give me?Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello DJ, and thanks for telling your story here. I can tell that you love your son, and that you're very concerned about him.
It is time for you to let go of your son and his problems. The only way he will ever get better is if he takes total responsibility for his issues and gets help himself. You can't help him, except by doing the right thing for yourself.
First, it is absolutely essential that he moves out of your house. You need to shift your focus off his problems onto your own life. You can't help him, and any effort you make to do so will only add to his problems.
Let him go, and believe in him. Trust that he will eventually find his path to a better place. And let go, over and over.
This page on letting go of relationships
and this one on tough love
Talk to your husband about this, make this decision together with him.
The worst thing you can do to your son is to let him live in your home and be disrespectful to you. It sounds like you're more concerned about his problems than he is. That will never work.
Use these positive journaling exercises
to shift your focus to the best in him and the best in your life.
You need to come first, then your marriage, then your son and the rest of your life.
My very best to you,