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Son Pushing Everyone Away

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My son is 19 and has been pushing his family away. He and his father were never close. Him and I were once very close. In the past few years I could see a change in him. If you look at his school pictures you can see when the change started but he denied needing any help. It got worse as the years went on. He became very manipulative with me. Always turning things around so I would see it his way. Always pushing the blame to someone else. After his first girlfriend broke up with him, he spiraled downward. He turned to drinking but in our town alot of young men drink so he made it seem that he was normal. IT wasn’t until he started drinking alone in his room and going to his friends house numerous times a week that made me feel he is an alcoholic. I have tried telling him he needs to get help but he refuses. He blames me for ruining his life and I have no idea what I did. He rarely speaks to me and when he is home rarely comes out of his room. Is very vocal that he hates his home, his life, the town we live in, etc. I know he is depressed but I can’t get him to get help. How can I get him to realize it? Do I just sit back and wait for him to hurt himself? He is 19 so I can’t force anything. The other night I told him if he doesn’t change his ways that he needed to find a new place to live. Of course I was told I was a horrible mother for even thinking of asking him to leave.

Son Pushing Everyone Away

Answered by on -


Thank you for sending us your concern. It does sound like his son may have a drinking problem and that it may be time for an intervention. Two things I would recommend first is a link to Al-Anon so that you can learn how to cope with him. Once you are there you can learn about resources from others who can help with arranging for services for him when he is ready.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Son Pushing Everyone Away

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Son Pushing Everyone Away. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 25, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 10 Apr 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.