Newly diagnosed 28 yo cannot manage money

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    • #137359

      My 28 yo son, after several years of being treated for depression, and drug addiction, has recently been diagnosed with ADD. He cannot manage his money. Will the medication help with the executive function or is there some training/therapy that we should be looking at as well. We are trying not to be condescending in trying to teach him to manage his money but this is a challenge when he seems to make decisions that a 13yo would make. Any advice would be appreciated. This is the beginning of the journey for us and we are feeling a bit overwhelmed

    • #137360

      Hi fellow mom. First let me say that I know this journey through active addiction into recovery coupled with ADHD symptoms is very taxing on the family as well as the individual with the disease of addiction. There is hope but I must emphasize a few things that will help if followed.
      I am also in recovery (5.5 years now). I spent many years before that trying to get sober or trying to make my family believe I was sober. My point in bringing this up is that there is a simple solution to active addiction- but it is NOT easy.
      Problems with managing money is not a unique issue to your son. This is a very common issue among us addicts/alcoholics.

      Here are my suggestions that if followed I know will bring you some peace of mind.
      1. Join an Al-anon group and work that program as suggested. It won’t be easy at times, but this is the healthiest thing for you and for your son.
      2. Encourage your son to work his recovery program (get a sponsor to work the steps, attend daily meetings, etc). If he does this thoroughly he will get to the financial amends part of the program and his sponsor will help him learn how to manage money through the principles of the program.
      3. Love your son which sometimes means letting him make mistakes and saying no to him. You can’t do this for him. He has to be willing enough to do the work himself.

      ADHD is also very common in the recovery world. Many of us first felt relief with a substance because it calmed down the symptoms of ADHD (racing thoughts, feeling out of control). Soon the substance became a problem and became something we needed instead of wanted.

      I promise you- if you work your al-anon program and your son dives into his recovery program- all of this stress and worry will go away. I’ve seen it happen again and again. Part of recovery is learning how to live life on life’s terms. The only one who can teach your son that is someone who has done it already (a fellow member in recovery).

      Try to remember: addiction is a legitimate disease. The substance was never the problem (in fact it was the solution to your son’s problems for a long time). The problem has always been in his mind/in his thinking. The program teaches you how to think differently. It works if you work it.

    • #137378

      Hi! Rachel provided sound advice. I’d also like to add that medicine helps executive function, but behavioral therapy is necessary also in my opinion. I assumed all of my problems with executive function would be 90% better with medication, but it’s only about 40% better. Counseling and behavioral therapy provides the other 40% improvement. Good luck, and thank you for helping your son with this.

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