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Guidance To Help My Son Deal With His Violent Rages

Question:

Hi,

I need advice to send my son in the right direction. He went to University for the first time in Autumn and could not handle the change. He was anxious, unsettled and unhappy. However he hasn’t been content for a long time and found it hard to settle at school. He also admitted to taking drugs, mainly cannabis, for the last 2 years but also harder drugs when he went to university.

Since being at home and jobless he is trying to cope with depression by exercising. He doesn’t take drugs, although he still drinks alcohol.

Since being at home he has violent outbursts and rages. He has hit his friends when out for a night, hit strangers, been abusive to friends and to me and has put his fists through windows and walls at home, and trashed his room.

I’m a single parent of 4 and I’m afraid that me or his younger siblings will end up being at the receiving end of one of his rages. My youngest child is only 6.

He acknowledges that his behavior is unacceptable and should talk about how he feels. I’ve told him that he is a danger to himself and potentially to others. He is beginning to read about anger and intends and to use self-help methods.

I’m unconvinced that he could sufficiently turn it around on his own. He is very reluctant to see a therapist. He is aware he has to work on his own self worth and deal with anxiety.

Do you reckon he will be able to manage this on his own with my help? I have to admit that I’m tired of this. Also, I’m not a therapist, I just want to help him in the right way to make his life better.

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Answer:

Your comment about not being a therapist shows good judgement on your part. In addition, nobody can blame you for being tired of your son’s behavior In fact, no one can blame you for being fearful about your safety and that of the other children when your son is in one of his rages. You are also right to be skeptical about your son’s ability to use self-help techiques with behaviors as serious as his.

Regardless of the underlying problems that are fueling these rageful outbursts, they must stop immediately. There are many people who are anxious, unhappy and depressed but are not violent. Depression is no excuse for his rageful actions either at home or outside. If he cannot control himself, and he does not seem able to, then you must call 911 and have him arrested. He has no right to terrorize the family regardless of how angry he is.

I am aware of how difficult it is for a parent to have a child arrested. Even though this is a difficult  it, he must be made aware that violence will not be tolerated.  He tells you that he knows his behavior is unacceptable. Saying that is far different from doing something about it. Thus far, he does not seem to have faced any consequences. If he is violent with strangers he could get himself seriously injured or killed one of these days.

In fact, its my opinion that he not be allowed to live in your home if he is not able to follow house rules. These rules must include,  1. Controlling his rage so that he does not become violent, 2. He find a job, 3.  He must enter psychotherapy, 4. He must stop drinking and abusing other drugs.

Its important for you to understand that alcohol is a drug. He is abusing it just the same as he was abusing drugs in school. How do you really know for sure that he is not using other drugs? In any case, whether its alcohol or anything else, these substances contribute to his violence.

Mom, you want to guide your son and that means getting tough with him, setting limits and boundaries and insisting on civilized behavior… all of the time.

So, this is my advice and opinion.

Best of Luck 

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Comments
  • Damen C

    I think it's quite clear that the boy's violent rages are due to steroid use. His mother states that all he does during the day is excercise. Excercise is well known to be an helpful anti-depressant, however, his only reaction is to exhibit uncontrollable rage. With no prior history of rage and the sudden onset of the rageful behavior beginning after he took up an excercise routine, it would be the first direction I would look in.

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