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Any ideas on how to get my adult son to go out?


My son has a serious mental illness, part of which is social anxiety. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I could encourage to go out and feel safe doing so. I am willing to go with him.



Re: Any ideas on how to get my adult son to go out?

Hi Jewel,


Welcome to the Forums.


It's hard to not be general in my response without knowing much more about your son's mental illness. Is he currently undergoing any treatment, and if so, is he finding it useful.


Often a therapist will work with an individual to create small steps and techniques to help manage social anxiety. Perhaps the end goal is to be able to go out for a period of time without distress, however, there could be many steps between where someone is now, and the end goal.

It's great that your son has you to support him with whatever that goal may look like.

There are a few members here whose loved one has anxiety, so I'm sure there will be more advice and experiences to come. If I recall, @ElliLou 's daughter deals with anxiety, she may have some tips for you?


Again, welcome to the forums. Feel free to share more of your story, if often helps members give more specific advice Smiley Happy


Re: Any ideas on how to get my adult son to go out?

My son has Paranoid Schizophrenia, he has a case worker (social worker) and a psychiatatrist, he is on Involuntary Treatment Order to ensure he gets his anti-psychotic depot. He does not think his meds are doing any good but for me, the improvement is brilliant. However, he suffers badly from social anxiety and before his treatment he went missing for several days before being found by the police. He felt the need to be as far away from people as possibe so he lived rough in just the clothes he was wearing in the bush. While it seems that feeling has disappeared, he still won't go out for very long and spends days and weeks at home. I have spoken to his caseworker and psychiatatist but no much seems to be happening.

Thanks Jewel


Re: Any ideas on how to get my adult son to go out?

Hi @Jewel 

It's great that he's getting treatment and you're seeing an improvement.

Actually it sounds like he's made a huge improvement - him running away must have been scary - but for him now to be home and going out for short periods of time (even if it's days or weeks between) is huge!


How are his symptoms? I'm assuming the psychosis is under control?

Have you got access to a psychologist? Sometimes psychotherapy is a complementory treatment to medication.



Re: Any ideas on how to get my adult son to go out?

Hi NikNik

My son's psychosis is better and there is little evidence of it except the occasional mention. That is, I think he still has some delusions but they seem very minor. He doesn't have the constant look of fear in his eyes anymore, thanks goodness, that was heartbreaking.

I have a psychologist for myself but as my son doesn't think he has a mental illness (never has) it would be difficult to get him to see one. He is on ITO. Besides as he says, he hates talking to people and answering questions. But I agree I think  psychotherapy could be helpful.

We had a bit of a win today though; his caseworker managed to get him to go to soccer and apparently he even joined in the game as goal keep. Smiley Happy AND he went to the shops with me and bought himself a new Tshirt and shorts which means he is out of the same tshirt and shorts he has had on for about 3 months. Smiley Happy



Re: Any ideas on how to get my adult son to go out?

That's great news @Jewel - not only did he go out, but it seems he enjoyed it!



Re: Any ideas on how to get my adult son to go out?

Hi Jewel
What a great day.
My daughter has social phobia and anxiety and finds that if things get too difficult while she is out (which is not often) having ear phones and music available can calm her and allow her to be in situations that would otherwise be more stressful especially things like the bus or train.
Good luck with further outings

Re: Any ideas on how to get my adult son to go out?

Hi Jewel,

Your son's behaviour describes my 21 yo daughter to a 'T'. She is not on a ITO yet but her health team are suggesting this is the next step. She has had one full blown psychotic attack last year. With your experience do you think I should proceed with the ITO before things get really bad again. She doesn't/won't take medication and doesn't/won't engage with her health team at all.



Re: Any ideas on how to get my adult son to go out?

Hi Rover

I feel safer with my son being on ITO but my son hates it. I know that one day he will be removed from it as he is compliant with meds (a depot) and I know as he is - goodbye meds. I am wondering why her health team says an ITO is the next step - are they waiting for the next pychotic episode?

Re: Any ideas on how to get my adult son to go out?

Hi Jewel,

My daughter's health team are aware she still has dillusions but she is very guarded about them. I keep them informed of any conversions we have - she would never speak to me again if she knew they were contacting me though. The try and visit her but she never opens the door. They think that staying inside all day and having a relationship with a guy 15years older than her is not healthyand that the longer she remains untreated the harder it will be for her to ever lead a normal life. I saw her last week and I am sure she is not sleeping or eating. 

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