Dear Annie: My son is 26 years old and lives with his father, rent free. He sleeps all day and stays up all night drinking beer and watching TV. My ex-husband buys him whatever he wants or needs.
“Joey” has had a couple of jobs, and we always think he is doing well, but then he quits. I have called the doctor’s office, but they say Joey needs to call. When I ask him to do so, he tells me nothing is wrong.
Annie, I’m not sure my ex-husband can “tough love” the situation because he fears Joey will do something drastic. Can you suggest anything we can do so my son won’t simply lay in bed and not enjoy life? – B.J.
Dear B.J.: We assume you believe Joey is depressed, although he may simply be a freeloader who has never been asked to shoulder any responsibility. Either way, he needs help and so do his parents, especially Dad, who is tacitly encouraging Joey’s behavior. Suggest that Dad look into Because I Love You (bily.org), P.O. Box 2062 Winnetka, CA 91396, and The National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org) at 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6264).
Dear Annie: The letter from “Son of a Portly Pop” prompted me to write to an advice columnist for the first time in my 50 years. Please tell him to look into Overeaters Anonymous (oa.org).
Three years ago, I lost 70 pounds, and it has given me a new life. In addition to the weight, my high blood pressure and high cholesterol went away. I gained the courage to go back to school and am halfway through a graduate degree that I never dreamed of before. As a bonus, I have met wonderful friends.
If “Son” can get “Pop” to an OA meeting, he will find support, acceptance and compassion. – John
Dear John: Congratulations. We hope “Pop” sees your letter and takes the first step in getting his health back.
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