Dear Annie: My 35-year-old son, “Edgar,” has been diagnosed with major depression and is receiving disability. He currently lives in an apartment on my parents’ property.
Since Edgar is vehicle-less, I’ve been helping him with grocery shopping. Last week, after a bout of extreme allergy symptoms, his depression escalated, and he texted me, saying, “My life is worthless.” He claimed he had no food left, but refused to let me bring groceries. He said he didn’t care if he wasted away, although he promised not to kill himself.
Over the weekend, I texted him, but there was no response. By Monday, I was frantic. I reached out to his physician, leaving a message with the assistant, emphatically stating my son promised he would not harm himself. He just didn’t want to eat. I told the assistant it was crucial I speak with the doctor. Well, this nitwit conveyed the wrong information, resulting in a call from police about a welfare check.
Then Edgar called, ranting I have messed up his life because I told his doctor he was suicidal. I phoned the doctor, who apologized for the confusion her assistant had caused and assured me she would call my son and straighten things out. I waited another day and sent Edgar a text. He replied, “Forget it, the damage is already done.” He said he was going to move far away. What do I do? – Drama
Dear Drama: You need to give Edgar breathing room. Although he may be grateful you care, this much attention might be overwhelming. Send a calm text, saying you love him, you’re sorry you upset him, and you hope he will get back in touch soon. We know you are worried, but there is only so much you can do. Meanwhile, please contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness at (800) 950-NAMI (nami.org).
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