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Thank you, doctor.
Here are two additional pieces of information and my additional questions:
1) This young man has been married, has a teenage daughter, and is divorced. This pattern of wearing boxer shorts instead of a robe around the home started in his home in his early teen years. His mother says it was never explicitly discussed; it just happened, and she sees nothing wrong with it continuing.
2) Your thoughts on the young man are spot on. He is a veteran of the Iraq war, and suffers from depression and PTSD. He was a full time student until his last deployment, and now can not focus, face groups of people, etc.He is certainly clinically depressed, and is receiving counseling and medications from the VA. He would be homeless unless his mom has acquired an air mattress and allowed him to stay in what had been her very small study.
The question is one, as you said, of appropriateness. Is it healthy and appropriate for her to continue to allow her adult male son who is sharing a very small 900 SF two bedroom apartment with her to wear nothing but boxer shorts while walking, standing, sitting and lying down in the areas outside of his own room while she is present in the apartment? And to join him on the couch in her own sleepwear?
As part of your answer, do you believe it would risk his mental state being impacted if she were just to ask him to begin wearing pants when she is present?
I have no desire to be unreasonable, or to create additional trauma for the young man or his mother who has so generously taken him in. Should I drop my objection to her allowing him to continue to wear just this attire when his mom is present (or when he is alone)? Is it or is it not inappropriate behavior at this point in their lives?