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Howard Wise
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My nephew is 19 and has some type of mental health issue.

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My nephew is 19 and has some type of mental health issue. Perhaps bipolar, depression. . . no one seems to know because he refuses any counseling. He has alienated his mother through verbal and physical abuse. I took him in temporarily last week because he had no where to go.

He broke up with a girl he dated for a while and has threatened suicide if she doesn't come back to him. I took him to the doctor who prescribed an SSRI but he will not take it--hasn't even had it filled. The girl keeps baiting him and he gets emotionally explosive--slinging things around, etc. It's like dealing with a small child having a temper tantrum.

I have been trying to get him to look for work and consider going back to school. I will be moving on the 27th (10 days) and he cannot stay in my home when I leave. His mother is beside herself and wants to have him committed.

I don't think committment is the best option. I want to put him out and let him fend for himself, but his mother is afraid he will flare up at the wrong person and get arrested or hurt. She is also afraid that she will lose track of him because he will not contact her.

My question: can we force him to go to counseling? (GA is the location) Would that even be a feasible answer? How do I approach him about getting a job and moving? I am the only one he doesn't scream and cry with and, in his calmer moments, will talk to.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Howard Wise replied 2 years ago.
Good morning, this is Howard,

I am sorry to hear about the problem with your nephew. It sounds like he is going through a very difficult time in his life, as are his mother, and you. He is fortunate that you are there for him. I hope he appreciates you.

As far as I know there is no way to force anyone to go for counseling. If your nephew were found to be a danger to himself or others then a short term commitment would be possible. From what you have reported, I do not think there is sufficient evidence to arrive at this conclusion.

Regarding approaching your nephew about getting a job and moving on, that will be rather difficult, as you already know. He does not appear to be open to that at this moment because he is so upset about everything else that is happening in his life.

I think that the best thing you can do now is what you have been doing. Continue to be open to him and willing to talk when he needs to. I am not sure what the solution is after you leave the area. That will definitely present a problem for your nephew and your sister. Many problems in life do not have an easy solution, as you know.

Please feel free to post a follow-up question if you like. I am here to help you in any way I can.
Howard Wise, Child Care
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 650
Experience: Counseling with a compassionate ear and a loving heart.
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Howard Wise
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