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Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 10643
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My 24 year old son told me today he hates his life. He is

Customer Question

My 24 year old son told me today he hates his life. He is overwhelmed, stressed out, he told me he has a lot on his plate. He got involved with a girl who has been involuntarily committed to mental ward 11 times, one year stays. Parents have a conservatorship . She is 24 now but is always causing trouble where ever she goes. Lies, gets him into debt, does not work and I think my son is fed up. He has broken up with her many times. She won't go back to her parents for obvious reasons. I think someone mentioned sociopath but I don't know. Please help me she influences him greatly, she has nowhere to go except with my son who believes all and now
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 2 years ago.
*This website DOES NOT constitute treatment and only provides information and advice. For treatment (therapy and/or medications) you must go to a licensed professional in your area. Please note that anything said here is not private or confidential, as this is a public forum. Hello, I believe I may be able to help you with your concern. I am sorry that you are having this issue with your son, I can understand how distressing this can possibly be for you. I would like to ask you a few questions to get a better idea of what you are looking for, so that I can better assist you. 1. You did not pose a specific question in your description, so may I ask what exactly is your mental health question that I can assist you with? Are you asking how to get through to your son to leave this woman? 2. When you bring up that he should end this relationship, what does he say? 3. Is your son willing to accept treatment for himself with a psychologist or psychiatrist to help him cope with these stressors and to help him possibly move forward from this relationship permanently? 4. And lastly are you willing to accept the possibility that no matter what you say or do, it may not be enough because in the end it is up to your son to make the decision on what to do regarding his relationship and his psychological symptoms?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My son has been asking for help. When I'm ready to drive him to the emergency room the girlfriend who knows the system well gets him alone then he changes his mind, my exhusband his father also suggested what about the bills? But she doesn't get a job
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
This gal is a beneficiary on a life insurance my son bought. I do not trust her. In the end she always gets what she wants thru my son, she controls him. When they met she helped my son cash out and spend his college fund it's like my son is a cash cow for her and not a human being
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for explaining a little bit more about this situation. At this point you may need to get your son involved in an intervention style meeting where all his family and friends can be there to support him and let him know how unhealthy this relationship paradigm is for him. By showing him that he can have support and love unconditionally it will help him to push away from this woman, but he has to see it in front of him. At this type of intervention your son will also be confronted without his partner there and that way you can better reach him. In addition, you all should try to help him focus on a plan of leaving this relationship permanently by planning out all the steps and having someone there with him during each step, so that he is never alone with her. The best thing would be to plan the move and ending of the relationship while she is away, so that he will never see her face to face, but I understand if this is not possible. Still friends and family should be with him at all times until he breaks free from this woman. It sounds like he is in a codependent relationship where no matter how unhealthy the relationship is, he is focused on keeping his partner happy, even at the expense of his own psyche and stability. Typically individuals that abuse others and have a personality disorder are the perpetrator in a co-dependent relationship and the victims are those that have a low sense of self-worth and possibly a depressive disorder like your son may have. The victims in a codependent relationship have a difficult time leaving the relationship because they feel that part of their identity is attached to their manipulative partner and the relationship, so by leaving the relationship they are going to lose part of themselves too. Here are a few links on Codependency that may be beneficial for you. And here is a good book on Codependency as well that can be informative: “Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself” by Beattie Eventually your son will need to see a psychologist who specializes in Codependency to help him heal and overcome this, but first he needs to be more aware of this codependency and he needs to make the decision to leave the relationship. I know you want what is best for him, but only he can decide to end the relationship and even if you say everything perfect to him and make the most logical argument, in the end the decision is going to be up to him. So I do not want you to blame yourself or think that you failed if your son will not listen to you, as only he can take the initiative to truly move forward with his life and away from this woman. You will help any way you can, but 95 percent of the effort is going to have to come from him. I hope this answers your questions and gives you some guidance on this issue. I truly wish you and your son all the best and I hope that he will be able to get away from this codependent relationship very soon. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, so if you ever have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact me at anytime. If I answered your question satisfactorily I would very much appreciate if you could rate my performance in helping you so that I can get credit for this question. Thank you very much

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