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Hilary, Doctor
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 330
Experience:  pediatrician and mother
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Problem 22 y.o. son (my stepson, his mom died when13, his

Customer Question

Problem: 22 y.o. son (my stepson, his mom died when13, his dad & I married 8 years today) He went out of state to college for 2 years, didn't do well (engineering major), we told him to stay out of college for a year and we would help him out financially during that time so that he could establish residency in that state so that it would be cheaper tuition. He hooked up with a girl and her parents cosigned for apt. He has failed to find(or look) for a job. We pay his part of EVERYTHING. We r ready for him to become independent, we're both retired, he's supposedly got depression & ADHD. We don't want to send him over edge, but we know we're enabling him. How would YOU respond to this email? "I realized it has been a while since i talked to yall. My g'friend started school this week and im still looking for a job. I was depressed for 2 weeks, then I snapped out of it. I hope I stay undepressed. I have 2 find a new counselor as mine isn't available. Hope 2 hear from u soon.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Hilary replied 7 years ago.
I would ask him to discuss with you what he feels causes him to become depressed. What he thinks can prevent him from becoming depressed? What he feels you can do to help him with his feelings and that you are there for him to talk to at any time that he wants to. I would appreciate that he realizes that he needs help from a counselor, but that you are there for him to talk to also. He needs to think about why he so easily becomes depressed and "undepressed". I think that he is using the wrong term. It may be frustration, lack of motivation, sad, disappointment - it is not so easy for depression to fix and unfix itself. I would try to help him understand what he is really feeling.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Respectfully XXXXX XXXXX say that I would like to pass my question on to another expert,

perhaps someone with a psychotherapy background. My stepson is 22 y.o.

and far out of the pediatric realm, and he is using depression as a manipulative tool, and

I am looking for a sterner response. Me trying to psychoanalyze him does not work especially via email. That train has left the station, if you know what I mean.

When he was home for Thanksgiving, I asked him how his counseling was going

and he said, "Fine, why do you ask?" if that gives you any idea of where his head

is at. Personally, I don't think he is even in counseling. He is an only child and a

huge spoiled brat, even though I love him, we are doing him no favor supporting him.

I suspect his g'friend and her family are about to give him the boot also if he doesn't

get a job soon. I cannot imagine what her parents must think (and they too are in

the medical profession).

Expert:  Hilary replied 7 years ago.
I was actually giving you a response as a parent and not as a pediatrician. Do you believe that he is really depressed or he is manipulating you? What does he want from you - is it purely financial? I have a 26 year old family member who needed to hit bottom at 22 years old before he grew up. Maybe you need to let him "survive on his own" to truly appreciate how lucky he was.
Expert:  Hilary replied 7 years ago.
There is a section for mental health questions if that is what you are looking for. Best wishes to you and your family.