Dear Annie: My son is 26 years old and lives with his father, rent free. He sleeps all day and stays up all night drinking beer and watching TV. My ex-husband buys him whatever he wants or needs.
“Joey” has had a couple of jobs, and we always think he is doing well, but then he quits. I have called the doctor’s office, but they say Joey needs to call. When I ask him to do so, he tells me nothing is wrong.
Annie, I’m not sure my ex-husband can “tough love” the situation because he fears Joey will do something drastic. Can you suggest anything we can do so my son won’t simply lay in bed and not enjoy life?
Dear B.J.: We assume you believe Joey is depressed, although he may simply be a freeloader who has never been asked to shoulder any responsibility. Either way, he needs help and so do his parents, especially Dad, who is tacitly encouraging Joey’s behavior. Suggest that Dad look into Because I Love You (bily.org), P.O. Box 2062 Winnetka, CA 91396, and The National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org) at 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6264).
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.