Depressed and Dependent: A Moral Quagmire Dear Annie: My father recently passed away. Dad was helping to support my 43-year-old brother, "Ben," who suffers from depression and is on disability. Ben doesn't work and spends a great deal of time in bed or buying liquor and lottery tickets. He'…Read more. Pickers, Blowers and Other People You Don't Want To Eat With Dear Annie: My husband and I meet up with a group of family and close friends every week for lunch. One couple in this group (a close family member and her spouse) constantly blow their noses during our get-togethers. They use cloth handkerchiefs, …Read more. The Last Monday in May Dear Readers: Memorial Day has become a three-day holiday of picnics and cookouts. But there is a reason for this commemoration, so please remember the servicemen and women who died serving their country. Consider visiting a veterans hospital or …Read more. Hating on Haters Dear Annie: I work in an office with 35 women, and it seems as though someone is always hating someone else. Right now, I am the target of two women. One of these women used to be my friend, and I have no idea why she isn't any longer. I once asked …Read more.more articles
The Trouble with Schizophrenia
Dear Annie: Thirty years ago, our son was diagnosed with schizophrenia. He has been hospitalized more than once, although he believes it was only to "punish" him. In the past few years, he has refused all psychiatric intervention.
"Robert" has lived independently for 18 years. He displays delusional and paranoid behavior. We do not know whether he still takes the antipsychotic medicine that was prescribed 20 years ago. We are grateful that he doesn't drink or do drugs, but he is a chain smoker and eats voraciously. His weight is more than 300 pounds, and he is diabetic and takes blood pressure pills. He has anger issues and an irrational fear of being injected with anything.
Mental health professionals have given up on him. Robert doesn't seem to fit in anywhere. Living alone only worsens his illness, but he is averse to being told what to do. How do I help him? — Fear for My Son
Dear Fear: It's terribly sad and stressful, but there is only so much you can do to protect a mentally ill adult who refuses to take medication, get therapy or be helped in any way. The National Alliance on Mental Illness offers a 12-week Family-to-Family program for those dealing with family members who are mentally ill. Please contact them at 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6264) (nami.org).
Dear Annie: My husband often must go out of state on business for months at a time. In order for us to be together, he buys me a ticket to join him whenever he accumulates enough frequent flyer miles. Right now, he's in California. He recently missed my birthday, saying he didn't have enough mileage to fly me there.
However, I discovered that wasn't true. He had enough miles, but his mother and sister demanded that he use them for them because they've always wanted to go to California. So he's saving his miles in order to have enough for their two tickets.
I am furious.
Dear Wife: While we understand that you want every trip to be yours, the real issue here is that your husband didn't consult you first, and then lied about the availability of his frequent flyer miles. We think he avoids confrontation, not only with you, but also with his family members. This is how workable issues turn into major arguments.
Here's a possible compromise: Suggest that his sister pay for her own ticket, allowing Mom to have the freebie. You would only lose one trip. Your mother-in-law likely doesn't get to see her son very often, and she misses him. This would be a special treat. If you approach it in a conciliatory way, your husband will not only appreciate your generosity, but he also will be more inclined to discuss these things with you in the future. And that should be your ultimate goal.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from "Ex-In-Laws," who are getting calls from debt collectors looking for their ex-daughter-in-law.
Please inform them that all they need to do is call the phone company and put a block on the unwanted calls. They should then inform the ex-daughter-in-law about the route they took to rid themselves of what is a nerve-wracking intrusion. Hope this helps. — Ann from Louisiana
Dear Ann: Blocking calls can work, but it requires regular maintenance because debt collectors often will call from different numbers when the old ones are blocked. But it's worth trying.
Happy Easter to all our Christian readers.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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