Dear Amy, At the beginning of the pandemic, my husband and I moved across the country.
Our grown son was laid off due to the pandemic and struggled with depression.
We decided to invite him to move in with us to help him get back on his feet.
It took him a while to get a part-time job, and now he was finally hired full-time. We are very happy for him.
However, he gets angry when the subject of leaving him and being alone comes up.
He tells us that because of his depression he is afraid to live alone and needs to have family around him.
He is already taking anti-depressants, but is not following through with seeking counselling.
We are nearing retirement and do not want to have children living with us when we retire.
We also have a young son who lives with us and attends a local university.
We are good to help you until you graduate.
We don’t know how to help our older son get to a place where he can live independently. what would you suggest
Dear Concerned: You should take this in careful stages. The message to your older child should be, “Our goal is for both of our children to live independently and develop rewarding activities and relationships. We will help you get there.”
Your older son has already made great strides—he moved across the country and now works full-time. This is huge. He is being honest about the impact of his depression, but he may also be using his depression as a crutch.
The pandemic has been a serious setback for many young adults.
According to a study published by the Pew Research Center, “At the height of the pandemic, more people under the age of 30 lived with their parents than lived alone…the highest percentage since the Great Depression.” Many of these young adults are now struggling to get back on track.
What I am saying is that your child is not alone. His depression is certainly a factor, but he’s also nervous about making a big change that feels lonelier than the first big step out of college and into adulthood.
Your child should be seeing a therapist. You could begin therapy on your own and invite him to join you and your husband, with the goal of discussing how he is managing his illness, including what fears and challenges he anticipates, and ways what you can be of use to (perhaps with him who lives nearby). or living with your brother, for example).
The National Alliance on Mental Illness is an invaluable resource. See their ‘family and carers’ page for ideas and professional and peer support (NAMI.org).
Dear Amy, Unfortunately, we have a growing homeless population in our city.
I understand the causes and feel great compassion for the difficulties they face as individuals.
What I struggle with is how to respond when they ask me for money, it’s often very awkward.
I can easily afford to donate a few dollars, but is this the right thing to do? What is the best way we can help as people?
Dear John: I don’t think there is any definitive answer to this. Since you are aware and concerned (good for you!), you could do a lot of good by helping organizations that help the homeless through financial support and/or volunteering.
Instead of cash, some people donate socks, gloves or gift cards for small amounts in exchange for food.
I think the only important thing is to look someone in the eye and at least acknowledge their humanity, even if you choose not to give them that day.
Dear Amy, “New Job, New Me” had previously worked for a well-known company and did not know how to respond to the extreme curiosity of new coworkers about the previous job.
I worked for a prominent New York City socialite who was married to a powerful man. After I left and looked for work, everyone I met (from my doctor to friends, recruiters, and potential employers) wanted to know what I was like.
I avoided these questions by saying that I had signed a confidentiality agreement (which I had) and that I was not at liberty to answer their questions.
That usually stopped the questions. “New job, new me” might try this excuse.
– I’m not talking
Dear I do not speak: good advice (I have now spent the last few days trying to guess the identity of your previous employer.)
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