Posted: Monday, November 1, 2010 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: How do you get a mentally ill person to see a psychiatrist when he thinks he’s perfectly fine?
I have a cousin who immigrated to the U.S. with his family a year ago. I believe he had some issues before they came, but the new environment and financial pressure finally buckled him. Two months ago, he started interrogating his wife about her hundreds of alleged affairs and other nonexistent misbehavior. Since then, it has become a daily ritual of verbal and sometimes physical abuse of his wife.
I live 300 miles away and have tried to talk to him over the phone. When I suggested he see a doctor, he exploded. I feel helpless watching him destroy his family and himself. I suspect he is schizophrenic or bipolar, but he refuses to admit he’s ill, and I don’t know how to get him to seek psychiatric help.
How can we get him to a doctor? Are there other resources available to them to deal with his problem? — Trying To Help
Dear Trying: You cannot force your cousin to seek medical help, but you can try to protect his wife. Suggest that she contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline (thehotline.org) at 1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233). She may not realize this resource exists. If she won’t call, you should, and ask what you can do to help them. You also can contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness (nami.org) at 1-800-950-NAMI (1-800-950-6264).
Dear Annie: Last night, I opted to eat dinner at a local chain restaurant. I always bring a book to read when I dine alone, so I asked to be seated somewhere “quiet.” I was put in a booth behind two young women in their early 20s, and across from us was a couple with a young child.
As I waited for my server to take my order, I was appalled by the conversation going on behind me. Every other word began with “f” (I think you get my drift). After a minute or two of this, I turned around and politely asked her to please dial down the profanity, as there was a young child right across the aisle. Her response was, “He can’t hear me, and mind your own (expletive-deleted) business.”
I wanted to ask whether she kisses her boyfriend with that mouth, but worried I’d end up with slashed tires. So I moved to another booth on the other side of the restaurant. Do restaurants have the right to ask diners to tone down their language or leave? — Mortified in Michigan
Dear Mortified: If diners are disruptive and loud, management will often ask them to be quieter or, in extreme cases, to leave the premises. However, the use of profanity would generally not be sufficient cause to evict them, especially if the parents of the young child in question did not notice or complain. In most instances, the best you can do is ask to be moved — which you did.
Dear Annie: You could not be more wrong in response to “To Cap or Not To Cap,” whose husband mixes uppercase and lowercase letters within his words.
When I get business correspondence with misspellings and crazy punctuation, it tells me someone is too lazy even to use spell check. These are people I suspect are lazy about other things, as well, and I certainly would not hire them for a job that requires attention to detail.
The wife is right. He should clean up his act or let someone help him. — Fed Up with Slobs
Dear Fed Up: We are happy there are so many folks who are still passionate about punctuation. When typing a business letter, we agree that it is important to use appropriate sentence structure. But when sending a personal text message or e-mail, these things are less relevant. When hand writing any kind of letter, a certain amount of idiosyncrasy is permitted when it comes to capitalization. The question was whether or not his handwriting is worth an argument. We say it isn’t.
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. 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.
Published in The Messenger 11.1.10