Posted: Wednesday, March 11, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My 20-year-old son graduated from high school two years ago. He was valedictorian, in the top 4 percent of his class, a gifted pianist and was accepted into one of the best universities in the country. He threw it all away. His first year at college, he failed his classes and dropped out, leaving me $30,000 down the drain. I agreed he could come back home if he enrolled in the junior college and got a job.
The reason he failed school is because he played online video games all night long and slept all day instead of going to classes. He did the same at the junior college, ruined his GPA and now has no medical insurance, no job, no driver’s license and no car. He lied to me for months about attending classes and then lied about applying for a job. He screams and throws things, tries to kick and hit me, and swears and runs off in a rage when I try to talk with him. He does nothing around the house, won’t clean up after himself, sleeps most of the day and runs up huge water bills taking hour-long showers. He still plays video games but no longer plays the piano.
I only want him to be happy and get a good education. He was sick as a child and spent a great deal of time in the hospital. He doesn’t drink or take drugs, but there are many foods he cannot eat and he requires supplements to maintain a healthy diet. He refuses to take them anymore.
I can’t live with him when he’s like this. He is out of control, and I have no idea what to do. He has nowhere else to go and no money to live on. — Total Loss
Dear Total: Your son’s problems sound more serious than video game addiction. Some mental illness first manifests itself when children are young adults.
Please get your son to a doctor and explain what’s going on. Ask for a complete medical checkup and a psychiatric evaluation.
Dear Annie: My daughter recently graduated from college. I have three siblings, and not one of them sent her a graduation card or gift. When my niece graduated last year, I sent her a generous cash gift. I send all my nieces and nephews gifts on their birthdays and holidays. Should I tell my siblings how slighted I feel? — Letdown Sister
Dear Letdown: Your siblings are not obligated to be as generous as you, but they should absolutely send cards for all these occasions. They may, however, believe you would find cards insufficient without a gift inside. It is perfectly OK for you to say that your daughter was disappointed none of her aunts or uncles sent a congratulatory note or card, but beyond that, leave it alone.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Indiana,” whose husband has suddenly developed a terrible temper and yells at her for no reason. Please let her know he may be suffering from the side effects of statin drugs.
I recently went off Lipitor because I suffered terrible, irrational bouts of sudden anger, which disappeared as soon as I went off the drug. I also was having trouble with my memory, especially with regards to memorizing music. (I am a singer in a chorus.)
There is a lot of information about side effects reported from people on statins. Her husband’s doctor may deny it, but she ought to look into it. — J.M.
Dear J.M.: Before the doctors jump down our throats, we want to emphasize that statins can be lifesaving for those who need them. However, ALL drugs have side effects and some people suffer more than others. Statin side effects can include headaches and nausea, and in more serious instances, extreme muscle pain and liver damage. Some patients report memory loss, personality changes, irritability and sexual dysfunction, although a connection has not been proved.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. 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 3.11.09