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October 3, 2003

Behavior

Question from Minnesota, USA:

I am very concerned about my 21 year old son, who, in less than one year, was diagnosed with type�1 diabetes, ADHD, in treatment for alcohol and drug use, and was put on medication for high cholesterol. he still smokes and just doesn't take care about himself. He says he's doing okay with his diabetes, but I'm not with him 24/7. He's admitted to having many low's (I've witnessed a couple) and forgets to take his cholesterol medications. He does admit he is still ADHD but does not want to take any more medicine. He's been through so much, we (parents) are very concerned for him. He doesn't seem to take disease seriously. How can we help him?

Answer:

Your son is a young adult at 21 and it would be difficult, if not impossible for you to monitor all of his behaviors at this age. It sounds as though he might benefit from a therapist to help him explore his feelings about all of his health issues. His alcohol and drug use can mean he is depressed about his life in general. He may be attempting to deny his health issues through chemical dependency. In my opinion, a counselor is needed to sort out what is going on with your son. I encourage you to seek counseling for your son and yourself.

CMB