Q. I was around my elderly father during the holidays, and I noticed an increase in his drinking. When I mentioned it, he said to mind my own business. How can I tell if he is drinking too much?
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Q. I’m concerned because I am a single parent raising my son in a poor neighborhood. I’m really concerned around the holidays because I can’t buy him the gifts he wants. I’ve been told that childhood poverty can have an impact on his functioning in adulthood. Is this true?
Q. During this holiday season every time I go into a crowded store, I get hot, sweaty, and my heart starts pounding. It does not happen to me at other times. Could I be having panic attacks? What can I do about it?
Q. My mother requires round-the-clock care, but I’m struggling with the decision to place her in a nursing home. Her money is almost gone, and I’m paying much of my salary for her home attendants. Even with aides present, she has managed to fall, hide her pills and start a fire. When her friends visit, they can’t tell there is anything wrong because they stay for only 10 minutes. They are saying that I just want to get rid of her. I don’t see any alternative but the nursing home. Please advise me.
Q. I get so angry at my ex-husband and others that I act foolishly. Last week, my ex returned our daughter late, and I began to scream at him. We yelled so much that the neighbors called us. How can I control my anger?
Q. My favorite brother is coming to visit us for Thanksgiving. He is transgender, and now living most of the time as a woman. Could you tell me more about being transgender? Should I ask him questions?
Q. My granddaughter, who is 16, just had a baby. She didn’t want to get pregnant, but it just “happened.” Why are so many girls getting pregnant at such a young age? I’m very disturbed about this trend.
Q. My mother has always been a hoarder, but recently it has been worse. She fell over a pile of her junk last week and had to be hospitalized for injuries. How can I help her? She cannot afford therapy.
Q. I am getting older, and I try to talk to my children about end-of-life issues. Every time I raise the subject, they accuse me of being morbid. I tell them I am realistic. Isn’t it wise to be prepared for death at any age? Please answer in the newspaper since I want to send your answer to them.
Q. My husband has been depressed for two years. He is in treatment, and he takes his medication as directed, but he is still somewhat depressed. Everything I say to him turns into an argument causing him to become defensive. What can I do or say that will help?
Q. My wife was diagnosed as bipolar II. The psychiatrist said bipolar II people experience periods of “hypomania,” and I guess he thought we knew what that meant. Please explain what hypomania is? I’m really not sure he has the right diagnosis. I thought people who were bipolar had psychotic experiences.
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