Q. I try to help others: I’ve given money to a friend, bought her groceries, and driven her everywhere. She is capable of working, but she doesn’t. How can I set a boundary between being helpful and having people take advantage of me?
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Q. My wife is an alcoholic and overuses prescription drugs. When I confront her about anything, she becomes belligerent, accuses me of being paranoid, and says I’m over-controlling. I know that I’ve let this go on for too long, and I’m beginning to think there is something wrong with me. What can I do?
Q. I am a college student who has spent years procrastinating. I made it through high school with few problems, but now I’m having a really hard time in college. I barely got through this semester. What can I do?
Q. Even though I am in my 40’s, I don’t get along with my mother. Every year around Mother’s Day, I spend time with her, but I don’t want to. She has always been difficult, and I come away exhausted. Why do we continue to have such a bad relationship and how do I avoid the emotional turmoil?
Q. I had lunch with my college-age grandchildren over Easter, and they didn’t put their cell phones down throughout the meal. Their parents didn’t intervene even though the children barely spoke. Isn’t this behavior still considered rude?
Q. I am caring for my elderly mother who had a stroke. We have no relatives where we live. The people from her church have not helped, and we can’t afford to hire anyone more than a few hours a week. Can you give me some suggestions that will help me cope with my stress and depression?
Q. My son’s teacher told me that he may have something called Sluggish Cognitive Tempo. I’ve never heard of this. Could you explain a little about the condition?
Q. I have an appointment with my doctor to discuss medication for anxiety and depression. I get really nervous, and forget to ask questions. Can you tell me what I need to ask?
Q. My mother has not left home without my father, me, my husband, or her sister in almost 10 years. When I talk to my father about it, he says she seems happy, so leave her alone and don’t mention it again. Why is he ignoring a serious problem?
Q. My daughter smoked marijuana throughout her pregnancy. Now her son has some problems. She keeps telling me that marijuana has no impact on child development. Is this true?
Q. My husband and I have been having serious problems for years including his violent behavior. He had a difficult childhood, so I keep forgiving him. He is extremely nice except when he becomes angry. What can I do to keep the good man around and get rid of the bad one?
Q. My husband is a high-functioning alcoholic. Although he has an excellent job, he is unpleasant to me and my teen sons when he has been drinking. What can I do to convince him that he has a problem?
Q. After I caught him, my husband admitted he had been cheating for several months. He begged me to stay and to work out our problems. A month later I found proof that he was cheating again. We tried couples counseling, but all he did was lie. Is there any way to get past this?
Q. I am in my mid-60’s and I’m having trouble remembering names. I also misplace things. I’m frightened that I have the beginning of Alzheimer’s. Am I having normal aging or could I have the beginning of dementia?
Q. I live in the same town as my ex-husband and his younger wife. They have much more money than I do, so they take the children and grandchildren on expensive trips. The children are spending more time with them and less time with me. What can I do?
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?
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?