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Old 01-22-2019, 06:03 PM
7 posts, read 1,578 times
Reputation: 22


This sounds like depression. I suggest that your wife express her concern for his mental health and offer him two options, with a deadline: start counseling and make a good faith effort to find a job or move out, by March 1st. Enabling him isn't helping. He's spinning his wheels right now and needs an outside impetus if he's going to make a change.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:03 PM
10,273 posts, read 7,930,650 times
Reputation: 6465
The first thing that needs doing is to teach him why he needs a job.
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:07 PM
Location: Camberville
11,564 posts, read 16,276,994 times
Reputation: 18498
What mental health and behavioral intervention has he had before this point?

Being so freaked out by water getting in his eyes in the shower that he refuses to bathe and smells at 19 is NOT NORMAL. That screams a very real need for additional mental health support.

Pushing him to get a job isn't going to do anything if he's struggling with mental illness. At the very least, he sounds depressed, but from what you say, it goes beyond that. Has he ever had an evaluation for autism spectrum issues?
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:18 PM
109 posts, read 45,385 times
Reputation: 332
Could it be that your stepson is on an autism’s spectrum?
Try to rule out that first as well as possibly depression or other psychological disorders... this forum needs more information, something just does not add up: your marriage is good you are saying; however can’t help but notice some resentment on your part.
Maybe the whole family needs counseling...
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Old 01-22-2019, 07:29 PM
741 posts, read 180,575 times
Reputation: 2148
I am sure this didn't just happen overnight. How was he at 18, 17, 16, 15........

Has he never wanted to bathe? What did he do when he was in high school?

You and your wife both need to be on the same page, and deal with this now, or he'll still be living with you when he's 40 or 50, and what happens when you and your wife die? It sounds like he may be mentally ill. You need to find this out and determine how to help him.
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Old 01-22-2019, 08:19 PM
10,130 posts, read 14,499,685 times
Reputation: 11138
There are no lazy sons. There are laxy parents that let that happen and let it keep going. When my son decided to sit at home do nothing, like Lawrence's cousin, I literally kicked him out to work. He was right after high school and I said - no, you are not sitting home. He didn't like it but I squeezed his options to entertain himself at home away from him. He ended doing night shifts at sandwich shop, forgot the name. The large chain..

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Old 01-22-2019, 09:16 PM
209 posts, read 98,823 times
Reputation: 819
Originally Posted by Tominftl View Post
Get him to a psychiatrist. The kid needs help. Sounds like he has more problems than just finding a job. This is not normal behavior.
I worked in psychiatry as a physician assistant for seven years (I only work part-time now in early retirement). He may have the some symptoms of depression, but I don't think that alone is all that is going on. (If it was, either through counselling and/or psychiatry, the depression could, hopefully, be treated to remission.)

My colleague at the last practice had a young female adolescent patient whom I only saw once (when my colleague was on vacation). One thing that struck me as I read the initial patient evaluation was that the mom had told my colleague that the patient hardly ever took a bath. And there were other abnormalities in this patient's behaviors.

Now lack of proper hygiene habits doesn't point to a specific disorder in DSM 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual 5th ed). But it is a clear sign that something is askew and that you need to seek professional help in dealing with him.

It may be that he has mild form of autism spectrum disorder; this is just a guess, not a probable diagnosis. Do not take it to the bank.

At some large psychology practices, you can get an extensive psychological evaluation. What I am talking about usually takes about four to eight hours (but it is completed in a day). The psychologist (usually a Ph.D.) evaluates a patient for mental illness, learning disorders, personality disorders--it is not a "garden variety" evaluation, but thorough and extensive. The patient (and the patient's parents) are interviewed, and the patient also completes various tests and rating scales to see how he "scores." A report is written up -- I have had patients' parents bring me a copy -- it can be 15-20 pages long (single space).

***I really think that a thorough psychological evaluation should be your first step.***

We don't know what you are dealing with, and the goal of the evaluation is to get some direction -- a working diagnosis. Then, and only then, can you consider possible treatment options.

BTW, I understand the mentality "kick the lazy person out of the home", and "he who does not work will not eat," the so-called "tough love" approach. But that is not applicable in this case at this point, and it could be dangerous for your stepson. He needs as professional evaluation and professional help first. Best wishes, and I am so sorry -- I know this is very stressful and frustrating, but it may be possible to help him.
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Old 01-22-2019, 09:18 PM
Location: planet earth
3,752 posts, read 1,340,224 times
Reputation: 8273
This can't be a real problem.

If someone had a kid who would not bathe, that would be addressed long ago.

The kid has issues.

Working or not working is not the core issue.
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:21 PM
10,754 posts, read 7,829,014 times
Reputation: 19139
You might have to move.
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Old 01-22-2019, 11:18 PM
6,230 posts, read 3,477,644 times
Reputation: 13331
It sounds like the OP is about fifteen years late in instilling in the stepson that everyone has responsibilities; it's no wonder that he asks why he should go to work.
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