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Reblogged:Grown Kids Who Won’t Move Out (DE Coast Press)

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A local reader writes, “I’m hoping you can help out with my 27-year-old son. He was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) back in high school, and nothing has been the same since. He’s just an older version of the kid he was in high school. He started college, but dropped out. He doesn’t hold a job for very long, either. He doesn’t abuse alcohol or drugs, and I don’t think he’s depressed, because he has a girlfriend (who is about as unambitious as he is). He hangs out with friends and isn’t particularly gloomy.

“The problem is that he’s living with us, and it’s a glaring reminder that he’s not getting on with his life. If he were living with us to pursue college, that would be one thing. But he’s going nowhere.

“Friends have suggested that we kick him out of the house and give him notice that living at home has an expiration date! But what if we push him out and he becomes depressed? Maybe it’s better to stick with the trouble we know?”

Dear Reader, there is a glaring contradiction in what you’re saying. On the one hand, you want your son to believe in himself. You want him to develop and demonstrate the confidence required to move out and become more ambitious. At the same time, you don’t have the confidence that he can do it. That’s the contradiction. And I’ll bet your son sees it too. You cannot GIVE him confidence. He has to foster that within himself. However, by acting as if you don’t believe in him or trust him to cope with living on his own, you’re implying that you don’t believe in him, either. I’m not blaming you for his problem, but I am holding you responsible for making it worse.

The only solution here is to decide on a date when you will require him to exit. I have some friends who did this with their 18/20-year-old kids. They lived in a big house, and the family relations were actually pretty good. As a result, it was tempting for the kids to stay even when they were no longer kids. The parents wished to go back to traveling and doing other things they had been involved in twenty years before. So what did they do? They put the house on the market! That drove the message home really fast. I’m not suggesting you sell your house if you don’t want to, but I use the example to show how important it is to SHOW your son, not merely tell him, that you mean it. You and your husband may have to get creative.

I realize you might not follow what I’m advising. It’s too much trouble, and it’s too frightening. There might be a scene. I get all that. You’re probably a peaceful and reasonable person, and you don’t want to spend your days engaged in melodrama. But there’s a melodrama occurring under your roof right now. It’s a crisis of confidence and self-respect in your son. You told me as much in your note.

You don’t really have a choice about conflict. Take your pick. Either postpone the inevitable, or confront it now and get it over with. And by the way, don’t focus on the ridiculous (and increasingly disproven) ADHD label. Your son manages to focus on his priorities. He manages to pay attention enough to find and sustain a girlfriend and a circle of friends. He has the capacity. He’s just not utilizing it when it comes to holding a job or planning on a place to live. And he doesn’t really need to as long as you continue to enable his casual lifestyle.

Tell him you believe in him, then SHOW him you believe in him by putting an expiration date on his already prolonged childhood under your roof. Everyone, especially your son, will be better for it.

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The post Grown Kids Who Won’t Move Out (DE Coast Press) appeared first on Michael J. Hurd, Ph.D. | Living Resources Center.

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Okay doctor, I have a question for you. I take it you are an Objectivist: what if you are this son, and you simply don't want to participate in the rat race for one reason or another, and this parent takes your advice and is about to kick you out like you suggest, and you would rather commit suicide than participate in the rat race. Would you as an Objectivist support a law where this son could go to get medical-assisted suicide that is painless as possible. Sort of like the "Swiss option" but without any of the hurdles, open to anybody who just doesn't want to live anymore for one reason or another, regardless of whether they have major, minor, or no documented medical problems?

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Doctor, my parents are just like you. I had great hopes for my life once, and I did have steady employment at a salaried grad student research job for 2 1/2 years. Then my health fell apart. I began feeling neurological, multiple sclerosis-like symptoms that eventually went away. No multiple sclerosis was ever found in my brain or spine or anywhere else, it was never found out by medical professionals exactly what went wrong with me, but I am still left with unpredictable, highly variable pain in my right wrist and forearm as well as my right foot which goes up and down unpredictably from being mild to being too excruciating to work. It is completely unpredictable, leaving me unable to hold a steady job that "pays my way" any longer.

I ask you and every other Objectivist on this forum whether you would support a law enabling hurdle-free no-questions-asked doctor assisted suicide for people like me should the people with the money such as parents decide to "cut us off". Indeed also people without any medical issue but who just don't want to be in the rat race. Would you support that law, yes or no?

Edited by Dustin86
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I'm sorry to hear about your condition, and I hope you deal with it as successfully as circumstances allow. That is a job that you. and any professionals you seek out, are in a much better position to do than any of us are.

To take up your political question, a right to life - i.e. a right to control one's life - straightforwardly entails a right to kill oneself. Objectivists would thus oppose laws punishing doctors and others who help out. Objectivists would also oppose government programs, such as, I gather, some of the European countries have, to help implement such wishes. I can see a case for requiring informed consent, on the record, though, and for laws spelling out just what this is.

Edited by Reidy
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44 minutes ago, Dustin86 said:

I'm just curious, does Dr. Hurd read this forum and have an account on this forum, or does he not read this forum at all and his articles just get "reblogged" onto here.

The feeds come in automatically. I doubt he reads them here. He does consult over the phone though.

Edited by softwareNerd
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23 hours ago, Reidy said:

No. I'm not a lawyer or a legislator.

Well Reidy I don't need legalese, just plain english. In plain English, could you detail basically what "informed consent" to a doctor assisted suicide like in the situation I describe would entail under an Objectivist system, and sketch briefly what the laws governing it would be.

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As hard as it is to fight against depression (since a fight needs motivation), people do it all the time: perhaps in little steps, and with help. I believe it has to be fought at multiple levels: philosophical, psychological and social. At a philosophical level, one needs some type of purpose to pursue. It does not have to be big and ambitious to begin with. At a psychological level, one needs to develop certain habits -- again, in baby steps. At a social level, one needs to develop some type of friendships, even if they're weak to start with.

I take the same route to work each day and there's this blind guy I've been seeing for years. I see him in the mornings and in the evenings, so I presume he walks to work. From the places I've spotted him, he walks about a mile, crossing at least two mid-sized suburban streets. Hats off to guys like that -- frankly, I don't know if I could do the same if I were to lose my eye-sight. 

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Consent is willing cooperation. Informed consent is consent by someone who has the information he needs to make the decision in question.

Leaving aside my doubts about the phrase "Objectivist system", the laws would require that the patient consent freely and that he he be informed. It would fall under the same genus as informed consent for a spinal tap, but it would be different in species. For example, if there were papers to sign, they'd say "assisted suicide" instead of "spinal tap".

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