Troubles of a mama's boy
q How do you help someone whose life is controlled by his mother? My best friend is in a predicament and I am seeking help from you so I can help him. He is in his early thirties and lives at home, and living a life of turmoil. He knows of the benefits of leaving home but due to dire financial circumstances it is not possible. His mother has driven her child to depression, which has now led to obesity. Her horrendous treatment led my friend to also quit university and he is struggling to find something to do. She constantly nags about everything and seemingly forgets that her child is an adult. She is shown respect and receives a lot of help in many ways from my friend but nothing seems good enough for her. She has a part to play in his misfortunes but never sees herself at fault and blames my best friend. Unfortunately, my friend has been eating his sorrows away and now has developed more than one medical condition because of it. The mother is also attacking his appearance and tells him he will always be single and lonely. It is very distressing that she is clueless about how she disrespects and tears down her child. I know my friend is extremely hurt and breaks down at times. There is nothing indicating that the mother will change, as she thinks she is doing nothing wrong. I need to find a resolution as to how to get my friend out of that environment. Please let me know how I can help. It will be greatly appreciated.
A: Please stop blaming your friend's mother for the situation because you are hearing your friend's side of the story. Furthermore, you should not blame his mother for his depression because another sibling could face the same challenges and not be depressed. Of a fact, the mother can contribute to him feeling depressed but he could be responsible for the way he is reacting with his circumstances.
If you really want to help then you need to give his mother a hearing. After that, then you could seek to be a mediator, assuming that both partners are comfortable with you as a competent and confidential person.
If your friend is really depressed then he needs to be assessed by a professional and be given help. However, you could be mistaken and equating sadness with depression. Do you really know the signs of depression? Some of the signs of depression are feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, loss of interest in daily activities, and appearance, significant appetite or weight changes, easily angered and irritable, reckless activities, etc. Are you seeing some of those signs? If yes, then he needs urgent professional help.
In the meantime, you can be a friend by being a sounding board for him. You can help him decide on his academic future and job opportunities. In addition, you can help him to start a healthy lifestyle by going to the gym together and encouraging him to eat smaller portions and having a balanced diet. His overeating is a sign he is using food to comfort him. He also needs to develop his coping skills to face the challenges of the day.
You are a friend indeed because you are there for him and you are seeking help for him. All the best in trying to help your best friend while not annoying his mother,
Troubles of a