Depression: Depression & Related Conditions

Ask Dr. Dombeck
Ask Dr. Dombeck
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

Congenital Laziness

Our 46 y/o son has been diagnosed with possible mild manic depression (cyclothymia). A couple of years ago he worked with a psychiatrist for a year but the doctor has died and no visible changes occurred during the therapy. Our son is pleasant, does work around the yard, and plays computer video games at night for a few days and then "doesn't feel good" and sleeps day and night for 4 or 5 days. He only gets up to eat and go to the bathroom. When we try to get him up, he is irritable and nasty. He had aseptic necrosis with hip replacement surgery over a year ago, hasn't worked since, but has no disability from the surgery. He is a licensed vocational nurse but "doesn't want to do that any more." He has seen at least 4 psychiatrists since he was in his 20s and only one of them actually came up with a diagnosis. It was "congenital laziness." He is so pleasant and intelligent that I think the doctors think we (his parents) are making up--or at least exaggerating the situation. Our family doctor put him on Zoloft for a while, but it didn't help much. We are at the point of forcing him to leave our home. However, he is a recovering speed addict, which he claims was therapeutic for him, and we fear that he will become a street person or go back to dealing drugs. He is impulsive and careless so he will probably end up in prison if he deals drugs. We only see three options: Put up with the present situation, which isn't too bad for us but is terrible for his future. Pay for more psychotherapy, which over 20 years has been fruitless. (We are not rich.) "Kick him out" and go to visit him in prison. Can you give us any suggestions?

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