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Father losing interest in life

Bahara wrote:

My father is 45 years old and a teacher by profession. The problem is that my father is too lazy to care for his health and spends all his free time in sleeping, watching television, reading books or listening to music.

He reads a lot of motivational books but never applies them in his real life and gets depressed by petty things. He has always an excuse that he has a lot of workload and needs rest at home.

Whenever he is at home, he never does anything productive and wants everything at his approach including computer, books, etc. he keeps his things untidy.

My mother is also working and she returns home in the evening with still having to do a lot of household chores but my dad never contributes in helping her.

He gets disturbed by small arguments and remains out of communication for days. Whenever we try to convince him, he’s never ready to listen and wants to do things according to his own will which makes his health to suffer.

For working out and cleaning up his mess, he always has an excuse that he’s a patient of diabetes and his health can’t afford to do this extra work.

My mother and I try to co-operate with him but we feel that something must be done to change his attitude towards life. Please tell me some ways that how can I bring a change in his life. Thank you.

Dear Bahara

You father may be clinically depressed - a treatable psychiatric disorder - or he may just be bored and unhappy.

You say he's depressed, but then say he is lazy - you can't have it both ways, and the first step may be to find out what the problem is ... perhaps his wife could persuade him to see a doctor?

Even if he is managing his job, he might still be depressed; indeed, the job may be contributing to his stress and unhappiness.

Either way, in most countries, you cannot intervene unless there are signs that he presents a risk to himself or others.

I feel that nagging him for laziness is almost certainly the wrong thing to do, but spending time with him and making it clear you are willing to help him, may make a difference.

His diabetes may be adding to his woes, particularly if it is not well controlled; poorly mamnagaed diabetes is a most unpleasant disease, with many possible uncomfortable and frustrating symptoms: you could help him to manage it better, if that is part of the problem, and maybe his wife could get involved with sorting out his diet.

He clearly has a problem - or more than one - but he probably needs help and support rather than chastisement.

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