Social Question

Pandora's avatar

How can you get through to someone who doesn't take his physical life seriously?

Asked by Pandora (27575points) February 6th, 2010

I’ve known my cousin son since he was born. He’s 20 and going to be 21, maybe. He is diabetic and has been since he was 5 years old. He doesn’t moniter his condition without people being on top of him at all times. He’s more concerned about parties and shopping and friends but doesn’t have time to take care of himself.
He’s ended up in the hospital at least once a year because he did something foolish to raise his sugar or because he did the opposite.
Found out today he is in a diabetic coma. Luckily he will be alright but his organs were going into athropy. No matter what he always seems to act like everyone else is over reacting and he always acts like its no big deal. He milks everyone for sympathy for a while till the next time.
I just don’t have it in me to be sympathetic.
I understand what its like to be born with a condition that seperates you from the rest of societies norms but I don’t think that is an excuse to be a total irresponsible with your life.
Is there possibly something I am missing that can help him see how important his health is?
Or doesn anyone with diabeties know of any programs that might help.
Sorry this is so long but I am just so fustrated.

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15 Answers

marinelife's avatar

There is nothing that you can do. It is up to him so take hold and be responsible.

You could maybe tell him that you love him, but it is frustrating seeing him not take care of hilself. That way you have at least had your say.

janbb's avatar

I’ve known several childen who developed Type 2 diabetes. Luckily, most of them did take care of themselves. I’ve heard that not taking care of themselves is a great way to express adolescent rebellion. You can try an intevention with him with several members of your family present and possibly a counselor. I don’t know of any programs in particular, but I imagine there is support you can seek online. At a certain point, if nothing helps, you may have to distance yourself from him. I feel for you!

Pandora's avatar

@janbb We’ve tried as a family to discuss with him how he is effecting his health and his family. He is like a son to my husband and myself. He really is close with my husband and respects him a great deal but everything we say goes in one ear and out another. Right now I’m at a point where I want to wake him up an kick his ass. His parents are great people and don’t deserve what he is doing to them. If it is adolescent behavior its time he get over it before it kills him or injures him for life.

Trillian's avatar

I worked with a girl whose brother was the same way. Past tense. He died and was not yet 25. He refused all opportunities for care, did not follow a regimen, and that was his choice. You cannot force health on someone. A non compliant diabetic is writing the ending to his own story. Short of kidnapping him, tying him up and forcing him to monitor his sugar and then take insulin in the correct amount, there really is nothing you can do. I’m sorry. It sounds almost like one of those “intervention” type situations.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I believe you should let him live his own life and make his own choices.I am sure he is well aware of the complications that can arise from having diabetes.Even if he is not,you can’t force him to do anything.My heart goes out to him.
I have had diabetes for 20 years:)

Marva's avatar

There is a phrase in hebrew, I dont know if it exists in other languages aswell, it says:
“Dear god, please give me the courage to change the things I can change, the peace to let alone the things I can’t change, and the wisdom to tell between those and those”
Unfortunatly, we can’t take responsibility for another person’s life, only they can. If your cousin is desperate to ruin is health, he will manage to do so no matter how much effort you make to prevent it.
He knows that is what he is doing, he knows what he “should” do, but he doesn’t want to be better @ this stage.
The only thing you can do is surround him with love and make him feel that you are there to help him if he likes to be helped.
Especially now when he comes out of the hospital, don’t give him a hard time, just let him feel that you are there for him if he wants to talk.

When he does turn to you, try to encourage him to talk about his illness and how he feels about being limited and diffrent, does he fear of dying or becoming disabled and such.

You should know that in the Holistic view, Diabetes is considered a bodily manifestation of an issue that is actually emotional: The inability to absorb the sweetness of life. This issue can come out in diffrent ways, one of them is self-destruction: your cousin is supposedly enjoying life, but actually knows he is literally killing himself.

When your cousin’s faith in you is regained, by your support and non-intervaining approach, and you may have the opportunity to talk to him about his feelings, you can also suggest Holistic Therapy, that may appeal to him, being diffrent and innovative to the common “dry” approaches, and a good therapist should be able to get to him on the emotinal and physical level. If you need to know how to chose one I am here to give you some advice.

Oxymoron's avatar

Sometimes you can’t get through to people. Just let him do what he wants, he’s the one that will have to suffer the consequences. Eventually something really bad will happen to his body from neglect, and then maybe it will click for him that he needs to smarten up.

Pandora's avatar

@Marva, Actually I just don’t think I have it in me to be all that supportive any more. I never was the type of person who would have much patience for someone hell bent on destroying their lives. What little support I can mustard would be for the sake of his parents. If something were to happen to him, they would be destroyed. I agree that a good therapist is something he may need. He also has other issues where he is a compulsive liar. Its not something that we are only aware of. Even his best childhood friends have seen this and don’t understand why he feels the need to lie about almost anything. I don’t know if maybe this is maybe part of a bigger problem.

Trillian's avatar

@Pandora I was wondering about this person a little bit more. You say he was in a diabetic coma. This is a close one for him. It could have easily been the very end. I wonder, is he aware of this? Does he have a, oh, compulsive liar? Your response just popped up. Hmmmm. Sounds like he has multiple issues. Is he depressed, or bipolar maybe? He does seem completely bent on self destruction. I can’t understand this type of person, but I just left a relationship with someone who seems determined to self destruct and is clinically depressed and bi polar among other things. I wish I had a good answer for you, but unfortunately, the answer is within him, and you may not be able to save him. I’m sorry for you and more for his parents.

Marva's avatar

@Pandora Well dear, if you have no more powers to intervine, just stop. you will fell better having removed the responsibility from yourself, one that you can’t take even if you wanted to, and he will be happier because he stops getting grief from you. Support the parents if you feel you want to and help them accept the fact that he needs to get to the healing point himself. Suggest the therapy idea to them so they suggest it to him. He eobviously needs it, but might be too young to realise it. It could be that he would have to lose a bodily function before he turns to treat himslef better, or even then not, but there is nothing you can do, and since you also don’t feel you want to, but that you “should” I suggest you follow you own heart and just be the true you.

Val123's avatar

Wow. My heart goes out to you guys…...what a tough situation.
Maybe he really thinks he’s immortal. Kids that age do….maybe as he matures, and realizes that he’s NOT, he’ll make some better choices.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

You can’t get through to him – if his health issues haven’t yet scared him, then so be it. My brother put himself in dangerous situations all the time because he hated having to conform to society and all that was expected of him to ‘fit in’ – it killed him in the end, he was only 23. I maintain an opinion that his was a brain too big for this world.

Pandora's avatar

@Val123 I think that may be his problem. I just hope he lives to realize it before its too late. I hoping this will finally be what he needed to scare the pants off him.

Val123's avatar

@Pandora I do hope so…..I have a 22 year old son and he thinks he’s invincible. Please let us know if this incident helps him get his head on straight.

Pandora's avatar

@Val123 Will do. Thank you all for your responses.

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