"Give your children regular doses of Vitamin "N," as in "No." "

Decisions fueled by guilt - not good.

Question

Hi,
I have written before regarding my stepson. He is 24 years old, has a college degree and lives at home with his mother. He has been diagnosed with interstitial cystitis, a chronic condition that seems to have rendered him almost completely home bound. He does not have a job. He leaves the home for doctor visits and occasionally for family functions. In the past he seems to have overreacted to illness (for example, a pain in his side warrants a visit to the ER because he thinks he has a kidney stone). I do realize that this condition is a real disease and can be debilitating and his dad and I have concern for him. It is hard to tell how uncomfortable he truly is. He spends a lot of time on the internet researching therapies, diets, and doctors for this condition. He is not searching for a job. He feels he can not work because of the condition even though one of his doctors told him he needs to work (to be productive but also to get his mind off his illness, which does consume him). His savings is dwindling. His only personal expenses are his student loans, car insurance, doctor co-pays and his phone. Within a year he will need to get his own medical insurance. He does not ask us for money but we occasionally help him with doctor's bills. How much or should we help him financially? My husband is already experiencing a lot of guilt knowing that we have the means to help. We are both worried that by helping him we are delaying the job search.
What is the balance between caring for him, helping him financially and enabling him?

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