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I live in Central Wisconsin. I am married and we have two daughters. In 1997 I earned my degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. In my spare time I study psychology and philosophy.
Gender: Male
Location: Stevens Point, WI
Occupation: Phlebotomy Coordinator (Clinical Laboratory)
Age: 35
Member Since: October 19, 2005
Answers: 118
Last Update: January 24, 2010
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Let me first start by giving you a little back ground information. My ex wife became pregnant when she was 20 and I was 19. Even though it was earlier than we both expected to become parents, we were thrilled and so excited to start our family together. We got married shortly after she gave birth to our son Matt. Soon after that, we had another son, and then a daughter. From my perspective, everything was great. That's why I was so blindsided when my wife came to me 9 months after our daughter was born claiming she wasn't ready to settle down and be a mother with divorce papers in her hand. Almost overnight, I became a 23 year old single father with a 4 year old, 2 year old, and a 9 month old. After the divorce was final, I rarely heard from my ex wife. She had begun living a life that I didn't necessarily approve of filled with drugs and alcohol and, while I wanted to keep my children as far away from that as possible, she was their mother and I didn’t feel like I could entirely keep them away from her. The last straw, however, came when I let my daughter, Alyssa, (who was 6 at the time) stay with her when I took my sons on a hunting trip. I was supposed to pick her up at noon the Sunday we got back. I spent the entire afternoon calling my ex wife’s apartment with no answer. At 5 that afternoon, I finally just went over to her house where I found her front door wide open and her passed out on the couch from mixing a few too many drugs with alcohol. Her neighbor came over to the apartment and told me that my ex wife had taken Alyssa out one night and come home completely plastered. Thank god her neighbor had woken up and decided to take Alyssa back to her apartment. And this is just one example of many. After that, I told my ex wide that I didn’t want her to see our kids anymore which devastated her so much she entered rehab. She got clean and for the past ten years has seen the kids a few times despite my hesitance. My kids and I have been living a great life together away from my ex wife. A few years ago I began dating another woman whom I am now engaged too. She gets along great with my kids and is an amazing person who I know will be a good influence on my kids’ lives. My oldest son Matt is now in college, but Colton (my middle son) and Alyssa still live with me. Since I have become engaged, my ex wife has become crazy about spending time with the two of them. She wants them at her house every weekend and doesn’t want my fiancé to parent them at all. She is trying to tell my daughter all kinds of lies about why she left, and how I am a horrible person for trying to keep them from seeing her. She tells her that the entire thing was my fault and all kinds of horrible rumors about my fiancé, who went to high school with my ex wife. She has asked both of my kids to move in with her. Colton told her absolutely not, but Alyssa is confused about the whole situation and doesn’t know what she should do. I have full custody of them so essentially it is my choice about whether or not she can see them. I don’t want to take them away from my ex wife, but I don’t want to lose them myself. I am still worried that she will resort back to her old ways and put my kids in danger like she has their whole lives. Am I right to not let my daughter move in with her mom? (link)
Dear Dad,

Yes, you are right not to let Alyssa move in with your ex-wife. Even if we ignore your ex-wife's long, sordid history and her sudden interest in being a parent, the fact remains that your children benefit most from a consistent, predictable, safe, and loving environment with the parent who knows them best and whom they know best.

No parent is perfect, and regardless of any garden-variety parenting mistakes you have made over the years, you have raised your children lovingly, your way, with your rules, expectations, rewards and punishments, and I can think of no reason to remove Alyssa from her present parent and stick her with a new parent. Again, even if your ex-wife has changed all of her old ways and would make an excellent mother today, that doesn't justify sending Alyssa away from the father she knows all too well to the mother she barely knows at all. Kids need consistency.

I could stop right here but I would like to deconstruct the rest of your story and share my thoughts regarding your ex-wife's history and present behavior. Perhaps this will help you find peace with the fact that none of it matters in the decision you are making (or, likely, you have already made the decision and are just seeking validation for having made it...)

It seems to me that your ex-wife panicked at the direction her life was taking all those years ago and left that life to recover her notion of freedom with reckless abandon. I applaud her for going into rehab and, hopefully (though statistically unlikely) remaining sober all these years.

Perhaps she has been very hard on herself these past 10 years for leaving her family and has experienced a lot of grief, remorse, and regret. And perhaps she had been willing to accept the circumstances of her life and was content with seeing her children occasionally, as long as she could tell herself that, after all, she was STILL their mother.

What broke her from this reverie was your engagement (by the way, congratulations on becoming engaged!). The engagement forced her to acknowledge the truth--that she in fact isn't their mother anymore and has no right to claim them as her children (except biologically). Not willing to accept this, and seeing the only solution as to wrest Alyssa and Colton from your home, she set about manipulating their perception of you and your fiancee in the hope that Alyssa (if not Colton) will choose her over you. It doesn't help that Alyssa is in the throes of adolescence and needs the support of a mother to guide her through this emotionally turbulent period of her life.

What I recommend you do is set some simple ground rules for your ex-wife. 1) She must stop defaming you and your fiancee immediately. 2) She must accept your decision not to let Alyssa move in with her. 3) As a compromise, she should be allowed to spend more time with Alyssa so she has a chance to be a good mother.

I don't think any of your kids are, at least in the immediate future, going to accept your fiancee as their mother. In time, though, and with some patience and diplomatic finesse on the part of your fiancee, Alyssa (and Colton and Matt) should come to accept her as a part of their family. At that point they will open up to her and may even treat her like a mom. But don't expect this and certainly don't demand it--that would only guarantee the exact opposite would happen.

Talk to your fiancee about what you and I have discussed and make sure she fully supports whatever you decide to do. Since you two are marrying and sharing custody of Colton and Alyssa, she should be allowed to participate in your decision-making. However, and I cannot stress this enough, do not let your children know she has had any influence over your decision--if any of them disagrees with you, they could easily use her as a scapegoat for their feelings.

I would really like to hear more from you, especially how things turn out.

Keep in touch!

Dr. Chad

This experience is new to me, therefore the reason I feel creeped out. I've been living in my current house (With my parents, I'm 16) for about a year and a half. When we moved in, I found out about the history of the house, seeing as it is renovated, it still has the original flooring on the first floor, original walls...and interesting characters that lived here. Regardless to the details of the previous inhabitants, this house has a feeling to it.
Recently, more specifically in my room and the hallway beside my room have been...well, excuse my French, but f**cking eerie. That is the best word I can come up with, maybe supernatural is better? Either way, my cat behaves weirdly in the hallway outside my room. He'll just hiss, whilst obviously staring at something in the air, which, apparently I am oblivious to. Okay, that I can handle. In my room, where three inhabitants have killed themselves, I get cold feelings. You may think I'm paranoid, and I was pretty sure I was myself, it seems near impossible now. It's not like I'm constantly thinking about it, I'll be sitting here, on my laptop, not thinking about this paranormal issue, with my window and door closed, and suddenly it'll be freezing. Few seconds later, it'll be back to normal. And no, I don't have some medical condition that gives me the shivers or whatnot.
Also, I see some strange lights, flashes. I don't know how to define it. Just the other day, I was lying on my bed, reading a book, home alone, so no sibling disturbance, and I just see a flash pass my eyes. It wasn't the street lights, or any cars. It was in broad daylight and so far, I have yet to come across something that could've caused this. Prior to last week, I've experienced this flashy encounter about four more times.
I'll just remind you that I'm not thinking about these occurrences. They are rarely on my mind, only after some thing's happened. I'm not exactly spiritual, but I do believe there's something out there. I'm not religious either.
I guess the worst part is the creaky floorboard happenings. At one part of my room, there is a floorboard or two that creak when you step on them. Directly, if you stand next to them, the floor doesn't make a sound. There have been countless times that the boards have creaked, in manner of somebody walking across them, but naturally, I'll be in the room alone. This is just disturbing at the moment of action, after that I just forget about it.
My dad admitted that he's had a few weird feelings in this house as well, thinking they are paranormal, but I did not know this until about a month ago when I asked him about his opinion on the house.
My main question is, and I just realized how long my introduction was, please accept my apologies, what do you think is going on?
Anything I should try or do?
Any specific reason why my cat would hiss at empty spaces, in one particular area of my house?
Whatever you have to say or propose, feel free, I'm not going give harsh ratings because I disagree. I'm open to anything :) (link)
My mother in law and wife see ghosts. Having read your question, their advice is:

You have a ghost in your house. This ghost is someone who has died but for whatever reason refuses to "cross over" to the "other side". Likely the ghost doesn't realize he/she is dead. The best thing you can do the next time you sense it's presence is to kindly (KINDLY, GENTLY)inform it that it is dead and should cross over to the other side to be with its loved ones. You might have to do this a few times. Do not be afraid. The ghost isn't able to hurt you--he/she is just lost and needs directions.

If this doesn't work, tell the ghost to go to a funeral. The white light that leads to the other side is always present at funerals and at the scene of any death.

Dr. Chad

I was having a really hard time two months ago and my mom took me to see a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me with a mood disorder NOS (not otherwise specified). My mom took me to have some blood drawn to check if maybe the way I was feeling was because my hormones were out of balance. We got the results back and the doctor said it was all entirely hormonal (mainly thyroid). So I really don't want what the psychiatrist wrote down on my report or record or whatever it's called to stay there for the rest of my life. Should I call him and tell him what was really wrong so I can get that off my record or will it just go away if I stop seeing him? Will anyone else ever be able to see what he wrote down(like whenever I go to apply for a job or something)? (link)
You can go to medical records and have them send a copy of your lab results and your doctor's notes ("dictation") to your psychiatrist. Trust that he will evaluate the results fairly. He is perfectly able to change the diagnosis he put in your medical record. Also, your medical record is protected by the HIPAA legislation of 1995 (Health Information Portability and Accountability Act). No employer will ever have access to it.

Dr. Chad

Background info: Recently my dad has Started webcaming with "people" he has met online. He says that they are "guys" from other countrys that are nice nd he just talks with.

the other night i was sitting in the living room watching t.v && on my computor. my dad was also in the living room on his computor on webcam. He coverd the side of his face and I saw him blow the camra a kiss TWICE!. && the night before someone had sent him a kissy message the ones that make a kissy sound. I dont care what anyone thinks but I consider this cheating. weather its emotional cheating or actual sex cheating its still cheating.

Now im positive my mom doesnt know about this but I cant be the one to tell her.

Background info on my mom: Shes really old almost sixty has battled cancer for 6 years and if I tell her thiis She WONT be able to handle it i just know that....

Question: What do I do. I don't know how to handle this information. all I could do was cry. I was so mad that he would have the nerve to do that with me in the room. I dont even know if there is a right answer to what i should do but this has really emotionaly screwd with me. I have bad enough trust isues in relationships and now I just feel like theres absolutely no hope! what do i dooo please help. (link)
As hard as it is for you to accept, your parents' relationship with each other is not your responsibility and not your business. The moment you get involved with your parent's marriage, you will find both of them resenting you: Dad will resent you for ratting him out, and Mom will resent you for being the bearer of such devastating news. You will get caught in the middle. What your dad is doing is wrong, but I'm mostly worried about you. Is there someone you trust that you can confide in? Someone close to the family might be able to give you more informed advice.

Ive asked this question and got no responces..
I saw your advice collum and you could seem to have some good adive for me. :)

Theres this guy I know,
He's really cute.
I would be supprissed if girls didnt go after him.
When I first saw him, I figgered he was one of those cocky
guys (Most cocky guys are good looking.. lol. ive noticed)
And I didnt Pay much attention to him at all.
Then he always looked at me and When I caught him starring he would look away. He would always try and talk to me and tap my shouler and try to make me laugh.
At first I thought he only acted this way beacuse I was paying no attention to him at all and he didnt like that.
But then he asked for my number and texted me right away.
We even began talking on the phone.. alot.
But Ive notcied, When we hang out with everyone else together he always gives the other girls hugs and things I dont know if he's "flirting" or jokeing around, but he told me he likes me, and I asked about those other girls and he said he likes them only as ffriends..
But how do i know he doesnt say the same thing to them?
Do guys do this to alot of girls or do you think he's telling the truth?
P.s- He one day really wanted to see me, came to my house,
and Held me in his arms while we played video games.. LOL XD
But how do I know he's not just a flirt? (link)
Thank you for your question. He likes you, and he's playing it safe in case you don't like him back. Let him know how you feel! Be more obvious than he has been.

Dr. Chad


I am 19 and my parents dont really allow me to do much. I feel like a child. My friends all make fun of me for being under such close watch and not being allowed to go places and do things like most 19 or 18 year old do, because i always have to ask my parents and hope that they will permit me to do something... I have no freedom. I've fairly recently gotten in trouble for trying to go out, because I said so, and I was like... its time to stop being controlled by my parents and get out and have some fun.
I had to deceive my parents so that i could do what i wanted to do. I couldn even leave the house without my mom looking out the door to see who was picking me up and to see if they were there yet...etc.... I didnt know my mom was going to follow me to the door, so that foiled my plan. I was going to walk up the road, but my mom was like "no, tell your friend to come pull up infront of the door". And then she saw that it was a male friend and not the female friend i told her it was. I got in a lot of trouble and got yelled at and lectured.. Now my parents say they dont trust me and i cant go anywhere or do anyyything. My friends say "you're 19, you can do what you want....etc."..

I want to know if it would be f***ed up or not if I were to just slip out the house and move one day and not tell my parents anything until I get there. I want to live with a certain guy, but, i mean, when i am ready to move in with him and when i'm sure thats what i want to do. And I will call my parents from my new residence, or better yet text them and be like "umm.... yeah.... i moved..."

They dont even want me meeting with this guy. They dont want me to meet with no guy or do anything. And I am so tired of my parents! I need to get away from them! I'm not going to even bother with introducing them to the guy, because they wont want me with him cuz he's 22 and i told my mom a little bit about him and she's like "you dont need to be with him. you dont need to be with anybody. You need to focus on school and focus on gettin yourself together first (work on myself in terms of anxiety problems etc.)" They just want to keep me as their boyfriend-less child for as long as they possibly can.

And I dont want to bother with telling them i plan on moving out. So do you think it would be messed up if i just moved out, and in with this guy, and just told them about it after the fact? Just so they know what happened to me.. and that way they cant do anything about it (link)
Most of your description focuses on your parents' overprotectiveness and your desire to get out from under their thumb and be your own person. I completely identify with that and I believe you should focus on finding your own place and moving out.

On a separate note you want to move in with this guy. I am wondering if you are making that decision based more on your desire to move out than your desire to live with this guy. If you are looking for independence, you are better off getting a roommate for starters, so you have your own place. What will you do if you break up with this guy? Move back in with your parents? Your situation will be more stable if you find a roommate.

I know you want to stick it to your folks, I did too, but be careful not to burn that bridge. They can continue to be an excellent resource and form of support. Going out on your own has it's challenges and surprises. It would be nice for you to be able to call them up and ask for help on how to do something without having to work around that awkward way in which to plan to part company.

I think your best plan would be to tell them you're going to move out and ask them if they would like to help you find a place. That might help both of you---you get their expertise in selecting a domicile, and they get to feel like they have some influence over where you end up living, which will go a long way toward relieving them of the inevitable separation anxiety they will experience.

Realize their overprotectiveness comes not from a lack of trusting you, but instead a lack of trusting the world "out there". They probably watch the evening news too much and have a distorted view of the world teenagers inhabit.

Try to be patient with them, but also firm. Stand your ground, but resist the temptation to "teach them a lesson" by disappearing. You feel hurt by their overprotectiveness and it's natural to want to hurt them back.

Keep thinking it through, as you seem to have a good head on your shoulders. You'll be fine.

Dr. Chad

I will start by saying that I am self diagnosed. as a child as young as 5 i remember staying up crying in bed because i thought I was dying and in the 80s when AIDs was becoming more known I was positive I had it (I was only 8).I am in my twenties now and I still go through periods of extreme paranoia and obsession with some life-threatening problem I believe I have. it most often starts out with something that actually is physically wrong but it escalates in my head a lot. (i.e cyst on my chest becomes cancer, chronic sore throat is throat cancer, heart palpitations is heart attack.) sometimes i get so paranoid that i convince myself i am going to die that night or by the time my son is five or whatever. Its ridiculous. the only things that can ease my mind is telling my boyfriend or bestfriend about whatever problems i have and then having them tell me they have had it or know that it is going to be okay. thing is, they are at the point they do not want to hear it anymore, and i don't blame them because oh man I am crazy. i love my life, i do not want to die, and i try every day to convince my brain that i am in good health and will live a long time. i need some advice on how to overcome this myself, because I cannot see a doctor for financial reasons (although i would love someone to talk to) and i am absoulutely against medication for any kind of mental disorder. (just for myself, i do not judge others), thanks (link)
It sounds to me like obsessive-compulsive disorder. Not everyone exhibits the classic signs of obsessing about germs. There is medicine to treat this. It is no different than if you were diagnosed with cancer. You would want to treat it with the best available treatments--you wouldn't refuse effective treatment just because of what other people would think of you. For example, you wouldn't refuse chemo just because your hair is going to fall out. Which is more important to you, your health or the dreaded stereotype of mental disorder?

Dr. Chad

okay, so me and my boyfriend have been together for about four months now. and we hook up all the time. we don't have sex, but we do other things.. but the problem is, he cant make me orgasm. we've hooked up countless times but by the fourth time when he didnt do it, i faked it. and since then ive been faking it. I mean, i can make myself cum when im by myself, but he can never get me to that point.. what should i do? (link)
Is he stimulating you the way you would stimulate yourself? Does he frequently change or break rhythm or switch it up just when you are just starting to build? I think you should ask him if he'd like to know what feel's good. Hopefully he will say yes, and then you can give him some pointers. In addition, I would point out to him that manual or oral stimulation is pretty much the same for both sexes. The parts are different, but the "symphony" is the same . . . start slow, gentle, teasing, slowly increase in rhythm and intensity, listen to your lover's breath so you know when to escalate your stimulation, hang on for dear life when they climax.

Funny thing is, I'll bet we'd all be excellent oral lovers if we were homosexuals. After all, I know exactly what feels good to me, so if I was given a dick to suck, I imagine I would do a good job. What most people don't realize is that the tissues that make up the male genitalia are analagous to the tissues of the female genitalia. What becomes the clitoris in the female becomes the foreskin in the male . . . and so on. You really aren't in foreign territory when you go down on your lover. It looks different, but it's wired to the same pleasure centers in the brain, and that's what matters.

My boyfriend and i have been together for 4years and have been haveing sex since July 08,(hes my first) And have been haveing sex with no protection sice Novermber or December 08. He just pulls out. We have a great relation ship. And wouldnt mind having a baby if it comes to us but i dont think its the time. Anyways I thought the pull out method didnt work! is he just really really good at it or is there something wrong with one of us. or are we just not doing it enough. We usally do it once or twice a week. (link)
Russian Roulette is a "game" in which a revolver is loaded with less than a full cylinder of shells, then closed, spun, held to someone's head. When you pull trigger, there "might" be a bullet in the chamber, or there might not. It's a game of chance, and if you play it long enough, you'll blow your head off.

Having said that, using the pull-out method is also a game of chance. Use it long enough, and eventually he'll blow his wad sooner than he thinks, and you might wind up pregant. So if you're going to keep using such a risky method of birth control, I wish you good luck.

Dr. Chad

what do you think the definition for "mentally unstable" is? I've searched google and havn't found a good one. To me, if you're "mentally unstable", you're psychotic, or suicidal, insane, have a severe mental disorder, can't think straight, that kinda stuff. but im not sure, can anyone help? (link)
I don't think "mentally unstable" is a clinical term. As you yourself discovered, there is no clear, categorical definition of the term. It probably exists as a layman's term referring to a host of possible mental disorders, including but not limited to the ones you mentioned above.

Is it possible for someone to have dysthymia for an extended amount of time, not just 1-2 years? I know if it's serious, it turns into depression, but I don't know if there's a way to get tested for depression, not just checking off the symptoms. I don't know what I am. i have been sad my entire life. I can laugh sometimes at things but i never really feel happy. My life is not as crappy compared to others. Maybe I have a natural chemical imbalance? But how would I know? I can't tell if I lost interest in my favorite activities because I've never really had any hobbies. I dabble in different things for short times, and even if I like it, I give up too easily and never finish what I start. I don't know where or who to go for help and I don't know if I even need it. I am not going to do anything like commit suicide but it is on my mind a lot. I am just very tired.. (link)
Dysthymia, which is minor depression, by definition lasts for an extended period of time. People often suffer from it for years before being diagnosed, because unlike it's big brother, major depression, dysthymia is constantly, subtly acting in your background, coloring your mood, motivation, perception, self-worth, and so on. In fact, many people are not diagnosed until middle age.

In contradistinction, major depression has a relatively short duration. It is considered acute, and has a definite onset. People will notice the change in you.

My advice is, you have any inkling that there is something going on with you, you should have a doctor assess you.

Way over fifty percent of the world population will have a need, at some point in their life, for the services of a doctor of clinical psychology or psychiatry. Unfortunately, because of the stigma attached to mental illness, many do not seek any treatment. Be smarter than them.

Dr. Chad

so i have a science fair in the end of may. my project is about. do chemical or natural fertilizers work the best? i need 3 different kind of chemicla fertilizers and 3 different kinds of natural fertilizers..but thats not what i need. i want to know what kind of plant should i use? i need a plant that grows fast and that can grow a warm temperature inside my house. (link)
Radishes grow so fast, they recommend you plant a third of your seeds at a time so you have three harvests.

how long does it take for a guy to say he loves you when you know he truly cares for you?

The first time I fell in love I told the guy I loved him after a month, I was also 14 and probably didn't know what love was. But the point is he got freaked out.

Now with my current boyfriend we've been dating for a month and a half and he is the most classy respectful guy I have ever met. I didn't even knew they existed in this decade. Flowers, candles, cooks for me..the whole 9 yards. He's told me how crazy he is for me and he told me that he could picture being with me for life. His best friend is my best friend's boyfriend and even he says that he's never seen him like this before.

I know people don't fall in love overnight and we're not the type of couple who date for a week and start saying things like "I love you, you're my everything, I can't live without you" I was just wondering. How long did it take your guy to say it..and mean it? (link)
If you believe he is crazy for you, why, after six weeks of dating, is it so important for you to hear him say he loves you. I think you're putting too much importance on it. Love is commitment, self-sacrifice, unconditional acceptance, support, passion, et cetera, et cetera. The word, in and of itself, is immaterial. If you feel his love, that is much deeper than hearing him say it. Now if you had been married for years and he never says it, we would be having a very different conversation. Please just be patient and let him tell you when he's ready. That way it will be from his heart and not from his head.

Dr. Chad

This weekend a whole big ordeal was formed at my house, because i lied to my parents about something. But then i got really upset and they gave me a little pill of valium friday night and then another one saturday night so i could calm down. They hid them from me, but now i'm going crazy looking for them, i feel like i need them. I loved the way it made me feel, and i'm even looking through the internet for other pills that give you the same effect. is there a possibility that i'm addicted to valium? (link)
No, you are not addicted. One does not develop a dependence on benzodiazepenes after two small small doses. I hope you find this a relief.

On the other hand, you should be concerned that you found release and escape in a drug. It's an insidious practice that grows stronger and more invincible the more you do it.

If I were you I'd stop looking for your next fix. It's a dark and hollow path to take.

My parents want to come and spend the night at my house. I have told them hundreds of times that they have really nasty habits (like not washing their hands after using the bathroom then touching food and not taking baths but once a week). Then they come and bring roaches with them (unintentionally of course) from their house, that they refuse to clean. (Then they ask why we don't visit them at their house. Last time we went I got a glass from the cabinet to get some water to drink and it had roach eggs and spiderwebs in it.)I have to treat them like children and tell them how to do things properly. I do not like them giving my kids food because I don't know where their hands have been. When I do tell them that they need to clean up their act, they get offended and blame it on this or that (a line of bull). Then my dad gets mad at me and says sarcastic comments (like I'm sorry we are not perfect like you). I never said I was perfect, I just don't want them to teach my kids ( 2 & 6 yrs. girls) bad habits. They need to be able to look up to them and be proud. Nothing I do seems to help. They never listen, when I'm trying to tell them something they always take it the wrong way. Then they act jealous of other family members (ex: why can u go visit them and not us?). Last time they stayed over night the room had to be cleaned because it smelled after they left. I can't take much more of this, I don't know what else to do other than just start avoiding them. I have put up with this for years, Please help... (link)
You are ashamed of your parents. You are ashamed, and I accept that. You are okay for feeling that way. In a way, your parents deserve that.

You are afraid that your parents' faults will affect your children.

You are old enough to see your parents' faults for what they are: poor hygiene, poor housekeeping, low standards of living.

Your parents may be guilty of not taking better care of themselves.

However, your children are too young (even at 6 years old) to pass judgement on your parents. At this age, they are taking cues from you.

Since your parents have the problems you described, they most likely had these sorts of problems when you were a kid, so I completely understand your desire as a parent provide a better environment for your children.

I believe you are a better parent to your children than your parents were to you.

Having said that, I think that because your children are going to naturally, innocently love their grandparents unconditionally, and because they have a natural need to cultivate relationships with their extended family, I think you need to frame your concerns and questions in terms of what's best for your children (emotionally, not hygienically.)

As far as hygiene is concerned, it's a good practice to wash your hands and whatnot (I work in a clinical laboratory!), but the strength of a child's immune system is dependent upon their exposure to therapeutic levels of environmental pathogens. This is how they build up immunities.(My wife is an R.N.)

I guess my advice to you is to let go of your past experiences with your parents and see the larger picture, which is that emotionally, your parents have much to offer your kids, and you are potentially hurting everyone by denying that relationship.

Best of luck.

Dr. Chad

I'm crying pretty damn hard right now, i keep thinking about bush getting on that helicopter to texas. it's seriously so, so sad i can't stop crying

i didn't even know him or pay attention to the politics

but i love him
and i miss him :( (link)
You probably should have paid attention to the politics.

Hi there! Hoping you can give me a bit of advice.

I'm a single mother of two kids, working full-time and going to college part-time. Shortly after I got divorced (2002)my little brother moved in with me to help me out. About a year ago, my parents bought a house and rent it to us. We split the rent and all bills evenly.

In September of this year, my brother lost his job. Since the economy is so bad, he's had a really hard time finding work, and takes whatever job he can to make extra cash, but can't find a full-time job. So, for the past 4 months, I've been paying all of his bills, except for rent (which my parents are paying for him). He's racked up around $800 that he owes me. And I'll probably never see a dime of that.

He helps out sometimes, by watching my kids for me while I run to the store. And just the other day he fixed a water leak in our house. But for the most part, he sleeps, eats my food, watches cable tv that I pay for and plays video games. The only time he cleans up around the house (including doing his own dishes) is when I get onto him about it. He was promised a job by my boss, but construction is slow right now and they don't need him full-time yet. So instead of seeking other employment, he stays at home doing whatever. He's receiving unemployment money, but I haven't seen any of it and neither has my mom.

When I talk to my parents about him, they seem to think that I should just deal with it. But this is driving me absolutely CRAZY! I have no money! I couldn't get my kids much for Christmas.

I was told by my parents that if I kick him out, they will make me pay the entire amount of rent, which I can't afford. I'm so confused about what to do. Should I just deal with this?
Thank you for your question. Keep in mind that my answer is based only on what you told me. Your brother moved in "to help you out", which means he was there to help you when you were experiencing a major life change. You describe him babysitting and fixing things in your home, all noble behaviors.

Your brother lost his job in September, which can have unseen effects on someone's self-esteem and overall psychological health. If you have any history of mental illness in your family, losing a job could trigger the onset of depression. Once again, I need to make some assumptions about your brother, such as the assumption that to some extent he identified himself with his job and he measured his self-worth by the quality of his work and size of his paycheck. He has lost the foundation of his independent, adult life. I don't suppose he feels particularly good about having to rely on his big sister for financial assistance, and the burden of having to repay it when he's out of work may be affecting his behavior around you as well (perhaps he resents your enviable position as a gainfully employed mother of two who is in college).

Having said all of that, you probably think I'm siding with him. I am not. I'm just making some observations. It's also entirely possible that he is an opportunist who moved in after your divorce so he'd have someone to split the bills with, and only helps you out from a sense of obligation rather than familial support. Perhaps he doesn't really care that he lost his job, and he's glad for the opportunity to mooch off of you.

My advice is that you decide if either of these descriptions fits your brother, and act accordingly. If he needs your support to lift him out of this slump, then I would suggest you return the favor he paid you when you got divorced--and "be there for him". If he's just a bum, a "loser", as you put it, then you need to have a difficult but necessary conversation with him about your feelings. Many incorrect assumptions are made based on observed behavior alone. Open, honest communication has a way of dispelling the misperceptions and setting the relationship on a new course.

If you need a means of sympathizing with him, remember that you are blessed with two beautiful children, a noble source of income, and a bright future following college. He has none of this. Bachelorhood is lonely enough; unemployment amplifies the loneliness; and a mere high-school diploma limits career opportunities in this bleak economy.

Dr. Chad

I am not sure if this question is one like you would take but i need to ask someone. Its about my boyfriend... He has been throwing up blood and there has been blood in his stool so he tells me and he wont go see a doctor. I think that is serious, but him being the typical tough guy, says it will just go away. I have tried looking online for Doctors to ask, but havent had any luck. Do you think this is something you can help me on or would you know of another website i could try? Thanks in advance!!! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!! All the best!!! (link)
First I should point out that I am not a doctor. I do work in a hospital laboratory and my wife is a registered nurse. I just consulted with her. Blood in vomit and stool is indicative of a GI bleed, and it is very serious. He either has an ulcer in his stomach lining or a wound in his bowels. Most likely the bleeding is coming from his stomach. Is the blood in his vomit bright red? This would also indicate that the source is his stomach lining. If the blood is red in his stool, then it is (also?) coming from his bowels. If the blood in his stool is dark or black, then it has been partially digested and came from his upper GI tract, probably the stomach. He needs to go to the Emergency Department tonight. He is losing blood, which is life-threatening, and could also be bleeding internally, which can cause massive problems. As my wife put it, anytime you're bleeding from two or more orifices, you need emergency medicine. It will not go away on it's own. The biggest concern my wife has is the unknown cause of the bleeding. A doctor needs to find the source and treat it as soon as possible before it complicates. I hope that by providing your boyfriend with this information, you can convince him to go to the ER.
As I said above, I am not a doctor and I am not qualified to offer you any medical advice. What I have told you above could be found elsewhere on the internet. I accept no liability for your boyfriend's actions, or lack thereof.

Good luck, and Merry Christmas!


my boyfriend doesn make much noise during sex im wondering if he enjoys it. its not complete silence but deep breathing panting rarely moans is that a problem. (link)
He's used to masturbating in private, during which he keeps quiet so as not to be caught. Do you moan and make noise during sex? If you moan gently in his ear for a while and then ask him if it feels good, he might start to open up and express his pleasure.

I have been really scared after the recent Mumbai Attacks where the terrorists gunned down everyone in sight. I just want to know does it hurt if you are shot at? What does it feel like?
18/F (link)
When you are severely injured, you go into shock. Pain is dampened. You are aware of pain and injury, and terrified, but also flooded with adrenaline and sharply focused on survival. The trauma of the gunshot wound is secondary to your awareness of your environment. You remain conscious, but you won't feel like you're in conscious control of your actions. You survival instinct will dictate your immediate response, be it to seek shelter or help or administer first aid to yourself.

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