Jann's advice on whether to take antidepressants, and what to do when your birth father doesn't want to talk to you.
DEAR JANN: I’ve been treated for depression in the past, but I’m doing fine now. I still take antidepressants, but I’m stable, happy and totally at peace with the idea that I need some chemical assistance to keep things in check. The problem is my sister. Like Tom Cruise, she doesn’t believe in taking meds to treat emotional problems. She wants me to stop the meds and go on some vitamin cocktail she wants to mix up. I’ve refused, and it has caused major tension between us. She’s entitled to have her views, but it’s my happiness at stake. I don’t understand how she can be so strident on this issue, even though she has seen how unhappy I was before I began treatment. Any advice? HAPPY
DEAR HAPPY: I am going to kick your sister’s arse, I swear to God. Tom Cruise? It’s absolutely ridiculous to stop taking your meds. You’re happy! Why would you screw with that? Why would a loving, caring sister screw with that? It’s ludicrous and dangerous. It would be like telling you not to get chemo for breast cancer — Here, just take these vitamins, that’ll do the trick. It’s really negligent. Whatever it takes to be happy, that’s what you must do — whatever it takes. Your sister’s attitude is causing you tension, and it’s not good for your health. Keep doing what you’re doing and ignore the really stupid advice that’s coming from your sister.
DEAR JANN: I’m 21 years old, and when I was 10, my mother dropped a bomb on me that I’ve been carrying ever since. The man that I called my dad my whole life wasn’t my real father. I have met my birth father and my grandmother. I hate the fact that I only got five years to spend with my grandmother before she passed away. I’m getting married soon and plan on having kids and I don’t want them to miss out on having their grandfather around, but he doesn’t seem like he wants to talk to me. I don’t know if he doesn’t really know what to say after 21 years or if he doesn’t really want to talk to me. I just don’t know what to do about it. Help, please. CONFUSED
DEAR CONFUSED: It takes more than sperm to be somebody’s father. Don’t dismiss your entire other life because of a poor decision your mother made. Fear stops all of us from time to time. It’s great that you found your birth people. It does heal a lot of cracks, but don’t expect everybody (e.g., your father) to jump up and down because you’ve suddenly appeared. He doesn’t know you. Blood does not always create an instant bond. He has lived an entire life without you in it. Do not take things personally. Ever. Get married, be happy, don’t make the same mistakes that hurt you in your life, and be forgiving. You can’t lose. Just so you know … your dad is still your dad. The man you’ve been calling dad all your life has been there for you. Don’t screw that up.
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Photo courtesy of Norbert Mayer