Family Relations/dealing with relatives

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Question
Hi,
  I have a nephew who has been contacting me and I talk to him on the phone, have him to dinner, etc.  His father, my brother died when he was very young and he tells me he loves me and I am basically his only family.  He is 30 now.
   The problem is that he is a sponge that drains me with his depressive complaining attitude and he makes me very uncomfortable.  He had a hard life and always seems to have big problems.  He is on disability because he hurt his back at work.  His wife has big problems with health as well.  But when I am around him I feel like I am drowning and he is pulling me down. I give him advice and try to encourage him but he has such unrealistic expectations and demands that I don't even want to talk with him.
   When I do get family togethers as he wants he doesn't show up which makes everyone mad and they don't want anything to do with him.
   Is there anyway I can help him?

Answer
Brad,

I think that limiting your time with him is the first step you take. He most likely won't change his personality and thus spending time with him will always be a challenge. He probably also needs to see a therapist. It sounds from your description like he may be depressed. You have become his therapist and that is not the job for you.

Doc David

Family Relations

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Dr. David Simonsen

Expertise

I am a licensed Marriage & Family therapist with a Ph.D. in Psychology. I work primarily with teens and families on a weekly basis. You will get the straight truth. I will not pull punches.

Experience

I have been working daily with teens and families for the last 10 years.

Organizations
AAMFT; AACC; WAMFT

Education/Credentials
M.S. in Marriage & Family Therapy; Ph.D. Psychology

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