Shaig
A:

HI Shaig,

It's great to meet you. I am glad you checked in.

This is a good question. I can tell that you are really concerned about your stepson and want to do what you can to help hem when he is released. From what you described in your question, I am assuming you and your wife will be the people he relies on the most when he is released.

In answer to your question about whether this is anxiety or depression, what I would say is that a situation like the one you are facing could bring up some anxious feelings about what might happen in the future, as you described. However, you may also be feeling overwhelmed. So you may be experiencing some feelings of both anxiety and depression.

I don't think it is so important to figure out if this is depression or anxiety. What I think is important here is for you to get some support for yourself.

On the positive side, you have three and half years to prepare. That's a lot of time. What you might want to do is to do some exploration, maybe some Googling, on social service programs for individuals who have been incarcerated. You may be able to find some programs that are sponsored by your state government or through non-profit organizations. You might also look into job training programs. They certainly exist.

I think having some support resources in place would help. Here are a couple that I found by taking a look through Google:

http://lionheart.org/prison/state-by-state-li...

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/if-we-wa...

https://www.bop.gov/inmates/custody_and_care/...

https://www.prisonfellowship.org/?sc=WB187100...

I would also encourage you to look into programs within your specific state and community.

Keep in mind that your stepson will need to motivate himself to get his life back on track. You can be supportive and encouraging, but he will have to be willing to do the work. You only have so much control here. The future is in his own hands.

So I think getting yourself informed, having some resources in place, will give you some peace of mind. You might also look into getting some support for yourself, through a support group for family members, or through a counselor. It's really important, I think, for you to get your own support in coping with your feelings about your stepson's release. The more you help yourself, the more you will be able to help him.

Again, consider these three and a half years as a time to prepare, not as a deadline. Hand your stepson the tools you have accumulated. You can give him encouragement while he prepares for the road ahead.

I hope this helps. Keep me posted on how you're doing.

And take good care of yourself.

Gary

Answered By Answered by Dr GaryCA
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