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by Abigail Van Buren

Mother Spills Son's Secret and Is Renounced in Return

DEAR ABBY: I have an issue regarding my 18-year-old son, "Jake." His father and I divorced several years ago -- amicably for the most part. Since then, and even before, Jake has had emotional problems.

My son makes up stories about himself. On one of his online social network sites he has been talking about a vehicle he doesn't own. He even invited a friend to go four-wheeling with him in his nonexistent vehicle. This is only one of many lies Jake has told. When I call him on it, he admits it but says it's "no big deal."

Abby, people believe what my son is telling them. What is going on, and what can I do? -- CARING PARENT, LITTLETON, COLO.

DEAR CARING PARENT: Your son may lie in order to impress others, or be so emotionally troubled that he can't tell the difference between what he fantasizes and what is real. I assume that because Jake has had emotional difficulties for some time that he has been under the care of a therapist. If so, contact the therapist and explain what's going on. If Jake doesn't have a therapist, find one. Perhaps an intervention will help Jake. If the lying persists, your son will become increasingly isolated as it gets out that no one can believe a word he says.