Hi. I'm pretty new to this area of the board. We are waiting for a psychiatrist appointment for our difficult child but I think he is depressed, possibly bipolar with another possibility of Aspergers. Anyway, last week he left the house on Tuesday and didn't come home until last night. He was supposed to come home on Thursday but refused to. He told me tonight that he's been drinking and smoking. He said he was drinking to make himself feel happy. I told him that means he is self medicating and that is a very dangerous path to addiction. We had a blow up last night but the end result was a pretty good heart to heart. Any advice on what kind of path to take with difficult child at this point? I'm afraid that taking a hard line will push him right out of the house and right into the path that I want to keep him off of. He has already left for 6 weeks this year and that just made him worse. His friends are everything to him but they're also part of the problem. He seems to gravitate towards kids with problems. This new friend he has right now has an absentee alcoholic father and a mother that has been gone for an entire week to visit her new boyfriend. He has a tendency to take on their issues as his own and feel their pain as his own. It seems to go beyond sympathy, really. He feels very much like a victim right now and can only see all the mistakes his father and I have made in his life and he can't/refuses to see all of the good times and good memories that we helped create for him. I don't know if this is Aspie thinking or depression thinking but he seems to be spiralling into a hole and I can't help him until we get to the psychiatrist on August 13th. Anyone have any thoughts or ideas of how I can handle this situation? I really feel like my hands are tied right now. He's such a smart kid with so much potential but he seems to be eager to jump on a freight train to nowhereville.