Act Your Age

Act Your Age
Dr. Phil checks in with the two families competing in the Ultimate Family Weight Loss Challenge.

Dear Dr. Phil,
I am a regular 20-year-old guy but I love Care Bears. I currently have 27 bears in my collection. I also have a huge DVD and Care Bear bedding collection. I run an online Care Bear message board and I like to role play with my Care Bears. They often sit next to me when I watch Care Bear movies, and I love the feeling I get when I hug my Care Bears extra tightly. I have a Bedtime Bear sticker on my car and wear Care Bear shirts in public. I have even dressed up as a Care Bear. My friends think I am weird and that I need to grow up. My family thinks I'm childish. When I thought about giving up my Care Bears, I almost had a breakdown. Dr. Phil what's so wrong with a 20-year-old guy loving Care Bears? How can I stop my friends from making fun of me?
— Jeff

Dr. Phil responds, "There are collectibles and people could kind of be interested in something. It's when you got to the role playing part with your Care Bears that I got a little wafflely on this," he says. "If you're OK with it, OK, but I'm telling you that is kind of infantile behavior and I think you might want to put them on a shelf and move on to another level of functioning."Cheryl has a question along the same lines. "I feel at 26 years old, I should not have to sleep with a stuffed animal,
especially a moose," says Cheryl, who has slept with her three-foot, stuffed moose for seven years. She even has the moose in bed with her and her fiancé, Jeremy. "I always cuddle with the moose at night and I never cuddle with Jeremy."

"The moose is an addiction," says Jeremy, who wishes she would ditch the moose. "The moose takes up about as much room as a small child. It's fur is itchy and it does tickle you in your

Jeremy has threatened to cut off the moose's head and he often hides the moose from Cheryl. "I freak out when the moose is hidden," says Cheryl. "If I had to choose between the moose or Jeremy, it would be the moose," admits Cheryl, as she turns to Dr. Phil for help. "I'm way too old to be sleeping with a stuffed moose. Can you help me?"

"Why do you think that you are so attached to this moose?" Dr. Phil asks Cheryl.

"I sleep with it out of habit. I've always slept with a stuffed animal," Cheryl says.

"And you think that we need to do a 'moosectomy'?" Dr. Phil jokes with Jeremy.

"I would like that," Jeremy smiles.

In order for Cheryl to break the habit, she must replace the behavior with another set of behaviors. "You use it to quiet yourself. You use it to still yourself at night, and you use it to feel comfortable," he says.

"We need to replace it with some new coping behaviors," Dr. Phil explains. "It has to do with imagery and calming yourself, and once you know how to do that, you can have confidence that you can have a moose-free existence."