'Grow Up!'

'Grow Up!'
Dr. Phil talks to a woman who is ready to divorce her husband if he doesn't stop being such a spoiled brat.

"I love my Blankie and I cannot sleep without it at night," says 22-year-old Abby. "I've had my Blankie since I was a baby." Abby also sleeps in a sleeping bag and wears footsie pajamas. She loves watching cartoons and TV shows like "Shrek" and "Sponge Bob."

Her roommate, Buzz, is fed up with her behavior. "Abby looks like a 12-year-old and acts like a 12-year-old. She has never had a boyfriend," she reveals.

Abby explains why: "I get kind of shy around guys. I've thought about if my Blankie would interfere if I got married. If Dr. Phil could get me a guy that also sleeps with a Blankie, that would really rock my socks off."

Buzz says her friend is in need of serious help. "Help my roommate to grow up," she begs Dr. Phil. "She's been obsessed with her Blankie since she was born. What's she going to do when she gets married?"Abby joins Dr. Phil onstage wearing a bright yellow Sponge Bob T-shirt. When Dr. Phil asks what her position is, she responds, "I think it's all a part of my personality and I like it. Inside of my heart, I know who I am. I like to have fun and goof off a lot."

Gingerly, she hands her Blankie to Dr. Phil. "Have you thought about having it made into a sweater or something that you could wear?" Dr. Phil teases. "Do you think this is a normal thing?"

"Oh yeah. I think lots of people out there have those things that they've had since they were a baby and they sleep with them. They just don't talk about it as much."

"I think you are absolutely delightful. I think you've got a bright smile and a bright attitude," Dr. Phil points out. He explains that her blanket is a "transitional object." "It's something that children get attached to that kind of helps them deal with separation from Mom and Dad or separation from familiar places and familiar, safe, secure surroundings," he says. "Generally, around age 4, people start losing interest in that kind of thing ... What's happened here is you just haven't passed through that phase."
If Abby chooses to live in a childlike way, she'll miss out on adult relationships. "That doesn't make you a bad person," Dr. Phil says, stressing that he doesn't want to make fun of Abby. "You've kind of fixated in the child world and when you do that, you really sacrifice a lot of the things you would enjoy in the adult world. Are there a lot of adults that have security blankets? Yeah, it's called alcohol, tobacco, drugs, workaholic situations ... And those things are really unhealthy. But this has served a purpose for you and there are some adult ways that you can get the same result and then enjoy the adult side of life. Do you have any interest in doing that or are you just OK where you are?"

"I'm just OK where I am," she replies.

Because Abby has no motivation to move to another level of functioning, Dr. Phil thinks she's missing out terribly. He tells Abby that she has to make a conscious effort to change. "Unless and until you say, 'I really do want to add to my life,' then it's not going to happen." He stresses that her childish ways are not hurting anyone, but he implores her to live life to the fullest. "You've just kind of fixated down here because you might be intimidated about the unknown, which you could ease into and have all of the wonderful things that you could add to your life. It's about your attitude and adjustment in life. Will you think about it?"

Abby tells him she will.