Q&A: How Can I Motivate My “Deadbeat” Teenager?
My 19-year-old son has been diagnosed with ADHD, depression, and ODD. He refuses to go to school or get a job; instead, he just hangs around and plays video games. He has prescriptions but refuses to take them. Frankly, he contributes nothing to the household but stress and is a bad role model for his siblings. How can I make him take his meds and shape up?
Q&A: Can My Child’s Psychiatric Diagnosis Be Voided?
My son recently had a first psychotic episode due to excessive marijuana use and a head injury. He is currently in legal trouble for hitting a staffer while involuntarily committed to a mental hospital. Doctors now say he shows no sign of mental illness. He wants to get the charges dropped and go to rehab. Is there any way to have a psychiatric diagnosis voided?
Q&A: My Child’s School Is Pressuring Me to Give Him Stimulants
My eight-year-old son has trouble paying attention in school. He's always been very active and easily bored. The school had him evaluated by the school psychologist, who thinks he has ADHD. They are pressuring me to get him on stimulants and threatened to call Child Protective Services if I don’t. I feel very uncomfortable with this, but they seem to think it's the only answer. What should I do?
Q&A: How Can I Best Support My Child’s Withdrawal from Psychiatric Drugs?
Two experts offer do's and don'ts on "being there" during the challenging and sometimes time-consuming process of safely discontinuing mental health medications.
Q&A: What Is Informed Consent, and What Should I Know to Help My Child?
My experience caused me to look into the origin of including the patient in decision-making about treatment and informed consent.
Q&A: My Child Is Self-Harming. How Can I Help?
I walked in on my teenaged daughter cutting her upper leg with a razor. I have also noticed multiple cuts and what look like cigarette burns on her wrists and torso. She’s always made excuses about them, but now I realize she has been self-harming for a while. She swears she isn’t suicidal. What’s this all about, and what can I do?
Q&A: My Child Is Suicidal. What Should I Do?
My child talks about wanting to die. She is only 9 years old. There is so much information out there about what family or friends should say to people who are suicidal, but I’m wondering if there is special advice for supporting a child or young person versus an adult.
Q&A: May I Take My Foster Child Off Her Drug Cocktail?
I recently became the foster parent of a 10-year-old girl. She is on a cocktail of several medications prescribed to treat behavioral problems, according to her social worker. They don't really seem to help her. What are the considerations involved with withdrawing her from the meds, and what power do I have to influence this decision?
Q&A: Is My Child Being Overdrugged?
My eight-year-old daughter has diagnoses of ADHD, depression, anxiety, and ODD. She is taking four prescribed drugs, but she is still suffering and her behavior hasn’t changed much. Her doctor is suggesting adding yet another med. I’m wondering how many drugs are enough? I am starting to think she should go off some of them. I want to trust the psychiatrist, but I’m just not sure anymore.
Q&A: My Child is Being Bullied
I have a young son who is being verbally bullied by his peers. He is a sensitive child— thin, wears glasses, athletic and intelligent. I suspect the problem may be related to anti-Semitism. I feel like telling him that he needs to fight the bullies with his fists. His mother advises him to ignore the bullies and to concentrate on his studies. What would you advise?
Q&A: How Can I Best Advocate for My Child in the Mental Health System?
Steve McCrea, MA, advises on how to research options, set goals, look out for a child's interests—and speak up, if need be.
Q&A: Dad Is Coercing Son to Get Off Meds
My son was diagnosed with schizophrenia five years ago and now lives in a residential facility with a holistic treatment approach. However, his father has repeatedly and aggressively tried to coerce him to get off medication. My son and his provider have repeatedly asked him to stop, and the stress of his father’s pressure is setting him back. What should we do?