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JR, M.A.
JR, M.A., Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 184
Experience:  I have a master's degree in clinical psychology and am currently finishing my doctoral degree.
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How can I get my 19 yr. old son to consent to return to therapy.

Resolved Question:

My 19 yr. old son was diagnosed as manic bipolar last winter. He takes his medicatiion religiously. I think he's terrified of another manic episode? But, he appears to be deeply depressed. I think he is very much ashamed of his diagnosis and feels he has been stigmatized. Also, a young woman he thought very well of did not reciprocate his feelings. Another factor, we recently moved to another part of the state. I thought could start over with a clean slate where noone knew his history. He has threatened suicide in the past and I am very much afraid for him. He is refusing to go back to a therapist and is now 19 and as far as I am able to assess, is now, competent to make a decision. How can I talk him into going back to therapy? I'm desperate to help my son.
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  JR, M.A. replied 8 years ago.
HiCustomer

Your concern is very valid and I understand your worry. Unfortunately, there is no way to make someone return to therapy. In fact, therapy can actually be negative if someone is that resistant to the process. Perhaps he will be more willing to entertain the idea if you give it some time. If you are concerned that he will take him life, you can can ask him to go to the hospital and check himself in for treatment. Otherwise, you would have to contact the police and explain that you feel that he is in imminent danger. If he is currently making suicide threats, I would suggest that you talk to him and let him know that you are concern he will hurt himself. Talk to him about the option of checking himself into inpatient treatment. Perhaps he would be more willing to see a therapist as opposed to the possibility of inpatient commitment. I wish there was better advice to give you, but the fact that he is 19 makes matters difficult. This must be very hard for you. I would suggest that you seek therapy to get some consultation and support. You sound like you could use some continued advice and support to cope with this stress. You are doing all you can. You are not to blame for his behavior.

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