How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Ralph LMHC Your Own Question

Ralph LMHC
Ralph LMHC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience:  20+ years as therapist, supervisor, clinic director at mental health, substance abuse treatment ctrs
11044513
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Ralph LMHC is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Before college our son was an all star, soccer player of the

Customer Question

Before college our son was an all star, soccer player of the year in our state, with a bright future in soccer.   He tested positive for mariguana once during his last month of Highschool. After going away to college he tested positive again once but negative thereafter. He went away to college and failed. We made him came back home, registered him at the Community College and seek psychological help for the entire semester. He refused to continue thereapy, drug testing and give us his grades. He moved with the girlfriend where she goes to college and registered at another community college for this summerA and B terms. We tried to compromise with him since he was so unhappy with us. He got a job and we pay for car and insurance. I confirmed today he is not taking classes and he lives in a fantacy world. He said he wants to be a Doctor. I stopped giving him money and wont pay for car or insurance. He said he is not doing drugs and is happy but he lies about everything.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 5 years ago.

Hello:

 

I do not want you to be unconcerned, but at the same time., you need not over react. Marijuanna is used by more American's than any other illegal drug. It is in the tens of millions. I get questions from good families who are dealing with children who have committed serious felonies. So in the light of what could be this is serious, but not horrific. Keep your reactions under control (I too am a parent so understand in more than a clinical way). You have reacted appropriately, in that you are not going to support the party life. Late teenage years is the time of individuation and rebellion from family and to some degree this what is happening. All you can do is put your message about right and wrong across and let him run with it. He will find out that living appropriately will be in the end more appropriate. Be patient and keep things in perspective. The fantasies will turn into hard facts and he will realize that he will need to change if he wants the things that he does want. Do not forget that he is young and time is on his side. There is not much more that you can do, you have offered him help and it is up to him to accept it. Maintain your firm stance, but do not constantly focus on this one area or he will not hear what you have to say. I am reasonably certain that after trying to live on Macdonalds' wages the facts about the need to go to college will be come apparent to him. Avoid confontations, allow him an appropriate amount of distance. Don't react as if the world has ended , it has not this is a learning step (albeit a hard and serious one) on the road of growing up. Again avoid fights, continue to not support his behavior, iand n time, I believe he will come around. Good luck and best wishes. If you found this answer helpful please push the green button so I know and can be compensated. feedback is always appreciated,

Sincerely,

Ralph LMHC

Ralph LMHC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience: 20+ years as therapist, supervisor, clinic director at mental health, substance abuse treatment ctrs
Ralph LMHC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Well, there was no space to tell you more, but our son's license was suspended for not paying a ticket. He has taking my credit card in the past without my consent and paid for traffic tickets. Yesterday I found out he took the Health Savings Account card and charged over $1000 in food and gas in the past 2 months while he is living with the girlfriend in another town. I guess we are supporting him after all. Last week my good friends let him stay at their appartment while he waits for an appartment he signed a lease on(we did not co-signed) on the 21st. He lost the key and broke a window to go into the appartment. My friends(both doctors) did not press charges and I had to pay for the damages. He now lives with the girlfriend who is living at her parent's friend home, but the parents don't know he is living there. He forgot to tell me he got mugged and has cuts on his arm and finger (probably fron breaking into the window) But he denies it. He spend 1/2 a day in the emergency room but never called us. I found out 2 days later. When I goggle "pathological lier" he fits the criteria to a teeth. Do you think he has a mental disorder? What happened to this kid? We have been the best parents
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 5 years ago.

Well this is clearly more serious than I first believed based upon the info. That being said, I recommend that you main a rigid policy of no support unless it is for appropriate things like counseling which I bellieve he definitely needs. You probably feel guilty and should not. You have tried your best. The fountain will run dry at some point. The idea is to keep the lines of communication open, so that when the time comes (and I am optimistic that it will, he will be able to talk to you. Let's see how he is going to support himself. Your love is unconditional-you love him, but don't like his behavior. This is a message you can share during a non argumentative moment. Have you considered family therapy to elp the fa,ily as a unit. It the strss gets to much for you, you might counsider counseling for yourself. You have showed him the path. He has wandered off it. I still believe he will eventually come back to it. I am sending this as a request for info so you don t have to pay for it. Best wishes and good lck. You need to hang in there.

Sincerely,

Ralph LMHC

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I surprised our son trying to still a checkbook. I told him to leave our home. He came up with several excuses such as he was going to ask me for a check. WE confronted him and tried to make him confess of a drug addiction in vain. He did confessed of living in a fantacy world where he takes friends to eat out, is doing well in school and life is perfect. He said that school is not for him and that all his life his been living up to our standards, that he wants control, that we have all the control, that stilling from us is to make it appear that everything is ok. He failed in all 3 colleges. He will do whatever it takes to get our money so he agreed to PlanA: Help him get back in school, go to therapy, have lab drugtest him. but he wants to live in the same town(2hrs away). PlanB is to work f/t and support himself. I rather he moves away from college town (girlfrind) if he is not going to school. We cant prove he has a drug addiction, he just acts like he does. My husband(doctor) thinks is cocaine. My son told me that he is not good at anything. He hates selling knives and he wants us to support him and get off his back. He just wants to be independent. We reassured him that all we want is his body to be healthy. We will help him find a path without college or drugs, we will always love him. I cant have him home since I have a 6 year old and confrontations will be damaging to him. I have a guess house but he refuses to came home. What do I do? family intervention, wilderness camp. Do I call girlfriends parents? Send him with family to another town? How do I help him find himself? The entire (extended) family is devastated. How do we help him?. We are going to loose him. He has low self steem and feels trapped in a web of lies, but he wont confess to drug addiction.
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 5 years ago.

Hello:

The confrontation will always be in vain. It sounds like he has wnat is called a co-occuring disoreder, a substance abuse problem and a mental health issue. He definitely needs treatment and my feeling it is long term up to a year in a residential drug treatment facility (I know I ran one). I think he needs to get his house in order before he returns to college as the drug and psychological problems do not go away-they get worse without help and he will probably fail again due to his condition. "Support him and be independent"-how much clearer can his poor judgement be, I think and this may sound cruel that he must go for inpatient treatment. You do have leverage in that he has committed several felonious acts and have not persued them. You need to do so to force him to get the help that he requires. A great family support network will help, but he needs professional custodial care, and if you have to use the legal authorities to get him help, you have to. He will tell you how bad you are and how you don't love him, but loving him is doing the right thing not making him happy doing what he wants. I know this sounds cruel, but it isn't it is loving. So the choices are go voluntarily or involuntarily, but he should go. It is fortuitess that I received this question as I answered the previous one.

If this info has been of help please press the grren button so I know and can be compensated. As alwats feedback is welcomed.

Siberely,

Ralph LMHC

Ralph LMHC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience: 20+ years as therapist, supervisor, clinic director at mental health, substance abuse treatment ctrs
Ralph LMHC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 5 years ago.

Thank you. You have a difficult task but one that has to be done, He is lucky to have supportive parents such as yourself.

Sincerely,

Ralph LMHC

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you so much for helping me and my son. You were correct in the dual diagnosis. Yesterday I visited my son and he kept on talking about getting help for his mental problem. He said is not addiction that drugs is not the problem. That he feels there is something wrong with him. That he can feel peoples face expressions. He made an appt with a psychologist that treats addiction but he wont let in the 1st visit. I took my sons computer and was able to watch a video diary of himself talking about how he was sexually abused by 2 teenage boys when he was 8 ysd old (the babysitters friends and the only time I ever left him with a babysitter in his lifetime). I am distroyed and feel so guilty. It was only for 2 hours. At that time I remember he told me that the babysitters friends came to our house and were playing with the golf clubs. I remember asking him if they hurt him in any way and calling the babysitters mother(my son's teacher). In the video diary he goes on to tell how he has had multiple sexual encounters since he was 12 with boys and girls his age but that he is not gay and that he loves his girlfriend so much and she is everything to him. At the end of the video he start crying about some girl. I am in chock but want to be strong to help him find the help he needs. This info changes everything. I need to get him a pschiatrist that deals with addiction, sexual abuse and mental disorder and long term detox and rehab. Where do I start? my husband is a physican but we live in a small town in Florida. I know that we have to be actively involved so it needs to be withing driving distance. I looked in the internet but is so overwelming. I have family in Miami so that is another option. What do you suggest?

Expert:  Ralph LMHC replied 5 years ago.
<p>For every type of program there is a telephne number that you can use for a referral. That number is XXXXX 800 lifenetMy preference would be to contact the nearest teaching hospital. That is a hospital associated with a university, not a community hospital and ask for the dept. of psychiatry.. The number is XXXXX lifenet.. You can call National Alliance for the Mentally Ill ) NAMI You mat google for survivor groups and parentsof abused children.. Why don't you tell the psychologist what you are looking for. If you have insurance, then ask for their behavioral health providers and look for a doctor tha fits your needs.Importantly is that you not feel guilty as you did not do anything wrong Stuff Happens. If this anso has been helpful pleasde press the green button so I know and can be compensated, Feedback and bonuses are always apprecited.</p><p>Sincerely,</p><p>Ralph LMHC</p><p>PS Remember with help the prognosis is good.</p>
Ralph LMHC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 872
Experience: 20+ years as therapist, supervisor, clinic director at mental health, substance abuse treatment ctrs
Ralph LMHC and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Our son agreed to go to an addiction specialist. The psychologist recommended that we dont put our son into a rehab. and to let him stay in the same college town, register for classes and have regular drug testing. We agreed. During the months of August-November he did very well. He finally tested negative for mariguana. His never tested positive for anything else. Then, in late November he did not answer his phone for 4 days. I drove 2 hours to find him. I found him in his room passed out. There was items in the room pointing to mariguana abuse and some lortab pills(took from his grandmother) and crushed them. I stayed with him all night while on the phone with 2 psychologist from Miami that I had already made appointment to get evaluated for ADHD. I was ready to take him to rehab when they assured me that this was not an addiction and that he needed to be seen by them ASAP. The next morning, I drove with my son to Miami and he got evaluated for ADHD and counseled regarding the sexual abuse. I left my son in Miami with family and headed home to my 6 year old. It took several weeks for the evaluationton and during this time my son continued to spoke pot. My inlaws did not wanted him in the house so I had to go and pick him up. After the ADHD evaluation was completed I met with the phychologist for the results. It showed memory loss, IQ went from 120 to 110 and moderate ADHD with strong recommendation to get medication for ADHD. As per the sexual abuse, he is yet to disclose any emotions. The psychologist tried many times to make him open up but he refuses. My son did not go to school from Jan-April. He continued to have the phone sessions with the psychologists from Miami once he came back home in March. He went to a psychiatrist and got Concerta for the ADHD which he started taking when he registered for Summer A classes at the community college. He took one class and passed it with a B. For Summer B he took 2 classes and we let him move to the guess house as a reward for doing so well. He is doing really well getting good grades. But of course, it was too good to be true. On fathers day I walked into the guess house and found him and a friend spoking pot out of a 2 liter bottle placed in a bucket with water. My husband gave him 1 month to get a job and leave. My son promised it wont happen again and was a perfect angel since today, Worl Cup game, I found him again smoking pot in the guess house by himself. His excuse is that is not a big deal. That he does it to relax once in a while. That everybody does it. Well, it is not legal and we don't want drugs in our property. We have a 7 years old. A rehab might be a waste of money. He does not think smoking pot once in a while is a problem and that a rehab center will laugh at me. Is he worth $30,000 in a rehab (3 months)? He said he will go to get evaluated. That he is not an addict. All I see is the 8 year old getting rape. A little boy that needs help. I found a local rehab where he can get outpatient and inpatient help. Is it too late for him? It devastes me to see him smoking pot and even more the thought that he will be in the streets if we kick him out. I don't have faith that a rehab will fix him. How can we change someone that refuses to change.

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
< Last | Next >
  • I can go as far as to say it could have resulted in saving my sons life and our entire family now knows what bipolar is and how to assist and understand my most wonderful son, brother and friend to all who loves him dearly. Thank you very much Corrie Moll Pretoria, South Africa
  • I thank-you so much! It really helped to have this information and confirmation. We will watch her carefully and get her in for the examination and US right away if things do not improve. God bless you as well! Claudia Albuquerque, NM
  • Outstanding response time less than 6 minutes. Answered the question professionally and with a great deal of compassion. Kevin Beaverton, OR
  • Suggested diagnosis was what I hoped and will take this info to my doctor's appointment next week.
    I feel better already! Thank you.
    Elanor Tracy, CA
  • Thank you to the Physician who answered my question today. The answer was far more informative than what I got from the Physicians I saw in person for my problem. Julie Lockesburg, AR
  • You have been more help than you know. I seriously don't know what my sisters situation would be today if you had not gone above and beyond just answering my questions. John and Stefanie Tucson, AZ
  • I have been dealing with an extremely serious health crisis for over three years, and one your physicians asked me more questions, gave me more answers and encouragement than a dozen different doctors who have been treating me!! Janet V Phoenix, AZ
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/Dr.Keane/2013-8-20_204325_drkeane.64x64.jpg Dr. Keane's Avatar

    Dr. Keane

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1262
    Clinical Psychology PhD, Licensed Professional Counselor with experience in marriage/family, teens and child psychology.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/resolutions66/2011-1-17_05728_IMG8202smilingeditedforJustAnswer.64x64.jpg Elliott, LPCC, NCC's Avatar

    Elliott, LPCC, NCC

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    5024
    35 years of experience as a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, National Certified Counselor and a college professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/formybunch/2010-12-06_191055_img_0975.jpg Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC's Avatar

    Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    3733
    Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/DR/DrAkiraOlsen/2012-2-20_746_AkiraADpicmain.64x64.jpg Dr. Olsen's Avatar

    Dr. Olsen

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2336
    PsyD Psychologist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg Norman M.'s Avatar

    Norman M.

    Psychotherapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2193
    UK trained in hypnotherapy, counselling and psychotherapy and have been in private practice. ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), UKCP Registered and ECP.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PsychologyProf/2010-07-15_171248_logos060400409.jpg Dr. Michael's Avatar

    Dr. Michael

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    2177
    Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KURTEMMERLING/2010-07-23_215531_just_ask_picture1.jpg Steven Olsen's Avatar

    Steven Olsen

    Therapist

    Satisfied Customers:

    1727
    More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education