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 Dr. Olsen Your Own Question

Dr. Olsen
Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience:  PsyD Psychologist
46062601
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
Dr. Olsen is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My 20 year old son is away at college and missing classes...

Resolved Question:

My 20 year old son is away at college and missing classes... He is very unhappy, but when I bring up therapy, he gets angry. I don't know how to help him.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 2 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for writing in JustAnswer.
I'm sorry to hear about your son's situation.
Let me ask you a few questions first.
Does he tell you what is making him unhappy?
Has he ever exhibited this behavior before?
Is he refusing to see his doctor or a counselor?

Please let me know by clicking on “Reply” and I will then craft my response.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Warm Regards,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
He says he is unhappy because he can't seem to accomplish anything. No motivation, etc. I know he is depressed. Yes, he has displayed this behavior before -- I'd say since the last two years of H.S. We had him in therapy before he left for college, but it didn't seem to help. He is refusing therapy. He did go to a doctor who ran some tests that were all normal. He is very smart (IQ is 133) and can be manipulative. His father and I are thinking of having him take a break from college. We are currently paying for college, an apartment and all expenses. He had a part-time job very briefly and quit without notice because he didn't like it. He doesn't seem to want any responsibility.
,
Expert:  Dr. Olsen replied 2 years ago.
Hi there,
Thank you for your reply.
I can imagine how worried and anxious his situation must seem to you.
It's common for people of his age to go through emotional distress when they may start taking new responsibilities after finishing a high school
I wonder if he made new friends in college.
He may have some difficulty adjusting to a new environment. It's not uncommon for some people to have such adjustment issues and drop out from college in the first year.
I wonder is he is lonely there. Perhaps, he may be vulnerable to depressive feelings.

I understand he doesn't want therapy as he may be feeling therapy doesn't help for him. It's a good idea for him to take a break from college and go back home. He may need to motivate himself if he decides to go back to college. You may tell him he can come home now and take some time in thinking of what he wants to do next. He may need to get a part-time job to pay some money to you.

If he is resistant to psychological counseling, he may have a life coach or "life coaching" counseling to increase his motivation/purpose, plan for the future, and take constructive action.
He can search a licensed psychotherapist or a counselor who provides life coaching on internet- such as the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY website. Go to (http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/ppc/prof_search.php?iorb=4764) and enter your zip code and optional category of specialty such as life coaching or career counseling. Read psychotherapists’ profile to see if he or she specializes in life coaching. You may also want to create your mental image of psychotherapist that he wants to work with – Male or female? Old or young? To note, many counselors offer initial consultation for free. So he can see it as an informational meeting. You and he can ask any question. He can also negotiate psychotherapy fee and number of sessions.

Also, a heart-healthy diet like Omega 3 fatty acid may improve his brain functioning and mood. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Choose low-fat protein sources, such as fish, lean meat and skinless poultry. Hydrate self during daytime.

Physical activity increases blood flow to his whole body, including your brain. This may help improve his mood.

Other recommendations are:
Avoid use of alcohol and drugs.
Sleep in complete darkness and try to be out in bright light during the day.
Spend time in nature weekly
Try to have pleasurable activities with friends and family.
Choose to listen to sounds that have positive effects on his mood.
Set limits on the amount of time he spends on the internet to avoid information overload.

I hope your son gets well with all available help.

Please let me know if you have more questions or I have overlooked any. Warm regards,




Dr. Olsen, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2336
Experience: PsyD Psychologist
Dr. Olsen and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

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