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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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My 23 year old daughter is direspectful to me. She came home

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My 23 year old daughter is direspectful to me. She came home from college and went to her room (which by the way she keeps in a mess) and she stays there, she sleeps until 1:00pm in the afternoon. She only comes out for meals and when she needs money for something. She got upset when I made a remark about her getting ready to go back to school (she got up at 8:00am to pack her things she was washed and ready to go). I felt upset that she doesn't spend any time at all with her family. She left today without saying good bye. What should I do I feel very hurt by her?
NormanM :

Hello, I'm Norman. Are you ready to chat?


Yes. Thank you.

NormanM :

Great - would you be happy to tell me your name? I may be a bit old fashioned, but I like to feel as if I'm speaking with a person


I'm sorry I thought you had my name it is Palma.

NormanM :

Sorry Plama - must have missed it! It sounds to me as if your daughter is a very anxious - and possibly depressed young lady. Would you say her mood is often low, or often angry?


My daughter suffers with ADHD and she has a learning disability (decoding). She is very imature (I don't know if I spelled that right).

NormanM :

I understand why you feel hurt,butgiven what you have said, it is likely that she has great difficulty in understanding social clues and has problems with inter-personal interactions. That said, can you tell me what treatment or therapy she has had or is having for her condition?


My daughter refuses any therapy (she is 23 years old). When she was younger she did go to therapy and she was on ADHD medication. She feels that will she says "she is an adult'. But she doesn't act like one. It is very difficult to speak with her, she becomes defensive and offended right away.

NormanM :

That, I'm sorry to say, is a fairly common reaction. Why it should be is still open to debate, but some think that it is an anxiety reacion against being perceived as 'different'.

NormanM :
NormanM :

In the situation you have at the moment, lots of love and support are about all you can offer. As you say she is an adult and therfor , for example, can keep her room in a mess if she so chooses. Don't sweat that one!


How do I speak to her and how can I get her to go to therapy? I understand being different I've been disabilied all my life (I am wheelchair bound). This was not an easy thing growing up but I managed.


Hello are you still ther?

NormanM :

Until someone with a problem accepts that there is a problem, they won’t do anything about solving it. That’s the first hurdle. The second is convincing them that help is available, and that the should accept it.

Sustained gentle persuasion is at least part of the answer. Just being there to listen, and letting the person know that you are there for them may let them build up enough trust inside themselves to begin to deal with it.

You may not to be able to solve their problem, or for that matter understand how they feel, but just listening and letting them talk can be really helpful.

Getting people to open up can be difficult. It has to be done sensitively so that the person does not feel put down or alienated. A gentle approach like ‘It must be difficult feeling as you do. Perhaps we could talk about it? is often the best start.

Choose your time and place carefully if possible so that the person feels as safe and as comfortable as possible.

Try to make sure that the person feels that you are on their side, and try to use ‘open questions’ – ones that don’t allow a simple “Yes” or “No” answer.

Don’t try to give them solutions, because as they open up and talk, the person begins to find their own solutions.

Good beginnings are:

I know you don’t want to have meds, but a diabetic has to have in sulin to get by. Would it not be great if you could accept some similar help?'

How – 'How did you feel?'

Can you tell me…….

How are you feeling? This helps to get past the bare facts of a situation, and lets people

begin to look at their inner turmoil.

Don’t push hard or try to tell them what they MUST do – give them space and time to talk.

There are some things you can do, and here are some tips:

What you can say that helps:

I’m here for you – you’re not alone.

What causes these thoughts and feelings is a real illness, and it can be treated..

I care about you and want to help, even if I don’t really understand what you are going through right now, how you feel, and what you’re thinking

Don’t ever give up – just hang on one more minute or hour – whatever you can.

You are important to me. Your life is important to me, and to everybody who knows you

I’d like you to tell me what I can do now to help you.

We can get through this together

Don’t say:

Cheer up- it could be worse

Quit worrying about it – you’ll be fine

Your just imagining it, it’s all in your head.

Everybody feels like this sometimes

You’ll just have to help yourself

Get over it and snap out of it.

Grow up and act like an adult.

What’s the matter with you anyway?


Okay thank you. I will try again. I feel as if I am beating a dead horse.....

NormanM :

It really is all about being non judgmental,being ready to accept rejection at first when you are trying tohelp, and never, never giving up

NormanM :

Don't beat the dead horse - resucitate it, no matter what it takes.


I will. Thank you for your time and patience with me..

NormanM :

It has been a genuine pleasure for me to help you. I wish you strength and courage!


And to you. Thank you.

Norman M. and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you