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Dr. Rossi
Dr. Rossi, Licensed Psychotherapist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 4627
Experience:  Certified Hypnotherapist, Parenting Book Author, 13+ years of experience.
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My son (17 years old) is depressed, angry, has very low self

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My son (17 years old) is depressed, angry, has very low self worth. He is failing in school, lost the priviledge of playing sports due to grades (this used to be his refuge and stress relief) and he has lost his first love. He refuses to go to counseling (we have tried several times over the years), has stopped taking his zoloft and has increased marijuana use. A few days ago he asked a friend if it would matter if he was no longer in this world, because he is just too tired. She talked him through and he is 'pretending' that he is fine, just irritable (at least with me). I am at wits end with worry and don't know what to do with his lack of cooperation which I am sure is a result of the depression/anger/anxiety. Help!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.



It is indeed difficult to help someone who refuses help. There are limited options such as involuntary commitment and a home intervention. Generally you can have someone involuntarily committed when you and another person ask the probate judge to sign a lay affidavit for involuntary treatment. The sheriff dept then can pick him up from home and bring him to a clinic where he may stay for up to 72 hours. Unfortunately, once at the clinic he can still refuse treatment/medication.


Another option is to have a family/friends intervention in the home for him and persuade him to seek help (does not have to be in a hospital if he is not posing imminent threat to self or another) If he is reluctant to take medication and go to counseling, find out what other options he may be willing to explore such as, working with a hypnotherapist, exercise, etc.


Even though he has had some set backs, he has to realize that his state of mind and his situation is a temporary one. If he has some short term goals to focus on and work towards these, he may see that he's holding himself back when he's not getting the help he needs. If he flat out refuses to consider any help, then you do not have as many options to work with. It may be his disappointment that the medication had not been as effective and there are different medications available. He will have to be educated on the sorts of help available and feel like he has a choice.

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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Thank you
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.
Let us know if we can assist you further. This is a hard situation to be in and there are no clear cut solutions.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Hmm, wish I could bring him to talk with you!! Thank you very much.
Expert:  Dr. Rossi replied 6 years ago.
Thank you.