Too Embarrassed to Seek Help?


"Therapists and teachers have suggested that my son has ADHD, but he has always been too embarrassed to see a psychiatrist. He’s 21 now and struggling in college. How can I get him to reconsider and accept some help?"

Dr. Larry Silver specializes in treating children with attention deficit disorder (ADHD).

Since your son is now an adult, you cannot force him to get help. You might try asking his advisor at college, or a teacher he liked in high school, to sit down with him and explain why they think he has ADHD. Or send him a book or an article about ADHD and the effectiveness of treatment, possibly highlighting passages that you think describe him.

Once he's convinced that he really does have a problem, and that treatment is available, he might be willing to get help.

Larry Silver, M.D., is clinical professor of psychiatry at Georgetown Medical Center in Washington, D.C. and director of training in child and adolescent psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is a former acting director and deputy director of the National Institute of Mental Health, as well as the author of Dr. Larry Silver's Advice to Parents on AD/HD and The Misunderstood Child: Understanding and Coping with Your Child's Learning Disabilities.

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