By Molly McVoy, M.D.
What do I do if my husband won’t listen to me? My mom? My friend? My daughter? I hear this question all the time. Someone recognizes the possibility of depression, anxiety, ADHD in a friend or relative, but the other person just doesn’t see it. They refuse to go see someone for help. What do you do?
You keep talking to them. It is quite common for individuals to be unaware of a mental health problem they may have or to actively deny that such a problem exists. Sometimes it takes hearing it for the tenth or even the 100th time before someone listens and seeks care. Even though you may feel you’re not being heard, you may be the one person who’s willing to plant the seed and start that person thinking about getting help.
Finally, you’re not alone. If you are worried someone in your family or group of friends is seriously ill, at risk of hurting themselves or hurting someone else, call for help. Most cities in the United States have a 24 hour suicide hotline, and nationally, you can call 1-800-suicide. There are people trained to help you with this, even if your friend or family member won’t call, you can and start the journey towards mental health.