Let it all hang out! Tell your most useless psychiatrist advice!


Well-Known Member
That post about "will you listen?" inspired me. We have all received clueless advice? What was the worst advice you ever received for your difficult child?

This isn't the only bad advice I got, but it's one of the silliest bits.

My son, when he was a toddler, would NOT go to time out. He'd bite us, kick, scream and, if he tried to leave him there (which was another of his advice--just walk away :sick:) my two year old would pick up the big chair and throw it across the room with rage-like strength. When we asked the therapist about it he said, "He knows you are a soft touch. You need to get tough with him. Next time he does that, kneel to his level, hold both his hands and make him look you in the eyes, then say 'You *will* take your time out." Our voices were supposed to be very calm. Then we were to put the thrown chair back and he would then sit on it and take the timeout since we had "taken control" and had been calm.

Guess how THAT turned out???? Broken chair anyone? (We found a new therapist).


The most useless advice we've recieved:

"He'll grow out of it."

Guess what? He'll be 16 in May, and he still hasn't grown out of it.


Mom of Three
Oh where to begin? Actually I will tell a story not about my difficult child but my oldest easy child. At 18 months he was very independent and very active. We were on a field trip through a pumpkin farm. Another mother kept telling me that the reason he keeps running a way was because he knew I would keep chasing him. And, that if I would stop going after him he would stop running. She had no clue that different kids act differently. This kept on and on and on and on... So finally (and just to shut her up), I said, "OK lets try your experiment".

She said to just let him go.

I did, and he ran down the trail.

She said, "Now any moment he will stop, turn back and realize you did not follow. Then he will come back." He kept running.

Finally he did start slowing down. She said, "He went farther then I expected, but you will see, now he will come back".

He realized that there was no way in Gods green earth that I could catch him from that distance, took a 90 degree turn and started running through the strawberry patch. Arms flapping, wind in his hair. Free as a bird.

She said, "I think you should go and get him." and that was the last thing she said.


Well-Known Member
Good one, aerong.

Our pediatrician shouted over the chaos of difficult child, as difficult child was climbing over him, yanking on his tie, and pulling off his glasses: "HE'S JUST A BOY! WE HAD THREE OF THEM. JUST HAVE A GLASS OF WINE!"
"What if a glass of wine doesn't work?"


Active Member
I was having behavioral issues with easy child when she was 10 years old. Took her to a therapist who confessed that he didn't work with kids and would refer us on if we still needed help after the two "free" sessions through my work. He basically told us to let easy child set the schedule for the night to let her do whatever she wants - to tell me when to put the baby to bed!

I took this info to our daycare provider who agreed with me that you do not let the child set the household schedules. I can work with her to get her input but I am the adult and know best about bedtime.

I keep thinking that this guy must be used to working with adults who need encouragment to take on responsibilities. Example, "You need to set a schedule for the night and stick to it." However, you don't tell a child that they get to make the rules of the house to be whatever they want!


Active Member
This was a psychiatrist for myself- the only time I ever went to one for myself, when I was about 21yo because I was having trouble finding a therapist who was doing any good. I got the standard questions for a few mins. about things like "did I know what it meant if someone said 'up a creek without a paddle' ". The psychiatrist said She saw nothing wrong with me and asked what kinds of issues I was having. I tried to explain as briefly as possible, then starting venting about the people in the system not helping and "not getting it" and me not trusting their judgement (yes, this has been a problem several times in my life LOL!)

So, at the end of my 15 min appointment, psychiatrist said I had social phobia and handed me a script for something. That was it. I don't know what the script was for- it hit the trash can as soon as I walked out of the office.


New Member
Some time ago, during a visit to difficult child's doctor, the session was started with a question to my son about an issue he was having -- an issue that didn't sound like it "fit" to me. I looked at the chart on the desk, and what do you know, it was another patient's chart doctor was reading from and assuming that person to be my son. Any advice would have been useless, since it wasn't even the right person!


Active Member
My fave, from a nurse practicioner (sp) who "specialized" in ADHD(no special training, just stated he specialized because he had it) was to let difficult child stay up as long as he wants to and wake when he wants to. His body would regulate itself. What ever. We ditched him, and then saw the doctor who supervised him, who wanted me to sprinkle out 1/4 of a 20mg cap of focalin. WHY???? They make 5mg. Once I got home and thought about it, I called the office and told them I was not comfortable doing that. They said I could call the pharmacy and the pharmacy would tell me how to do it. I said no. I told them I would bring the complete scrip back and they could give me 5mg. They said the doctor would not do it, I would have to wait untill my next appointment. I said fine, but I am not giving this medication this way. I was on the waiting list for current psychiatrist then and they called before we had to go back to the doctor from he!!. I will not even step foot in the other one's office if you paid me.


New Member
Great thread!

My difficult child 2/easy child's 1st therapist's solution to difficult child's problems was to suggest she needed to do more stuff with friends. We switched therapists and discovered she was dissociating and had suffered abuse from her older sister. The 1st therapist didn't even try to figure out any underlying problems, she just thought she needed to act more like a "normal" teenager. This same therapist also wanted my older difficult child to start wearing pink clothing. difficult child was trying out the goth look at the time and therapist said she couldn't really pull it off and she should dress more feminine.

The dumbest thing is me sticking with this therapist as long as I did!!!!!! Wish I had you guys at that time to set me straight!



call 911........call 911
This is a really great post MWM - thanks for starting it -

Hands down the WORST most useless psychiatrist advice came when Dude was in Department of Juvenile Justice 2 1/2 years ago. I tried to call her to tell the caseworker to tell the psychiatrist NOT to put Dude on Zoloft - within a week it makes him suicidal.

She said in a return phone call - "I told the psychiatrist what you said. He said let's just wait and see what happens, and I'm inclined to agree. I think this kid plays on your weakest sympathies and my advice to you is to just back off, stop smothering him and let's see what happens."

That afternoon - I got a call from Dude who was crying - he called to say goodbye that he couldn't figure out why he was so sad, that he felt like killing himself, and that he even cheeked the Zoloft thinking that had something to do with it. I called the caseworker and told her our conversation, and she sighed and said "I told you let's just see what happens - he's playing you."

While I was on the phone with her - she got an emergency call - someone on the ward had tried to hang themselves - it was Dude. I never got as much as a return call from HER and the psychiatrist did call me and took Dude off Zoloft. :faint:

YUP - I'd classify that with totally USELESS advice......


Well-Known Member
I have two......one for each generation, lol.

In l966 or 1966 the head of the Psychology Dept at the local university told us about difficult child (now known here as GFGmom) "why don't you locate the best insitution you can find for her so you and the the other children can lead a normal life" :( husband and I got divorced a few years later because he thought that was a terrific idea.

In l990 or l991 the local "expert" Pediatrician told me about easy child/difficult child "This boy can not have ADHD. I have known him all his life (all 3 or 4 yrs. of it, lol) and he is far too intelligent to have a disorder!"

Save us all! DDD


Active Member
When Eeyore was at his worst at age 5 (yes, that is FIVE). A psychiatrist saw us for less than 5 minutes (I timed it) and diagnosis him with Conduct Disorder and recommended that we dissolve the adoption cause there was no hope and he'd probably grow up and kill us. He gave him a script for Paxil which I tried out of desperation but it made him a zombie.

Needless to say, Eeyore grew up to be a typical Aspie and hasn't even tried to kill me, yet :)


First psychologist: "He's ADHD - here's a script for Metadate."
3 days later "Oh he went balistic on it - then he's BiPolar (BP), here's Risperdal."

New psychiatrist "He's ADHD, here's a script for Ritalin."
psychiatrist: "Oh, it's not working...Here's a script for Ritalin XR."
Us: "Nothing is working...no improvement."
psychiatrist: "It's ADHD...increase the dose and frequency."
psychiatrist: "Oh, you cancelled your last appointment. You need to reschedule."
Us: "No thank you. You are not listening to us."

New psychiatrist: "He's BiPolar (BP) with-ADHD."
Us a year later: "The 15 stims trials HAVE NOT WORKED. The mood medications have made NO DIFFERENCE."
psychiatrist: "I believe 99.5% he's BiPolar (BP)."
Us: "Do you think he's on the spectrum?"
psychiatrist: "No, because he can joke and has humor."

2 new psychiatrists: "Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) - Asbergers. Slight medication tweak. Doesn't have the 1st major component for Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), but has the other 2. Very high functioning."
Us; "Last 6 weeks since diagnosis have been awesome."


Here we go again!
When the psychiatrist told me I was being a little too rigid with schedules for the difficult child's when they were little. husband was complaining that he never got to have any fun with them. psychiatrist said I should lighten up a bit! Made me feel like the villain. :mad:

So I thought, okay you morons, I'll GIVE you what you're asking for, and I lightened up and all he11 broke loose because of the lack of structure. :tongue:


Shooting from the Hip
Original psychiatrist for both kids, re easy child: Here, fill out this form. Oh, biomom lists all the signs/symptoms of ADHD, teachers, dad and stepmom all (separately) disagree, he must have ADHD. Put him on 27mg Concerta. What? He's bouncing off the walls? OK, 54mg Concerta.
...FOR difficult child: What do you want me to prescribe for her? You need to learn how to talk to her. She needs a mood stabilizer.

Us: We have GOT to find a new psychiatrist...

Biomom: How DARE you change his psychiatrist! Why don't you change hers too? Why is psychiatrist good enough for her but not him?

difficult child: <refused to go to new psychiatrist. Now also refuses to go to old one, so... Mood stabilizer, after 2 weeks, made her suicidal... ::sigh::>

New psychiatrist for easy child: Let's try decreasing his dosage on the Concerta. Hmm, there seems to be a lot of fluid buildup in his ears. I'd like for a specialist to see him; he may need tubes, but I would rather have someone who specializes make that decision. I suspect there are problems because he can't hear properly.

Us: OK...

New psychiatrist, 1 week after tubes in easy child's ears: Let's drop the Concerta totally.

Us, after 3 more weeks: easy child doing great off stims...


Active Member
The most useless advice I got was about a medication I told the doctor was causing side effects of anger and hyperactivity. His solution was to increase the dosage and add a medication to counter the hyperactivity. :rolleyes:Against my better judgement I gave one higher dose and within 30 minutes had all my instincts confirmed.

That was the day he became our former doctor. I can handle a lot of quirks, personalities, etc. in doctors, but I will not tolerate one that won't listen to me.

To be fair, in the long run he did us a favor because it helped put us on the no medication track for the long haul.


Well-Known Member
Very first psychiatrist I went to for Cory when he was three.

Never even met Cory, just talked to me. Said that I must have been sexually abused in the past because Cory was reaching into the dishwasher, grabbing the forks and knives and trying to hit me with them. He was also trying to climb into the dishwasher. I would have to hold the dishwasher closed anytime he was in the kitchen.

Needless to say I walked out and never went back. My 3 year old had no clue that I had been abused as a kid.