How Can I Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want Help?

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on July 29, 2019.

Watching your loved one reject help when you know they need it can be a painful experience. When an adult child or parent has mental health issues, it affects everyone in the family. A common question among family members of individuals who are battling substance abuse is how to help when they don't seem to want help.

People can reject help for a number of different reasons. Shame, denial or the mental illness itself are some of the most prominent ones. No matter how you feel, you can take the following steps to help move your loved one toward recovery.

1. Know That Your Loved One Is Responsible for Their Health

While you can prepare the ground by listening to your loved one, having open discussions and providing as much information as possible, you must give room for the person to take responsibility for their health. Doing so means being patient and voicing your concerns with compassion any time you discuss the issue.

At the same time, you must set boundaries for your well-being and safety. Don't tolerate physical or verbal abuse. Instead, remember that you’re not fully responsible for your loved one's health or happiness. You must be able to let go, even when they’re doing well.

2. Establish Trust and Rapport

Your loved one could get angry and yell at you when you suggest for them to seek medical help, but the key to obtaining their consent to seek help is to remain calm. This emotion may not come easily, but you need to invest more time in listening, showing love and being patient if you want the person you're trying to help to fully trust you.

If you’re patient enough, the trust will build up gradually, and you may soon be on your way to a doctor together. You can work on getting your loved one to a general medical checkup first. Then, during the checkup, a mental health check can be conducted as well.

3. Request a Visit to the Doctor Together

During the time you're trying to get your loved one to follow you to a clinic or rehab facility, a lot of power struggles will take place. These struggles can cause a lot of mistrust and, in some cases, resentment, but you can still overcome this situation. Make a request for your loved one to accompany you to the doctor.

4. Find Someone Who Can Talk to Your Loved One for You

Sometimes, you can handle a situation poorly without realizing it. You need to be honest and ask yourself, "Am I the best person to persuade my loved one to go see a therapist?" If your conversations on the issue have always ended in anger and outrage, look for someone else who can communicate more effectively with your loved one.

Reach out to Diamond House Detox to Help Your Family Member

If you need help convincing your loved one to seek treatment, contact Diamond House Detox today for help and advice. Our certified rehab and addiction treatment facility has medical doctors, nurses, psychiatrists and other professionals who offer incidental medical services. Anyone who needs injectable medication can also receive the care they need in the comfort of our facility, and we welcome all individuals who need help with their addiction.


Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner at Diamond House Detox
Vicky is a board certified Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She began her nursing career in healthcare by working in the intensive care unit, and then an inpatient psychiatric hospital. After realizing the mental health needs of both the patients and the families she served, she became a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Throughout her experience working with clients, she has developed a passion for those with dual diagnoses and specializes in helping individuals recognize the issues driving their substance use. This recognition has been crucial to the individual’s success in treatment. Vicky opened Diamond House Detox so that she can address these issues early on in a therapeutic environment to allow clients to transition to the next level in their recovery.
Vicky Magobet
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