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17 yr old doesn't speak to anybody, doesn't listen, does what he wants. How to deal with him ?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
Hi, I am 23 yrs Old female Working as an Optometrist.
I have my young Brother Mr. XXXXXXX 17 yrs old. He passed his SSC with 76%. And chose Diploma in Engineering. After SSC he had some issue with some girl so he created her face book account on her name, which her parents came to know. They scolded him He lied to us that no he has not done so.. for which he took my mother's swear also.. but later on admitted that He only have opened the account.. on which that girl's Parents were very angry they were suppose to do police complaint also.. but on my & my mother's word they were fine with that. on this when we asked him That why did you do so.. he started giving all different reasons that time we felt its his mistake so not coming up with the truth.
After that we were very strict with him regarding his studies We asked him to choose in which he can study & built a nice career for himself.. After thinking he himself chose Diploma Engineering.. In between his one year of diploma we found him to lie sometimes regarding girl's calls Or Messages.. & studies also.
whenever we ask him regarding studies he will say ya good going ultimately He failed in 6 Subject (6 KT) 1 year drop. Now He said I don't want to do Engineering. that is fine with us.. we are taking it positively that at least he spoke but now telling us that he want to do HSC Commerce private.. Than we said no we tried to show that We don't have guarantee that whether he will pass that also or not.. still he never spoke anything.. the problem is in all this during all the matters He Never Speaks..anything we want him to speak whatever it is.. May be some different Opinion whatever it last we have asked him to do job currently by saying that you are wasting money...we thought on this also he will speak something..but he didn't spoke anything..but he never speaks.. We have doubt that there can be two reasons either he is very smart that he make innocent faces or he is keeping all in his mind.. we are too worried... one more thing My dad is always strict He loves also & sometimes scold us also on wrong things... don't understand how to solve this how should we understand to deal with him??
Posted Sun, 15 Jul 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 2 hours later
Hello ,
Thanks for posting your query.
I completely understand your concern as a vigilant and caring sister.
First of all there are some facts that you should accept,
1. Your brother scored 76% in SSC so he is not academically a very poor student or having a low IQ.
2. He was infatuated with some girl , which at this age is a very common phenomena but his behaviour was inappropriate .He did not confide about his reasons or feelings with anyone in family . This shows that he is either scared or does not trust anyone or is not comfortable discussing his feelings with anyone.
3. He has done badly in academics since then shows that he has a persistent psychological problem which has lead him to be an irresponsible student and a indecisive person.
4. He has no idea how to handle his career now and feels dissapointed with himself and detached from his family therefore he doesn't speak up.

The first and foremost thing to do is to stop blaming him for whatever has happened.
Make him feel secure and cared for , ensuring that his family will always be there to help him . This might help him open up his bottled up feelings.Be prepared to hear some lies, most teenagers lie to project a better image of themselves.
Once you know his problems you can make him tell you the truth.

Encourage him to forget the past and start afresh .You might need professional help in the form of child psychologists or counsellers. Such therapists can be approached in private hospitals or government or municipal hospital cum medical institutes running child guidance clinics.This is very important because it may save him from a lot of stress and relieve you( his family ) of much worry. The counsellers can diagnose his problem , advise solutions and therapy for improving his behaviour and also find out his talents and aptitude thereby suggesting an appropriate career option for him.
Since you are based in Mumbai you can approach any othe municipal run hospitals like KEM hospital, JJ hospital , LTMGH ( sion) etc to find a child psychologist .Also there are many private psychologists whom your family doctor can suggest depending on your area of residence.

So don't worry or lose hope and take a positive step for helping out your brother.
Hope I have answered your query.
Kindly accept my answer if you have no further queries.
Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: 17 yr old doesn't speak to anybody, doesn't listen, does what he wants. How to deal with him ? 9 hours later
you are right madam He is bit scared of my Father. But in that situation Me & My mother Help him out always like when he got 3 Kt in 1st Semester. We told him If You are enough Confident to study Further then We'll Keep it as top secret. He wanted to Join Dance Academy for which we said Yes. He wanted to go for outings we never said NO for anything. He Lost his expensive Mobile Neither Me My,Mom Nor My Dad spoke anything We said Its Fine This All happens XXXXXXX No worries.. After Giving So Much We accept Only Him to Speak truth. He knows that we don't shout unnecessarily.. This way we have doubt that does all this really matters or what..
now since last 2 days we are sending him on job by asking him that you do job earn money and realize what is more easier to do a tough job r study& earn easily.
So we made him to do a job. & we are waiting him to speak on this that No Plz I don't want to do this. Once He speaks That He don't want to do a job we'll ask what he want to do??
Than whatever he says We are going to get agree to that.
Please let us know how to make him speak what is there in his mind.
And 1 more Important Note That This behaviors are rarely seen that he don't speak much otherwise he enjoy and keep doing masti with parents as well as with me. Than why he is not speaking anything??
He is going on job but not saying that no I don't want to do this.
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 3 hours later
Thanks for the follow up.
You can't force him or persuade a teenager to speak up once he doesn't want to.
There are many psychological problems like anxiety, fear of failure, mood swings etc in which the teenager might otherwise be happy , cheerful but withdraw socially or refrain from talking about personal matters.
I appreciate what your family has done for him, supporting him even in his failures but apart from this you can't do much without knowing his exact problem.
You first have to know his psychology , his issues, his attitudes and beliefs which he is not willing to share with you all. There are techniques for knowing this which only doctors( psychiatrists or psychologists ) are well versed in and hence the next best step is counselling .Neglecting his needs or problems now can further harm his emotions and career , so instead of waiting for him to speak to you it's best you let him speak to a friend or a counsellor and then the problems can be managed accordingly.
Meanwhile you being close to him and young enough to understand his feelings , you should try to take him out of the house in some comfortable surrounding , where he can relax and may be try to share his feelings with you.
Hope that answers your query.
Kindly press the accept button if you have no further queries.
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