Our son lives with bipolar disorder and takes 1,000 mg of Depakote® daily. It doesn’t seem to be working; he remains unmotivated and very anxious. He feels no need to seek therapy do you have any advice on how to get someone to visit a therapist?

Robert C. Malenka, M.D., Ph.D. - Brain & behavior research expert on bipolar disorder

Helping a friend or loved one understand that they will benefit greatly from seeing a therapist is often very difficult. In most cases, adults cannot be ‘forced’ to seek help even when it is obvious that they will benefit. The best you can do is to provide frequent, gentle reminders and examples of friends who have greatly benefited from therapy. However, this needs to be done in a supportive, non-confrontational manner.


Robert C. Malenka, M.D., Ph.D.
Scientific Council Member
1990, 1992 and 2007 NARSAD Grantee
2010 Goldman-Rakic Prize for Outstanding Achievement
in Cognitive Neuroscience
Pritzker Professor in Psychiatry and Behavorial Sciences
Stanford University School of Medicine