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Q.

My mother is a text book case of AD/HD, but has never been diagnosed. How do I gently get her to see a psychiatrist?

My mother is 64 and has suffered from AD/HD since I've known her. She lives in a small town in Wisconsin and no doctor has ever made a diagnosis. She is loud, interrupts, makes humming noise/whistles (that aren't even songs) constantly, even in public bathrooms, has every TV in the house on at the same time while checking her iPhone and reading a magazine backwards (all simultaneously while humming!). How do I tactfully approach this issue and get her to see a psychiatrist?

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I find that with my parents, talking about the issue as if it were a friend's issue and explaining it like that helped me appear not as an overbearing child. In the past, they have put the information together with what I have said and thought it was their idea. A little crafty but useful.  

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You can't make a person do anything they don't want to do, and often merely suggesting it will harden them in their position. The best approach would be to start with "Mom, I've noticed a few of your behaviors in public that might disturb others. Has anyone said anything to you about it?" It might start a conversation, anyway. I don't know what her attitude is towards mental health professionals, but you may be facing an uphill battle here. My MIL is mentally ill (paranoia, suicide attempts) and doesn't trust doctors. She also likes to go up to strangers' tables in restaurants and start conversing with them about the food they are eating. Real problematic behavior! So I sympathize. If you can get an appointment with your Mom's doctor, that might be another route. Talk to him or her about your concerns. Maybe the doctor can recommend someone and encourage her to seek help. 

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