Dear Dr. Archer,
My son never dates and has never shown any interest in the opposite sex. He is 18. Does this mean he could be gay?
Each of us mature and reach age-related milestones at different ages. In no way can you predict whether your son is gay based on a current lack of interest in the opposite sex.
If he is happy and well-adjusted in other aspects of his life, I wouldn’t place much emphasis on this at all.
However, if he’s struggling with social activities, school and friends, or has a general lack of interest in life, then he could have a chemical imbalance that needs to be addressed.
Have a talk with him about life in general if you’re concerned, but I would not broach the gay issue unless he brings it up.
Dear Dr. Archer,
I need your opinion. I’m a 35-year-old married man and my mind is becoming weak. I feel like I’m losing everything that’s important to me.
My primary issues are a moral compass that’s growing misguided and a lack of motivation professionally. I’m a type-A personality with an analytical, overactive mind that’s gotten me very far in life.
Deception and lies are easy and a rush, but playing with fire will soon get me burnt. I can’t afford to let that happen.
I’m not sure if this is relevant, but in 2004 I was diagnosed with ADD and am on medication for that.
Should I consult with a psychiatrist, psychologist, or someone else entirely? Please help.
You’ve presented two separate questions. First, Adult Attention Deficit Disorder responds very well to medication. If its symptoms (inability to concentrate, disorganization and short attention span) are being treated successfully with your current meds, then your family doctor can prescribe these. However if your symptoms aren’t under control, I’d recommend you talk to a psychiatrist to see if a medication change would be warranted.
Next, you must realize that your lies and deception (and the rush they give you), along with your lack of professional motivation, are not symptoms associated with an ADD condition.
There are many issues that could be going on here. You say you have a misguided moral compass, which leads me to ask whether you’ve begun to lie to cover up for a new behavior that you know wouldn’t be acceptable to those around you. Thus, you have a reason for the deception.
If this is the case, then the answer lies in you, and you need to focus on correcting the behavior so that the lies become unnecessary.
On the other hand, if the lying is spontaneous and compulsive and serves no real purpose for you, then I agree that counseling is appropriate in this case. It will help you figure things out before you end up putting your personal or professional life in jeopardy.
One other possibility for you to ponder: Did the lying start after you were placed on the med for ADHD? A rule of thumb I use is that it’s possible for any medication to cause any side effect, no matter how unusual or bizarre. So, even though it’s highly unlikely, this compulsive lying could be a weird medication side effect. If you note a time connection between the two, then definitely discuss this with your doctor.
Dr. Dale Archer is a board certified psychiatrist who founded the Institute for Neuropsychiatry in Southwest Louisiana. He is a frequent guest on Fox News, CNN Headline News and other national TV programs, and the author of the New York Times’ bestselling book Better than Normal. Visit him at DrDaleArcher.com.