I had a response deleted recently because, to me, the situation described screamed "see a medical specialist", even though the question was "how do I tell someone else their parenting is causing a behavioral problem". I understand that medical advice is out of topic for this site (for good reason), but at the same time there needs to be a way to answer "whoah nellie, this raises all kinds of red flags, , see a doctor"

1 Answer 1


This is kind of tricky for me to answer, but as I was the one who deleted your answer (before posting my own), I should explain.

The question was about how to help a mother recognize that she needed to change her behavior towards her son. Her son had a range of bad behaviors.

Your answer was, in its entirety,

I have known people whose parents were over protective and over caring. The behaviors you describe are not fully consistent with that in my experience. while your mother's actions may have contributed in a small way, I would expect an underlying medical condition based on the behavior described, and seek the opinion of a neurologist

As a moderator, your answer was deleted for 1. failing to answer the question, and 2. giving a medical opinion (someone needs to see a neurologist.) Furthermore, it's not immediately clear whose behavior you're giving this opinion on (Mom's? Brother's?) and on what basis.

It's a bad answer.

As a physician with more than average experience with mental illness (but not neurology, which is quite different), I'm left scratching my head and wondering what in heaven's name you're referring to.

to me, the situation described screamed "see a medical specialist"

May I ask what illness you suspect that is usually diagnosed/treated by a neurologist? I am honestly curious.

If you think the brother or mother can be helped by seeing a psychiatrist, then answer the question asked and throw that in as an aside. But it can't be the entire answer.

If a doctor is needed, we often leave comments to that effect, e.g. "Have you seen a doctor?" or "This might be better handled by a doctor."

  • Thank you, this helps. I strongly respect your opinions and was hoping for your response. A large (and increasing) number of behavioral issues are being recognized as physical disorders of the brain. The sons behaviors are strongly reminiscent of brain trauma or some expressions of autism, which need to be diagnosed by a professional. I have direct observational and/or personal experience with these. In contrast, rhe OP'S response is what is expected from upbringing in an over caring environment.
    – pojo-guy
    Dec 3, 2017 at 18:12
  • To clarify, traditionally autism has not been diagnoised by neurologists until recently. However, SPECT scans can identify or rule it out readily (see amenclinics.com/healthy-vs-unhealthy/autism-spectrum-disorder). Likewise, brain trauma can be readily identified or ruled out at the same time (amenclinics.com/healthy-vs-unhealthy/traumatic-brain-injury). Unless I am mistaken, a neurologist is the correct specialist to see to either diagnose or rule out physical issues in the brain.
    – pojo-guy
    Dec 3, 2017 at 19:00
  • To quote, "A neurologist is a medical doctor who specializes in treating diseases of the nervous system. The nervous system is made of two parts: the central and peripheral nervous system. It includes the brain and spinal cord. Illnesses, disorders, and injuries that involve the nervous system often require a neurologist’s management and treatment."
    – pojo-guy
    Dec 3, 2017 at 19:13
  • 1
    Do you think I don't know what a neurologist does? "The sons behaviors are strongly reminiscent of brain trauma or some expressions of autism..." But that's the thing... they aren't "strongly reminiscent" of brain trauma or autism. Almost everybody has one sign that might be consistent with autism.
    – anongoodnurse Mod
    Dec 3, 2017 at 19:17
  • No insult intended, I was simply confirming what I thought a neurologist does (per your question). In this case, the behaviors sound to me like they are consistent with something that should be looked at, if only to rule out a physical cause. Is that not exactly what a neurologist does?
    – pojo-guy
    Dec 3, 2017 at 19:19
  • 1
    No, a neurologist is not the person that should evaluate this person. I'm quite done.
    – anongoodnurse Mod
    Dec 3, 2017 at 19:24
  • Thank you for your time. It has been helpful.
    – pojo-guy
    Dec 3, 2017 at 19:25

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