Q: My son is hearing voices after he told my wife and I that a family member touched him in two private places. He seems normal. The voices are telling him to lie about situations and speak after the situation. What can we do? Please, we need someone’s advice. The family is in shock and denial. please help. thank you.

A: What you can do, and should do, is get your son to a professional who can help. Often kids who are molested are threatened and/or bribed in some way by the perpetrator. This engenders fear and guilt in the child. It may be that your son is wrestling with conflicting feelings of relief about having told and fear because he did so. This could be especially true if members of the family are questioning whether the incident even happened. By hearing “voices” that tell him to speak about it, he is letting himself tell without actually doing the telling himself. It’s like when little kids have an imaginary friend who they blame for misbehaviors they did themselves. It puts some distance between him and what he is saying. Please ask your doctor to refer you to a therapist who specializes in children who have experienced sexual abuse. The therapist will give you good information and will help you be a better support to your son.
I wish you well.
Dr. Marie