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Is My Daughter Using Her GAD to Manipulate Us?

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My daughter has been diagnosed with GAD. Sometimes I struggle with believing what is going on with her as she can be very manipulative. She claims to have anxiety and panic attacks, yet I can see online she brags about a tattoo she has secretly gotten and pretending to drink at family functions (when I know she has not). She also refuses to do any chores around the house, yet expects us to buy her things and go get her fast food. Is this just typical normal teen drama? I sometimes feel she is exaggerating her symptoms to get her way, and she is very intelligent. If yes, how do I manage this while still making sure we manage her GAD?

Is My Daughter Using Her GAD to Manipulate Us?

Answered by on -


The key is to set boundaries and help her cope with the difficulty this will cause her. Setting limits — saying no — while facilitating her finding ways to deal with the frustration will help her develop resilience. These skills, rather than avoidance of anxiety, tend to be healthier ways to manage in the long run. In this way you don’t have to tip-toe around her anxiety, while doing the thing that will help her cope downstream.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Is My Daughter Using Her GAD to Manipulate Us?

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Is My Daughter Using Her GAD to Manipulate Us?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.