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I Strongly Believe My Daughter Has Depression & Anxiety, Won’t Let Me Help, What Should I Do?

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She was going through some tough times until recently until iIwon custody of her and moved. Previously her dad and I, were going through a very rough and sometimes violent times including lots of yelling along with her older sister getting into drugs and in the wrong crowd. Along with so many other things but far too many for me too include. All this began when she was 8. Before all this began to happened however, she was an absolute ball of energy, and just a little bit before things started spiraling out of control she began to be getting isolated by her classmates so that started putting out her energetic spark. She began to become quiet and kept to herself besides her closest and only friend. It was the worse in middle school when her friend moved and nobody at all liked her. I got too used to it, and couldn’t focus on her because of everything else going on. But anyways now that we are 2 years out of that toxic place, and across the country and living happily. I have time to truly focus on her, she’s 15 now and I have noticed so much. She is still cracks jokes and tells bad puns- she still is a ray of sunshine but extremely shy and quiet when it comes to new people and strangers and will act like such until she gets to know whoever. She’s extremely selective of who she wants to befriend, gets scared easily and struggles when a person approaches her and starts a conversation. She sometimes cries when ordering food and talking to strangers but she laughs through her tears and tries talking but other days, strangely- this can last weeks, she’s just fine! She easily talks to whoever and joke around with strangers as if everything is she’s just fine but things always end up back to how she was, quiet and shy. She’s always tired, she sleeps so much she occasionally falls asleep in class also. She never wants to do anything,(-art) she looks tired all the time and doesn’t take care of herself. I made her go to therapy once but acted like she was fine, goofed around, didn’t say anything, brushes me off with a bright smile and a “I’m a-okay, don’t worry!” she says it so much that i cant help but believe it. Help?

I Strongly Believe My Daughter Has Depression & Anxiety, Won’t Let Me Help, What Should I Do?

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A.

 

A.  It would be wise to keep close track of her. You should check with her about her moods and offer nonjudgmental support. You should also check her phone and internet/social media interactions. These things might give you some insight into what might be wrong. Some parents would consider this snooping and disrespectful but, given your concerns, you need to be aware of everything that is going on in her life. Until she is 18, moved out of your home, and living independently, you have the right to know what is happening in her life. It is especially important if you suspect mental illness.

You said that you forced her to go to counseling once but she did not seem to take it seriously. Once is not enough. The therapist is a stranger and few people would feel comfortable discussing their problems with a stranger. Trust takes time to develop. She should return to therapy but you might consider family therapy instead of individual therapy. That way, it shows that you all want to help improve the lives of each other and the family as a whole. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

I Strongly Believe My Daughter Has Depression & Anxiety, Won’t Let Me Help, What Should I Do?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). I Strongly Believe My Daughter Has Depression & Anxiety, Won’t Let Me Help, What Should I Do?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2016/09/17/i-strongly-believe-my-daughter-has-depression-anxiety-wont-let-me-help-what-should-i-do/
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Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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