18 year old with anxiety. She is denying it and it is getting worse. What to do as a parent?

Jean - posted on 01/02/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have realized over the past week the reason why my daughter has made many rash decisions over the past 3 months. I knew she has anxiety and we have been dealing with it, but I thought part of this was 18 year old rebellion towards her dad and I, I have done a lot of reading android her to a doctor and she has anxiety that is affecting her decisions and her life. It is so hear trenching for me to watch. She will take meds but will not get any other help. She is living with her boyfriends family, is not working, and has no car. I be
I eve she lays around a lot of the day. I feel like a nag because I keep texting her to say hi. I have expressed my worries,I want to help her so bad and my heart is aching. My guts tells me something is wrong and I have wait until she fixes it. WhAt else can I do?

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Ana - posted on 01/03/2014

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I can see from the post below that you are going to counseling and letting God do the rest. Good for you. The closer you get to your daughter the more you will understand where that anxiety is coming from, could be childhood, could be family, could be school, or many others. You will be at peace when you know and she will be at peace when you know as well.

Cher - posted on 01/03/2014

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PRAYER CHANGES THINGS! Take it from someone who knows! I know it sounds 'cliché' but if you are a believer at all, start praying for her...NOW! If you're not, there are other things you can try. If her boyfriends' family has allowed his 18 year-old girlfriend to move in, that tells me a lot about their judgment. However, your goal is to get her out of there, even if it's just once a week or so.
No one knows her better than you do, Mom! If she is still speaking to you at all, that's a start. As a mother of two daughters (and a teenage son still at home), I can tell you one thing for sure; Hormones make them crazy!!!! lol
Since she is a female, there are a lot of things to check; her thyroid, her hormones, her birth-control pills (let's hope she's using some?) and any other medications or drugs she may be taking (legal or otherwise) which may or may not be interacting with one another.
It could be nothing more than teenage hormones as she is quite young. Before you start putting 'labels' on her (whether you're right or not), if you push too hard, because she IS 18, you can only push so hard. Maybe the way to do it is to take a gentler approach. Ask her if she can go with you to your doctor (make up a reason, like your annual mammogram) and tell her you'd like her moral support.
Talk to the mother of the boyfriend (offer to take her to lunch so you can 'get to know her' and find out more about her son...apparently, HE is the key right now)...if you can get to him, you can get to your daughter. Talk to his mom, mother to mother and tell her about your worries. If she's any kind of decent mom or human being, she'll understand and may even want to join forces. For all you know, maybe she's seeing it in her own child. Maybe she'll ask your daughter to leave and she'll come back home to you? Failing that, maybe you could arrange a weekly 'family' night (take turns doing it at her house one week and yours the next) where both family's (forcing the boyfriend AND your daughter) get together to watch movies, share in a potluck or play board games.
Think about your daughter's interests (before she was like this); sports, art, music groups, etc. and plug into those. Also, what about your daughters' girlfriends? Are you close to any of them? Maybe her 'best' friend? Invite her over (tell her you have a gift for her mom or something...bake a pie) and when she gets there, share your concerns with her....maybe the best friend has noticed the same thing you have?
Maybe she's depressed because she thinks you don't like her boyfriend and she feels caught in the middle? Maybe deep down, she knows being there (or with him) was not a good decision, but she's too proud or too embarrassed to admit it to your or even to herself, so she's depressed. You mentioned 'meds' but you didn't mention what kind, how much, how often or who prescribed them? If she wants refills, the doctor is the one to talk to. Most anti-depressants take 4-6 weeks to take affect and if they don't work, the doctor will want to increase the dosage for another 4-8 weeks at least 1-2 more times possibly, before changing the prescription and/or adding another one.
Most young girls that age are depressed for one of four reasons; boys, self-image, family and/or abuse (physically, emotionally and/or verbally). Any one of those combinations could go together. Is there any chance she could have been molested in the last year or more? It's not something as mothers we like to think of, but in this day and age, we have to. Also, this boy...any chance he's been violent? Is the boyfriend working? I think the best thing you can do is to continue to follow your maternal instincts (a mother knows) and try to gently continue to let her know that you are there for her, that you love her and see if she'll consider counseling. Offer a Mom/Daughter day and tell her you would like to make it a once a month thing. Just tell her that now that she's moved out of the house, you miss her a lot and if she could give you 'one day' a month, that you'd love to spend it with her. Offer to go to the movies with her or take her ice skating or shopping (find out what she likes)! 18 or not, she's still just 'mommy's little girl' in a grown woman's body...she's confused and scared and trying to put on a 'brave front'....be there for her and no matter how much you feel like a 'nag,' DON'T! You are her mother and you were there long before that boyfriend rolled into her life. We both know you'll be there long after he's gone.....hang in there and don't lose hope! Cher

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Jean - posted on 01/03/2014

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Thank you Cher so much! I made progress by spending time with her this week. She has agreed to counseling. We made the appointment. I spoke to the boyfriends mom and she was not helpful. Could careless about my worries. So we are just caring about my daughter. I am much more helpful today. I have looked to god to help me through this with a lot of effort towards my daughter! One step at a time! I CAN ONLY HANDLE ONE DAY AT A TIME AT THIS POINT. thanks FOR ALL YOUR KIND WORDS!

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