Daughters depression

John C - posted on 09/03/2015 ( 4 moms have responded )




So here it is. I'm a dad not a mom. My daughter has lived with her mother she is 22 and returned from college. The living arrangements at her mothers had turned toxic to her. She made the decision to move to Washington and live with me everything was going awesome. I'm so proud of her. She has been here three months.She got a job and was getting ready for fall semester for prerequisite for nursing school. She came to me and told me her mother was making a Dr. Appt. for her. She said she has been dealing and hiding from everyone that she had been depressed for acouple of years. Did your mother know of this? Yes. why hasn't this been addressed sooner? She went to the appt. she felt as if nothing was accomplished. She has just told me that she now feels as if she needs to be with her mother right now. Aaaaaagggg this is killing me inside. I do not want her back in that environment . I have asked her to stay a month and we will get help and get through this together. She is still wanting to go back to mom. Why? We have had so many accomplishments working together. She has packed all her belongings that she herself shipped from moms to my house,and doesn't know if she will be back or not. She has told me I just need to get myself fixed in my head something is not right. I have cried so much just knowing she is scared and confused. She has kept this from me for three months that she has lived here. What do I do? I have been very supportive with her decision and that is breaking my heart. I am very concerned with her mental well being and the fact of moving back with her mother. I'm lost in all this and scared for her. Someone please help!


Bronwyn - posted on 09/03/2015




Depression is a very horrible thing to deal with. Trying to make sense of it and some of the decisions you make because of it just doesn't work because it often is rational.

Maybe the reason why she wants to go back to her mother is it is because where she has spent the most time? Or maybe because it was something her mother had helped her with before she told you? It might also be because her mother is putting pressure on her or trying to guilt her into coming back to live with her. Like Chels said, it does run in families so maybe her mother is feeling abandoned. She might not be doing it maliciously, or even realize she's doing it, but she could be indirectly contributing. My mother has depression and I picked it up from her. So I can speak from some experience on both a "have dealt with it from someone you love" and on a personal level.

I would start off by asking her about the appointment she went to. I'm a bit unclear of if it was your daughter who felt nothing was accomplished or if her mother went with her to it and if she was the one who felt nothing was accomplished.

If it was the latter, the mother not feeling like it worked, ask your daughter how she felt. If she felt like anything at all was accomplished, even on the smallest level?

If it was your daughter who didn't feel like it helped tell her that one appointment is never, ever enough to "accomplish" much on and certainly you don't make much progress in one appointment. A trust needs to be built, a diagnosis established, triggers pinpointed, therapies discussed and then carried out. For me personally, I went had a combination of talk therapy every week for about eight months with a prescriptions. It took about three or four months to get the medications right. Eventually, after the weekly talk therapy, it moved to bi-weekly for four months, then monthly for another two years. I've been going once every three months now for about three years.

And sometimes, those first few appointments can be agonizing. It's like ripping a bandaid off a still open wound. I felt like I had no reason to be depressed. I had a beautiful little girl about two years before. I had a loving fiance. I had a pretty decent paying job that I actually enjoyed. I loved what I was going to school for. I still got to spend lots of time with my daughter. I had great, supportive friends. My family wasn't far away. Anyone looking at me would have said I had it good and I managed to keep up appearances. I never let how I was feeling interfere with my life... but the thoughts in my head, weren't good. I never thought about suicide. I did think about hurting myself, but never went through with it because of my little girl... but I idolized my own death. And I was furious when my therapist put me under observation. To say I hated her had been an understatement but she was forcing me to take a look at myself and acknowledge something wasn't right.

If none of that works, maybe suggest having her mom come up to stay with you for awhile and try to work things out together. It may help to remind her, even if she has been "faking happiness" how much she has accomplished since coming to live with you and that those are real accomplishments, even more so because she was battling with so much internally and still managed to do them.

If the mother coming up is out of the question, suggest to her that although she might be missing her mother, that it isn't the best environment to be in while she is trying to get better. Any aspect that she has brought up about it to you, try to bring that up to her and remind her that she was the one who acknowledged it. Don't go into your own thoughts about it because she may feel like you're belittling her mother and it just push her out quicker.

Other than that, the only thing you can do is be supportive. Even if she does go back to her mother, make sure that you are included and know every step of her treatment this go round. Get her to keep visiting on a pretty regular basis, even if it is just for a weekend or on breaks depending on how far away it is. Do some research of your own. Try to find some local resources that she can fall back on while she's there. Let her know that while you didn't know before, you know now and you're going to be there with her.

I hope some of this helps.


View replies by

Melissa - posted on 09/04/2015




Sorry John that you are going through this with your daughter, it must be tough. Depression is tricky. I think the best thing you can do is communicate as much as possible with your daughter, be encouraging and offer support. Whatever she decides, she should strongly consider seeing a counselor on an ongoing basis to help her through this patch. Hang in there!

Raye - posted on 09/04/2015




One appointment is not enough time to get anything accomplished except to decide if you want to continue with that particular counselor or find a different one. Your daughter needs to understand that it will take time. It's good that you want to support her and be there for her, but maybe she doesn't feel as close to you as she does her mother (no blame on you, because you haven't had much time with her). Fact is, she's an adult, and she can make her own decisions on where she wants to live and who she wants involved in her treatment. The outward progress that she made with you might have been very inwardly hard on her, especially if she didn't include you in her struggles (again, no fault of yours because you didn't know).

If her decision is to go, then let her go. But reassure her that you are there for her whenever she needs you.

Chels - posted on 09/03/2015




Depression is a beast! It runs in my family too. What type of environment is it there for her if you don't mind me asking? Does her mother have hate towards you and possibly filling her head with nonsense? Have you and your daughter had any arguments recently that would make her feel angry towards you? I am sorry for all my questions, just want to get a clear understanding so I can try and help :)

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