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Stargirl
Contributor

New to this forum

My 19 year old daughter with OCD, anxiety, potential ADHD (diagnosed online Feb 2021), eating issues and is unable to sleep much, has resorted to trying various drugs (not sure how often) to numb her feelings. She wants to talk non stop about her drug taking and the effects it has on her. She is fascinated and obsessed with the effects of drugs and says she is studying psychology online to learn more. She says she thinks she has borderline personality disorder as well and/or bi polar. This all sounds like OCD in full swing.
She says that I am the only one who she can talk to and recently our commutation has broken down to the point where she has cut me off (has happened previously and she will come back apologetic and devastated). She is very manipulative, argumentative and it's hard to know when she is being truthful as she lies alot. She can get very angry and then feel overwhelming guilt. She feels overwhelmed by everything and looks for constant distractions and avoids situations that she finds hard to cope with. She is barely holding down a casual hospitality job and paying rent. She is depressed and has recently been so frustrated that she hurt herself. She often says she doesn't want to be here but would never end her life. She is very creative and I give her lots of art materials to encourage her to express herself, which she does when she feels like it. She lives on her own (moved out just after being diagnosed) but says she now might like to live with someone as she is very lonely. I recently gave her an anxiety journal which she started to use and write her issues in. She shared it with me and I was astounded at her self awareness (it's hard to see that side of her when she presents such a complex personality). She is very resilient and resourceful on the one hand yet so needy and not very good at looking after her personal hygiene. She stopped taking her medication (again) and broke down yesterday saying she hates her mental illness and what it does to her and everyone around her and hates having to rely on medication and that all she wants is to feel happy. She knows that the medication does help (I can attest to that). But as soon as she feels good she goes off it again. She often texts me to say she is so stressed or having panic attacks, yet on the other hand tells me she is happy but cries herself to sleep every night. She says I don't understand her and that my opinions on some things are not valid as I haven't experienced what she has. It's so frustrating and so terribly sad. I am learning to not get emotionally involved and to set boundaries but it sooo hard. 

My daughter refuses any help and that is the hardest thing to deal with. I have said that her conditions are treatable and people live very successful lives with the right help but she refuses any help.. I am overwhelmed and don't know where to turn. I miss the beautiful girl we once knew, only seeing rare glimpses of her under all her struggles. My husband is very frustrated and also sad at all of this. I have had counseling for myself and was told to let her fall into crisis. Maybe she just needs time. At 19 her brain is still developing. I have tried to use Natasha' Daniel's fantastic online resources to help improve communication and to educate myself and family on OCD and anxiety. It was fantastic support and worked for a while but I'm just not able to keep it up. It's all so overwhelming to have to be so proactive and constantly mindful!  I love my daughter so much and I want to keep communication open and so I will try to keep working on that but it's so hard to know how to talk to her without upsetting her. I don't know where to turn. 

39 REPLIES 39

Re: New to this forum

Good morning @Stargirl and welcome to the SANE community 😊

I'm one of the online peer support workers here in the forums and I wanted to start by saying how much I can hear you love your daughter, but to also acknowledge how hard this must be for you. Caring for a loved with with a mental health condition can be tough at times, and from what you've described, you and your family are going through quite a lot at the moment.

I'm really pleased to read that you have had counselling support for yourself. I'm wondering whether that support was still available to you? Here at SANE we offer free counselling service support to people affected by complex mental health issues, as well as their friends and family members. Our counsellors can be reached by phone, email or chat and you can find all the information you need here.

I'm also going to tag a few of our community guides and other members who may be able to relate and/or can lend their support @Shaz51 @Faith-and-Hope @AussieRecharger @Appleblossom @wellwellwellnez @Anastasia @ShiningStar @Snowie @Zoe7 

You can also tag the moderator if you have any questions i.e. around navigating the forums etc by using the following tag @Former-Member 

Welcome again, @Stargirl. I hope you find the community a great place to seek and offer peer support 🙂

 

Rhye ☘️

Re: New to this forum

Hey @Stargirl I can very much hear both your love for your daughter and despair for the situation. It is not a nice place to be sitting but you seem to be doing everything possible to help her. She does however also need to help herself and whilst it may seem harsh having someone say 'let her fall into crisis' - it may very well be what is needed for her to want to get the help she needs. It is never what we want for our loved ones but change ultimately needs to come from within - we cannot do that for them but we can be there to continue to love, care for and support them. You also need to have those boundaries for your own well being and as hard as that is, it is essential that you also look after yourself. As @Rhye asked - do you still have access to counselling because you also should not be going through this alone. I can also attest to the wonderful SANE Support Services offered here - so if you need an immediate option to gain some extra support then they are here.

 

I also believe in your strength and courage as what you have described so far takes both - as does coming here and asking for help yourself. Welcome to the forum - I hope you find it a place to connect and be supported in this very difficult time.

Re: New to this forum

Hello @Stargirl 

Sounds like your daughter is a wonderful human with big struggles.Your love does shine through.  I wish love was enough, but often it is not, with serious mental health issues.

 

@Rhye  and @Zoe7 s' suggestions are great. I cannot add much, but stress self care and boundaries, and I do know what caring for people, and an adult son with issues, tho with a different diagnosis can be like.  

 

I have also gone through my periods where I identitfy with all the labels.  With Dr Google it can be a temptation, but also may be a part of natural "seeking" and 'looking for self understanding' impulse.

 

As a parent a lot of our energy goes into shoring up our kids resilience to avert a crisis, but if a situation occurs that breaks the isolation and supports are there to catch her, I guess it can become a positive.

 

I have had to adjust my hopes and expectations for my son and do my best to be there for him as his life unfolds, holding hope for good experiences, but not pressuring him too much, as the pressure is already there in the environment from others.  Also to understand that work prospects for some are limited in these crazy times, even if others seem to have a dream ride in career ... eg my daughter is very high achieving.  They are all unique.  Good Luck.  It seems a fair bit of luck is involved in these things, including who they meet on their life journeys ...

 

Apple

 

 

Re: New to this forum

Also I'm not sure what supports are there to catch our daughter. We are there in the first instance however for the professional side of her mental health, that's a different story. I'm always on the lookout for potential assistance should she ask for it or require it due to circumstance. Thank you again for your support. 

Re: New to this forum

Hi @Stargirl  and welcome to the forums 👋

 

I support the responses of @Rhye @Zoe7 and @Appleblossom .  Your daughter does sound like a wonderful human being with big struggles.  Two of my five offspring (I like to refer to them as baby dragons because they are fierce) have had lengthy mental health struggles that are founded in the wonky family dynamic that emerged as my (apparently) NPD ex dropped the mask, adopted a new personality and value system, and proceeded to discard me, not realising perhaps that he couldn’t just waltz off with his new partner and all of our children, leaving me in the dust.  It was never going to work that way, and the youngest two suffered particularly under his emotionally controlling behaviours.  

I hear you.

 

My kids are wonderful but troubled and struggle  to put one foot in front of the other.  There is a lot of sliding off the horse going on, but they’ve just gotta get on back up there and go again ….. their conditions are different to your daughter with a different set of issues, but we try not to compare here.  Everyone’s circumstances are different and overwhelming no matter what they are. That is why we are here, walking together.

 

Boundaries for ourselves are vitally important, so one patient doesn’t become two with no carers, so it is a d locate balance that we need to keep working on and adjusting as we go.  It is also very important that you have a life of your own beyond the care of your daughter, whether that is a craft class, or coffee with a friend, or whatever ….. just make something happen in support of your own mental health.

 

The most important thing for your daughter as she struggles - and yes, she has to do this for herself - is that you love her, that she knows you are walking along with her and believe in her.  You are ding a fantastic job as far as I am concerned, and I am very glad you have joined the forums where you will find you are definitely not alone.

 

Sending virtual hugs and best wishes.  Please tag any or all of us when you respond as we get a notification, and can be here for you.

 

💖 F&H

Re: New to this forum

I'm wondering if your daughter has been involved with Headspace: https://headspace.org.au/

About the right age for it. They've a got a bunch of resources and heard them be recommended more than once.

Re: New to this forum

Great suggestion @wellwellwellnez  👍

Re: New to this forum

There might also be art groups in your area that your daughter might like to join @Stargirl.  In larger centres there can be some specific to mental health support where peers can share where they find additional supports within the community and talk about having their own counsellors.

Re: New to this forum

An art group would be a great start but not sure daughter would attend. Will look into options. 

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