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Depressed Daughter Who Won't Accept Help

answered 08:21 PM EST, Tue July 30, 2013
I am very worried about my 34 year old daughter. She is extremely depressed, but every time I offer help or suggest counseling, she ignores the subject. She lives two hours from me, is separated with two pre-teen children. She tells me she is very unhappy with her life, hates where she lives and cries every night. She says she is miserable and is tired of crying and being unhappy. I have suggested couseling, many times, and suggested medication. I've even told her to pack everything up and come live nearer to me so I could help.

Yet, she does nothing, week after week. She'll have a breakdown and tell me these things, and then carry on going to work, etc. until the next time. I don't know how to help her.

She has even told me about just leaving the area, alone, going somewhere and starting over. I know that is not the answer, it's just running away and I fear that in the future she will regret leaving her children. I think she is just overwhelmed.

Is there anything I could do or should be saying to help her?

Anna Deeds Says...

Anna Deeds A. Deeds

Thank you for your question. First, I think it is important to point out that if your daughter is a danger to herself or others, you could have her involuntarily committed to a psychiatric ward. I know this seems harsh but it is for her own protection. If she is not suicidal but the depression continues, you could try talking to her family doctor. If she doesn't have a family doctor, I would continue to encourage her to get help. Let her know that you will support her, are there to listen to her problems and can help her so she is not so overwhelmed. You can also encourage other family members to talk to her about getting psychiatric treatment. You could even have a family intervention where family members tell her how her depression concerns them, how it effects her quality of life and how it effects your whole family.

Perhaps she doesn't realize or believe that depression is a treatable disorder. If that is the case, you could try presenting her with information about depression that shows that it is treatable. Try these websites for information on depression: NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health), PsychCentral and MayoClinic. Point out to her that many people suffer from depression symptoms and get better.

Since so many people use social media today, this may be another way to reach out to her. There are many Facebook pages and groups that post valuable information on depression. You could send her pages or posts that you think might help her or even just inspirational or motivational posts to show her there is hope. You could also try buying her a self-help book about depression. Here is a link for information on books about depression. If she read more about depression and tried some techniques that are known to work, she may see some improvement and be more willing to get treatment.

I hope this helps answer your question and your daughter gets the treatment she needs.

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Page last updated Jul 30, 2013

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