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Separation anxiety

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


Separation anxiety

Hi I’m desperate for help I have a 17 year old daughter who has always suffered separation anxiety and I thought she might get a little better as she got older but sadly it has gotten a lot worse.she managed to get through half year 10 but the battle was just to hard to even get her to school without her breaking down on the way to school or her ringing me from the toilet at school begging me to come and pick her up which I always did and with a lot of meetings ect with the school and tafe I got her enrolled into animal studies as that was her passion and everything was going great till a week before she was to start and without me sitting in my car in the car park while she was there she would have panic attacks and get sick in the stomach ect I explained I can’t sit in the car for 5 hrs a day I was hoping to return to work which I had to give up many good jobs Because I was constantly getting called into the school to pick her up so she then wanted me to sit at the back of the class at tafe because she just needs to have me in eye shot because I’m her mind if I die she will be abandoned on her own so the tafe said it wasn’t allowed so that was the end of that we have tried seeking different help through out the years but nothing has stuck and has not worked out ect not that the mental health is fantastic anyway.I want my daughter to be able to be comfortable enough for me to be able to go to the shop
Not even 5 mins away but it’s just getting worse and I just don’t know what to do anymore I worry for her future I constantly worry but in her mind she is convinced something bad will happen to me if she is not with’s getting that bad now if I’m hanging clothes on the line I have to tell her I’m just going to the clothes line then I get a thousand questions like mum is that the only place u are going ect and if she needs to have a shower while I’m downstairs cleaning I have to come upstairs till she has a shower incase I die downstairs and she doesn’t know because of the running water noise.We use to go to the city to attend the comic cons ect and stay overnight in hotel but we have not done that for 2 yrs and once again it’s because if something happens to me she will be stuck with no one im a single mum she has no contact with her father because she doesn’t trust him or even want to talk to him and sadly he gave up on her many years ago. She want stay at home with her sister who is 27 because she trusts no one about 4 yrs ago she was ok if my mum stayed with her overnight if I did nightshift but she would not sleep till I got home and in the end a few years ago she said no I can’t stay with just nan here so I worked on odd days she managed to stay at school for the whole day. I had to give my job a yr and half ago but I’m desperately needing to return to work as my savings are just about gone please anyone help me help my daughter I fear for her future as in may she will be 18 and we have had the talk about medication but she said no to that I also might add it was not till the day she turned 15 that she said I think I will try to sleep in my own bed now and thank goodness it’s be like that ever since but I just don’t know what to do and the frustrating part is no one understands and constantly tell me just leave her go to work she will get over it but I try to explain it doesn’t work like that please someone help me with ideas its not healthy for her but now I just don’t know anymore and what makes it harder my own mental health is not good and has not been for a long time due to many many issues. Thankyou kindly
Prolific scribe

Re: Separation anxiety

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Hi there @Luna1967 

Thank you for posting. I can hear how desperate things have become as everyone's life is put on hold because of your daughter's severe anxiety. It is understandable that you are reaching out in need of any support or advice.

It sounds like hour daughter is in need of some professional intervention and support as soon as she can - for everyone's sake. I acknowledge she does not want to take any medication. Have you been able to understand why she may feel this way? It is normal for people to experience some form of anxiety as a way of protecting oneself. However, if it comes to the point where the anxiety is so strong even in their own house, then seeking out a professional would be a good start.

You may want to read about general anxiety disorder here. Even if your daughter reads it so that she has a better understanding of why people reach out for support.

I must be a lonely journey when people tell you to 'just leave her and go to work'. I can see why people would say that, seeing your daughter is nearly an adult. Yet at the same time, I hear the anxiety, panic and stress when you leave her even to go to the shops, or go to the clothesline.

I'd also encourage you to find a way where by you can be supported. You mentioned you are close to have used your savings up and really need to return to work. As a carer, perhaps you can reach out to services such as:

ARFMI Carers 1300 554 660

Carer Gateway 1800 422 737

All the best. Please take care.


Re: Separation anxiety

Hi @Luna1967 welcome to the ReachOut Community, its really nice to have you here Smiley Happy

I'm really sorry to hear about the challenges you and your daughter are facing with her separation anxiety. I imagine for her that the constant fear of something terrible happening to you is incredibly debilitating. It's clear that you deeply care about her well-being and want to find a way to help her. It can be incredibly tough to witness your child struggling with such severe anxiety, especially when it affects their daily life so acutely. I can sense your love and concern for her well-being, and your willingness to make sacrifices to support her. It sounds like you have tried various approaches, including seeking help and making accommodations for her, but haven't found a solution that works for both you and your daughter yet. What are you thinking your next steps are?

It's really important to take care of your own mental health as well. Do you have any support for yourself at the moment? Supporting a child with anxiety can be emotionally draining, so please remember to prioritise self-care and seek support for yourself. The services Chloe-RO shared above might be a good place to start if you are interested. 

You and your daughter don’t have to face this alone. We are here for you.