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how to help and adult child

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how to help and adult child


My 19 year old daughter was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, ADHD-inattentive type and social anxiety following a suicide attempt when she was 15. She was put on drugs and managed to attend school most of the time and she graduated from high school. She started university in the fall but was not engaged and was not making friends and was not keeping connnections with her high school friends. She dropped out in March.


Since March she has spent most of her time in her bedroom lying down in bed reading or watching tv programs. She is not registered for school, she does not have a job, she does do any volunteer work. She occasionally will help around the house if I ask specifically for her to do things that pertain to her, ie. clear up the supper dishes (after I have cooked) and put your dirty or clean laundry away.


I don't know how to get her to re-engage with the world and with life. She has let all her social connections go stale and she is embarrassed to have dropped out of school and to not have a plan but I think she is also afraid to start a new program at a new school and to not enjoy that either. How can you enjoy a program when you are depressed? She says she is afraid to get a job because she is afraid of not showing up to work and letting her employer down. That is what happened last year.


How can I get her to accept help or to follow through on anything or to just get back into life?


She is not self-harming and she is not speaking about suicide.


I'm very scared for her future. What can I do? We are in Canada.

Super star contributor

Re: how to help and adult child

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Hi @candidgazelle, and welcome to the forum. I can completely understand the concerns you have regarding your daughter. It's really worrying when our kids withdraw from life and struggle socially. My daughter spent a couple of years in her room, and has only come out this year to attend tafe.


Depression really does affect mood and motivation. Does your daughter see a counsellor for support and guidance? It sounds like her worry of failing or letting others down is really holding her back. Some psychological support could be very beneficial in helping her move through this. 


We're an Australian site so all our resources are Australian as well, so unfortunately we can only offer you peer support, but that can be really beneficial in itself sometimes. We did just edit your post as well, just to keep in line with our community guidelines which you can read over here.


ReachOut has some wonderful information for parents, and I thought this one on Depression and this one on Coping Skills and Resilience might be useful for you to have a read over. Let us know if there's anything in those fact sheets that you think might help. 

Super contributor

Re: how to help and adult child

Hello @candidgazelle, welcome to the community here at ReachOut and thanks for sharing your story. It sounds like you are dealing with a lot at the moment and your daughter's behaviour is concerning you. I am sorry to hear that you are feeling scared and worried. I can really understand why you would be concerned, given the behaviour your daughter is showing. It is a job as a parent to help and support our children, so awesome job on reaching out.

We are Australian based, so our services might not be appropriate for the support you need, so I have sent you an email. Please still feel welcome here to post and use the forum at ReachOut Smiley Happy