What to do when your teenager doesn't want to get any outside support?

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What to do when your teenager doesn't want to get any outside support?

I am feeling at loss with trying to assist my 16y Daughter with her ongoing depressions and anxiety. This has been an ongoing battle for at least 3 years.
I have tried communicating in all different ways.Helping her with all sorts of skills to try and get some control of her thoughts so she feels better about herself. As she refuses to go to the GP or any other activities I think she might like to attend to help her health and wellbeing. Or just to be apart of some sort of activity.
Is this normal behaviour for most teens?
Every discussion with her, has always got a negative response.
Any suggestions on what I can do?
Parent Peer Supporter

Re: What to do when your teenager doesn't want to get any outside support?

Hi @SunFaery,  welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing with us.


I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter's struggles. It's so difficult when they don't want to get help,and so upsetting as we just want to see them happy and engaged with life. 


I think it's common for teens to shy away from getting help. Have you asked your daughter why it is that she doesn't want to give any of your suggestions a go?


My daughter refused to engage with help for many years, but I've been able to get her to understand that she has a choice in her life, and getting help can give her skills to help her improve her emotional and mental state and have a better quality of life. I explained that a counsellor was there to help her, not judge her and tell her what she's getting wrong or how badly she's behaved. I stopped pushing the issue so hard and she did finally ask to see someone. In the meantime, love and supports goes a long way, and it's clear from your post that you offer that in bucket loads already Smiley Happy


I think they are so resistant because they feel so out of control within themselves, that making that decision is something they have full control over. I think that's why it works best when we give them the info then allow them to feel like they are in control of then choosing to get help. 


ReachOut offers Parent Coaching which could be really great in working with you to find practical suggestions to give a go. I can highly recommend it from experience. You can find out more about it here.


Let us know how you get on.


Re: What to do when your teenager doesn't want to get any outside support?

Hey @SunFaery I think @taokat is on the money, adolescent's do tend to shy away from help. Is there any kind of support/wellbeing focused activity you could do together? I know a friend of mine recently began taking her daughter to the gym with her and over a period of six months it has transformed their connection and decreased her Daughter's symptoms of Anxiety. I have wondered if doing something in the health and well-being setting alongside our adolescent's could be quite helpful. It can feel like a bit of a marathon with teens, but you are absolutely a very loving parent and sound incredibly patient.


As with @taokat Parent Coaching could also really help Smiley Happy  How are you feeling tonight?

Casual scribe

Re: What to do when your teenager doesn't want to get any outside support?

I think you're on the money with the control thing ... my daughter (just turned 16) is very hit and miss as to whether she will accept outside help.  She initially refused to see a psychologist ... but now that we have been to a few she has found one she really likes and ok to go back to.  But ... mind you it's pretty much on her terms which weeks she will and wont see them ... luckily our psychologist is fine with this, and she's ok for us to ring her that morning and see if she has a spot later that day or not.  And some days if she is feeling extra angsty or anti-parents she will want to make her own way there on the bus to ensure she feels in control and independent (and we can't chat to the psychologist for a few minutes so she can keep her all to herself :-)


We're now trying to get in to see a psychiatrist to try some different medications ... but again my daughter is not sold on this and wants to be able to call the shots.  3 months ago she was practically begging to see a psychiatrist to try a different med to the one she was on ... now she is acting like she doesnt want to go ... we'll see, I'll pick a good moment to bring it up again and probably get a grudging ok.


I think also part of it is that by seeing someone they're admitting "I'm not ok" and "I'm different" and that is hard for some kids to acknowledge and confront (my daughter is a classic avoider).