18 yo daughter with meltdowns, job, anger, boyfriend...


New Member
First, I've read at least 60 threads on this wonderful forum and want to thank all the wonderful contributors!

My daughter recently turned 18. She's intelligent and warm on good days, depressed and full of rage on bad days (like today...) She's graduated from high school and holds a 30+ hour per week job as restaurant hostess. On the rare occasions she talks to me about such issues, she says that the sadness is always there below the surface.

Her mom was sick at home for nearly a year before passing away when she was 14. The depression and rage showed up thereafter, and peaked around 16. Today she holds her job (which she got on her own, along with several other short-term positions), but has dreadful bouts of sadness and depression every 1-2 months. I want to say the trend is positive, but when we're in the middle of a punch-the-walls session, it's hard to see the forest for the trees.

She is not currently in therapy, having had an unhappy experience in the past, although she has mentioned the possibility. She has been on a mild anti-depressant (I don't know the name, she keeps these things very private) since she turned 18 three months ago, and the doctor is attentively adjusting the dose. She self medicates with marijuana (legal here in California). Her 19 yo boyfriend, who lives with us, is very supportive of her, and similarly uncommunicative with us.

The latest rage attack broke some plant pots, put a hole in the wall, and cast a pall on our wedding in three weeks (we all live together-me-fiancee-daughter-boyfriend). As if life isn't stressful enough...

I'm trying to avoid writing a long post...I'm seeking support, suggestions, and pointers to other posts. Thank you all so much!


Well-Known Member
Take her to a psychiatrist, rather than a psychologist. They can diagnose and prescribe medications and her level of acting out us violent and couldn't of her control. She may also need obfuscating. Many people try to sweep grief under the rug, but it stays until resolved and can make the mood swings worse.

My advice is to take her to the highest educated mental health care professional, the guy with the MD. He can diagnose legally. He has had the most training.

To minimize the chance of a non compassionate psychiatrist or one that doesn't listen (they're not all equally skilled) try to ask around to see who has a good reputation. NAMI will give you a few names. But the best recount are people who have used and gotten better from their association with a particular psychiatrist.

I highly recommend a female for a girl, but some girls prefer men. Take her cue. She can lick this, but she obviously needs professional help. We parents are too emotionally involved.

Keep us updated. We are a caring group.


one day at a time
Hi Bigdaddy and welcome to the forum. We're glad you're here. I'm so sorry about your loss and your daughter's loss. That has to be so hard for her at such a formative time of life.

Having said that, of course, as you know, life goes on, and it sounds like she has been getting some help. I agree with SWOT that perhaps trying some other avenues. I so believe in the combination of therapy and medication for depression, anxiety, etc. I have seen it work very well for so many. Unfortunately, sometimes people have a bad experience early on and it make them think all therapists and specialists are the same way. I have had great experience with therapists myself, so I would encourage you to kindly and firmly sit down with your daughter---who is by all rights an adult now, even if the maturity is still lagging behind like it does for most---and talk about what needs to happen.

I don't know if this is the case with you or not, but sometimes we aren't clear enough and firm enough in our requirements for what it will take to "continue living here." I know I wasn't for a long time. I let so many things slide, and the view of my Difficult Child seemed to be that he was going to push that envelope even further.

Even though people are struggling, we can still expect a certain level of behavior, regardless (unless they are completely psychotic). Clearly, she is functioning at a job 30 hours a week, and that is a huge plus.

I would suggest setting some reasonable (key word here: reasonable) boundaries and requirements for her, that will help lead to more healthy behaviors from her, we hope, and also set limits on what you will and won't tolerate. It is okay to say, this is the boundary. I know for many of us, including me, for a long time I felt "mean" or "uncaring" or something, and so I let him get away with way way way too much. That is not helping our kids grow up and become responsible adults---which after all---is the goal. They can't and shouldn't live with us forever, in fact, I don't believe it's really good for us or them to live together after they reach adulthood. What is the plan for her and her boyfriend to move out? I hope there is a timeline for you.

hang in there, it sounds like there is much positive to build on. We're here for you no matter what.