21 years old and Totlly Lost

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by marywithanulcer, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. marywithanulcer

    marywithanulcer New Member

    My daughter has always been a little different...would rather dress punk than pink. We respected her individuality and know not to judge a book by its cover (a lot of nice kids are punk). She quit college after 2 semesters, works in a pizza place, barely makes enough to make ends meet...we help with rent because I fear she would live in her car or worse if she didn't have an apartment. She won't take care of any responsibilities; apartment is always filthy, her car is a literal wreck. She was diagnosed with depression in high school, but it was one of those doctors who sets up shop to distribute medicine and we never trusted the diagnosis. Could it be depression?? I've heard horror stories about Prozac and Ritalin...is there a safe alternative that would give her some incentive to live in the mainstream world? She works late, sleeps and parties. I'm physically sick with worry.:sad-very:
  2. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    Welcome Mary! I moved your post over to General. Watercooler is for discussions that don't relate to our kids' problems. Your first couple of posts will be moderated by a moderator.

    Please check out the FAQs and take some time out to make a signature that includes some info about you and your children (without any identifiers).
  3. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hi Mary! I LOVE your login name! That's just soooo perfect!

    My kids are still pretty small in comparison to yours. I just wanted to give you a "welcome to the crowd"!

    There are a lot of mom's on here who's kids are your daughters age. I have to admit, that I agree with your outlook on the "punk vs. pink" stage. Everyone's their own person - any way you slice it. There are more important things to fight about.

    I'm glad you found us, even though I'm pretty sorry that you had to!

    Again, wlecome - it's a good group of people!

  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Hi Mary and welcome,

    What you are describing is pretty much what I've feared with my 19dd. Our involvement in keeping her on track or at least pointing her in the right direction has both made my daughter get back on track and also made her run in the opposite direction. I sometimes think without our help she'd end up in her car or worse. And then other times I think with our help she'd end up in her car or worse. We're damned if we do and damned if we don't, you know what I mean? My daughter takes two steps forward and one step back. It has been ongoing. She currently lives at home and started school in Sept. She is holding on and seems happy. I personally think she could use some medication to help with her bad moods, but she's chosen to go medication-free and we're supporting her in that choice = for now.

    So, onto your daughter. I hope you don't mind, but I have some questions for you.

    My first question is how much about the way your daughter lives her life is bothering HER? Is she bothered that her car is a wreck and her apt is a mess? What would happen if you and your H stopped 'helping' her? Would she lose her apt? Would she lose her car? Has she expressed any interest whatsoever in seeking a job with enough hours to support herself so you don't have to? Does she feel in any way beholden to you for helping her each month?

    It seems to me that she has all the perks of living at home (getting your financial support) without having to live at home...living in her own apt while taking your support enables her to live her life the way she wants without being responsible for herself...she is not learning to prioritize her life, job, future, money, etc. Have you discussed this with her? If so, what is her response? Does she tell you to butt out or does is she humbled so she can continue to receive your help? If she fell flat on her face, do you believe she would be able to pick herself up and get a fresh start? Would she know where to begin without your help?

    Is she open to seeing a DR about her depression? Does she abuse drugs or alcohol? I think that if she is open to seeing a DR, it would at the very least help her to put into perspective how she feels about herself and her life. The not knowing is what would drive me nuts. You sound as if you do not have a very high opinion of mental health doctors - could that be part of what's holding her back from seeking help for herself?

    It is difficult to say what would be the right approach with your daughter as we don't have a full story or history, etc. I want to offer you gentle hugs - I know how difficult it is to post anywhere about something that is so heavy on your heart. Please come back and let us know more info.
  5. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Hi Mary and welcome to the board. :D

    You've found a wonderful place, so you can take a deep breath and relax a bit.

    I've no problem with the punk vs pink as my daughter Nichole went thru that stage herself for a few years. No biggie. But I do admit I was glad when she finally began to add color back to her wardrobe.

    Jo make some very good points. I understand why you feel the need to help your daughter. But unfortunately that doesn't help her see the need to seek out help for herself.

    Would she be willing to get a 2nd opinion with a different doctor?

  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Hi Mary,
    Welcome to our world. I have a son who functions marginally. He does ok but is not able to manage like his peer group.
    Do you think there is a recreational drug issue?
    I wouldn't consider medications until she has an accurate evaluation and diagnosis. Ritalin is very effective if used in the right situation. It's a disaster if it is given to someone with diagnosis that is not treatable with a stimulant.

    Getting a thorough evaluation by a psychiatrist or clinically trained psychologist could go a long way to helping your daughter if she wants it.

    Our kids tend to be a bit like an onion. Many layers of issues that have to be peeled back to find the core.
    Hopefully we can share our experiences and offer some suggestions and a lot of support.
  7. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Welcome! It certainly could be depression. Often depressed people turn to self medication with drug or alcohol abuse. It makes them feel better. But, legal drugs can help them feel better, too.

    Get her evaluated. She can have a much more productive life.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911

    Hi Mary with an ulcer -

    (try prilosec and rolaids) - OH be serious......

    Listen at 21 it's not impossible to help her, but with each passing year it does become more difficult. Most of the older parents of older children (did I say OLDER US? NOOOOO) will tell you the BEST thing you can learn at some stage is detachment. And for the majority of your doings it sounds like you are trying not to be 100% involved - just be a stable rock.

    If that's the case? I would get her an evaluation IMMEDIATELY - problem is with her being 21 it's up to her if she goes or not - AND the information that is given will be privledge ONLY to her unless she signs a waiver of guardianship or if you sit in the same room and she says in front of the doctor - YOU CAN TELL MY MOM - HERE I'll sign the HIPAA waiver. (it's annoying for us folks with 18's and up who need mental help) very annoying.

    Just wanted to prepare you - Oh and another thing to consider is that there is NO guarantee IF she does get the drugs that she will take them and not SELL them. That extra cash is very tempting.

    You may find more answers with the group on Parents Emeritus.....I hope you come over there when you can.

    Welcome to the board.....