I'm new. Struggling with adult daughter with mental health issues

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Rob, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Rob

    Rob New Member

    Hi group. First post. My wife and I have only 1 child, but she has felt like way more than that. Struggles since she was born. Can't sleep well, adhd, then add, then anxiety, depression, and the lot. I'm thinking people on this site get the picture, so I'll get right to it.

    She is now 22 and living at home. She went to the college dorm just a couple months ago, but didn't fit in. Lot's of social anxiety. She was isolated then got depressed and back with Mom and Dad. She dropped a class. Now has 1 class 3 days a week, and 1 evening class once a week. Trying to get her looking for a summer job. She had 2 jobs in high school only for a month or so each. Both were failures. She can achieve, but needs more time and an emplyer who understands. Most days she sleeps until at least 1:00 PM. Constanly loosing things. Can't stay on the budget I setup for her. Room is a disater. Never cleans. Her impulsive nature makes her grasp the first pleasure and avoid things that would move her ahead. Like she never exercises and has a hard time disiplining herself.

    Now and then she has a huge crash, panic attack, or deep depression. Then we give her the strong medications (lorazapam). She is on paxil, but recently she decided on her own to go off it. That created a crash we are just now dealing with. She doesn't follow the doctors advice on medications.

    This has been a long road. I am burnt out on it. I told my wife I would like to move out just to have a place of respite. We have a great marriage, and that is the hard part. But being in an endless routine of low functioning, followed by occasional crashes takes a huge toll on me. When will I get my freedom? And how? She is not at the level where she could get any government serivces, yet I cannot seem to get her moving forward - maybe just baby steps. She did get 1 job application in this week. wow. It seems like either she needs to make progress, or I need to find respite. How can I force that?

    On the positive side I will say that she has a very sunny spirit and people like her when meeting her. She is very kind and personalble. She has ambition, but just can't get past her barriers. Too many poor habits in place, especially with Mom and Dad. She takes the easy road here and that does prevent progress. If I push too hard it not only burns me out, but generally just stirs her up with little to no result. How do you motivate someone who is that stuck?

    Enough for now.

  2. family mum

    family mum New Member

    Hi Rob,
    I don't know that I have much wisdom to impart as I only joined today, but I can say that I can hear your pain in your words and i am listening. (others too, I'm sure)
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Rob -

    People over on Parent Emeritus probably have more ideas... that's where the "adult kids" are...

    I don't have experience with adult kids.
    But I do have experience with "stuck".
    For us... we had to find the source of the glue.
    Dynamite didn't do it... couldn't blast difficult child out of that cycle.
    All the "carrots" and rewards couldn't budge him.

    It wasn't about "want to". He couldn't.
    We had to find the drain... the major energy drain that was "killing him".

    Once we found that (only took 10 years or so), the turn-around has been amazing.

    Lets see... sleep issues have been around for a long time... has she ever had a sleep study? Sleep is one of those catch-22s, in that various conditions can lead to sleep issues... but sleep issues can also lead to all sorts of other problems.

    Sounds like you're not really questioning the ADD/ADHD diagnosis - but medications etc. haven't helped? Who did the diagnosis?
    What other evaluations have been done?
  4. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Hi Rob, I dont have a child who has the potential to be so high functioning, so can't comment on parenting in that situation, but I do understand thinking parenting will have to go on forever, and that feels overwhelming.
    when was the last time she had an assessment of any kind? Has she ever been to a neuropsychologist? Are there any possible issues that have been overlooked?

    Does she have friends, how do they take to her not moving on while they are??? Are any of them encouraging to her?

    Just curious. Anyway, welcome and I hope at least being able to vent a little will help to some degree. There are other parents here who have kids with some similar issues and I am sure they will chime in! Might not be till monday so keep hanging in there, can be slow on the weekend.

    TTFN, Dee
  5. Rob

    Rob New Member

    Thanks for the replies. One thing my wife suggested today was family therapy. I think a good idea. When you are in the middle of disfucntion and so involved it is hard to see it clearly. A therapist may have tools to move her forward and keep us healthier. Anyway, that seems to be the plan rather than having me move out to a "respite" apartment. I think that would be very hurtful to my daughter knowing she drove dad away. I just want to see some light at the end of the tunnel, and not be strapped with this until I die.
  6. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Hi Rob, welcome. I'm sorry for what you are going through. I understand, I have a daughter who is very similar. I think therapy will help a lot. Also, there is an organization called NAMI, which here in CA. has wonderful resources not only for you and your wife as family members to get support, but here they have job training, counseling, just about every possible support for anyone with mental illness. They have Social Workers who work with families to help them in many of the areas you are concerned about. I found solace going there. I also joined a support group lead by a therapist. I got LOTS of support because it is such a tough road, and professionals can really support you in ways you need to be supported. There is a lot to learn which most of us didn't realize we would have to learn about, but there are also resources which will help you. My daughter is also my only child. I understand your struggles. I wish you peace along the way and guidance to all the people who will assist you and your family. If it feels right, keep posting here, it helps.
  7. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Hello and welcome Rob. I am so sorry. Have you tried NAMI. I use to attend a parent support group there. There were many parents with older kids and great advise. They also have resources. There are groups for your daughter as well as mentors. At her age she may do better getting help from a peer or someone outside your home. Could she go back to another dorm?

    Our adult son lives at home but we had things in place so he knew the rules. He doesn't have the mental health issues-but he is ADHD. We told him his room had to be neat and sanitary. He had to be working or full time at school. Had to pay rent if not in school. He has chores. He's a great kid so there are no issues with any of it. We have the same rules for difficult child. She is done with school as well. She on the other hand is tough to get to do what she should. I have had to go bag up her room and throw away things to get her to keep it clean. She loses things as well. I refuse to help her find things-she has to suffer the consequences. This is hard to do at times.

    I don't have answers. I just know the more we enable them to be irresponsible and do things for them, the more they get the message they are incapable and the less they do. I think my difficult child likes me doing things for her as she is then not responsible. I have had to work double hard at not doing for her. Good luck-I think the road to more freedom for you and your wife will be tough but the only way is to turn her life over to her and let her fail and learn from her mistakes. Maybe then she will take her medication and illnesses seriously.
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    Welcome Rob! While reading your post, all I could think of was VocRehab. Do you have that in your area? They should be able to help your daughter with life coaching and moving forward. If they can't help, maybe they can point you to the ppl who can.

    Have you actually had her apply for services? Don't just assume that she's too high functioning for them. You might be surprised. She may be functioning now because she has two parents pushing her. What would she do if she were out on her own?
  9. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I hope if you get that apartment that you and your wife take turns getting respite.
  10. keista

    keista New Member

    If they are going to get an apartment, maybe it should be for their daughter, and they take turns going over to motivate her. So far, it sounds as if poor life decisions is not her problem - just dealing with life in general but still with good decisions.
  11. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Hi, Rob. Glad you found us.

    Hey, you may want to post this on Parent Emeritus because those are the kids who are 18 and over. Many people here have never had a child as old as your daughter. Just a suggestion.

    Have you ever tried to get her services? It sounds like she actually could not only use some but qualify for them, such as an assisted living apartment with help living on the premesis and somebody to help her at work (even if it makes her nervous). I am currently working on services for my son and I have heard of kids like your daughter getting a lot of really good help. You do not have to care for her until you die. And I'll bet s he'd like some independence, even if it isn't 100% independence.

    The Department of Workforce Services would help her get a job with an employer who understands in advance her special needs. Work coaches are even available. You just need to get out there and take her to the various places that help k ids like ours.

    Good luck!