My 20 year old daughter is making life difficult.


New Member
So I am happy to find this website. It helps to know we are not alone. I have a 21 year old son, and then a 20,17 and 15 year old daughter. My husband and I and our children were a pretty happy family until last year when my 20 yr old started having problems. She was a sophomore at an art school, doing well we thought but then things changed. She started telling ( in texts) her boyfriend that she wanted to kill herself and how he ruined her. Long story, but he really didn't do anything to her. We got her help but she quit going to therapy. Then she started her junior year in September and started up again with the texts... she cut her beautiful blonde hair and dyed it black. She started hanging with kids that were in bands and not doing much with their lives. I'm positive she was drinking and smoking weed. In November one of her friends from this group overdosed on heroine. She dropped out of school and came had me to live with us. It had been a nightmare. She got a job as a waitress here in the suburbs, but goes into the city whenever she can to be with her friends. I could go on and on but just wanted some advice as to what to do to get her on her own.



Friday's can be slow, but others will be along.

If she doesn't want school then she can support herself another way. Does she want to move out? Does she take anything for her depression? Do you know if she's on drugs?

You can give her timelines to work on moving out on her own. What is your ultimate goal for her?

Your not alone, many of have adult h children living with us for various reasons!


Well-Known Member
Well, im sorry you had to come here. Its hard to see perfectly normal kids suddenly collapse when in college. Often it is drugs and it could be more than pot if a friend of hers took heroin. Like hangs with like. As a condition to her living back home I would insist she take an unexpected drug test to see what you are dealing with. The test isnt perfect but her reaction to having to take it will show a lot.

Meanwhile until you know if shes using drugs give her no money. She is 20, working and no longer in college. She can pay her own bills, which will leave her with little money to buy drugs. Even pot and alcohol are drugs. Dont help her buy them.
Bands often have drug users as groupies.
Has she had a mental health evaluation?

The bottom line here is that at her age she is a legal adult and you cant force her to do what you like. If she wont follow house rules, you can ask her to leave. Or you can say,"In our house, you either finish school or pay your own bills and dont smoke weed under our roof. If you are sad, you must go for mental health treatment. If you dont like the rules here, maybe its time you look for somewhere else to live." You can help her look for a small room in somebodys house. They are much cheaper than apartments.

Im really sorry. Most of us have been through similar. Take care of yourself and the other family members too!
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My son is 22. One lesson I learned and it applies to tend to seek out friends that are like you. Why would any of us hang out with ppl that we have nothing in common with or people that are up to no good but yet we are good. It is common sense. I remember thinking my son's friend's were trouble and then sadly enough, he turned out to be the ringleader of the trouble kids, boy was I naive! Goals and expectations should be the mindset to prepare her for if she doesn't return to school. We are glad you stopped by as the ppl on this site are ummmm "experts" on dealing with our troublesome loved ones.


Well-Known Member
You mentioned she said her boyfriend did this to her, but then said he hasn't done anything to harm her? Something is going on there, and you may have to dig really deep to find out the truth. It could be that he hasn't hurt her, but she feels as though he has a negative affect on her, or makes her into a person she doesn't like.


New Member
Thanks for ur feedback all. It is so hard to be in this situation, but good to know we r not alone. The boyfriend I mentioned was one of her best friends in hs. He always lifted her up and helped her self esteem which was low in hs. Then he went away to college and started dating someone and meg got jealous. Note, she was dating someone at the time. So she took it a step further, started dating Michael long distance and became extremely jealous when she saw that the other girl was in his presence. It was all very bizarre and she started texting him that he ruined her and that she wanted to die etc etc.... she was diagnosed with acute depression and low self esteem last June and put on Zoloft. She has taken herself off of zoloft and stopped going to therapy. She is living with us and has had a job since January here. I think she is hoping to save enough money to live in the city at the end of summer when her friends lease is up. No talk of going back to school. We have told her that we will not support her financially if she moves out. We have not given her any money. We have given her food shelter and living essentials. My therapist advises me what I have all said. These r her choices not ours and she has to figure it out on her own.


Well-Known Member
Sounds like she wants to move out so you wont have a problem. It is actually healthy that she wants her independence. And she is working. That is also a huge positive.


Roll With It
Some of her thinking is very bizarre. How did they choose zoloft as her antidepressant? Did the doctor just choose it? Or did they do a dna test to see if it was the right antidepressant for her? Did she see a psychiatrist or just a regular doctor? I would make it a condition of living with you that you can talk to her doctor. All of my children know that as long as they live with me, I can go to their appointments and talk to their doctors, period. Mostly they want me to go with them for anything complicated as we are pretty close, and they know that this rule is not negotiable.

I would insist that she see a psychiatrist for treatment to see how she is doing, that she cooperate in some type of reputable therapy, and that if the psychiatrist felt medications were appropriate, that she take them. Given her diagnosis, I would push for the dna test to see what type of antidepressant was likely to work best for her (insurance covers this and it is accurate and takes a LOT of the guesswork out of it), and I would insist that she take the medications for a 3 month trial period.

Others may not agree with the medical stuff, but I think that having you be able to know what is going on is important. Given how skewed her thinking is or was, having someone else be able to talk to her doctor may be important. I would be careful to only talk to the doctor during appointments or if there was a big crisis, but it is a good thing to have in a crisis. I insist on this with my children because in a crisis it might make a big difference.