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Teenage daughter has withdrawn from family life(9 Posts)
My 17 DD dropped out of 6th form in June. She started college in September but only went for a morning before deciding it was too stressful and was triggering her anxiety. She'd been taking Sertraline for her anxiety about going to school but has recently stopped it. She has a weekend job collecting glasses in a nightclub so is earning a bit of money, and she is just out all the time. She's often out all night, coming home to shower and change clothes. It's almost as if she's complete withdrawn from our family. She never eats at home with us and barely communicates. I'm so tired and depressed by it all. She refuses to communicate with me by text etc if I ask where she is, (because I trigger her anxiety) but will communicate with DH. Desperate to know what to do. She just doesn't care
I have to say...this is all very normal OP. I certainly did similar at 17. She has a job...ok it's not a proper job but she's earning...she also got a social life.
You'd be a LOT more concerned if she was sitting alone in her room all day which I assure you, lots of 17 year olds with mental health issues do.
Just remain positive and above all....calm down, there's absolutely no reason to be tired and depressed by it or desperate.
Encourage her to start applying for better jobs.
Um... Let her? That's what older teens do. They aren't oriented towards their family any more. They face out and make their own lives. They come back when they're ready but they are never children again. That stage is over.
Negotiate an adult contract with her re: contributing to bills, doing her bit around the home etc and leave her to it. Advise her of other education options such as an apprenticeship and make it clear she will need education and qualifications down the line to earn enough to pay her way.
Does she communicate with you at all? What does DH say or think about it?
I agree that it's normal behaviour, but that doesn;t mean you have to just put up with stuff you're not happy with.
If she is earning and out all the time, ask for a small amount of rent/money towards bills (which you can put into a savings account for her deposit when she leaves home.) Explain the only reason you are doing this is so she learns that income doesn't equal spending money and you have to learn to budget for bills too if you are going to be successful as an adult.
If she's living at home, it;s perfectly reasonable to ask her to text where she is if she stays out after midnight. That's just courteous.
Why has she stopped the sertraline? Did she stop them herself?
Her anxiety was obviously bad enough for a doctor to give a 17 year old antidepressants and if she stopped them then it may have made the anxiety worse.
Don't be fooled because she goes out a lot that she must be fine, her behaviour suggests she's not ok.
Ok some teenagers do act like this and it can be normal teenage behaviour, but if this is a change in behaviour that coincides with stopping the tablets then it may be more than that.
I’m not sure why people are saying it’s normal for a 17 year old to drop out of education, stop taking prescribed medication and refuse to let her mother know she’s safe. Of course you’re concerned.
If she’s talking to your DH then that’s reassuring, at least she has a way back to you. Ask him to reassure her that whenever she needs help or support you’ll be there, offer practical help as well. Try and get her back to the GP, and if at all possible some talking therapy.
My heart goes out to you 💐
I’m not sure why people are saying it’s normal for a 17 year old to drop out of education, stop taking prescribed medication and refuse to let her mother know she’s safe.
I agree. It's not normal and I'd be very concerned. If she didn't have anxiety, was attending college but starting to go out more, that would be normal.
She needs to be doing something productive during the week, a part time weekend job really isn't enough. If she has anxiety that's stopping her from going to college then I would try to get her back to the doctors, maybe your husband would have more success in that. I have a lot of sympathy for anyone suffering with anxiety but I'd be quite tough on my child if they said anxiety stopped them going to college but they could go out, presumably with friends and have fun.
OP It sounds to me that your DD thinks she know best. (thinks) It can be normal behaviour I had similar with my DD. Sertraline can make anxiety worse I have took that meds myself it did me no good. When I had 3 teenagers liveing at home all 3 were like this. You can only be there in a calm excepting attitude she will calm down eventually. It sounds harsh although throughout bringing up my own children I found out that they play on your emotions and uses them against you.