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My Daughter
September 1, 1999
7:03 pm
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Lizzy
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My adopted daughter is 21 years old. For several years she has had problems with depression, low self-esteem and abandonment issues. As an adult she is unable to hold a job for more than a few months. She days she has dreams and goals but in reality is unable to work towards them. She is putting herself at extreme risk by working in strip clubs and posing for sexually explicit pictures. I am encouraging counseling and was able to get her to our family physician. He talked to her, prescribed an anti-depressant and suggested counseling. She won't go. She doesn't think she needs it. I need advice. How can I help her to help herself before its too late???

September 1, 1999
8:26 pm
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everblue
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Hi Lizzy,

As a 24 year old with depression myself, I might be able to see it better from your daughter's perspective. You don't say why she has abandonment issues - did this result from anything relating to you or her father in the past? If so, you might want to try getting her to go to counseling with you, so the two of you can work out those issues. Are her biological parents available? Depression can run in families. Besides that, what I would suggest is finding some internet sites on depression or even some pamphlets at the library where people describe their symptoms and what it means to them to have depression. Show these to her, and even if she doesn't seem interested, leave them with her. It was in reading these things that I recognized my own symptoms and finally figured out what was wrong with me, and realized that what I have really is a medical condition that will not go away on its own. The bottom line is, like most problems, you cannot really help her until she wants to help herself. Please stick by her, and try not to push so hard that you push her away. I think she is lucky to have a mom that cares. My own parents don't believe depression is real. They think it's just self-pity that one can "snap out of." Good luck and I hope this helps a little.

everblue

September 2, 1999
12:34 am
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Marci
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Hello. I am a 22 yr old certified Psychologist. Definately what your daughter is doing is out of desperation for all the love that she never felt from you.. Now this is not your fault in anyway. Many many adopted children never feel as loved as natural children regardless of wether or not the adoptive parents have natural children. In order to function properly generally adopted children do need extra love and affection, and alos a little counseling. Not because they arent loved but they feel that if they are not yours as in maternal, then it is simply impossible to be loved like they fell that they need. None of this is news I'm sure.. I thought I could help you.. Being a psychologist and also being within that age bracket. What you need to do is to talk to her. Tell her that what she is doing is not healthy at all. She already knows this. Ask her if she will go to at least one session with you. Be sure to pick a good psychologist, they will be sure to get her to come back... we always do.. Either way, tell her what she is doing is shaming you. There is nothing wrong with letting her know that. Tell her it is dangerous. This is also already known by her. Really what you need to do is be strong. Create consequences if she does not abide by your guidelines. I know that she is a grown woman, but you are her mother, if there is no one else she will listen to, she will listen to you.
Also in several cases I have seen, strippers were sexualy abused.. is this the case.??
e-mail me if yo would like to [email protected]

September 2, 1999
9:27 am
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everblue
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Hi Lizzy and Marci,

I don't want to contradict a psychologist, but just a thought: if your daughter really has depression in addition to doing dangerous things, be careful how you impose consequences. When people have depression, the consequences don't matter so much. Why else would anyone ever commit suicide? Trust me, the consequences of skipping work or school, losing rent money and tuition, and even sometimes not answering the phone and losing loved ones, just aren't enough to force me out of bed every morning when depression is bad. Be sure to talk to someone about your particular situation before you drive your daughter away with rules she is unable to abide by right now. She is your daughter, but she is also an adult and can do as she chooses.

September 2, 1999
1:12 pm
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Lizzy
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Marci and everblue,

Thanks for the advice. She's in crisis right now and there's nothing I can do. When I do hear from her I'll offer all my love, support and advice. I feel that counseling and being on medication to even her out are really important at this time. She met her birth mother and a half sister a few years ago. They have both had similar problems during their lives, the birth mother more so,she's lived longer. There is no cantact between them now. Thanks again. Lizzy

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