depression, anger and low self esteem

I am a worried mum looking at my 21 year old daughter suffering with depression, anxiety, anger issues and low self esteem, I have tried without success to talk things through with her and have her to visit our local GP or Councillor. From a young child she seemed to have low self esteem who struggled in school and seemed to push people away. I put this down to me having a younger child and maybe I did not give her the attention she required so I started arranging days out just for me and her, but each time she wanted us to take her sibling with us. I arranged a private tutor to give her after school lessons but the tutor advised me that my daughter had little interest in learning. As she became older she became disruptive in school and I seemed to spend a lot of time at the school fighting her corner and making excuses as I felt some of the teachers took a dislike to her and didn't want to teach her. When she left school, for a while she had no interest in doing anything but then she got a job in a clothing shop and she seemed to have a more positive attitude towards life. She made new friends, enjoyed buying lots of new clothes and going out with her friends. By the time she was 18 she had a lovely car, a stable job and quite a bit of attention being paid to her as one thing I haven't mentioned is how gorgeous she is. Unfortunately the low self esteem was never far away and the minute that she may have a disagreement with a friend or her younger sister or myself the anger and nastiness would set in and she would turn into a different person. Over time this has become more frequent and the anger issues has got worse. On sitting talking to her she has admitted feeling alone and very depressed but don't really understand why. She has admitted to feeling occasionally jealous of her sibling who has always done well at school and a close group of friends. Things I notice with her is her generosity with people, almost as is she is trying hard to be liked and accepted. When she is in a relationship and she has a person with her all the time, these issues are not so apparent but the minute that she is on her own she gets so depressed and unable to cope. When her spirits are high she has a fabulous sense of humour, so funny and loving that everyone warms to her but that can change in a second. she may have a text or a phonecall that she is not happy about and her mood will change instantly. She finds it hard to embrace people and sometimes it seems that she is crying out to be loved. I tell her everyday how much she is loved and how she should focus on all the positive things in her life but it doesn't change anything. She is so unhappy with her life and I feel like my heart is breaking for her. Can anyone help?

4 Replies

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  • Wow this could have been posted by me about my daughter! I'm just on the way out but I will message you later, I might not have any answers but I do have plenty of support for you as I completely understand your distress! I'm new on here so am not sure if I can private message you...anyone??

    Oh one quick thing, is your daughter on the combination birth pill as our daughter is definitely far worse since being on this, and it appears cyclical!

    Speak soon, you're obviously an extremely caring mum, hugs x

  • You have literally just wrote a post about me! I'm 21 too. Mam is that you? haha.

    You are doing everything you possibly can for her. Just continue to be there for her xxx

  • Hi,

    It seems I can't private message you as you're hidden maybe? I'm really not sure how this site works.

    Anyway a quick run down on my daughter, she's 18 almost 19 and your description is exactly as my daughter is although until she hit 17 she was always very confident in herself, if anyone had told me she would now be so insecure I literally would have laughed.

    She too is now driving and I thought this would help as we live in a tiny hamlet with only a handful of houses, she worked full time at a fast food outlet...the nearest town is very small, most work is manual at the local port... but got offered work as a barmaid at 18 which she preferred and she left her job, mainly because the manager was shockingly bad and she, amongst others, made a complaint to head office which they followed up, he was consequently sacked. She was offered her job back but by this time was happy working in the bar. Then just before Christmas the pub had a bad fire and closed down. Since then she has slipped into a much deeper depression. She isn't sleeping at night, nor eating much, but mainly she is just very angry at everyone and tells us she feels she is completely worthless :( something I obviously refute and try to get her to look at the positive things in her life. Some days I'm too scared to even speak to her, knowing that whatever I do say will be taken the wrong way. Some nights I lie in bed, afraid to go to sleep in case she tries to take her own life.

    She has always had a lot of friends but pushes them away on a regular basis, it's like she can't let them get too close as she assumes they will just let her down anyway so why take the risk? This goes for both girls and lads; although she says she would like a proper relationship, and she has lots of admirers as she too is a gorgeous looking girl, she pushes them away almost from the outset!

    We've tried organising some private psychotherapy but she refused to go after the initial appointment, telling us she didn't see the point as nothing would help her.

    Her GP told her she wasn't depressed and refused to give her any meds, this was after she told him she'd been having suicidal thoughts and had broken down sobbing in his surgery!

    I just want my daughter back, it's like she woke up one day as a completely different person! I too tell her every day how much we love her, it's something I've done for all of her life. In fact she's just had a tattoo of the rabbits out of the book 'guess how much I love you' because we read this every day when she was a child.

    I do know her anger got much worse when she was put on Rigevidon and it definitely seems cyclical! It's literally like one day she'll be so happy and back to being that amazing girl I was used to, a few days later I can't even look at her because that would be wrong. I've begged her to go back to the surgery to ask them to try her on another type but she doesn't seem to think the pill is the problem. Her elder sister is married to a GP and even he agrees with me, but she knows better! Did I tell you she has always been stubborn?

    If you would like to chat then please message me, if nothing else we can run ideas past, and support, each other. I often feel everything is my fault and that I must have done something or not done something whilst she was growing up, maybe I loved her too much. By the way she's the youngest of 4, she has a brother of 35, another of 33, and her sister is 30. All 3 of them went through a period of difficulties at around the 18-19 years stage, but nothing like what is happening with our youngest. All are now very happy with their lives, all are married and the 2 boys have given us 7 Grandchildren between them!

    So basically you're not alone, living with a depressed, anxious and angry young adult isn't easy, I feel your pain xx

  • Hi,

    I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's issues. reading this it seems there is something lurking in her past that is making her feel this way. it seems almost like a big knee jerk reaction to something that is a small issue. you need to sit down with her, maybe go out for a walk or sit down in a cafe and ask her what memories she has that makes her feel this way. Given her a recent situation where she behaved a bit down and ask her what past memory or situation triggered her to feel this way. her past memories need to be untangled and ask her to write this down on paper. if she's ok to be asked about more recent situations then write those down and please ask her to be open, honest, and that there's nothing to be afraid/ashamed of as you are her mother. once you have these, tell her to see a counsellor and show the therapist this written notes and they will know how to deal with this. the eventual aim is to nurture her to let go of these past memories, to get go of the recent anger, jealousy, etc, as they will induce stress in her and stop her from moving forward with herself. its a bit like trying to reprogramme herself to change her reaction from negative to more positive reaction.

    My cousins used to pick on me quite a lot, basically excluded me from their group. now they try to be nice and welcoming but those memories are hard to let go of and my knee jerk reaction is to avoid them and be alone, as it's all I've ever done. don't know why but that's how it is. it takes time to nurture yourself to relax and be easy going.

    this type of knee jerk reaction is quite natural in a "natural environment" but our social environment is man made and people contribute with intent to someone's negativity resulting in them as adults with issues difficult to let go of.

    if you ever need more help please let us know.

    Best Regards,

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