Mental health

Resolved How to get my daughter to open up?

Posted by
Nectar Editorial
| 2020-12-16 | Mental health

My daughter attempted suicide on 2 occasions and is clinically diagnosed with depression and given medication. She does not want to talk to me and I can't speak to the psychiatrist directly as she is a legal adult. I know my daughter is a strong and smart girl, I find it hard to believe she has depression and wonder if her suicide attempts are coming from wanting more attention from her boyfriend. How can I get her to talk to me?

1 Replies
  1. Kimberly Chew
  2. Psychologist
  3. 28 Dec 2020
  4. Expert
Pending Moderation

Parents can struggle with acceptance when a loved one is clinically diagnosed with depression. Some parents might blame themselves, thinking that they could have done better. This is normal, given the love and concern we have for our children. If your daughter does not want to talk about her difficulties at the moment, it is important not to take this personally but to give her the space that she needs. Clinical depression is a serious mental health condition that affects a person’s mood and behaviour. As a parent, the best thing you can do is validate how she is feeling during this time. Let her know that you are there for her by providing a safe, non-judgmental space to talk about her thoughts and feelings. Experiencing suicidal thoughts is a symptom of depression. Suicide attempts are therefore not necessarily “attention-seeking” but are usually a genuine cry for help. Show concern and be there for her. She may refuse to open up at first but be patient and continue to create opportunities for conversations when you can.

Encouraging your daughter to participate in simple daily activities with you will create opportunities for bonding and demonstrate that you are there for her should she feel comfortable to talk. Activities may include going to the supermarket, accompanying you on a drive while you run errands, or walking the dog around the neighbourhood. At the same time, these activities may help to improve her mood by breaking the cycle of social isolation and avoidance commonly associated with depression. Learning more about depression by speaking to a mental health professional or other reliable sources will go a long way in understanding what your daughter could be going through and supporting her the best way you can.

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