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Mum8
Contributor

supporting lonely child dealing with severe mental illness

Hi
I'm trying to work out how to guide my nearly 18 year old daughter who has a diagnosis of OCD, agoraphobia, anxiety and depression. These illnesses caused her to leave school nearly 3 years ago. She was unable to manage contact with her old friends but she found a really supportive friend online soon after she left school. Unfortunately the friend gradually ceased contact with her over the last 6 months and she now feels that she has no one apart from the 3 of us who live with her. Her psychologist suggested that she use a friend app to make more friends but she hasn't connected with anyone who she feels that she can relate to yet. I'm wondering if introducing her to the lived experience forum on this website might be helpful but I'm also concerned that posts which she reads might bring her down or give her new thoughts relating to her OCD.
I'm just wondering what sort of experience other carers might have had with introducing their teenagers to the lived experience forums here.
Thank you

4 REPLIES 4

Re: supporting lonely child dealing with severe mental illness

Hi @Mum8 

 

Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing your story. Sorry to hear about your daughter. As a mum of a daughter this age, I can imagine how much this hurts you to see her retreat from society and go through these mental health challenges. I can imagine the lockdowns during covid didn't help either. I understand you might be hesitant to recommend the forums due to potential triggers. As one of the moderators I will assure you that we monitor posts closely for triggering content. That said, stuff does come up that is pretty heavy. But that could help her feel less alone too? 

 

I hope that helps a little.

Warmest wishes

Hanami

Re: supporting lonely child dealing with severe mental illness

Hi @Mum8,

I sorry things are so hard for both your daughter and yourself. As a mum of three (two that are young adults) I can really understand how hard it can feel watching from the `sidelines'. I think mums by nature typically want to make things better for our kids and sometimes it's really hard to accept that you can't always fix things. 

The SANE forums are for people 18 years and older and whilst it is a very supportive place it does have a mix of age groups and some of the discussions can get pretty heavy. Have you heard of an Australian organisation called ReachOut? It's similar to the SANE forums but it is designed specifically for teenagers and younger adults. There is also a section for parents / carers to get support. I will attach a link to the site here Reachout.

I wish you and your daughter all the best. We are here 24/7 on the Forums so feel free to reach out anytime.

Warm wishes,

FloatingFeather  

Re: supporting lonely child dealing with severe mental illness

Hi @FloatingFeather 

Thank you for that information. I hadn't heard of Reachout and hadn't actually thought about SANE forums being for 18 and over but as my daughter is still 17 at the moment, I'll look into this.

Thanks again

Mum8

Re: supporting lonely child dealing with severe mental illness

Hi @hanami

 

Thank you for your encouragement. I just saw a post from another member who mentioned "Reachout", a forum for under 18's so for now I might look into that as well. I expect that the content could still be heavy but I'll check it out. It might be a good starting point until she's that bit older.

 

Thanks again

 

Mum8

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