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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    how can i help my daughter who is sad all the time?

    At this very moment she is on her way to work crying on a city train she doesnt want to go to work but she has had a lot of time off which creates another issue.
    This has been going on for several years.
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  • Ida Shapievsky

    Psychologist

    Being a mother myself, I understand what it is like constantly worrying if you are doing the best job possible for your child. My passion ... View Profile

    Have you had a chat with your daughter about her sadness and crying? Does she remember a time when she used to be happy and outgoing? Alot must have happened for her to be so unhappy for such a long time. It might be good to ask her to come along with you to supposedy your GP appointment and the GP might mention that she would benefit from seeing a psychologist. If she refuses, it makes it really hard since she is an adult so staying by her and listening to her and being supportive is one of the best things you can do. It might also be helpful to air out your concerns to her and how you miss the happy daughter you used to have and things dont have to be like that. She might be open to seeing a psychologist. Feel free to email me if you would like more advice ida@assessmychild.com.au

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  • Dr Wendy Roncolato

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Cloudberry Clinic is a clinical psychology practice specialising in women's mental health concerns. We offer a safe space to reflect honestly and explore emotions with ... View Profile

    It must be very difficult to see your child in distress, particularly if there have been long term issues, and you feel powerless to make things better for her.  

    From your brief description, it is very hard to know what is going on.  She would likely benefit from a thorough psychological assessment.  Once her symptoms and her current circumstances are better understood, a treatment plan could be devised.  

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    Renee Mill

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Empowering people is my passion and life work. I have been working as a Clinical Psychologist in private practice for over thirty years. I have ... View Profile

    Helping an adult child can be very tricky. When she was young, you could make an appointment and take her there and she would have no choice. Now she is unhappy and  you feel helpless because she is making her own choices on how to proceed.

    The most important thing you can do is support her and not criticise her. It is all too easy to say things like "You are not doing this right. There is a better way of handling your situation. Why don't you listen to me?"

    She will feel supported when you truly believe that she has the solutions within herself and all you can do is facilitate their emergence. Say things like: "I can see how sad you are. I trust that you are aware of your feelings and handling them in the best way you know how. Just know that I am here for you and willing to assist if you want me to."

    Readiness to change is crucial. With your support, your daughter will hopefully soon be ready to make the changes necessary to feel happier. If you were (hyypothetically) unsupportive or critical she would need to defend herself and that would deplete her energy and interfere with her readiness.

    Your internal work is to be patient and to trust in your daughter's inner wisdom. 

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    I have been working in Eltham, Melbourne as a relationship and family counsellor for over twelve years. I draw on current theory and research about ... View Profile

    It sounds like you're in the difficult position of wanting to make things better for your daughter, but feeling powerless to help her. As parents of adult children, the most helpful thing we can do is to be emotionally supportive, and be prepared to offer practical suggestions only when our children ask for them. Sound easy, doesn't it! The reality is that doing this is very hard - as parents we may feel that we 'should' be able to make things easier for our children. We may even feel that if they are not happy, it is our fault! I wonder what emotional support you are getting, so that you can continue to "be patient and trust in your daughter's inner wisdom" as Renee has so wisely suggested. Your daughter may take a long time to figure out what is going on for her, and what to do about it. While she is doing this, make sure you are getting the support you need to manage your own understandable anxiety about her sadness - this may be from supportive family or friends, or perhaps counselling can provide a confidential place for you to get this, and to find different ways of 'being with' your daughter in her struggle that cause less 'wear and tear' on your emotional well-being.

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    Bruni (Brunhilde) Brewin

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist

    Bruni Brewin is President Emeritus of The Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association (AHA), the oldest and largest National Registration Body for hypnotherapists in Australia founded in 1949, ... View Profile

    Without knowing how long your daughter has had this sadness.  Without knowing any happening in her life that may have caused it, without knowing what age your daughter is, it is difficult to give you the best advice for her particular problem.  There are so many reasons for such upsets. 

    Being bullied at work... loss of a loving relationship... sexual abuse - etc.

    t's also important to recognize that the cause may be related to other things, such as a physical illness, the effects of medications, or stress. A trained professional will help in assessing such things.

    To be at a stage of crying every day over a long period of time I see as requiring some actioning rather then just being there for your daughter.  She needs to talk to someone, and sort out what is going on inside her before it escalates to a mental health problem (if it hasn't already) and it becomes more difficult to release.  The first stop would be a GP to get an assessment who can then refer her for appropriate help. 

    If she doesn't want to do this, [as she might not want to talk face-to-face about her problem], then  persuade her to contact online help such as The Black Dog Institute or the Salvo Help Line.

  • Max is a consultant psychologist working in the public and private health sectors. He currently holds several appointments at Monash Health where he provides specialist ... View Profile

    Hi there,

    I'm sorry to hear of your daughters health! My first thought is that your daughter must be under a great deal of stress in one way or another. Talking to her can be helpful, but under large amounts of stress this can sometimes be counter productive.

    Have you discussed with her the prospect of seeing a professional? This may be a good starting point and something that a psychologist can help her with.

    Max.

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