• Few or No Friends

Mentally ill with no friends, home or job

Published: July 20, 2014 | Last Updated: July 21, 2014 By | 5 Replies Continue Reading
An exhausted mom pleads for advice to help her mentally ill daughter



Help! I have a 21-year-old daughter who doesn’t live with me. Why? She’s too explosive and has no respect for anyone or herself. I’ll call her C. She been sacked five times—can’t keep a job, can’t keep a boyfriend. They end up telling her she has mental issues, which I’m sure she does.

She’s staying at her only friend’s place at the moment but her friend wants her to leave. C will be homeless as I can’t take her in, as my life would be hell. I feel guilty.

Her father kicked her out six months ago and doesn’t want her back. How can someone be such a misfit in society? I don’t mean to be rude; I’m just worn out by her mentally and physically as she’s hit me before and punches walls.

I’ve taken her to the hospital before but she never follows through on help. She has been put on antidepressants but stops taking them and insists it’s everyone else’s fault but her own.

I’ve talked till I’m blue in the face but it always ends badly as she’s explosive. She keeps telling me she wants to die? Where does somebody like this go? Can you help me?

Signed, Claire


Hi Claire,

Serious mental illnesses can easily exhaust the patience and resources of even the most caring family and friends. It sounds like your daughter’s problems aren’t time-limited, and won’t go away or be remedied on their own. Although it sounds like she may be resistant to treatment, her illness requires evaluation and treatment by skilled professionals. Ideally, this should take place when she isn’t in the midst of a crisis.

Since your daughter is explosive and violent, it’s understandable that both you and her father would have reached the point of feeling uncomfortable with her under your roof. And the risk of suicide is real when someone repeatedly says he/she wants to die.

You need information and support to help you identify the housing, treatment, entitlements and other community-based resources your daughter needs. I strongly encourage you to contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness. This grassroots organization has hundreds of State and local affiliates that provide support, information and advocacy for individuals with serious mental illnesses and their families.

The organization’s Information Helpline, staffed by trained volunteers, can help you and your daughter’s father connect with other parents who have faced similar challenges and found solutions. Although you may feel totally alone and helpless, others are there to help and share this burden.

You can reach the NAMI HelpLine at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), between 10AM and 6PM, Monday through Friday.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

P.S. A post I wrote for Psychology Today that may also be helpful to read:

Nothing in this post is intended as medical or psychiatric advice.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Deb "Chase" says:

    I am that person you have described here, I am the person that could not control my anger that drank excessively to mask and bury the guilt and shame, I am that person who destroyed everything in my life with in less than 15 months and befoe getting backI’d established the reality is ng a mental i am that person that drained my family who in that 15 months was charged with 28 assault charges, 3 convictions that landed me a 1year prison sentence after serving 14 years active duty in the military. I am that person who has not nor will i ever strike or disrespect my Mom irregardless of how angry I become. I’m not assamed to have a colorful past, I’ve done good and bad and now try to manage and cope with the ailments I have been given. Early on I knew I was different but as the disorder progressed my comfort zone was so far gone it angered me because I couldn’t control what it was doing to me. My life didn’t change when I asked for help, it changed when I realized I had to take responsibility and manage my behavior.

  2. Cathy says:

    Hello Claire-
    I feel your frustration! I have a 31 year old Daughter that I have been struggling with since she was 13. If you haven’t lived with a child that has a chemical imbalance, it’s hard to know what it’s like. Unfortunately, I’ve been through it all and have learned the hard way what works and what doesn’t, for my child and she sounds just like C.
    Until your Daughter realizes she has a problem and needs help, there’s not much you CAN do since she’s over 18, except love her.
    I agree with Amy when she said you can’t allow her to hit you! I have my share of wholes in the walls and I was also assaulted by my Daughter. Violence can never be tolerated, however; I’m not certain that you should turn your back on her, especially if she is truly suicidal. Do you believe she is going to hurt herself? Has she ever hurt herself before? Cutting is something you should keep an eye out for. My Daughter cut her wrists allot when she was a young teenager and the Dr.s told me that it produces endorphins that ease their emotional pain. It’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced.
    I can share my experience with local mental health agencies and give advice based on 18 years of personal experience if you want. I have a 2nd shoulder you can borrow. My child will always have the other one.
    The one thing you must try to remember, as disappointed and frustrated as you are with C, you and your Husband are all she has, and when she finally does get help and takes responsibility for her actions, you don’t want her to feel like you abandoned her, when she needed you the most. We may not like their behavior sometimes, but they need to know we still love them.
    I will pray for you and C.

    • Cathy says:

      P.S. If you want your Daughter to have any self respect, you might want to stop calling your child a “misfit from society”.
      Your Daughter obviously has a handicap. Mental illness is not a choice!

  3. Amy F says:

    I think you’re being wise not to allow your daughter to live with you. This just might force her to seek help, if only to avoid living on the streets. Additionally, allowing your daughter to hit you without consequence enables her dysfunctional behavior to continue.
    Please avail yourself of the resources Irene listed. You’ll find other parents in your situation and receive the support you need and deserve.

  4. lottie says:

    Hello Claire,
    The best advice is given by Irene, take it immediately. One day you could end up really blue in the face and then it will be very serious. Get the appropriate help now. You do not need this upset, your daughter is ill, and it so sad. please take care. Lottie

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