Family & Relationship Issues

Ask Dr. Dombeck
Ask Dr. Dombeck
Psychotherapy and Mental Health Questions

How can I tell the difference?

My beautiful, bright and articulate 21-year-old daughter has recently returned from an 8 week integrated mood disorder program at a highly regarded hospital. She has been diagnosed with major depression, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, avoidant and dependent personality traits and possible eating disorder. She has been on medications and getting treatment from psychiatrists, social workers etc. for many years - her problems started in early childhood. My last major hope was the mood disorder program but that failed to help significantly. She has a lot of insight and understanding about her illnesses but she seems to lack any motivation to do anything to help herself. She does usually take her meds but won't follow any of the other suggestions to get well i.e. support groups, some kind of structure in her life, eating properly. She attends her appointments because I take her to them, and agrees with the suggestions or advice offered but is unable or unwilling to follow through. Everything is too much trouble or too hard for her. A typical day involves sleeping, taking pills, sleeping some more and then at night getting up to eat and go on the computer. It is so sad and frustrating to watch a girl with so much potential continue to sabotage her own recovery. How can I tell the difference between her not being able to get better and not wanting to get better? Is it possible anyone would actually choose to stay that way?

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