My daughter is 21 years old. At the age of 14, she was diagnosed with severe anxiety and depression, and we had to take her out of school. Needless to say she has lost all of her one-time friends after being sick.
After many years of treatment she is finally on the road to recovery. It would be helpful if she had a friend or two so she can be social again. Any suggestions?
Anxiety doesn’t help. Thank you.
Signed, Anxious Mom
Hi Anxious Mom,
I’m glad to hear your daughter is has been diagnosed, treated and is recovering. I’m sure this must have been a long haul for you as well.
For a number of reasons, it’s quite common for young adults to lose their friends after being sick, especially if they’ve experienced any kind of mental or emotional disorder:
It’s hard to get back to life and reconnect with social supports after any kind of serious illness, particularly for young people. And because your daughter is now a young adult, it’s more challenging than arranging play dates as a parent might do for a young child. Your daughter will have to develop the self-confidence to take some initiative on her own. You can help guide her but you can’t do it for her.
You haven’t mentioned whether your daughter is living at home or has returned to school or work, but here are a few ideas of how you might encourage her:
In the meantime, offer to fill some of her spare hours, perhaps with age-appropriate relatives (e.g. cousins) but resist the temptation to hover and take total charge of her friendships.
Hope this helps!
Warm regards, Irene