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Tamara
Tamara, Counselor & Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1073
Experience:  20+ yrs Private Practice; Cert. Master Therapist; National Board Certified; APA Board Certified
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I believe my daughter (32) has an obsessive disorder She use

Resolved Question:

I believe my daughter (32) has an obsessive disorder: She use rubbing alcohol and acne medication. She thinks she has a skin disease, and that is contagious. She says she gets rashes on her face and body all the time, and uses rubbing alcohol on her skin to kill the bacteria, and acne medication on her face to prevent it from spreading.

She has not taken a shower in over two years; She feels water will only spread the disease further, so she uses rubbing alcohol to bathe with. I know this is self destructive behaviour, yet she won't admit she has a problem...

I have taken her to several doctors, and they have prescribed oitments for her rash, but she does not follow their direction. The doctors findings all confirm that she does not have a skin disease, yet she keeps on self medicating.

We have tried to talk to her, tell her that she needs help, but she thinks we are the problem, and want to prevent her from getting better. What can we do? She won't listen to us.

Please help!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Tamara replied 6 years ago.
Hi. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm pleased to try to help you today. I'm sorry to hear about these problems that your daughter is having. I'm sure it has been difficult for you to deal with. It definitely sounds like your daughter has an obsessive disorder. As you know, it is important that she get help from a mental health professional in order to deal with this problem. But you are right - she is an adult, and you can't force her to do anything. The only option you have is to try to convince her to talk with someone to get help. If she would be willing to take an antidepressant medication (an SSRI), it would likely help the situation. SSRI's are shown to be effective with obsessive disorders, esp. when combined with therapy. Offer to go with her so you can work on your relationship with her (if she thinks you are the problem). Be there for her and keep encouraging her to get help. If she has gone to the regular Dr. with you, then hopefully she would agree to see a mental health professional.

Best wishes, and please let me know if I can answer any further questions. Tamara
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

How can I convince her to accept that she has a problem and get her to see a mental health professional? At the present time she does not want to speak to me, she is spreading remors to other family members that I mistreated her and lying about things that are not true. A year ago she came to me for help because she was having marital problems she claimed that her husband was abusive and he was the cause of her disease among other things. And of course I had to believe her and tried to help her with her problems by talking to her. I do admit sometimes I had to raise my voice at her and her at me but it was a cycle because she felt she knew the answer to her problems. Within a few months living in my house she left with her husband and left me a note that she was going to resolve their marital problems together including their health issues. As of today she still has the same habits. Her husband has also tried to help her but has been unsuccesfull. She wants to move with other family members and leave her husband because she feels her husband is spreading the disease and is not willing to help her. Family members all have tried to convince her that the best place for her to be is with me. She doesn't want to speak to me or come home, because she doesn't want my help. This is situation is very hard for me and can't seem to find a way to help her.

Expert:  Tamara replied 6 years ago.
Hi again. I know this situation is very hard for you, but unfortunately there is nothing you can do to convince her that she has a problem. That's why mental illness is so difficult for family members to deal with - the person with the problem usually is convinced that they are fine and everyone else is wrong. If she's not speaking to you, then you really don't have any options. She's an adult - you can't force her to do anything. You're going to have to work on accepting the fact that you might not be able to help her. I would suggest that perhaps you find yourself a therapist to talk with about the situation so you can work on your feelings of helplessness and sadness about this. The only person you have control over here is yourself - so get help for yourself so you can accept this situation for what it is. Tamara
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