Good morning. Thanks for writing to JA.
Please understand that it is both inappropriate and unethical to diagnose over the internet. I regret that I won't be able to help much in that regard today.
However, what you describe is cause for considerable alarm - and worthy of attention my a Licensed Mental Health Professional (LMHP). While I understand that you contend with some important financial concerns, there *are* options available that you may wish to consider.
#1. Do you (or your daughter) have regular medical care? The first step may be to rule out any medical conditions (outside of mental health issues) that would be impacting her behavior in this manner? If only you get to see a doc on a regular basis, talk with him or her about how to get your daughter seen for an evaluation/assessment. Describe what you have described here (and I'm sure s/he will ask you many more questions as well). Your doc may be able to point you in the direction of an inexpensive (but effective) alternative in your area. If your daughter has her own doc, set an appointment and go with her (if she'll let you). Remember - if she's living on her own - you really don't have any rights to interfere. If she *is* living with you, you might be able to weasel yourself into the office with her but, again, you have no legal basis for doing so.
#2. Many/most cities, towns, or counties have Community Mental Health Centers which offer mental health services provided my LMHPs at a reduced cost. Check your phone book (or internet) for local CMHCs in your area. You can also call your local Department of Child and/or Family Services to ask what options might be available.
#3. If funds are very VERY limited, and you qualify for medicare or other government supports, then contact one of the folks listed on the paperwork to ask for a referral to a social worker.
#4. While I understand how, as a mother, you care deeply for your daughter - and you want her to be happy and healthy - as an adult, we cannot FORCE lifestyle changes where they aren't welcome. If your daughter lives on her own, she is free to live as she pleases - provided she doesn't hurt herself or someone else <OR> doesn't violate the rights of others. In the event that you have concerns that she might do these things, then I would call an ambulance or police to have her taken to the Emergency Room for an evaluation and treatment. If your daughter still lives with you (and/or depends upon you for food, clothing, etc.), then you have some right to say, "look, honey, I'm not going to let you continue to live under my roof like this. We're going to get you help... and if you won't accept it, you'll have to live somewhere else." I know that BOTH of these options are potentially terrifying and sound harsh, but if things get to the extreme that you are concerned about her well-being and ability to function, it might be time to make that step.
Mom, I'm glad you're writing today about your daughter. It's very clear to me that you care for her - and want the best for her. Perhaps she's waiting for someone to push her in the direction that she needs to go... into some sort of evaluation (and, I suspect, eventual treatment) with first a medical doctor and then, perhaps, a licensed mental health professional. I know you want the best for her... and you both deserve it.
Thanks. I hope that this was helpful.
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