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TherapistMarryAnn
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5770
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My 23 yr old daughter attempted suicide & was hospitalized

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My 23 yr old daughter attempted suicide & was hospitalized recently. She still has her job & is getting therapy; she's on 50mg zoloft per day half in am & half in pm. I am working on getting her hosp bills reduced due to her low income, how much should I help; should I even pay some of them to help her or is this enabling? While in hosp she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, prior to this it was clinical depression.

Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is perfectly fine for you to set boundaries with your daughter regarding paying her bills. You have helped her out before and given her the chance to get back on her feet. At some point, she does need to be responsible for her own bills.

Part of the issue here is that she is not following through by attending her AA meetings. These meetings are an important part of her recovery. By ignoring them, she is not following recommendations and therefore jeopardizing her recovery. By relying on you to pay her bills, that shows she may feel you will "rescue" her each time she needs treatment so she does not have to be responsible.

Not paying her bills can be hard to do. The instinct as a parent is to help your child. But at some point, this help can become a hindrance rather than helpful. Pulling back and letting your daughter take responsibility does not mean you are abandoning her. But what it does mean is that you want your daughter to be able to stand on her own two feet. Your daughter may need to take responsibility before she sees how important working on her recovery really is.

Your daughter may try to make you feel guilty for not covering her bills and helping her. She may try to manipulate you and say you do not care about her if you do not pay. That can be very difficult to deal with. But helping her also means letting her see the consequences of her situation and offering emotional support rather than financial. She will not benefit if she does not understand how to be responsible for herself.

I hope this helps you,
Kate



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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Kate, thank you. She has been in therapy for a year. Is it "meddling" too much or enabling to negotiate with the hosp for lowering her bills? I am not working and have the time to do this. I would then turn it over to her for payment.

At this point, probably not. You can always explain to your daughter that you will help her with negotiating with the hospital so she can pay less. Then let her know you are turning it over to her after that. Make sure she knows she can come to you to talk for emotional support but that she is responsible for the rest. And if she feels she cannot afford her therapy, there are cheaper alternatives through the United Way. They can guide her to no cost/low cost therapy in her area.

Kate

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