A cry for help

Q: I believe my 19-year-old daughter is depressed. She goes to work, comes home and stays in her room. She refuses to socialize with anyone, even family. Her self-esteem is very low. It breaks my heart to see her like this. Is there anything that you can suggest?
–Anonymous

A: The social isolation you describe can often be a symptom of clinical depression. Other common symptoms are disturbances in appetite and sleep patterns, feelings of worthlessness and/or hopelessness.

Your daughter would probably benefit from a combination of psychological or counseling services (therapy) and psychiatric services (medicine). Seek an evaluation from a mental health professional (psychologist, counselor and/ or psychiatrist) in your area through your local Association of Black Psychologists chapter, insurance company or other referral network. The different types of clinical depression are very treatable with individual therapy, group therapy and/ or psychotropic medications.

Though people with depression can sometimes appear frustrated, especially with people to whom they feel emotionally close, continue to support your daughter through this difficult period. Obtaining mental health and emotional support for yourself will aid you in riding this out with her.

Try to keep the focus on the good and positive things happening now, and that will happen in the future for both of you. Best wishes to you both!

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