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Father, Grandfather needs needs advice quick!

Community Member

Ive been scouring the internet for any advice I can get.

I'm the father of a 22 year old who suffers anxiety and depression and is possibly ADHD. She is the mother of two kids, 4 and 2 and lives with her partner and has done for just over four years in a tiny 2 bed unit. She told me today that she's at the end, Suicide is her answer. I listened to her and she is a very mixed up kid. I offered to help her with a psych and pay for everything, or she can do it all and ill pay the bill, anything so she gets help sooner rather than later. How do I get her to start looking after her mental health?

I wrote an absolute novel to describe the whole situation but it wouldn't allow me to post. Basically my daughter has done and is doing everything she can to make life more difficult for herself, she's always smoking weed, today I saw my grandkids in a pair of undies and singlet and nappy between them with everything else unwashed with dirty nappies thrown in the dirty clothes pile, the house looked like a slum. The kids never leave the house due to my daughters anxiety and social phobias. it makes me want to cry! I don't say anything out of basic fear that she'll stop speaking to me and then I'll never know how my grandkids are doing. I offer to help with anything and everything, I give her cash as her partners out of work and broke, they have his 12 year old sister living with them due to more disturbing concerns. what do I do?

8 Replies 8

Hi Dad who doesnt know what to do,

Thank you so much for sharing this here. We’re so sorry to hear how worried you are for your daughter and her young family. We can hear you’re a really caring parent and your concerns come from such a loving and supportive place. It sounds really hard, so please know that we're with you.

I’m sure we’ll hear from our amazing community soon, but in the meantime, we wanted to share a couple of pages with you in case they interest you:
We'd really recommend reaching out to Parentline to talk about this. You can find the number to call for your state here, on the KidsHelpline site. As a grandparent concerned about your grandchildren, you're more than welcome to give them a call. They can help you to work out some strategies for making meaningful change, and counselling is confidential (unless you or someone else is at risk of harm).

It’s also really important to check in with yourself while you’re going through this, so it might be good to have a look at our pages on looking after yourself while supporting someone. We want to encourage you to give the Beyond Blue counsellors a call to talk this through on 1300 22 4636, or via online chat. It is so important that you look after yourself during these times and they can help you, or just be there if you want to talk.

Thanks again for sharing here. We really appreciate your kindness and openness in sharing here on the forums, so we hope you can be kind to yourself also through this time.

Kind regards,

Sophie M

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi, welcome

Sophie has outlined very important information for you.

I dont have much advice but the first thing that comes to mind is- I'd pay for a cleaner once a week (twice a week for the first 3 weeks) which will eliminate the messy unit as stress/trigger. Dont concern yourself as to the principle of laziness on anyones part, she needs help and help she will get is my approach.

Being adults it wouldnt be wise to focus on the weed and/or other substances, your approach is right on the money as you dont want her to abandon you. So, giving her cash isnt the answer in fact it assists in buying weed etc imo, giving her services, whatever that might be is productive. It's like giving a poor person a shovel and seeds rather than giving them money for vegetables only to spend it on things unrelated to food.

A day after the unit is cleaned you might like to take the kids for the day...clean unit, no kids they can feel more comfortable.

The other way is to offer to move them into a larger place with a small yard for swings etc. That could spark them into a new attitude out of this rut.

So indirect assistance is what I'd do. I hope you are ok. We are here for you. Post anytime.


Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Dad who doesn’t know what to do

Wellcome to our forums!

Im really sorry that yourself and your daughter are going through this I understand it would be hard.

I understand that the state of your daughters house concerns you but it’s a sign that she is struggling.

I highly recommend that your daughter makes an appointment with her gp and tells the gp how she is currently feeling.

They could do a mental health plan together this will enable her to see a psychologist.

I understand that you give your daughter cash, instead of giving her cash I suggest you buy her groceries for herself, partner and children and clothing.

I hope that your daughter makes an appointment it will be her first step towards recovery.

Hang in there

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello, I want to agree with what Tony has said and reaffirm that the money you give her is only going to allow her to purchase more weed and as Petal has said to buy some groceries for her family.

As the children grow older this problem is only going to accentuate unless something is done to drastically help her and the children.

Are you able to suggest taking the kids to a park or something similar then back to your place and see whether a doctor can admit her to a hospital or google this
Families and children - DFFH Services

Please let us know.


To Tony, white knight, thank you for the reply. I really appreciate your time.

Firstly as to the cleaner part, I've suggested and she wanted nothing to do with it. She is remarkably stubborn. She wouldn't answer calls for anyone to make an appointment. Ive cleaned her place myself, well her bathroom only as I was fixing her sink and made out I made a mess and said it was easier to clean everything. Im not judging her laziness, I'm ADHD myself and understand the overwhelming feeling that brings procrastination. Ive struggled my whole life with its symptoms. Thats why I suspect she suffers from it, its hereditary. But I'm not a psychiatrist so until she's diagnosed its just a possibility. As to the weed I'm not focusing on it, but I do know being baked all the time isn't helping her metal outlook. I do realise she's using it to cope or as a crutch and also know its not doing her any good and only amplifying her social anxieties. Ive bought groceries and yes I'm aware that out of every $100, half is going to weed. I'm on a disability pension, I broke my back 15 years ago and have lived in chronic pain ever since. My mobility is varied. So if I do give her cash, it hurts me greatly to think I'm going without for her habit but sometimes I'm not capable of doing her shopping. Prior to Xmas I didn't walk or seven months. So you can see I'm not wealthy, and I'm not throwing cash at her either but I do go without so for the chance of 50c in the dollar helping my grandkids to eat something decent, I live with that. When I can, I do buy what she needs to help out. I just bought them a vacuum and prior to that a portable aircon as her suburb is most likely the hottest in Sydney. The last one blew up since they would never clean the filter.

As too moving , I have tried to assist them. They are in some sort of public housing, and want to get a house but she can't at the moment because she needs photo id. She cannot cope getting that, and won't let me assist. As you have read I'm not in a financial position to pay their rent. I pay rent myself and there's only so much in a disability pension. As to the taking the kids to the park, thats hard work. Ive only been allowed twice in 4 years and its hard to get her agree and its across the road from her unit. There is so much resistance for anything. I walk on eggshells, refrain from stating anything. I don't think I made it clear how hard it is, sometimes it takes months just to see them. Thanks for your time.

thanks for your time Petal,

she does ask a GP and from what she says they don't do much. She see's a government appointed psychologist which isn't doing much either. She won't tell me details and I don't expect her too. I have suggest I'll pay for someone who has glowing reviews. I see a psychiatrist myself for ADHD, he's great and in demand and said he'd make time and even reduce his fee for her but she says thanks and never wants to really make an appointment. Thats her response to everything, thank you I appreciate it. And she will never take the next step. Its like she's can scream and hate life and neglect her responsibilities if she has problems, maybe she feels content being the victim. Maybe she hopes people won't expect her to accomplish anything as she has problems.

As I said above, I've a disability and on a pension, I'm far from wealthy, just trying to keep my head above water myself, sometimes my mobility is 0, seven months of last year was lying on a lounge in chronic pain and my upright minutes were spent trying to get to the bathroom. So don't think I'm throwing I'm throwing money at her. Only at my last resource will I give her money. Knowing that 50c in the dollar is probably going to weed but at least 50c in the dollar is going to a half decent meal. And yes I'm always buying them clothing. That I can do online and get it to them when ever. I know it seems like I'm blocking any suggestions you have, thats why I posted this as ive tried almost everything I can think off. thanks again for your time, really appreciate it.

thanks Geoff, appreciate your time.

Thanks for the information. Will defiantly check it out.. thanks again.

Hi again

Thankyou for replying to all posts.

Most of us here have mental illness. I have bipolar2, depression and dysthymia. Was once diagnosed incorrectly with ADHD but likely have traits.

So I think we understand your predicament. We very often here get questions about how to get peoples relative/partner to pursue professional care for treatment for whatever, at the end of the day "you can lead a horse to water...."

But that doesnt mean we should resign to the situation, what does it mean we should do?

I always, in these ticklish situation attempt to find the balance. Eg a point at which is- firm, fair (on all parties), reasonable (as what the average description of same is), helping without carrying, advising without insisting, charity begins in your own home first, only be stressed to manageable levels etc.

A metaphor- You have some trees at her place to plant. You dont buy the trees but you put in a savings plan and trickle money into that plan dollar for dollar- what she saves you provide one dollar for one. You provide a spade on loan but might end up hers permanently (on loan means it isnt a gift as gifts are then expected), you take along a table to place the small trees on so it provides YOU comfort to help out for the job. She digs the holes as you are not physically able. If she wont dig the holes you go home and wait till she digs them....and so on.

I suppose what I'm advocating is the firm, fair etc attitude listed above. What she must learn is co-care, that as her father you do love and care for her but it is limited as to the activities you can provide and same as for assistance. You cannot plug up the holes in a clay dam with only 10 fingers, fretting when more holes develop and she is sitting idly by watching the process.

I've got an old friend. His grandson he raised is now 40yo. My friend visits him every fortnight from 400km away and takes a load of groceries for his grandson, his wife and two children as they claim they dont have the money. He arrived one day to find his grandson just purchased a $55,000 GT car (uneconomical v8) on credit. He asked his pop if he'd like to go for a drive. When they went around the corner he asked his pop for $120 for fuel! His pop told him to return home and when he did he loaded his car of the groceries still in the hallway, never said one word, hugged him and left.

He told me it was pointless talking, that if his grandson didnt know why he left with the groceries then he'd never "get it".