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Section: Mental-health, children

Dear Ann Landers,
Our daughter, who is away at college, is suffering from depression. She is on medication and seeing a therapist at school. "Maya's" first semester was a nightmare, partly because her father refused to let her come home to visit, even though the college is only three hours away. I finally overruled him and insisted she drive home for the weekend. I could see how debilitating the depression was. If Maya cannot survive another semester and wants to come home, I don't know what my husband will do. We have been married for 20 years, and he is getting harder and harder to deal with. I'm tired of arguing with him, but I have to stand up for my daughter. Not every child can be sent away from home at age 18 and cope. If anything should happen to her, I would never forgive myself. Should I bring Maya home and tell her to go to school in town, or do you think my husband is right in saying she should tough it out? -- Virginia Beach Mom

Dear Virginia Beach,
If your daughter is on medication, she must have a doctor who prescribed it. Consult with him about whether Maya should tough it out. She sounds emotionally fragile, and this could push her over the edge.

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Janan's Comment
I think the husband is potentially the cause of the daughter's depression. Children need to feel welcome at home. Depression is not something anyone ever "toughs" out. The medications today are not a sure cure--and in fact, many of them cause worse symptoms, including sudden suicidal urges, attempts and successes. The mother needs to stand up for her family and either get the father into counseling so he can learn to be a loving father, or get him out of the house and welcome the child who needs her help. College is not something that is easy and there are fears for people's safety in this time of gun violence. Any young person might rightfully have many concerns for their safety and future, and standing in community and family and future. That is a lot to carry. It can cause depression. The father is either going to have to buck up and be a dad, or resign and let the mother with her compassion help their child. Some kids LIVE AT HOME while attending school. He could be supportive of the fact that she is even in school at all. And, it could be allergies or fungus or mold toxicity causing some of her symptoms, and the medication might not even be the right course of action to take. So I would advise consulting naturopaths, and clearing out toxins, rather than assuming the pharmacuticals are the solution. I am the daughter of a doctor, and saw the way the drug companies sell drugs to doctors to prescribe. I have several friends who lost their young adult kids to suicide . This is not something to ignore. Thank you.
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"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."
-Ann Landers