My child was diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety approximately 4 years ago while living at university away from home.
She were very open about it and explored various counselling and support services and is on medication that gets increased and decreased as her mood occasionally rises and dips.
She came through some bad periods initially and now has the odd bad day but says that her coping mechanisms are such that it doesnt go past a day or two
When she told us about her diagnosis I was floored.
She said she had not experienced any traumatic event to trigger it and believed that she maybe always had it.
Mental Health was something that affected other people and I spent many weeks distraught that I must have missed something or what had I done that may have caused it somehow?
The news changed my life, I immediately learned more about it, spoke with her often about it and learned to support her where I could.
Fast forward a few years later and she now lives abroad with her partner and things had been going quite well.
Where I am struggling is as follows (and I hope I explain this appropriately)
I am afraid that both myself and her partner, by trying to support her and always taking her condition into consideration are actually enabling her occasional bouts of bad or unacceptable behaviour by walking on eggshells and not calling her out on it for fear of what way she will react?
A recent example is where at a family gathering she was rude to an extended family member who didnt do anything wrong and then blurted out personal information of her own in front of a crowd of people that I wasnt aware of, I would have been ok if I knew about it in advance and could process it but the story wasnt about the details of what she said but that it was obvious to everyone that I didnt know.
I was hurt that she hadnt confided in me and everyone there thought I should have known and felt sorry for me.
I am aware that the episode was likely due to a temporary dip in her mood and I have to factor this in but at what point do I stop being afraid of upsetting her and tell her that her behaviour cannot be excused away by her condition.
What I am about to say is maybe not “pc” and sounds like I am uncaring but I promise it isnt, she is an intelligent person but from she was a child she was always selfish and self centred, lacks empathy for others and was incapable of saying sorry.
I have always been unwilling to argue because she doesnt react well and as she lives in another country I am afraid what the effect might be, what she might do or if she would simply cut off communication.
I am now going through health issues and fire fighting a number of personal issues to other family members and still tip-toeing around her. I have never lost patience but I am getting close now.
I told her that I was gutted about the way she behaved and that she was wrong - it hasnt gone down well and she has now said I am not being supportive of her mental health etc and she is deeply disappointed in me
For anyone out there caring for someone - how do you deal with the mental anguish of something like this, the fear of telling her straight that her behaviour is unacceptable and the fear that she will do something awful.