How to best help young adult daughter with mental health issues
We have a 23 year old daughter who has had a tough time over the past few years. As a young girl, she was generally well adjusted, happy, did well in school, although showed signs of emotional disregulation, ADHD, and learning differences. We sought out educational and mental health therapists and followed their recommendations. She now claims it made her feel like there was something wrong with her, that she is different and not as smart as classmates, was forced to work harder than everyone else because of our expectations and values.
In her 1st year of college out of state she sought medication for ADHD. In her 2nd year she was medicated for bipolar disorder. In her 3rd year of college she contracted mononucleosis, dropped a demanding academic program and changed majors. In the start of her 4th year, she developed severe GI problems, and eventually was diagnosed with Celiac's disease. During that summer she was under the care of a functional medicine doctor (she was malnourished). Her physical health improved, but blood tests indicated a thyroid disorder, so she started on thyroid replacement meds.
She went back to school in the fall 2020 for a 5th year with 60 credits needed to graduate. By spring when covid hit, and she decided that online learning didn't work for her. She dropped all her classes and came home to live and work part time. While her physical health was improving, her mental health issues continued. It was unclear which meds she was using but we learned she was self-medicating with cannabis regularly. She claims is the only thing that helps her (we are skeptical).
By early fall 2021, she decided to transfer to a new university 60 miles from home for a 6th year of college. We set her up with a therapist and psychiatrist at the new school. She is taking 3 classes and doing quite well in school. However, she continues to struggle with her mental health issues and continues to self medicate. She wants to take 2 classes in spring and get in a therapy program for eating disorders or similar program, which I know could be expensive.
She has not been willing to let us be involved in talking to her therapist and psychiatrist, or in helping her find a program. She is 100% financially dependent on us, and while we understand she has mental health struggles, we really want to be more involved, especially since she routinely reprimands us for not understanding her situation especially when we try to problem solve instead of just be empathetic.
We are concerned about potential self-destructive behavior or damage to the relationship if we make too many demands on her. While we want her to get help, we have not demanded since we are paying for her entire lifestyle and medical care, that she allow us to talk with her therapist or psychiatrist to be more involved. We'd like her to get a part time job and contribute financially if she is only going to school part time. We have not demanded that she quit cannabis (which she is adamant helps) and we worry it is contributing to her problems. I know mental health issues are real and can be challenging, but sometimes it feels like they are an excuse to not take responsibility and to claim oneself as a victim of one's physiology. We really want to help her but not sure how demanding to be. Hoping someone has experience and advice.