I think my daughter is stressing too much

When my daughter is stressed about a silly thing from school, she starts crying and freaking out. She is a bright student, always has a 4.0, but I am afraid she is stressing too much. I’m afraid it’s going to break her. I don't know if I should get her to a doctor or someone because this is not normal.

Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Kaileen McMickle, MS, LPC
Licensed Professional Counselor

It's so tough to watch your children struggle and it seems like you care strongly about how she is feeling.

I think there's a lot of questions that come to mind when I read this question.  What things upset her?  How often do these things occur?  What would it mean if it "broke" her?  Also, is she a high school or college student still living at home, or a college student living out of home?  

Just with the information given, it's possible she has some perfectionistic tendencies.  What this can mean is that there is a very clear intolerance for anything she sees as a failure, whether or not it truly is.  It can also mean that she neglects other important areas of her life in order to focus her attention on her academics.  Many people that deal with perfectionism often sacrifice social opportunities for work, which can be really lonely and stressful.

Another thing to consider is that it may have nothing to do with being perfect.  If she is living out of the home, is this her first time out on her own?  That's a difficult change all in its own.  If she's still at home, is she nearing the age of graduation and feels the pressure of figuring out her life/career path?  Does she have other social issues going on with friends or is in an unhealthy relationship?  

No matter the answers to these questions, you are the best judge of what your daughter may need.  It could be worth having a conversation to understand her perspectives and assess her willingness to see a professional.  And make sure you are taking care of yourself as well!  It's easy as a parent to become enmeshed with our children's pain when they are hurting, but taking care of yourself can best prepare you to help your child.

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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