I hope that I'm not overstating this, but it sounds like she needs to be evaluated by a psychologist, if she hasn't already been evaluated, right NOW. Seriously, call someone this morning. Talk to her school counselor (if they have one); see a doctor; do something.
If this young lady cannot separate...
Best answer: I hope that I'm not overstating this, but it sounds like she needs to be evaluated by a psychologist, if she hasn't already been evaluated, right NOW. Seriously, call someone this morning. Talk to her school counselor (if they have one); see a doctor; do something.
If this young lady cannot separate reality from fantasy as regards a stuffed animal, then she may need some type of oversight even once she's passed 18. In all honesty, it might be difficult for such a person to ever hold some normal adult jobs, and her monomania may in fact extend to the other areas in life. Because of this, you may need to control her finances, and she may need help with daily living decisions. If she is "putting on" about this obsession for attention, then the idea that acting this way may lead to very real and undesirable consequences (such as having to go into inpatient counseling) may jolt her into reality.
Of course, her fixation may be VERY real, and she may really need serious inpatient counseling, medication (if she has schizophrenia or even a hormonal imbalance causing her to consider the stuffed toy her "baby") and care to help her move past this delusion if it is trauma-based, if she can.
I am sure that her behavior is very frightening and bewildering for you, and probably a massive shock to realize that your daughter may have a real problem and is in such emotional distress. If she is evaluated before she is 18, however, you may have more control over her life- even for just a few more years- and can possibly prevent her from making financial and other decisions (such as running away, or believing that the stuffed animals tell her to do things) that might ruin her life. Also, the earlier you deal with this problem, the better chance she has of making a recovery if it is trauma-based.
At the same time, you might consider trying to find a "special needs" support group for parents of emotionally/mentally ill young people for yourself. I know a number of "special needs" parents who know that they will have to care for their children past the children's majority and/or who deal with parenting issues like this. Special needs groups, as well as a counselor, can help you with programs, financial questions, legal matters, and just general encouragement as you walk this complex and often lonely-feeling road of having a child with a mental/emotional challenge. Blessings.
2 days ago