My girl's having issues with work and family, is having anxiety attacks

We’re both very young, she being 23 and me 22, and we’re raising our 4 year old daughter. Please don’t judge, we’re all sinners. She’s very depressed lately, working a full time job she hates and having no time to discover herself, which is what everyone our age should be doing. To top things off, I have a felony for the next 2 years holding me back from any job of worth. I’m going to school which takes a lot out of my schedule, and trying to exercise myself physically and learn trades which also takes so much from my time as well.

We both are exhausted and have no time, especially her, who has sacrificed so much recreation time that she is just living a life of nonstop work for a family that will not appreciate her. She’s gaining weight. She’s been prescribed anti-depression pills for her rare anxiety attacks which I have told her I wouldn’t recommend she take (I don’t think they’re necessary at this point and will do more harm than good). I tell her she needs to find a passion in life but she can’t and often refuses to believe she has time or the willpower. I encourage exercise and she resents it because she knows it’s true. I encourage spiritual growth and discovery but she feels restless and hasn’t yet caught the bug that is the awesomeness of our faith. She is lost, and she needs help.

I realized that I need to start working, but my time schedule won’t allow for anything full-time, if I get bad grades (and this class I’m taking requires hours of work each day) then it delays my felony removal. If I can just find a job, something that will make up for the amount of money she’s making (roughly 1k every 2 weeks) then she can quit her job and take her life back. Even if I could just find something that could enable her to pick a part-time instead of full-time job, it would make all the difference. But what can I do? Please, help, any suggestions would be wonderful and I thank you for your time.

First, kudos and praise for sticking together through a difficult time (one of many as you both mature) and raising a beautiful child.

Second, let’s take a step back. You both have multiple issues going on here and I’m thinking the diagnosis of anxiety is very accurate. Probably not depression - lets hold off on those pills for now because these are powerful psychotropic medications and I think they’re given out like candy. I am in my mid-30’s, happily married with two beautiful children, a job I love and a career that’s moving well. I still go to therapy for anxiety attacks. It’s part of life, it’s not easy and we all need help from time to time. That you’re both so young doesn’t make it easier, you don’t have the years of experience to see that the ups and downs can be long cycles rather than soemthing that gets better after a week.It’s possible to have a really bad two or three years. The optimistic thing is that it’s possible for one to recover from three bad years and do very well.

Yes, you are very young. And that is not a bad thing. I am sure you will make it. But, what is the most important thing in your life right now? School? Work? Your child? I hope it is the latter. That is what you need to focus on. I may sound like “Dr. Phil” but what ever is going on in anyones life, the child, or the kids, always comes first.

And about work. I understand that you want to get a good degree, but as I said, you are young, and you have time. It is not your “girl’s”, I assume you are not married, who is the sole provider for your family. You are. There are no “bad” jobs around, only work needed to be done by someone, and what ever you do, if you do it with all your pride and effort, it is the best job in the world. So, get a job that give the most salary you can expect. Forget about school for a while. You can go back when your family have a secured economy and maybe some savings. Let her find a job she likes.

And about those anxiety attacs, if the doctor did prescribe medication he/she did it because it is needed, and the only working remedy is the one taken. If she need them, she take them. And if you want to be sure, get a second opinion.

I am not judging, that is not my thing to do, but you did mention felony? You made a choise, and you must live with that choise. So go and “do what a man must do”, IOW, forget school for a year or two, get a job that give you the highest salary and take care of your family. You will make it you really want to. All the best, and may God bless you.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Angels, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, pray for us.
Saint Raphael, filled with the mercy of God, etc.
Saint Raphael, perfect adorer of the Divine Word,
Saint Raphael, terror of demons,
Saint Raphael, exterminator of vices,
Saint Raphael, health of the sick,
Saint Raphael, our refuge in all our trials,
Saint Raphael, guide of travelers,
Saint Raphael, consoler of prisoners,
Saint Raphael, joy of the sorrowful,
Saint Raphael, filled with zeal for the salvation of souls,
Saint Raphael, whose name means God heals,
Saint Raphael, lover of chastity,
Saint Raphael, scourge of demons,
Saint Raphael, in pestilence, famine and war,
Saint Raphael, angel of peace and prosperity,
Saint Raphael, endowed with the grace of healing,
Saint Raphael, sure guide in the paths of virtue and sanctification,
Saint Raphael, help of all those who implore your assistance,
Saint Raphael, who was the guide and consolation of Tobias on his journey,
Saint Raphael, whom the Scriptures praise: Raphael, the holy angel of the Lord, was sent to cure,
Saint Raphael, our advocate,
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
Pray for us, Saint Raphael, to the Lord Our God,
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ
Lord, Jesus Christ, by the prayer of the Archangel Raphael, grant us the grace to avoid all sin and to persevere in every good work until we reach our heavenly destination, You Who lives and reigns world without end. Amen.

Many women have thyroid issues (hypothyroidism) after having there first child. All those symptoms, exhaustion, anxiety, weight gain, low energy are all symptoms of thyroid issues. Simple blood test can confirm. God Bless.

Speaking as a big girl who is still a big girl, but has a big girl who is 23 pounds lighter than when I started my last pregnancy, one thing that might be very helpful would be to take charge of grocery shopping for your girlfriend and make sure that her fridge always has fresh, healthy stuff for her to snack on and to be a good example with regard to food. Have fruit together when watching TV at night and if you have pizza together, set the table with fruit and veggies, too. I really like the new My Plate graphic (the one that replaced the old food pyramid), because it shows a plate that is rougly 1/4 fruit, 1/4 veggie, 1/4 grains, 1/4 protein (plus a dairy).

If you cook, you can both save money (which will reduce your girlfriend’s stress), save her time (which will reduce her stress), and help her control her weight (which will improve your girlfriend’s self-image).

It would also be nice if all three of you could take family walks together. Your 4-year-old can probably still fit into a jogging stroller (the good ones go up to 45 or 50 pounds) and you and your girlfriend can walk and talk.

Doctors really seem to like Weight Watchers (I’m planning on signing up soon, myself). I wouldn’t push that on her right now, but if you can get her stress level down, see if you can get her an appointment with a doctor and mention that you are worried about her weight. If she has a family history that would make weight especially concerning (diabetes, etc.), bring that up. Some of us blimp out when we’re stressed (because eating is the only thing that keeps us on our feet and moving forward), but it’s not a sustainable pattern. Eventually, being heavy makes you tired and less productive, which leads you to eat, which makes you gain weight, which makes you tired and less productive, etc.

She’s very depressed lately, working a full time job she hates and having no time to discover herself, which is what everyone our age should be doing.

This discovering self line is silly- DH and I were married at 22, child by 23, and I didn’t figure out what I really loved to do until I was 28. I worked full time during those years, and have a 10 year plan to be able to implement it (need a master’s, save money for a house +business, etc). We had zero financial support- no parents/grandparents/made 5k over poverty line when we first were married. My “job of worth” pays a little over minimum- but I love it, and it’s a job. If a job pays for food on your table, it’s a job of worth. If I need to clean offices at night to make ends meet, I will. I’m fortunate my DH makes a good income at this time.

Right now, learn to budget and make ends meet. Have you applied for any financial assistance available (food stamps? Housing hardships? Utility hardships? call and ask).

Have you looked for work on campus (not sure what kind of education you are doing)? Talk to your professors; they are often able to connect with jobs before they are advertised. How about your priest? Do they know of anyone who needs part-time help, or weekend help? There are people who need childcare on Saturdays. If one of you are home with your daughter, add another child in! Many small businesses need employees that work only 1-2 days a week so their “regulars” don’t go overtime. There are also lots of jobs in the evening that are a few hours- I have a friend who’s worked two jobs since she became as single parent years ago- where she has a 8-5 job, then a 7-10 pm job (mostly fast-food or retail). It’s not glamorous, but it pays the bills.

Take a minute to look at what you do have- you guys are together, have a place to live and something to eat, you are able to become more educated, and further your earning potential, she is healthy enough to work outside the home to enable YOU to get this education, and your daughter is healthy. Will she be going to kinder in a year or two? That should free up quite a bit for you.

Is she worried about weight? Most women won’t be fully developed until their early 20’s… the “teenage” starving look is the same as gangly boys- I don’t know if she’s simply filled out some from the lean teenage years, or you are talking about true problematic weight gain (and that’s between y’all and the Dr). I was about 23 when I really evened out. Thyroid is another idea- I also know of women who had thyroid issues after birth.

Yeah, early twenties is perceived as being really young by today’s early teens, but it’s not.

I was in the Army at 21, married at 23. You take your place in “the circle of life”, if you will, and start living. The idea that life is some quest for finding your passion or finding yourself is not true. That’s not what life is about. Life is about forming family units and caring for each other. If you find something you can be passionate about, great. It might not happen until your thirties, forties, or fifties, though.

LittleMac, raising a young family is indeed stress inducing, anxiety producing, and really hard. If you consider that the given, then just live it. Support each other. Love each other. Get married to show yourselves your commitment to each other.

Consider going to Catholic Charities in your area to talk to a counselor. They charge on a sliding scale. It might help for you guys to talk to someone.

Are you two married?

If you are married , best two things to improve your relations are : Pray (rosary together) and sex. Male sperm has 7 types antidepressants.

My 2cents: Willpower

Willpower is like any other muscle. You need to start small. Does she bite her fingernails or chew gum with her mouth open or do any other sort of bad habit? She needs to focus her will each time she has the urge and not do it. She needs to start SMALL. Prayer helps, asking God to amplify her inner will. Also prayer in and of itself is a great exercise to build willpower. The human soul, wretched as it is IMHO does not gravitate toward prayer naturally, especially in today’s world. She needs to force herself to pray.

Pray when she wants that snack. Pray when she looks to nibble. Temptation is temptation whether it is food, drugs or anything. The cure for temptation, is: God’s grace derived from prayer.

So combine the willpower workouts with prayer that gives Grace from God.

As for the stress, make sure she feels beautiful (tell her she looks good or how much you love her) or she may spiral down into self-sustaining spiral of depression. (Eat because you feel bad, feel bad because you are overweight etc etc.)

You are both still young enough to nip this in the bud. But if this develops as a bad habit, and she no longer feels that she “needs to care” because she is “already married” then it will turn into a chronic problem feeding more stress for herself and the relationship.

The biggest and best way to keep your marriage and family together?


Also if you are not married, bite the bullet and get married ASAP. or the sin will undermine every grace you earn, like a losing battle.

Now a prayer for your intentions.
Lord, our God, you graciously chose St. Dymphna as patroness of those afflicted with mental and nervous disorders. She is thus an inspiration and a symbol of charity to the thousands who ask her intercession.

Please grant, Lord, through the prayers of this pure youthful martyr, relief and consolation to all suffering such trials, and especially those for whom we pray.

Little Mac and family

We beg you, Lord, to hear the prayers of St. Dymphna on our behalf. Grant all those for whom we pray patience in their sufferings and resignation to your divine will. Please fill them with hope, and grant them the relief and cure they so much desire.

We ask this through Christ our Lord who suffered agony in the garden. Amen.

Oh you do have my deepest sympathies!!!

I started my career shortly after getting married.

I prayed that I could stay home after our first child was born.
I prayed that I could stay home after our second child was born.
I prayed that I could stay home after our third child was born.
I prayed that I could stay home after our fourth child was born.

I’ve been working at this same job for 12 years now… I’m still praying.

It’s extremely stressful and very overwhelming at times… not something I get joy or a feeling of accomplishment from… it’s a major STRESS in my life.
I’ve tried - many times, many ways - to find alternatives… but God, in His own way, has never allowed it to happen… something I struggle with almost every day.

I pray for patience and perseverance… and wait in hope.
Prayers and many sympathies for your situation, Little Mac…

If she smokes pot, tell her to stop. That was my brother’s problem. I’m not being cute. It really does have that effect on many people. Whatever is causing this, I wish her and you well. :slight_smile: Rob

No it’s not. It’s a great process for a young person. OP, I have a lot of respect for you for trying to make things better. Keep focusing on your education, and try to hold out even though things are difficult right now. If you stay on the right path, things will get better.

I still think it is not so much about your “girl”, no, I think you need to shape up a bit and forget school for a while. Your wife need a break. It is not fair on her that you are depending on her to be the provider. Yes, you work, but why can’t you get another job, if you don’t have on, and let her rest with only one job. I am sorry things are not so good right now, but they will be, with time.

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