I am the mother of an 18 year old daughter who is diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. She is currently doing very well after a very difficult time. I am very proud of her and the work she has done to get better. Mostly is she is lovely young woman, but sometimes I get really, inwardly frustrated. I don’t show it - I stay calm and patient and deal with the frustrating behavior but sometimes it is so tiring.
Some of the big problems I have is with self care behaviors, motivation (or a lack of) and insight.
I took her shopping for clothes today. She did really well, because she has gained a lot of weight since she got sick and it effects her self esteem, but she does not seem to understand how to dress for her body as it is now. She seems to have no concept of what size she wears, trying to fit into things that clearly will not fit. I was getting her an outfit for my husband’s graduation for his Master’s degree, and this needed to be a conservative outfit. She had no concept-even though I had explained it to her before we left-of what was appropriate to wear. I just kept explaining as she tried things on why it was not appropriate for the event- it’s cute but it’s too short (i.e you bend over and you’ll moon the place), it just doesn’t fit quite right (i.e. you’re busting out of it), your chest is too big for that shirt (i.e. your breasts are spilling out) and she got frustrated. When she gets frustrated it is NOT a fun experience-she does not always deal great with frustration - although she’s getting better. What should have been a fun experience for her she was looking forward to ended up being a painful reminder of her weight gain, needed constant input from me, and made me mask my frustration that she just didn’t “get it.”
She also has trouble with bathing regularly, wearing clean clothes (she’ll wear the same thing for week if I don’t call her on it). Sometimes she washes her hair and seems to miss entire sections, so some gets clean and other parts are still dirty. What is the best way to address this without damaging an already very fragile self esteem?