Psychiatrist Questions Death and Dying

Why is my 27 year old daughter only reading depressing things?

My daughter is 27 years old and is an avid reader. However, it seems she's been reading a lot about death and dying lately and it has me concerned... Should I speak to her?

7 Answers

Speaking to her is always a good idea. What does she do other than reading? Does she have a social life? Friends, a boyfriend? Is she more to herself? Seems like she may have a social phobia, which characterizes with avoiding things that cause anxiety like going out, meeting people, difficulty looking someone in the eyes when meeting or speaking, writing when somebody watches, dining or speaking in public, and others. Constant anxiety may cause depression and question the reason for existence, negativism (e.g., reading only sad, pessimistic literature). It would be beneficial for your daughter to see a psychiatrist. Depression is a serious illness that can be successfully treated.
Speaking to her if you are concerned is always commendable. Is she dealing with an issue which might be helped by therapy? Or is this just where she is at in her reading?
I very much doubt there is anything to be concerned with. If her mood is fine, I would just be glad you have a great reader for a daughter.
You should ask her if she would like to discuss it. At 27, she is a peer, not "your little girl." You can say that, given all the press about depression and suicide, you wanted to say that there is help if that is a concern of hers. Suicide is a symptom of depression, which is treatable. You can say you are concerned and if there is anything you can do for her, you are there.
Of course talk to her!! Perhaps her friends are depressed or she is! Avoiding a serious talk is an opportunity NOT to miss.

R.N. Wharton
Yes, please speak to her. Open up a non-confrontational, non- judgmental dialogue, express your concerns, and go from there.

Carly Snyder, M.D.