How Can I Help My 20 Year Old Daughter With Anxiety?

Written by Jim Folk
Medically reviewed by Marilyn Folk, BScN.
Last updated December 4, 2022

How Can I Help My 20 Year Old Daughter With Anxiety?

How Can I Help My 20 Year Old Daughter With Anxiety?

Complete Question

My 20-year-old daughter is having lots of problems with anxiety. She can no longer work or go to school. My wife and I have asked her to get help but she thinks her anxiety is caused by external reasons, which isn’t helping. I came across your website and would like to know what I can do to help her?


Thank you for your email. I’m sorry to hear your daughter is struggling with anxiety disorder and its symptoms.

Because of her age and her mindset about anxiety, the most effective way to help your daughter is to encourage her to seek professional therapy. Working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist is the most effective way to overcome issues with anxiety.[1][2]

If she is reluctant, you could also encourage her to become a member of our Recovery Support area so that she can get a more realistic understanding of what she’s dealing with. Often, it’s misconceptions about anxiety that prevent sufferers from getting meaningful help. Having a better understanding of anxiety could change this and motivate her to get the help she needs.

Many of our recommended therapists work with teenagers and young adults, including Grace Lian, Christie Meinema, Jacqueline Nadworny, Larry Rohrick, Marie Filion, and Sheri Vincent.

Unfortunately, doing nothing is not going to help, as anxiety doesn’t clear up on its own and has a tendency to become more complicated over time. Addressing anxiety early is the best approach.

For example, addressing her anxiety now is the best time to work at and overcome issues with problematic anxiety. Doing this work early in life will allow her to live the rest of her years anxiety disorder-free.

Taking anti-anxiety medication isn’t the answer either, since drugs only attempt to manage symptoms but don’t address the problem – the underlying factors that causes issues with anxiety.

It’s true that some people can experience some symptom relief due to medication, but the anxiety problem never goes away and so symptom management becomes a long-term prospect. Moreover, medication can set up its own problems, which can also become more complicated over time.

As another option, you could set up an appointment with one of our recommended therapists to, first, gain a better understanding of what your daughter is dealing with, and second, for more ways to help your daughter. Many of our recommended therapists work with affected others, such as parents, grandparents, spouses, partners, and friends.

Regarding therapy, not all therapists are equal. It’s best to work with therapists who are experienced and have special training in anxiety disorder resolution, and especially those who have had to overcome anxiety disorder in their own lives.

We searched for the best-of-the-best therapists because we know finding a good therapist can be difficult. If you like, you can choose from one of our recommended therapists. That way you know you will get someone who truly understands anxiety. The following therapists work with affected others: Amanda Diehl, Stacey Ellertson, Marie Filion, Grace Lian, Christie Meinema, Jacqueline Nadworny, Chris Papastamos, Nancy Saggio, and Sheri Vincent.

I encourage you to be optimistic. Anxiety disorder is a temporary condition. Even though anxiety is causing major problems in your daughter’s life now, she can overcome it with help and go on to live a full and normal life.

All of us at have struggled with anxiety disorder, and many of us to very severe degrees. But like us, your daughter can overcome it, too. Life can be great again! Yes, it requires work to succeed. But all of us can do this work, including your daughter.

I wish you and your daughter every success in overcoming her anxiety issues.

For more information:

The combination of good self-help information and working with an experienced anxiety disorder therapist, coach, or counselor is the most effective way to address anxiety and its many symptoms. Until the core causes of anxiety are addressed – which we call the underlying factors of anxiety – a struggle with anxiety unwellness can return again and again. Dealing with the underlying factors of anxiety is the best way to address problematic anxiety.

Additional Resources

Return to our Anxiety Frequently Asked Questions page. Information, support, and therapy for anxiety disorder and its symptoms, including How Can I Help My 20 Year Old Daughter With Anxiety?


1. Hofmann, Stefan G., et al. “The Efficacy of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: A Review of Meta-Analyses.” Cognitive Therapy and Research, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 Oct. 2012,

2. Leichsenring, Falk. “Is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy the Gold Standard for Psychotherapy?” JAMA, American Medical Association, 10 Oct. 2017,