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Please remember, this column is designed to help the consumer seeking behavioral-health information, and not intended to be any form of psychotherapy or a replacement for professional, individualized services. Opinions expressed in the column are those of the columnist and do not represent the position of other SelfhelpMagazine.com staff.


I am the mother of a teenage girl who is afraid of being alone in the house in the evenings. This fear is not only disrupting her life but also the lives of us as parents. We are trying to be very understanding but don't know which way to turn in order to help her. We talk about it with her to try to find a reason so we can help her face this fear. Any advice you could give us would be appreciated.


It sounds like your daughter may suffer from an anxiety disorder or phobia. Without knowing more about her I can't be more specific, but I would recommend that you contact a local professional who can help all of you learn to cope with this problem.

Anxiety disorders can be triggered by any number of things, real or perceived. Often the treatment required to deal with the problem has to do with changing the way we think. This is sometimes coupled with medication, but not always. I would caution against using medication without therapy to address the thinking errors that may be leading to the problem or to uncover other problems that are related to her fears.

Good luck!


LuAnn Pierce, MSW, CMSW
Author of Growing up Sane (in uncertain times)
Seminar Leader Growing Well Adjusted Kids
Editor-in-Cheif Person to Person: Strengthening Youth & Families
Telephone Counselor Affinity Counseling Center
Affinity Books & Resource Center: Your Source for Emotional Wellness


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