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So worried about my 12 yr old DD(19 Posts)
She's been sleeping badly for a long time and the problem's been getting worse. She also been increasingly withdrawn, unwilling to be with the family and spending huge amounts of time in her room on the computer. At the weekend she told me she's been hearing voices in her head for the past few months, she can hear them any time when there's silence and that's why she wants her earphones in 24/7. The voices are telling her to harm herself - they tell her things she has to do and threaten her if she doesn't obey. I'm so shocked and at a complete loss to know what to do. She was mortified telling me all this and cried her eyes out, begging me not to tell anyone at all, not even her dad. Now she's furious she's told me and will hardly look me in the eye, she says I shouldn't have got it out of her and it's made everything worse. Does anyone have any experience of anything like this or any advice? I am desperate....
I think in your shoes I would take her to the GP as soon as I could. You can't deal with this on your own.
It's difficult to say what is causing it but she really needs to be seen. She may say that it would make it worse but this is serious and you need to do it in her best interests.
It could be something physical , or it may be a mental health issue. I know she is only young but could she have any access to drugs?
Try & get her to the doctor & if she is not willing to then I'd make an appointment & get some advice from them asap , this can't be pushed under the carpet .
Don't push your daughter (iyswim) let her come to you & just explain that you want to help her & she has done nothing wrong & you want to help her
Not much use I know but do try & see a doctor sooner rather than later
she needs professional help - this is beyond you. Get her to the gp asap or make and appt and talk to the gp without her there
Thanks everyone, I know you're right about going to the GP but feel so despairing at the thought of it - the last doc I saw there couldn't even diagnose tonsillitis. I'm also terrified of tipping her over the edge, she got hysterical earlier when I asked if I could tell her father or granny. I guess part of me is clinging onto the idea it's not completely real - she could have read about people hearing voices and got the idea into her head that way? Not drug-related I'm virtually certain but she does exaggerate or even lie at times for the sake of a good story - but then the not sleeping thing is definitely real and has definitely been getting worse..... I will go to the GP by myself as you suggest, will try to do that tomorrow
Please do get in touch with the GP ASAP and ask to talk urgently with the local mental health crisis team. They should refer same day!
If these "voices" are real then you need to be prepared for them to give her antipsychotic medication (which will make her a bit spaced out) or to ask her to go to hospital voluntarily. If a doctor or CPN thinks she's a significant risk to herself or others, please be prepared for at least a 72hr "sectioning" if she won't go voluntarily.
Saying that, I'm not sure if your consent is enough at 12. I was sectioned for 2 weeks after my dd1 was born with severe pnd. It's not nice, but I'm glad, now, that they did it.
As said above it may need a psych referral but they must check her out physically first to rule out any physical cause.
Make a list of all your concerns like you have done above, and take it with you when you go to the GP. They should do a referral to CAMHS.
Agree she needs to be taken to the GP. What is she doing on the computer for so much time? Could there be a connection between this and her behaviour? Can you move her PC into a family room or monitor her usage in some other (secret) way?
GP for physical investigation and CAHMS referral.
However, don't panic. There are various reasons a teen could hear voices and they do not all spell fullblown mental illness:
*physical illness should not be ruled out. When 16yo dd started hallucinating in the autumn, it finally turned out to be an untreated UTI: apparently toxins can get into the bloodstream and poison the brain. Stopped after the first day of antiobiotics. But before that, dd was saying that she thought she would end up killing herself because she could not live with these nasty voices.
*a period of hallucination is not unusual in adolescents according to dd's psych. consultant (whom she sees for other reasons) and does not necessarily mean longterm mental illness
*even it is a more longstanding MH problems, they can be treated and life can be made more endurable
ask your GP a) to test her urine b) to refer to CAHMS
Reassure your dd.
silvercat -My 12yr old son admitted to hearing voices recently, it came to light when he started talking to himself, and when I asked about it, he said he was answering back the voices in his head. This really worried me, as I had all the same thoughts you have obviously had. I then went on the MIND website, and found out how common this type of thing was, especially between the ages of 11 to 16yrs. I got him to talk, and they have only really started over the past few months, really since he started High School, and we have also had some big stresses in our homelife. He said he usully only hears one voice, which is much like his own, and is encoraging and helpful when he is worried about something, although he sometimes hears more than that one when he is really stressed about anything.He has promised to let me know if the voices get angry or tell him to do anything bad. I also spoke to my GP, who has said that again, this is common for young teenagers, as their brains are re-wiring, but if it continues or gets worse, she will refer him on.
this is a link to the MIND site for young people, which also has a good booklet called My Name Is Pete, which I did show to DS despite it saying it was for 13yrs up.
Hope this helps.
wow, OP - that's a lot to deal with!
I agree that a GP would be a good place to start, but your local community mental health team may also havr a self-referral telephone number you could use.
Other things...what has she been doing on her computer...getting into doomladen gothic sites? looking up mental illness? getting bullied on facebook? playing mindless games of jewelquest? can you access her email/facebook/twitter accounts and look at her search history?
I think the computer needs to be downstairs too.
Does she get on with her form tutor? maybe a quick chat with them along the lines of 'she seems a bit withdrawn at home, how is she in class?' might be helpful. if she's conscientious and the life and soul of the class then there are probab;y some things at home to work through, but the ability to 'be normal' at school woudl go against a significant mental illness.
Has she got a decent group of friends at school - or has she become isolated and withdrawn from them too?
And most of all, don't panic. adolsecence is a hugely difficult place to negotioate these days. Be there for her, and keep posting here for support too x
Yes to GP. Also perhaps reassure her that hearing voices is just an illness, in the way a cold is an illness, and like a cold can be treated if they get too bad.
bubby's link sounds reassuring.
hi talk to the school they can refer to camhs direct, i did this and wasnt long to get seen, my daughter said she was hearing voices, she was seen by cahms for a while, apprently it is very common in teenagers she was dischargedlast year and after a long rocky road seems fine, she is 16 now, you need support from the school x
I really think she can get over this if it's dealt with properly OP.
You need to get her to the GP there could be a physical reason why this is happening to her.
I agree gp as soon as possible.
My grandma once had this happen to her and she had a bladder infection as soon as that was treated she stopped hallucinating
I agree that you need to get her checked out, but try not to jump to the worst case scenario. My DD, now 16 was under CAMHS, and went through a period of 'hearing voices' that we're saying awful things to her. The psychiatrist felt that because she found it so hard to express negative emotions such as anger, sadness and fear, her brain interpreted these emotions as coming from outside; effectively externalising her emotions. Slowly, she has learnt to manage and express her emotions and the voices have stopped.
I agree with cory and others that it may not be as bad as it sounds. And even if it is, try not to panic. I have this theory that when it comes to mental illness, what makes people ill is often the fear. Try to help your daughter not to be afraid.
If you possibly can, while you are waiting for a referral, talk down the voices and reassure her. Say things like "Oh, apparently lots of teens hear voices, it's very common" and "Well, the important thing is only to listen to the voices that tell you good stuff!" and "Oh, maybe those voices telling you to do bad things are simply your brain letting out your anxieties. You don't have to listen to them".
Also, have a look at the Young Minds website. It
I hope you can get some professional advice soon.
Oops, clicked the wrong thing on my phone...
It ^^ has info for teens AND parents.
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