I don't know what's happening to DD (13). Really worried.(57 Posts)
My DD who turned 13 in November seems to have suddenly changed into a very angry and aggressive child over the past 3 months. We are at our wit's end and don't know where to turn.
Bit of background - she started having joint and back pain last summer and had morning headaches and nausea. She had a full investigation from a hospital consultant (including brain and spine MRI). Bloods showed she'd had glandular fever in the past (not recently though) and that her thyroid function was 'borderline' and that she tested positive for an antibody that could eventually lead to hypothyroidism which would need treatment with thyroxine. She is due to have her thyroid levels checked again in April. She has also been diagnosed with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome and is under the care of a physio.
She seems to have had a personality transplant at an alarming rate - is either very quiet and withdrawn (obsessed with her Blackberry phone which I will go into later) or very, very angry, picking fights, throwing hurtful insults at me, answering back and has now ramped it up lately by trying to physically intimidate me when she doesn't get her own way. Then she twists it back saying I'm a horrible, disgrace of a mother and she hates me and that the family are 'all freaks that annoy her into being angry'.
She was on report at school last week for not doing any homework and messing around in class. Rather than punishments we've been trying to go down the consequence route (read lots of good advice on here about this), I've asked her if there's anything apart from feeling angry that she wants to talk about but she tells me to 'go away, not telling you anything' etc etc. She ignores me for several hours a day, completely blanking me. She sleeps a lot after school, feels freezing and hides under a duvet on the sofa.
She hides away on Facebook and her Blackberry - both things that I bitterly regret allowing her to have free reign with. She locks her phone so that I can't see anything; it was taken off her last night (following a warning) due to her aggression towards me, DD2 and DS. She threatened to trash my room, followed me round the house chanting insults at me, plunging me into darkness and then switching the light on and off, lots of 'give me my phone back NOW'. The phone has gone to work with DP (her step dad who has been in her life since she was 4). I don't want to give her it back.
She is also deliberately winding up DS, making him anxious - he has ASD of which she's well aware, but she appears to enjoy being cruel to him and knows which buttons to press. She tries to intimidate DD2, calls her names like 'smelly tramp' over and over again.
I feel sad typing this as it paints such a bad picture of her. She's gone from being a lovely person to be around to someone I'm scared of in many ways. Other times she will be nice, but it doesn't last for long.
Sorry this is long and rambling; there's so much all going on at once it's really hard to put in any sort of order or not miss bits out.
Also to say her eating habits have changed - she eats nothing all day until she gets in from school, then binges. She's lately been engineering arguments so that she storms upstairs at tea time and refuses to eat with us. She's very slim, always has been but it's hard to see if she's lost weight as she's very, very private. She started her periods almost 2 years ago but refused to discuss it in any way, I just discreetly leave sanitary pads in a box for her in the bathroom cupboard.
There's a strong history of MH issues in my side of the family and whilst i don't want to go wading in down that road hastily, I really don't want to miss anything,if that makes sense?
She sounds shockingly similar to my dd2, also 13. I have been assuming it is homones tbh.
Thyroid problems can cause issues with mood, anger and aggression -I would be pushing to be retested again before April
with eating habits like that anyone would be hell to live with. But I agree that this sounds well beyond teenage angst and urge you to get her health rechecked.
it sounds like your daughter's gone/going through a tough time, and you are also bearing the brunt of her emotions now.
I read this really good article from Hand in Hand parenting about helping teenagers. www.handinhandparenting.org/news/18/64/Supporting-our-Adolescent-Children
I love the hand in hand approach as it's all about listening to our children and that when our children, feel connected to us, they can talk about their difficulties, and we can understand more about what they're going through.
I know for me, that I become a bit addicted to social media when I'm feeling a bit low. I think we all have that desperate need to connect with others, and her peers are important.
It might be good to offer her some connection, maybe a special time where you do something that she loves like cinema, or shopping, maybe going for a coffee as well, see if that helps to 'warm up' your relationship, if special time becomes a regular thing, she might start feeling as if she can open up, and tell you some of what she's going through.
Thanks all, waiting for GP to ring me to see if he can recheck thyroid (not sure if he will as DD under hospital care but typically I can't get through to man nor beast at the hospital so far today).
Her eating habits are atrocious; I send her with money for school (who have a fingerprint system for buying lunch) but lately she keeps refusing money for her account saying she doesn't need it. I put some in her bag regardless and she went to the Post Office after school and blew it on Mars Bars, energy drinks and crisps.
Thanks for the link cloudhands, will have a read now. I've tried to offer special one on one times but she throws it back in my face. Latest example was last week when I booked her in for a cut and blow dry after school last Friday (got childcare for DS and DD2 )as she'd been tantrumming about her hair every morning; all I got was "Why have you booked this for after school, I hate having to leave the house after school, you should have known this, you're thoughtless" and so on. She actually was thrilled with her hair after it had been done but refused to come for a meal with me afterwards.
wow. I hope it is a medical problem!
Glad you're chasing the doctors. I went through a very similar thing at the same age - even down to the back pain and feeling cold all the time. Lost tons of weight - went down to 6.5 stone (I was 5'4) and for a few months it was put down to hormones, mood swings, growing up etc. Luckily got diagnosis and treatment in time for a fairly serious health problem.
These things are easily missed in teens, because they are changing anyway.
Good luck xx
Thank you Vicky - she's about 6.5 stone (was weighed in September) at 5'2, I have no idea what she weighs now, will definitely keep pushing the consultant and GP for more help (apart from the potential thyroid issue consultant seems happy that the physical issues are all something DD will grow out of). We saw the GP a couple of months ago as DD had come out in a type of eczema (Lichen Simplex ) that she is hellbent on scratching, making it bleed. Her behaviour at this point wasn't 'bad' enough for me to mention at the time, hopefully I will hear back from him at some point today.
Thank you x
Things have taken a downhill turn this afternoon. DD's form tutor rang today (spoke to her last week when DD was on report) and things have deteriorated further. She's been in trouble more times in the past five weeks than in the whole of year 7 (never been in trouble until now). I'd discussed the eating habits last week with the teacher and she'd looked at DD's canteen records for January; she's barely eating (maybe one or two hot meals a week at a push), sometimes buying a drink but most days nothing.
School welfare teacher is now involved as is the school nurse. Form tutor is hoping DD might open up to the school nurse. I've spoke to the GP who wants to see DD next week. I mentioned the GP appointment to DD and she's kicked off, telling me:
- I've ruined her life
- she will refuse to see the GP, I'm a grass and other peoples parents don't treat their children like this
- It's her body, she'll eat what she wants and do as she pleases at school and doesn't care.
- She's going to run away and kill herself, making sure she does it properly so that I have to go to the police station to identify her body
- I'm a liar when I say I love her
I tried to hug her and she told me to get away from her and then punched me
I am so worried, it's as if she's been taken over by someone else, I can remember my sister's wedding in September, she was a bridesmaid in a beautiful dress, happy and full of laughter, looking after the little ones, blowing bubbles, running around etc and in a matter of months have this angry person that hates me
Please help me decide how to deal with this, I feel so alone with it all x
Oh FlyingFig, I am so sorry. I can hear your distress. It is so upsetting when they dump everything on us, isn't it, and when we know there is something wrong but we can't help them.
I will have a proper think and come back and write more later... But for now I just wanted to say that the hurtful things she is saying are just noise - she doesn't mean them - they are just her mind sort of 'over flowing' with angst. I find it helps to think of it as like a pressure-cooker or pot boiling on a hob: the 'heat' has been turned up (her stress levels) and she is bubbling and steaming and whistling, and starting to 'overflow' emotionally. She can't help it. She doesn't hate you; you are just the person who is there, and she feels safe to dump her angst on you, so she does. She still loves you. It isn't personal, however much it feels like it is.
Hang on in there. And keep coming back here. Lots of people will be able to offer support and reassurance.
She doesn't hate you, she's dumping on you. As she has had her period for two years, this change is not likely to be hormonal. Ask the school to bear with, and contact your doctor about her. Something is wrong.
Thank you both, such a relief to be able to come here and speak to people that understand.
GP and teacher asked about any possible triggers; no doubt outing myself here but hell, that's the least of my worries. My DN (a much loved cousin of the DCs) was diagnosed with leukemia last May. It has been a horrendous time but he's now in a good place, on maintenance treatment and gradually gaining strength. My gran took ill in November - DD only visited the hospital once, refused at all other times and when gran went back to the care home for end of life care, she refused to visit. On the day of the funeral she vomited in her bed and refused to come. I separated from her dad when she was 4; she sees him once a month (he lives 100 miles away).
Not sure if any of the above is the cause or just contributory factors; this sudden change in personality seems so sudden.
Oh op what an awful situation watching a lovely daughter change so drastically sounds heartbreaking. I am so glad that the school and GP are taking this seriously. I doubt you will be able to address the issues until you find the cause I agree that it doesn't sound like hormones if she started her periods that long ago. Could she have an eating disorder? Would a referral to camhs be worthwhile? Good luck op
Another thing, what about her friends? Has her relationship changed with them too or is this anger just aimed at you and dc?
No advice, didn't want to read and run or I hope you get some solutions x
Not sure about an eating disorder; school definitely think it's a possibility and are keen to help her sooner rather than later, if it is. The physio suggested DD have a look in a full-length mirror in her bra and knickers to look at her posture; she kicked off when I asked if she'd managed to do so, saying it was a dreadful thing to expect her to do, no way was she looking at herself in her underwear etc etc.
Friends; well that's another possible issue. She has one close friend (lives next door), the other girls from primary have formed other friendship groups. DD doesn't mention many names of friends, never sees anyone other than her close friend out of school. Has a new boyfriend of 2 weeks and has latched onto him in a big way eg "if it wasn't for him I'd run away and live with my dad"
I don't want to alarm you, but are you sure nothing bad has happened to her? She sounds very angry. Sometimes behaviour as you describe is a way of trying to cope with a horrible experience. There was a dreadfully sad post on her a few weeks ago from a mum whose daughter had gone completely off the rails as a teenager. The mum has just found out, 3 years down the line, that this had been triggered when her daughter was attacked by an older boy.
Thank you NaturalBlonde - been copious of all day but may well reach for a when I know DD is in bed for the night and not likely to start up again.
neolara - you've not alarmed me, I've been plumbing all sorts of depths in my mind trying to work out what the hell is happening She is very, very angry and it's come from nowhere.
I tried to have open a discussion with her about boys the other night - she shot me down, said she wasn't discussing boys with a freak like me, how embarrassing etc etc.
She does sounds miserable. I know it's hard but you have to remember that she's only being like this because she is feeling SO awful. The question is, about what?
Her change of modd does seem to have coincided with your gran's illness and death - I'm very sorry for your loss - does it match up?
Has she had previous "relationships"?
What's the age gap and are both your other children her half-siblings?
How's she getting on with you -v- her stepdad?
She sounds like she's desperate for control. A friend of mine was suspected to have an eating disorder (be a girl and lose weight and everyone automatically thinks you're anorexic) but it turned out to be OCD. She didn't care how she looked, she just wanted to control everything.
I found her behaviour odd when gran was ill, but decided everyone reacts to illness and death differently and didn't push her to visit or go to the funeral. That's when I thought how closed off and guarded she was.
She's had a couple of boyfriends since starting secondary but nothing lasting more than a few weeks nor seeing them out of school - she does obsess about having a boyfriend but nothing I haven't put down to raging hormones at that age (or have I missed something?).
Her sister is 12; half brother is 7. She has 2 half sisters that live with her dad. God writing it down makes us sounds like such a dysfunctional family. But up until now I really haven't had any problems with her. She's a very capable girl, in top sets at school, but recently couldn't care less.
She's always been very close to my DP - but lately she's been trying to play one off against the other. She doesn't shout abuse at him like she does me, she just blanks him completely, which hurts him as I think he'd rather be kicked than ignored, he feels like he's lost his 'pal' as it were.
Totally agree about the control issues - especially when I think about her reaction to me booking a hair appointment after school, the sheer anger that her mobile has been removed.
She's flat out asleep in bed, been there since she punched me.
It does sound awful for all of you. I do think a combination of hormones, crap friends (everyone seems to become an arsehole at 13), bereavement and body image stress sounds like a possible culprit. Was she close to her gran? Also if she had a difficult early life it may be she's reflecting on it now and being upset about that. Was her dad violent or was there a lot of arguing?
Sounds like a very bad case of teenage-itis to me
Nightmare can you get her phone unlocked somehow, or access her Facebook? It sounds like there is something going on.
We were all close to gran - she was 94 and was one of those people who we thought would go on forever, she was as sharp as a tack right up until the end, such a constant in all of our lives. When gran went into residential care DD would cry all the way home after visiting, despite it being gran's choice to be there and her being very happy. DD didn't seem to accept that gran should be anywhere else other than her home?
I've written that DD was 4 when I left her dad but she was actually 3 (I met DP when she was 4, my brain is fried). However she was very aware at the time, was angry with me for leaving, I remember her saying "Daddy loves you and I love daddy, so why won't you live with him any more?" I left him on police advice after he assaulted me one night, prior to this he would punch walls/windows etc. He was also a serial cheat. DD adores him, he's on a pedestal in her eyes (she said earlier she would run away to his). I've never been negative about him to her, or in front of her, smiled and nodded when she's bigging him up. I get on with my ex nowadays; we have a friendly chat when he comes for the DDs and I rang him up last week to tell him that DD was on report and I was worried about her (she was furious about that).
It sounds so hard for you all. You're all hurting. Glad you're following up the medical side of things. Could you speak to her form tutor, see if they can observe relationships at school? Or even speak to your neighbour if her daughter is very close to yours. See what other people have noticed. I agree with the poster who said to try to ignore the 'noise'. But is does sound like there should be a trigger for all this. It could be the bereavement, it could be friendships at school. Could you maybe write to her? Sounds naff, and she may bin it, but maybe a way she can communicate with you or your DP. Sounds like she needs to talk, but doesn't know how. The secretive blackberry/fb issue is worrying - my DD has both and I worry who she is in touch with and what is being said -via the blackberry rather than fb. She could be being bullied? So sorry you are all in this situation.
Thanks CheeryCherry, good advice there. Will try and write a letter, certainly can't do any harm. Might even be a better way of communicating with her, seeing that she seems to have been using social networking as a means of contact with people (the art of conversation does seem to be dying away nowadays!).
She's left her FB open a few times and naturally, I've had a read. I noticed one argument on her wall a while back, nothing much more than silly squabbling over One Direction! Private messages; a few messages about boys, a few disagreements with girls, she always (from what I read) sorted it out though and seemed to resolve whatever it was they were arguing about, so I was happy that she seemed capable of resolving conflict? She could have deleted messages though.
The BBM is another matter all together. Biggest mistake we ever made was allowing her to have a Blackberry as there's no chance of seeing what she's saying, and what others are saying to her on BBM. Or who the hell she's talking to. She would guard her phone at all times, password on it so that in her words I couldn't 'snoop'. She is raging that I've taken it off her (have done in the past but she knows there's slim to no chance of her getting it back.
I've tried to talk to her tonight; she's pinning everything on me. I'm to blame for everything. I asked her to give me one reason why she hates me. I'm horrible, apparently. Asked her to give an example of this, her response is "You've grassed me up to the Dr, making me out to have metal issues when there is NOTHING wrong with ME!"
I haven't said anything to her about mental health by the way, just said I'm worried about her and want to help her.
Flying, I seem to remember that the presence of antithyroid antibody can be associated with personality and mood disorders. It might be worth Googling and/or registering and posting a question on the Thyroid UK discussion board. People there may be able to suggest whether her massive mood/personality change might be associated with her thyroid condition (they were very helpful when I was seeking info about my own possible thyroid issues).
She sounds really anxious and I say this as someone who suffered with terrible anxiety as a teenager. All this aggression is coming from fear which will be linked to control and her feelings that she has none.
When she says hurtful things to you, I would just keep reflecting it back to her by saying things like ' I can hear how angry you are with me right now' or 'you are so angry with me you want to run away' or 'you are feeling so angry you want to punch me' etc etc
Don't get into an argument with her because she is not being reasonable and there is no point.
My heart goes out to you as it sounds awful, do they offer any counselling service at her school?
I would stick with the consequences infact I would say to her she won't get the phone back til you see a radical change in behaviour and attitude as well as get a genuine apology.
My dd is nearly 7yo and threads like this scare me as to what is to come!!
Thanks for that flow4! When I initially researched her possible thyroid issues, I discovered that in the UK the cut-off point for treatment is much different to that of the USA, which made me wonder (as did the paed's 'come back in 6 months and we'll test again' attitude, as 6 months is a bloody long time!). Will definitely look into this. There is such a strong history of MH issues oin the family, in fact I suspect her comment about killing herself was actually an attempt to hurt me, knowing that suicide is something that has affected our family terribly
Thanks to you too, girliefriend - the reflecting idea is a good one. Her teacher said she'd be initiating a meeting with DD and the school nurse to begin with, as well as liaising with the teacher responsible for child welfare, so hopefully some sort of counselling will be offered. She's definitely not getting the phone back, she genuinely doesn't realise that her behaviour leads to consequences, it's always someone else's fault (mine, at the moment)
I don't have any expert advice, I am sure lots of helpful people will be here helping you soon.
The only thing I can add is I was a lot like her when I was that age. You could be describing me then.
I (like your daughter) had a lovely family and a fantastic mum. I don't know how my parents didn't disown me or send me away!
However I changed, I have turned out ok and I am sure your daughter will.
If there is a more serious reason for her behaviour then just carry on doing what you are doing, being there for her.
You might not believe it but she loves you very much. Sometimes we take our anger out on the people we love the most.
First of all, huge virtual hugs, you are where I was 4 months or so ago, so I can totally relate. Lost, confused, wondering where the hell your baby went.
Your DD has an identical boy twin who is upstairs from me right now, the number of points you've made where I nodded and thought "he did that too" is uncanny.
First of all, don't give up on the GP appointment - no matter how angry she is! Something is up and your first point of call will be a referral to TAMHS/CAMHS depending on how your local authority organise the mental health support. If the situation does start to spiral out of control with school, you'll have an easier time keeping them on your side whilst you help her through this if they know she's under CAMHS care. The mental health name tag doesn't help when you are trying to coax your DC to go see them!
Grab a copy of this fab book even if the advice doesn't work, the reassurance that you aren't alone will. Whilst you are with your GP, see if you can arrange some counselling for you and DH, cohesion in your marriage and some agreed points of view on her behaviour and how to handle it will be critical in the months to come as well.
At the moment, her anger towards you is creating a very understandable reaction. As early as you can, work on developing the mantra "detach, detach, detach". Her pressure valve is really faulty, as most teenagers are and the steam is coming out represented as hatred. It isn't really the case but she can't direct her anger, frustration and sadness in life in the way she will learn to as an adult. It's absolutely the hardest thing to do but when she's screaming at you, you must try and stay calm.
Assess your boundaries early and maybe relax some rules. It's not about giving in, it's about creating an environment where you are safe. If you keep to nothing else, violence towards you is entirely unacceptable. She can yell and scream and be as vicious as she likes but punching you can never be ok. We have got to the point where we aren't getting involved in the minutia elements of DS's school life such as missing homework etc. It breaks my heart as I'm so passionate about my DC's having the best education possible. However, he's so angry at the moment, we are concentrating on him not getting permanently excluded. We've had to let go to focus on that goal. So you'll need to decide what you can and can't accept at home whilst you do some repair work on her heart.
Hang on in there and post regularly, the MN'ers are a tower of strength! Also try popping over to the Support for mums of Troubled Teenagers thread started by Maryz. It's judgement free and they are angelic in their level of support.
OP thank goodness she has an intelligent, caring and loving mum to support her and get to the bottom of things. You're doing so well in the face of what must be such a worrying and stressful time.
I'm sure you tell her this plenty but for my two penith I would just keep telling her that it doesn't matter what she does or says you will always love her and that will never change.
She may appear to never listen and just throw it all back in your face, but she will mull over what you say.
I think a counsellor that specialises in teens should be saught. Some one to help her organise her thoughts.
Her behaviour is likely to be the result of a combination of things. Thyroid,hormones, anger at her body letting her down (bones/joint thing), peer pressure, and possible mental health problem.
Some teenagers feel this need self distruct. Sort of a rebelling thing gone wrong. I remember feeling like this as a teen and I remember a couple of friends that took it to extreme. Abusing their bodies with alcohol, drugs, self harm. I don't know where the self hate comes from. Most teens come out the other end before any real harm is done. Lack of confidence? self centerness? Depression brought on by surges in hormones?
Wish you all the best.
You have had some good posts.
Other things I have been wondering about.
You say she is v v angry.
Do you think she is secretly worried that she thinks she "may turn out like her dad". ie hitting things, and hitting you?
That she feels very angry [whether health related or not], and it is freaking her out.
She may also be feeling very frightened about her physical health.
And may be frightened about her possible mental health as well?
So much support and advice here, thank you all so much.
BiteTheTopsOffIceGems thank you for such a thoughtful and kind post. Hopefully my DD will think as highly of me as you do your mum now! x
njaw excellent advice, thank you. Will take a look at the link tonight. It really does help to know other parents have been through this. I've really been working hard at 'detach, detach, detach' and DP has been following this as well. Despite this, DD has said tonight that she would rather live on the streets than live with me. When I ask her to pinpoint what I've done that is so terrible, she can't name a thing, other than I'm 'nasty and taken her phone away' (has threatened to ring the police on me).
shybairns love your name, reminds me of a saying round here "shy bairns get nowt"! Can identify with everything that you've written; thank you x
amillionyears yes, she is very angry. As far as I know, she remembers little about her early years living with her dad. I do suspect she's freaking out about the joint issues (in that DS also has them to a much worse degree, he has been affected at a much younger age and I worry she sees his disabilities as now being a reflection on her own physical difficulties?).
She could very well be worried about her mental health - we've lost 2 family members to depression; she doesn't know too much about it, but knows the basics (my brother is badly brain damaged as a result of a suicide attempt and needs 24/7 care) and we lost granddad to suicide.
I feel so lost with it all.
Cuddle her, if she will let you, but no talking while you do it.
I tried that earlier and she hit me . She is now awake and denying this happened, saying that I am a liar and it never happened. Which makes me realise she is sad that she lashed out, knows she shouldn't have done it.
I will keep on loving her, it's all I can do x
amillion just to say that after your words about hugging her, I went back upstairs and asked her to 'budge over'.
I hugged her (she let me) and I told her that even if she hated me, I would love her forever and would always be there for her.
She didn't tell me to go away; she hugged me back (but reminded me she hated me and would never let me forget it) but I'm going to bed hopeful that she knows I will always love and support her, no matter what.
Thank you x
I would second, really get someone to refer her to CAMHS. My local area send a DVD and leaflet which both emphasis you aren't "mental" because you were referred there. They deal with eating disorders among other issues.
If you can get the GP to do a full set of blood tests it would be good. Full thyroid function plus iron, ferritin, folate, and vitamin B12. My teenager had borderline thyroid probs earlier in the year and many other probs - she was eventually found to be severely vitamin B12 deficient and also extremely low ferritin and vitamin D. She is now on regular B12 injections and supplementing iron and vitamin D and is back to her happy, sociable self. Deficiencies can cause character changes. Stick with her, to change so rapidly must mean there is an underlying problem and she needs your help. Good luck to you all x
She needs IMHO to be on thyroxine now.
I'm lucky, my GP knows I function better taking slightly more than the text books say I need so prescribes more.
She will currently be feeling crap, tired but never able to get enough sleep, which on its own is enough to make anyone grumpy and then if she takes any pain killers they will not work properly because her metabolism is sluggish.
I have no experience of having a teenage child myself but my sister was horrendous from about 13 onwards and a lot of it was down to the loss of our mum when DSis was 4. I'm only projecting my own experience here but at 13 dSis had glandular fever and this seemed to trigger all sorts of horrific behaviour, including flashbacks to losing our mum. She couldn't deal with it at all and it came out as rage. Your story sound just so familiar.
You sound like a brilliant parent: I totally agree about the couples counselling for you and your DH as my dad and stepmum had no consensus on how to deal with DSis and it was terribly destructive for them.
I really feel for you and wish you all the best.
Flying - your dd and my 13 year old dd have so much in common that I read your post and panicked that I must have had a stroke, because I didn't remember writing it!
So many similarities - a brother with ASD who she's horrible to (calls him a 'fucking freak'). Another sibling who she says hideous things to (he's only 9 - she keeps commenting about the size of his willy, telling him he's got a tiny penis). The BB obsession. The blaming everything on me. Everything. Being in top sets but arguing with teacher, doing no work and being on report all the time. Physically intimidating me. Following me around the house shouting at me.
Yesterday I had a looong call from the school nurse saying that dd had told her she's suicidal. Not seen any sign of this at home. When she's at home she tends to be pretty cheerful and high spirited a lot of the time - if she has money and is allowed to do whatever she wants. Her mood plummets as soon as you ask her to do something she doesn't want to do - homework, help around the house. Or stopping her going out with friends etc. I feel bad saying that I think dd saying she feels suicidal is attention seeking, but that's my honest assessment based on what I see of her at home. I don't think she's got a clinical depression. I don't think she's anxious. I do think she's a furious adolescent riding a horrible hormonal tsunami, whose lifestyle and eating habits are damaging her mental health.
Re: eating - dd refuses to eat any meals I've cooked, unless I've got my recipes from a Take Away cookbook - here Otherwise she'll find money from somewhere and go and buy junk food. She won't eat breakfast, drinks energy drinks and coke, eats crisps all day. Her weight has ROCKETED since she started doing this. I think some of her problems and mood swings are down to really poor nutrition and this may be the case with your dd. I've started to buy dd vitamins especially for teenage girls, and she'll take them because they taste like sweets.
Christ, it's hard. Do you know what I'd like to do with my dd? Take her to a remote Scottish island where there's no phone signal, no internet, and where she'd be forced to exercise, eat decent food, be outside most of the day, and be BUSY. I reckon it would solve half of her problems. Time would solve the rest.
Hi, I wonder if she has anxiety about her own health issues and relating illness with her cousin who was really poorly and her gran who died? She could be extremely anxious about her own mortality? Also, her behaviour you described when she intimidated you following you around the house reminded me so much of my ds when he was about 10, and he was having a really bad time at school. He was usually at that time, a very good communicator but with this he just didn't have the emotional maturity or language, so he became very aggressive, extremely rude, disrespectful etc. One time I ended up chasing him around the kitchen table trying to get hold of him and then finally locking him out of the house !!!!! because he was bullying me and his little sister! I was desperate and totally at a loss as to what to do. All he was doing though was transferring what was happening to him at school, onto me.
I really hope you will be able to find someone who she will open up to and talk to. It really sounds as though she needs to be honest with someone about what is at the bottom of this. I think it is more than just hormones - powerful as they can be.
Thanks again for all the advice, very much appreciated. It's a relief to know others have or are going through similar, or lived with a sibling that's been like DD. I've felt alone and scared dealing with this so it's been an invaluable help reading the helpful and supportive responses to my ramblings!
Shagmundfreud I laughed when you said you said you thought you might have had a stroke and written my OP . The bit about the mood plummeting when asked about homework or to help out round the house stuck a chord with me, so, so familiar. I could have written your post as well, wonder of there's any offers on BOGOF deals for the Outer Hebrides?!
Things much calmer this evening - I asked DD if I could give her a hug when she came in from school, she said yes (didn't hug back but that's OK). She told me she'd spoken to the school nurse today and has been referred to CAMHS and is to keep a food diary for a week. I didn't ask any questions but said if she wanted to talk about the meeting, I was there to listen. She was really open with me, said she has an issue eating and drinking in front of people, and that as a result only has a wee once a day (surely this can't be good for her?!).
She was quite pleasant with DD2 and lovely to DS, randomly hugged him and said "I've got Joint Hypermobility Syndrome like you, you know". She'd told the nurse about the JHS today, part of me now wonders if as many of you have suggested, she's anxious about her body but by talking about it with the nurse, it's now 'out there' and real.
Having said all of this, she mentioned the phone again and I could see the anger bubbling, especially when I said she would have to show a marked and consistent improvement in her behaviour if she wanted a mobile phone again. "I'll just be awful until you're forced to give it back", my response being that would be a lose-lose situation and she knows what she has to do, it's not hard to grasp. So after that she's back to being mean to DD2 and then deliberately banging the mud off her trainers all over the hallway rather than going outside to do it.
Still felt like I was walking on eggshells though and although she's admitted the eating/drinking issue, I still feel that there's more to it than that, whether it be school anxieties and/or health problems (DP reminded me today that her calcium level was borderline as well as the thyroid). Hopefully now the school are involved things will come out in the open.
Just got to keep on keeping on with this, I suspect I'm in this for the long haul!
If she is going to CAHMS that is very good news. They have a lot of experience of lots of different issues and will be working with her holistically. They will probably want to meet everyone in your household at some point.
Thanks mummytime. They've already met DS as part of his assessment for ASD and the nurse we saw knew then my brother from a previous job working in adult mental health. Such a small world
I think it is sometimes worth pointing out to our dc that these situations are often new territory for us as mums/parents too and that we just need to take things slowly so that we can understand what is going on - so that everyone stays in control as it were and so that we can properly support them. So, this in reference to you keeping her phone off her for the time being for instance. I think it can be said to our dc without freaking them out and them thinking that we are out of our depth, so wording it the right way is necessary!
I had to take this approach with my ds15.7 recently as he has his first girlfriend and lives a 10 minute train ride away from her. He visited her after school, having agreed a return train time for me to pick him up, then I got the inevitable text asking if he could get the later one. It was a week day and he's doing his GCSE's so I had to say no, and after much objection from him I began to think I was being too strict. I later explained that I needed to get a handle on what I think the boundaries need to be, because it's new territory for me .... and he understood. Very different from your situation I know and not nearly as deeply emotionally loaded or layered, but I hope you see what I am saying.
Glad things have been a bit better and it sounds as though your dd has had some useful support at school.
Very good point gardeningmama - it's definitely new territory and as a parent our first instinct is to protect and nurture, but I think some of it is about stepping back and looking at the bigger picture, when they start pushing the boundaries (like you I often question whether I'm being too strict).
I just want to say that everyone has to some degree a thing about eating and drinking in front of people. I remember reading that years back. As a teen I had a big thing about it. I was so shy and awkward I wouldnt talk to my family but strangers and school nurse was easier. I never uttered a word at school and didnt try to fit in because I got laughed at anyway. Your daughter is doing better than I did. There is hope and I know that from experience things can change for the better.
also the blackberry. Im guessing it is in an adults name? can you get it unlocked somehow to check it or even to put on some sort of program to check whats going on. I dont think invasion of privacy is a good thing but at this point - what exactly is she hiding?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
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