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Could this be stress related?

(8 Posts)
Skillbo Tue 23-Apr-13 23:00:04

I split from my husband at the start of the year, quite unexpectedly. We have 2 DC, a 1yo DS and our DD who is almost 4.

H has moved back in with MIL and whilst it's been horrible for me, I am trying my hardest to keep upbeat for the children. Top of my list is making sure they both know that me and H still love them lots, it's nothing to do with them why we're now living apart.

H was the SAHP which he can obviously no longer do to the same degree but this has probably effected DS more as DD was already in pre-school 3 & a half days a week.

Anyway, I take both DC to MIL's on a Tuesday as this is the one day DD isn't at school, which is close to my house so if there's a school run, i do it or H comes here.

The last two Tuesdays when i have gone to get the DC, DD has been in bed sparko after throwing up that afternoon.She doesn't want to wake up - in a really deep sleep. The 1st time, i got her home & she went straight to bed until about 10pm when she reappeared and was completely herself. Today, she was herself by the time we'd got home although was a bit unsettled. She is fine the rest of the time, including when she's with her dad over the weekends. It's just this one day during the week.

I know it's only happened twice but I'm wondering if this is stress related. She is definitely showing other little signs (clingy, disturbed sleep, scared of things she wasn't before sad ) as i think she is struggling with the split but is too young to really tell me. She says she's sad but doesn't know why!

Has anyone else come across actual physical sickness as a result of something like this? I know she has said a couple of things to H which make me realise she is hurting a lot and my heart breaks to think she is making herself ill over this.

It might be a bug but would welcome any thoughts!

amazingmumof6 Wed 24-Apr-13 00:36:18

first of all I'm sorry to hear that you are having a difficult time.

I'm no expert, but yes I think it could be stress related - as adults we even say "I feel sick and tired..." or "I feel sick to my stomach" when frustrated and stressed, so it could be a psychosomatic symptom, if she's not ill otherwise.
I doubt that being sick is a conscious reaction or choice from her part (just coz you said 'making herself ill')

not quite the same but when my eldest was 8 months old he did cry until till he vomited when left alone to fall asleep. he was hysterical.. 2nd night he did it again and it was the last time of "leaving them to cry it out"!

the gut is very much connected to emotions and feelings (again "gut feeling" "butterflies") so I can see that there might be a connection.

If being sick like that repeats again I'd seek professional advice - I don't know if it is to do with her not feeling safe anymore at MIL's house or all the upsetting changes in general or some other specific aspect.

I'm sure others will give you better advice, but I think I'd talk to the gp about this.

hugs to you all

Skillbo Wed 24-Apr-13 12:41:01

I don't think she is consciously doing this - I just meant that she is so sad that it is making her ill!

I think you're right - i will see how it goes but if she's the same next week, i might have a word with the GP.

As awful as this is for me, i hate the fact my little girl is clearly struggling! sad

Both her and my DS deserve better than this - if it was just me, I'd be hurt our marriage had ended but would just cut contact and move on (he found someone new)... with DC, there is always going to be a link which is so hard. I just need to try & make home as secure as possible I guess!

Goldmandra Wed 24-Apr-13 13:27:57

Lots of children vomit when they are really stressed. Some children do sleep in self defence when being awake is facing something they can't cope with.

You're working together to help her adjust to the new life she has and, with sympathetic support, she will come to cope and see it as normal.

Being with Daddy but not at home is probably just too much for her to deal with right now. It's good that she has the familiar routine of pre-school on the other days so she will have the chance to adjust gradually.

It must be very hard for you to see this but things should settle soon. If it continues for more than a couple of weeks you might want to take her to the GP to be checked over and for consideration of a referral for support from CAMHS in case this becomes a long term problem for her.

Skillbo Wed 24-Apr-13 19:48:28

Thanks Goldmandra - definite food for thought, will just keep an eye on it!

gourd Thu 25-Apr-13 12:26:15

Stress makes adults feel exhausted (and supresses the immune system) so I cant see why it would not affect kids in the same way. You mention disturbed sleep - if she is waking in the night this means she is not gettiing as much deep sleep as usual. She must be waking up after each bout of REM so of course she will be shattered - it's also cumulative so a couple of nights of troubled sleep in the week can mean a weekend spent napping trying to "catch up".

gourd Thu 25-Apr-13 12:28:23

Stress does affect your digestive system but not necessarily immediately - I think the cumulative effect of stress is more likely to give you sickness/diarrhea.

Skillbo Thu 25-Apr-13 19:13:45

Thanks Gourd... interesting what you said about cumulative as me & H have been separated for a few months now but things are still a bit strained... getting better but not great! I guess DD might be reacting to several weeks of this although why it comes on just one day week?

Her sleep has always been good so now that she's not going to sleep as quickly, up most nights & coming in with me as well as a lot more early starts (i still work full time so some mornings they are up really early so i can get to the office by 8). She is totally pooped i would say!

My parents are still together & most people i know who have got divorced parents were much older... except H, ironically enough - he was the same age as DD when his dad left! Anyway, my point was I just don't know what she's feeling or whether i am over analysing stuff & attributing it to the split when it's just normal stuff!

Thank you ladies - you've been a big help!

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