Friend now desperate over her childs behaviour, any suggestions or advice please?(34 Posts)
The child is 7, has the most awful anxiety/panic attacks where she pulls her own hair out, is almost completely unable to sleep probably 5 nights out of 7 and its all over school (and other stuff at times).
She is negative by nature and extremely bright.
They have had child psychologist to see her, who says that parents do not spend enough time with her (they both work but are home every eve and weekend and do lots as a family)Btw, these are lovely lovely peolpe who dote on their 2 kids.
School say she is absolutely fine although is very tired most of the time.
Have you come across this before and what do you think the answer is?
She gets into such a lava, she wil go to sleep after ages and ages of breathing excersizes, worry diary, calming thoughts etc, but wakes through out the night in another stew.
They are exsausted with it.
Sorry, I have no experience myself but I would hope that the Psych's are offering therapy of some sort, possibly CBT. Trying to put myself in the position of the parents, that is what I would be pushing for.
Is her anxiety specifically focused on academic performance at school?
it seems to be around friendships, underachieving, what people think of her
all the negatives of school.
She is a good achiever, has a few freinds but gets very upset if any of them dont include her etc.
She has a very negative opinion of herself and im not sure why. She is encouraged, loved, adored, i have other child so that she and my friend can have whole days together. My friend says that they have a lovely day together.
poor child, poor family - definitely push for a referral to the local child and family psychiatric unit, this goes beyond the normal spectrum of such things IMHO (i am the mother of an anxious and highly-strung 7 y/o but she is nothing like the child you describe) and they all need help!
I would think some family therapy might be suggested via CAHMS ? Would they be up for that ?
yes, they are willing to try anything.
tell me about this "cams" what is it, how do you access it and what is it?
Building up her confidence in out of school activities where she can excel and be with like minded kids? With a bunch of kids with similar interests she will feel more at ease and probably less "judged".
CAMHS is the local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. The GP can refer. Was the child psychologist private or part of an NHS team ?
Probably a silly question but does she drink Cola or any other drinks containing caffeine or other chemicals which might keep her awake and make her anxious? Is she on any medications?
Hi, no she definitely does not have anything like coke, they are quite strict about her diet.
I think that the phsyc was GP refered.
She terminated the appointments after the allocated 3. Said she couldnt help. Freind obviously devastated.
Maybe they need a re-referral to another psychologist ? The girl and her family sound like they would really benefit from some support.
yes, i have suggested this to her. dont know what she has decided.
how can such a young child have such grown up issues?
There are always going to be some children who need more than evenings and weekends. This is not a comment on their choices but just a fact that some children have a harder time than others and require more input.
Family therapy, lots of self-esteem raising activities might be the way to go.
I am by no means an expert in this area so please feel free to ignore what I am going to suggest
Is it possible that she is 'encouraged, loved and adored' in such an overwhelming way at home that she finds it difficult to cope when she is not offered such unconditional support at school?
this only occurs to me as I am the mother of a fairly sensitive, bright child myself and since she has started school I have become aware that her only difficulties are in a sense related to the loss of that unconditional support that I give her at home. I think she will be fine as it happens but I wonder if any of this strikes a chord?
I don't want to talk about 'toughening up' because I think that sounds unsympathetic in your friend's case but I think that is part of what I am hoping school will offer my dd.
btw, have any of the professionals suggested reasons for her tiredness? or is it obviously related to her unsettled nights?
she is tired because of her insomnia.
i just feel bad for my friend who is a lovely mum.
My dd has had some problems related to insomnia and panic attacks. She has found Cognitive Behaviour Therapy helpful; they basically train you to focus away from an overload of negative thoughts. The good thing about CBT was that it didn't focus too much on the bad things that couldn't be changed (in her case, disability) but taught her how to cope with the life she had.
Have also found co-sleeping helpful. Though of course that depends on the co-sleeper staying very calm and non-stressed.
hm easier said than done when you are exhausted.
how did you get the cbt cory?
Perhaps it is the school? How is she during holidays?
My ds1 was suicidal because of having a horrendous time at school (he was 8). We took him out of the school and he never looked back.
I wonder if Harpomarx has hit the nail on the head - all through my school years i had real problems myself, not this bad, but quite exceptional unhappiness and anxiety. Now I am an middle aged old bag i can recognise that the root of it was that I was just so happy at home and with my parents and brother that i was terribly upset at school because it wasn't the same as being at home with them.
Sounds ridiculous but that is what was at the heart of it. I generally didn't like school and I think it all spiralled because the more unhappy and stressed I got the nicer my parents were so the more I thought that i just wanted to be at home and nowhere else. I had a stomach ulcer by the time I was 12 and was on anti-anxiety medication throughout my teens.
I was a real high-flier academically and praise and rewards from my parents just stressed me out. Treats from them made me upset because I was so grateful. I can remember crying on school trips because they too me away from home for longer than a normal school day and it was all such an ordeal.
I am not criticising my parents or your friend, and I have no idea how this vicious circle can be broken but am offering it up as a potential explanation.
that's really interesting Flocci. Very sad for you, too. As I said earlier, I am aware that the minor problems dd has encountered at school are precisely the occasions where she has been treated as just another child, if you like, rather than someone really special to her parents. Obviously, I do want her to always feel she is really special to me but I am trying to help her discover that she is also both 'just another child' and that she can be 'special' in relation to other people.
thanks flocci, that actually makes lots of sense.
My question is what would have made it better for you?
Sounds ridiculous, but for me the issue was that I never had a best friend. I was quite popular and had a few friends and was never really left out, but just didn't have someone special who I could always rely on to look out for me, sit with me on the bus, save me a seat etc etc. So i agree with you that it was about not being special to anyone. It was so disorientating to be one of a big crowd and not feel like someone was looking out for me. Funnily enough I did often get special attention for doing well in classes and exams and had my work read out etc etc but that didn't mean anything to me at all - all I wanted was one special friend to be waiting for me each morning.
As a child I think it is easy to get fixated on a problem like this and then nothing else matters - any other support and nice things etc made me just frustrated and sad because what I really wanted didn't happen IYSWIM
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