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Anxiety in 11year old DD - should I get her to see a counsellor?(9 Posts)
Dd (11) has been feeling anxious for a few months. She often has trouble sleeping at night, and complains of stomach aches. When I ask her if she knows why she feels anxious she either says that she doesn't know, or that she is worried that her friends may think she has not been nice to them (without having any clear reason for thinking this). She says she doesn't like it when she is with her friends and they talk about other people behind their backs, and she doesn't want to join in but feels that she will be cast out if she doesnt. Her friends are normal girls, no more spiteful than any their age, and they are all close. She is though looking forwards to starting high school, where she will be amongst complete strangers and can make new friends. She thinks she has 'Generalised Anxiety Disorder' as she has been looking things up on Google.
She does talk to me and tell me how she is feeling, and I am just trying to reinforce positive thoughts. Do you think she would benefit from talking to a counsellor? Any suggestions welcome.
As a Teacher, parent & Yoga Teacher I hope to reassure you that feelings of anxiety especially around this age at not at all uncommon. Not only is she preparing for big school but her hormones will be surging. It's wonderful that she can talk to you.... keep the lines of communication open an the positive thinking. lots of reassurance will support her through this huge time of change.
I would recommend talking to her school and G.P to ensure you feel supported. Schools are becoming aware of the need to support young people through Mindfulness, Meditation & Yoga.... this approach can help them to deal with their emotions now and in the future. She's lucky to have such a sensitive Mum! Good Luck x
P.S Anxiety is an emotion that, like any other, will pass. Sometimes we feel an emotion for no specific reason x
And sometimes we suffer anxiety because we have an emotional or mental health disorder
My dd suffers from crippling anxiety, started in yr6 and lots of people told me its her age/hormones/sats/moving up to high school etc etc -it's normal, so I did nothing other than try and reassure and encourage more positive friendships
for some children it maybe normal, and I don't want to frighten you but, for some children it's a sign of a much bigger problem
My advice would be talk to her school -they will have a learning mentor who can help and support her
Keep talking to her yourself and try not to minimise her feelings -i'm sure you don't anyway but sometimes it's easy to say 'it will be fine, it will all work out'
I wish I had addressed it earlier with my dd
Thanks Emochild, that's the hard thing as we just don't know whether it is something that is a bigger problem. Will keep listening to her and will talk to the school. Not sure if they have a learning mentor, but guess they must have someone who leads on pastoral issues. She is convinced that nobody feels like she does, do having supportive adults to give reassurance will help her.
Hi Merlotttime, there are a couple of resources here:
This book for kids I see discussed and recommended. They have it online but a good bookshop might have it too:
There is also a very good CBT workbook for kids by Paul Stallard. It's called 'Think Good, Feel Good' handbook for kids and parents. It is straightforward so a parent could work through it. There are worksheets here from it to get a feel of it (he could have written a new version called 'anxiety' not sure but the worksheets look the same to me as the Think Good Feel Good)
If you wanted to do that, better to get the handbook and go through it yourself and then work through it with your daughter.
Your daughter sounds fairly resourceful if she is looking up her own solutions so she could probably embrace these worksheets..unlike some kids who would take a bit of coaching to engage with some silly worksheets.
The main point about CBT is to start noticing that thoughts are just that. the more we become aware of thoughts, feelings and sensations the more we can do with them when they happen. And that although we can have anxious thoughts, they don't necessarily harm us they can just be inconvenient. I guess she is kind of feeling bullied in school by feeling forced to go along with the others bad treatment of others? Its not a nice feeling having to behave in a way that is not like the sort of person you want to be. Even that last sentence might be reassuring to her. As it points out that she is one sort of person, but sometimes her gang of friends act a different way. So she notices she is separate from that. Anyway she's off to a new school soon so hopefully a better mix of kids and more options.
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