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I just had to physically carry my 12 year old daughter to the car to get her to go to school....

(58 Posts)
Largemelons Mon 25-Jan-16 09:42:40

She's suffering from anxiety and is refusing. She's always been anxious and sad but never like she's been the past few weeks.
I'm feeling so much pressure from the school to get her there as her attendance has dropped below 90%.
We are under CAHMS who say she has anxiety but a lot of it is separation anxiety and we need to try and make her go.
She's definitely not being bullied. Every single teacher has said she always seems happy at school and they're really surprised.
She doesn't have loads of friends but the ones she has are lovely.
I'm just broken. She took an overdose last year as she was that desperate not to go to school.
If I send her I'm a shit parent and she hates me.
If I do t send her I'm a shit parent who is mollycoddling her.
DH thinks it's cut and dry. She has to go.
Any experience?
She starts counselling with CAHMS next week.

FairiesAreReal Mon 25-Jan-16 09:45:24

Oh my! Sounds like you're having a rough time of it sad
But if my child took an overdose because they didn't want to go to school - I would not be sending her to school. Is home schooling an option??

gBean Mon 25-Jan-16 09:47:15

What are school doing to support your Dd? It concerns me that school are putting pressure on you - they need to HELP you and your Dd.

Branleuse Mon 25-Jan-16 09:47:39

your childs mental health is more important than their schooling x

Quodlibet Mon 25-Jan-16 09:52:06

Sorry you are going through this OP.

Unlike previous posters I think you are doing the right thing. Allowing her to give in to her anxiety and not go to school isn't helping her any more than serving an anorexic low cal foods would be.

I've suffered from anxiety and some times you just have to force yourself through it.
I found 'The Worry Cure' by Robert Leahy helpful - might be worth a read?

I hope CAMHS are helpful.

Largemelons Mon 25-Jan-16 09:53:02

The school are supporting her, offering her the option of sitting in the house block to work, go to a special friendship group at lunchtime. I took her in today and went in with her. The lady we've been dealing with is quite keen on tough love.
I feel like a failure as a parent when she doesn't go.
When she does go she comes home quite happy which is why j feel she needs to push herself a bit.
I could never home school her. I work and struggle to get her to do homework never mind teach her myself full time.
I love her so much but I'm struggling to know what to do for the best.

Largemelons Mon 25-Jan-16 09:55:00

That's exactly it quod.
I feel in the long run its doing her no favours lying in bed wallowing in her own sadness.
I've said I'll do everything I can to help her but she needs to help herself too.
I'm on medication for anxiety so it clearly runs in the family.

gBean Mon 25-Jan-16 09:55:13

It really does sound like you're doing all the right things. I agree that letting her stay off school wouldn't be beneficial. You poor things.

Borninthe60s Mon 25-Jan-16 09:55:35

Can you home school?

FairiesAreReal Mon 25-Jan-16 09:56:22

your childs mental health is more important than their schooling x

Totally agree.

PeaceOfWildThings Mon 25-Jan-16 09:56:50

I've a little experience with this with older teens. I'd argue that she is the one who has to make herself go, to get over her anxiety, and that forcing her and resorting to carrying her or physically fighting means she's not well enough, but with the proviso that she needs to make some effort to plan for the future.

Can you homeschool? Some people I know have done that, or the school has adopted Goole Classrooms for older teens to use at home, part time, and only go into school certain days, or half days, a week.

Is there an alternative form of transport she'd prefer, and are there any school friends she could go to school with? Sometimes the anxiety is abour the journey itself.

It sounds as if one possibility mught be to do with your relationship with her, and how she interprets your actions (perhaps as controlling) which a lot of teens fight hard against. If this is the case, try to get her talking about her feelings and see if there is a compromise which helps her feel more trusted and in control of her life, conditional upon her meeting expectations of getting ready and to school on time herself. Easier said than done, and can take a long time for some teenagers (and parents) to find the words to use in these circumstances.

FairiesAreReal Mon 25-Jan-16 10:00:09

If home schooling is out of the question, what about changing schools? Fresh start and all that. Does she go to a large school? Maybe it is too overwhelming for her. If so, is there a smaller school she could change to?

insan1tyscartching Mon 25-Jan-16 10:00:13

Dd isn't in school this morning because of anxiety, There isn't a cat in hell's chance that I would carry her to the car and force her to go. She needs to agree to go under her own steam because anything other than that would be very damaging to her mental health.I would be seriously questioning the credentials of anyone who has advised you to do this although sadly not surprised by anything from CAMHs.
Dd's anxiety today is directly down to school screwing up yet again so I'm awaiting a call again to demand an explanation as to why. Dd has agreed to try at break time so we'll see how it goes.

Largemelons Mon 25-Jan-16 10:01:13

I absolutely agree that her mental health comes first.
My main concern is that by letting her stay off school I'm just letting her hide from the problem rather than confront it.
She can't exactly hide in the house forever?

I work part time and need to work so I'd struggle with home schooling.
Again, I don't feel this is the answer as it would isolate her even more.

SleepyForest Mon 25-Jan-16 10:02:34

I think you are doing the right thing, hard though it sounds.

I hope she gets the treatment she needs. The school refusers in my family who ended up home schooled still have massive anxiety problems. Being left alone in their own heads has not helped them. Obviously it would be different if she were being bullied.

PeaceOfWildThings Mon 25-Jan-16 10:04:40

Aha, one thing you can work on right away is to stop blaming yourself! Stop telling yourself you are a failed parent if she doesn't go in. It is a lie. Catch yourself saying it and cut it out, replace it with a more realistic and helpful thought (such as, I am doing the best I can to overcome my anxiety, and not blaming myself is a big part of that. This will help my DD deal with her own anxiety, which is separate to mine.) Just doing that can make a huge difference.

Largemelons Mon 25-Jan-16 10:07:25

^^ exactly that sleepy.
Leaving her alone with her thoughts will NOT be a good idea.
Maybe I am doing the wrong thing by physically dressing her it otherwise she wouldn't even get out of bed.
I feel so helpless and alone. I have other children too who have to witness this which is not pleasant.

Jw35 Mon 25-Jan-16 10:08:27

Tbh she isn't going to learn anything with all that fear and anxiety eating her so in reality she's only going because she 'should'. I'd home school or find something more suitable for her. I don't see what forcing her is going to do to benefit her in any way particularly after an overdose. Poor kid. Hope you have lots of support?

Largemelons Mon 25-Jan-16 10:09:19

Thanks peace
You're right.
Blaming myself is easier than blaming her.

Jw35 Mon 25-Jan-16 10:10:32

By the way what's causing this? Have you ruled out bullying? Why is she so depressed at 12? Not meaning to sound rude I'm curious? I have a 12 year old dd too x

Largemelons Mon 25-Jan-16 10:10:53

Support wise everyone seems to think I'm being weak if I let her stay off.
I'm under a lot of pressure to send her in and really it's against all my instincts as a parent.

misscph1973 Mon 25-Jan-16 10:11:23

I feel so sorry for you and your DD, it must be so hard. You did the right thing today!

Do you know why she has been more anxious in the last few weeks?

What does CAHMS do, is she talking to someone? Has she ever taken medication for her anxiety?

BeStrongAndCourageous Mon 25-Jan-16 10:11:43

As someone who has been in your daughter's position, you are doing absolutely the right thing by forcing her to go to school.

Depression and anxiety are seductive, it is very easy to allow them to overwhelm you; to sink further and further into them, like quicksand. What is needed is someone to help pull you out, even when - especially when - you have run out of energy to struggle out by yourself.

My mum did that for me - forced me up and out of the house every day, even when I was crying and screaming and begging her not to. I hated her for it at the time. I'm so unbelievably grateful to her for it now. It would have overwhelmed me completely otherwise.

Largemelons Mon 25-Jan-16 10:13:55

No idea jw! She's always been a bit like this. My other children are happy and we are just a 'normal' family!
Don't want to drip feed but she has had absence epilepsy since the age of 5 which affects her moods a lot.
Didn't really want to mention that as it's quite identifying but I guess it's important.

Largemelons Mon 25-Jan-16 10:14:50

Thanks for ally our support it means such a lot believe me.

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