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(7 Posts)
PorridgePot Fri 09-Dec-16 11:29:01

dd is nearly 15.
she suffers with anxiety, low self esteem and has been self harming. she has had counselling for almost a year. i have been desperately worried about her and support her in every way that i can think of.

however, her roller coaster of emotions is impacting massively on the whole family and i feel totally burnt out with dealing with the situation. i have been repeatedly ill over the last 7 weeks, to the point that if i catch one more thing i will be seeing the GP to ask for a blood test. i feel that the impact of managing dd is a key factor in me being so run down.

dd has sooo much going for her in terms of her talents and attributes, but her self esteem is just through the floor. she has such a fixed, negative view of herself in all areas from academics, to body image. you name it. She won't pursue any of her interests e.g. acting and dance due to low confidence and fear of being judged.

she has been referred to a arts based support group for teens that is nurturing in just the way that i think she needs, but she doesn't want to go, of course.

obviously the rational side of me knows that bribery and coercion is wrong, but another side of me wants to scream at her 'how about you try to do something to help yourself and actually make some changes?!' (rather than just expecting the rest of the family to live with the fall out of your emotional roller coaster).

any advice, pleased?

PorridgePot Fri 09-Dec-16 11:42:12


Shineyshoes10 Fri 09-Dec-16 12:59:03

What is she like 1:1? I'm thinking something like 1:1 music, art or drama therapy may be your way in. It could be at home, a more comfortable, familiar environment for her. You could look at therapeutic story writing as well if something like that might catch her interest.

Outside of 'therapy' would she have a 1:1 dance session rather than attending a group? Or would she go with you to see a show?

As part of the counselling has she had CBT?

My DS is younger but I'm with you on the impact on the whole family. I have to say I'm not adverse to bribery for health related things be that letting the doctor take blood or saying hello to the psychiatrist which took 4 very long months. Whether that's right or wrong I don't know but for us it works.

PorridgePot Fri 09-Dec-16 13:13:51

Hi shiny, thanks so much for your reply. she has said no to every suggestion. and 1:1 would be more excruciating for her, i think.

this is a music group. it'd be perfect, imo, so maybe i just need to bribe her to attend the fist 2 sessions, then accept if she wants to stop.

supposedly a CBT approach is being used in her counselling, but i can't see that its have an impact of her self esteem, but its useful to have safe place to talk.

i do try to be really up front and a bit jokey with any bribes e.g. saying 'i know bribery is technically wrong, but how about i pay you to do it?' . i figure that this upfront approach might lessen any feeling of manipulation! i did recently bribe her to take part in a school event that she was reneging on due to self esteem issues, and this approach worked.

Shineyshoes10 Fri 09-Dec-16 14:23:21

Would she find online therapy any easier, or is it the thought of talking to anyone, regardless of whether they are face to face?

Does she play an instrument, paint or dance at home just for 'fun'?

Is she managing to attend school regularly?

At least for my DS the thought of something is actually worse than the reality, so bribery for the first 2 sessions might work. You could even go a step further and tell her she only has to stay 10 mins for the first session. However having thought more about bribery in older children, if the event would cause an increase in self harming I might be more wary than I would with my younger DS because it would be harder to keep a teen safe than it would a 7 year old. But that's not to say I wouldn't for the long term benefit if I thought the risk was manageable.

Are you having any counselling?

Have CAMHS mentioned medication? It could be that medication for a short while would help her engage with therapy.

Sorry I'm not being helpful just musing things over.

crackalacking Mon 19-Dec-16 13:54:02

Your post is so similar to mine OP
did you manage to get your DD to try CBT ?

TheHoldings Mon 02-Jan-17 09:53:56

Is there any aspect of her life that she feels good about? Or does she feel she feel low about everything?
It's so hard on these kids - school is very target driven, it's never good enough the next target is always around the corner - I have my suspicions that this can be a bit soul destroying. That coupled with activities outside of school frequently having grades, levels assessments too, the selfie culture/social media encouraging physical perfection - there is no escape from judgement.
I would try and get her doing some exercise, walking, running, the gym, badmington - go with her. Choose activities where no one is assessing and judging her progress. My reluctant teen agreed to playing badmington with me - I'm pretty crap at it so they managed to beat me hand down....but they felt good and had a bit of fun - it's a start.....

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