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Is this a real psychological issue?

(10 Posts)
whatdoesittake48 Mon 04-Nov-13 11:26:23

Ever since she was a small child our daughter (nearly 12) has been very anxious about small things. She cannot bear to be around people when they eat - the sound really bothers her. She cannot sleep in the same room as others, she only wears certain clothes (she complains of skin sensitivity, being uncomfortable) she can't bear people tapping their foot, swinging their legs.

We try not to pander to this - but the thought she will have to share a room can make her collapse in tears. She has to eat at the table with all of us and is fine as long as the conversation flows and she can ignore the sounds.She sleeps with an eyemask and sometimes earplugs.

I have heard this is a real condition and only gets worse without treatment. it is related to sound sensitivity.

We are walking on eggshells because of her outbursts surrounding these issues. I do quite a lot to avoid her having to deal with it - and for a quiet harmonious home.

She is now becoming quite combative with all of us. She is very negative about most things and will be extremely critical, particularly to me.

She is a bright girl, used to being top of the class and has just started secondary school.She also has plenty of friends, plays an instrument and is involved in school life. She can also be very loving and sweet - but those times are being overshadowed by her critical outbursts.

I think she needs to be in control because of these anxieties. her anger at us is in some way related to her need to control her surroundings. She constantly asks questions about what we are doing and why, she hates to be unprepared for something. The day has to be planned out.

I really feel that if the anxieties were cured or dealt with better, it would improve her general negative outlook.

I actually feel terribly sad for her because I think she is struggling to look normal often , when she is actually seething and feeling very out of control underneath and she doesn't understand why. especially because she is often told her worries are nothing to be concerned about.

I have never looked in to this before - hoping she would grow out of it. But i wonder if the GP will be able to refer her for CBT which is apparently very useful. or is there a good book we can be referred to. Most of the books I have found relate to general anxiety - but she isn't worried about the world, illness or divorce. She is worried about foot tapping and chewing noises. it seems much different.

Andro Mon 04-Nov-13 22:36:56

It could be psychological, but it also sounds like it could be sensory. I'd get her to the GP, anxiety is anxiety whatever the cause and it can be debilitating.

This could be symptoms of dyspraxia or minor autism, or something along the same paths. I was just like her when I was that age and I have dyspraxia.

Vatta Mon 04-Nov-13 22:45:47

It sounds very familiar to me - I have dyspraxia and a brother with aspergers, and we have a lot of those issues (mealtimes growing up were very difficult).

I really think you should check whether there's any issue along those lines before looking at cbt or treating it like a mental health problem.

Your gp can refer her for assessment - before you go in though, worth reading up a bit on dyspraxia and aspergers to see if there's anything else you think fits.

whatdoesittake48 Tue 05-Nov-13 06:56:27

Thank you for your responses. I had a little read on dyspraxia and I really don't think it is her issue. She is very organised and has good motor skills. She plays the cello beautifully and is one of the most organised children I know. She organises all of us and rarely, if ever, forgets anything. She also shows no signs of clumsiness.I hope I haven't over-simplified the symptoms - if you know of other symptoms, please tell me.

I have been reading up on misophonia - which is an over-reaction to normal sounds. She is currently low on the scale for that - but in some cases people can have very extreme reactions. She seems to be coping with the sounds in an OK way - but it sometimes bubbles over.

Strangely this is also thought to be hereditary and I have to admit I struggle with some noises. I have to ask the kids to leave the room if they have hiccups and I hate the sound of drinking and nail flicking. But I just put up with it because I use my rational brain to talk myself out of reacting. Children can't do that so easily.

ladyrainy Tue 05-Nov-13 07:05:12


Bonsoir Tue 05-Nov-13 07:09:12

It does sound as if your DD has very real sensory issues. See your GP for a chat but you may need to go beyond the NHS to find help.

nimum Fri 15-Nov-13 22:51:32

Hi my dd nearly 10 has verbal dyspraxia although thankfully growing out of it, had some sensory issues when she was younger e.g. only wearing sleeveless clothes even if it was cold and recently has developed what I suspect to be this misaphonia that we are all talking about here.

She cannot tolerate the sound of us eating or any mouth noises and we have resorted to her sitting with music on when we eat as it is the only way we can have a family meal together. It was initially just me and her brother but has now developed with Dad.

She has been attending counselling through Lifeline which came about through referral from GP but this was initially to do with anger and low self-esteem as the sound intolerance was only just beginning at this stage. Through role play etc, the counsellor picked up on the family dynamics and thought that the eating thing was related to that.

Any behavioural issues have largely been ironed out just through our own behaviour but the misaphonia has become a major worry now and reading up on it doesn't inspire me at all. The counsellor has suggested we go back to the GP to see what other options are available on the NHS (the mental health team have already seen her and didn't think there was anything wrong). I don't think she is mentally ill but am worried sick that if this isn't addressed now, she will go down that path.

As another user said, adults have rational brains to try and control their intolerances but dd is too young to get it under control and we are at a loss.

Interestingly, I was role playing with her the other night as recommended and this issue came up and she was able to describe how it felt to her - a scratching feeling in her head like it is being attacked. We have been encouraged to get her to talk about feelings alot.

So off to speak to GP next week but desperately need to hear some positives about this condition and I suppose I better come prepared with some information for him on this. The CBD sounds a good option, is that through a child psychologist?

Ineedmorepatience Sat 16-Nov-13 20:51:51

She sounds similar to my Dd3, she has a diagnosis of Asd but she fits the profile for Aspergers.

Control is an important part of my Dd's life and we allow her to have a certain amount. We try to control what she has control over though otherwise she would take over.

Mostly our system works but during times of stress her anxiety levels can become diffiuclt to manage and she fights to gain more and more control. Transitions are very tricky for Dd3 and we are already preparing for her transition into secondary school in september 2014.

If you are worried you could speak to your GP or pop over to the special needs children board on this forum, it is a really friendly place with loads of experienced people around.

Good luck smile

Retroformica Sun 17-Nov-13 01:26:25

Mild ASD aspergers. For me the food/clothes/noise sensitivity and need for control/routine point to this.

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