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Does DD need a referral to CAHMS?

(16 Posts)
chickensaresafehere Mon 23-Sep-13 09:16:17

A bit of background -
I split up from dd's father when she was 3,due to DA,met my dh a year later,he has always been a loving&supportive father&treated her like his own.She loves him very much.Contact with her father has always been off&on,but he maintains some sort of relationship with her&she enjoys going to see him.
Since reaching puberty a couple of years ago,she is now 13 btw,she has had anger issues which have got progressively worse.I took her to the GP in the summer hols& she prescribed the pill to help with her moods.But the anger is really worrying,she does not get violent towards us but screams like a banshee,hits walls,hits herself,pulls her hair&bites herself.I try to talk her down but when the 'red mist' descends we usually have to let it run its course.When it is over she is upset&just says she cannot control what she is feeling at the timehmm
We have spoken to school about this(she has NO anger issues at school&they have no behavioural problems with her whatsoever)&she has attended their anger management group,but they said she did not need to attend any more as she had no problems?!?
This anger only seems to manifest at home,partly we think because it is where she feels safe?
But as it is becoming worse I was thinking of asking for a referral to CAMHS,as I am at a loss as to how to help her now&this is upsetting us all(especially her sister who has SN)
Who can we turn to before it gets worse????

chickensaresafehere Mon 23-Sep-13 19:54:39


louby44 Mon 23-Sep-13 20:04:36

I hope you get an answer as I was going to post a similar question. I have DSD who is gradually getting more and more out of control.

chickensaresafehere Mon 23-Sep-13 20:13:13

Me too Louby,things are quiet at the moment but it won't last long hmm

peachactiviaminge Mon 23-Sep-13 20:19:02

You could be describing my ten year old. We had all this today over a damn cookie.

chickensaresafehere Mon 23-Sep-13 21:12:23

It's comforting to know I'm not alone smile

Fressia Mon 23-Sep-13 21:50:23

Def not alone , I had app with cahms today very good but if my daughter doesnt consent there's nothing they can do , she is stuburn xx

Landofmyfathers Mon 23-Sep-13 23:03:28

It sounds as though your dd sometimes gets overwhelmed by her emotions and hasn't yet learnt strategies to calm herself down. I'm not sure that she needs a CAMHS referral for that. Have you tried talking to her about different strategies she could try when she feels out of control?
Does your dd think there is a problem?
Is this part of normal teenage emotions or is this something more? Only you and she can decide that. Teenagers can have tantrums as well as toddlers!
Have you discussed the possibility of getting help with her and what does she think about that? Has your GP been helpful and would it be enough just to talk to GP?
Good luck!

MiniMonty Tue 24-Sep-13 02:34:43

She's 13 and freaking out.
And what - you didn't expect this?

Be cool - it goes away.
The good news is it sounds like it's only at home (i.e. she feels she can let loose in an environment where she knows she is loved, cared for and protected) so there are no real issues - if it went on outside the home it might be a sign of something underlying and properly serious. But just freaking out a bit, screaming around, breaking the odd thing I expect and showing signs of immense frustration - trust me, it's all normal, all so predictable and it's all good. Not much fun for you - but it's all good.

My advice (having gone through this) would be don't try to medicalise it with pills or potions, don't try to control it with punishment or screaming matches - instead, develop a routine of "us time" with each of her parents during which you leave the house and go to the local cafe, park, (wherever works for you) and just talk about her stuff, her life and her things. At her age certain things we see as trivial are desperately important (you remember this... right)?
She needs to know that you are on her side, that you understand her concerns (however ridiculous they might seem to you on the day) and that you are her ultimate safe place. She needs to feel that the stuff that is important to her is also important to you - as important as the gas bill, the cost of living, the war in Syria.

A 13 year old girl is at many crossroads all at once and she needs your care and attention - big time. She probably doesn't need the pill (or any other medication) but she might need a bit more one-to-one time (like a couple of hours) with each of her parents a couple of times a week to let her know that although the world is becoming hard, harsh and scary, she is part of a tip-top family gang who respect and value her.

Landofmyfathers Tue 24-Sep-13 06:54:36

Absolutely agree with mini month who has put it much better than i did!

chickensaresafehere Tue 24-Sep-13 07:25:29

I did expect it Mini,but not as extreme as it is & we worry if she doesn't learn to control it now,it will start to cause her major issues.But all good advice smile She definitely needs some one to one time which is usually in short supply because of dd2.
When she went to anger management at school they gave her coping strategies but she says they are stupid & don't work.
Asked my dm for advice & she was at a loss,as she said I was never like that at her age!!!

flow4 Tue 24-Sep-13 09:18:21

Fwiw chickens, my DS was like this at 12-13. I also tried to get help, including a CAMHS referral and counselling through a children's charity. He attended both and we were told he 'didn't need counselling' and didn't 'meet thresholds for support'. I felt very let down.

My DS did go on to have bigger problems, as you fear. I think my instincts were right that his anger was 'not normal', and yours probably are too. But if I had my time again, I would 'play down' my reactions, and here's why...

My DS was frightened by the violence of his emotions and his lack of control. I was too. If I'd been able to fake more calm, or help him believe this was a normal stage and that he could learn to control his behaviour, then I reckon that would have helped him enormously. Instead, because we were both freaked out by his anger, I helped reinforce his own suspicion that his feelings were dangerous and terrifying. He started using cannabis, and I am absolutely certain that this was at least partly because it 'damped down' his emotions, distanced him from them, and made them feel less frightening.

Unfortunately, cannabis use brought its own problems. And he had an emotional reliance on it that definitely isn't healthy for a teenager (and that purely social users don't have IMO). I wish he hadn't discovered it at 13, but it gave him something he felt he needed.

If that makes sense to you, then my advice would be to try to help your DD find that reassurance and support with managing her emotions some positive way, or she'll look for it everywhere she can...

cory Wed 25-Sep-13 10:11:41

Can I just say that I think it highly unlikely that CAHMS would try to "medicalise it with pills and potions".

Ime you have to be very far gone for them to go down that route with a young teen, and then only when they have literally explored all other avenues.

What they would almost certainly try would be the CBT approach- and it may be that you could try this at home without having to wait for a referral. The usual approach would be to:

reassure your dd that she can learn to take control over her emotions and that there are special techniques to let her do so

help her to identify triggers, by keeping a mood chart over a week or so

teach her relaxation techniques to use when she feels a trigger coming up

teach her general relaxation techniques to use e.g. at bedtime every day to help her to be generally more relaxed

keep reassuring her that she can take control over her own emotions

tinytalker Wed 25-Sep-13 15:01:30

When my dd was under CAMHS we were told they didn't offer anger management courses. Maybe this was just in our area. How about looking into a meditation/mindfulness course. I have found meditation very useful when stressed.

Guiltypleasures001 Sun 29-Sep-13 20:12:41

Can I suggest that you contact your local YMCA in your area and ask them about their free adolescent counselling service. I volunteer as a counsellor for the local Cambs branch, and get referrals from CAMHS all the time.

Its free and confidential, anger management is different from counselling but can have positive outcomes, because the of the confidential nature of the sessions and talking to a supportive adult in a none judgemental setting, who isnt known to them or their family.

If you Google YMCA and your area they should come up with the local number.

With this level of self harm and anger it suggests a level of abuse of some kind at some point in her life. it could be a delayed reaction to her dad, but there is a trigger there somewhere for her.

I am afraid at the moment some CAMHS services are not taking on the clients that should be seen by them, this a funding issue and not the child neccesarily not meeting the criteria. This is why the YMCA are getting so many of the clients they should be dealing with.

best of luck in sorting something for your Daughter,

cory Tue 01-Oct-13 08:20:53

"With this level of self harm and anger it suggests a level of abuse of some kind at some point in her life. it could be a delayed reaction to her dad, but there is a trigger there somewhere for her."

I would be very wary of jumping to the conclusion that any trauma in a child's life has got to be caused by abuse.

This was the assumption made by the consultant who first saw dd. He totally failed to diagnose the chronic health issue that was causing her anxiety, so she missed out on the help she should have had there. Not to mention that the probing and questioning to ascertain the nature of the supposed abuse left her (and the whole family) traumatised in its turn.

Yes, abuse is one thing that can cause anger issues. There are countless others: underlying physical health issues, SN, MH issues, attachment issues etc.

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