13 yr old DS having nightmares and headaches(5 Posts)
My 13 yr old DS has recently started having nightmares (really horrible ones about being chased by someone with a knife). He has sometimes woken around 3am and not been able to go back to sleep. As well as this he sometimes gets headaches that sound like migraines - he doesn't like noise or bright lights. He has also sometimes woken up with sore throats. We've just had a week over half term where all was fine - and then Monday morning he had a sore throat and this morning came to see me at 6am crying because he'd had a dream where he was being made to watch all of us being stabbed. Horrible. He swears he's happy at school. However, my husband and I have had an awful 18 months - not rowing in front of the kids, but there's been a lot of tension. We told the kids we will be separating just a few weeks ago. DS says he's ok about this too and I do try and give him opportunities to open up. My instinct is that DS is anxious - possibly about me and his dad, (but then why we're things ok during half term?) or possibly about general growing up fears. Has anyone had a similar problem and how have you dealt with it?
I definitely think it's worth a trip to the docs to get the migraines checked out. I can't help wondering whether he's after some attention though, especially with the sore throats and nightmares too, it might no be a conscious thing, but if there's been tension at home he's bound to be feeling unsettled. As for him being okay with you splitting with your OH, my parents split when I was young and I always said I was fine with it, even long after the event, because I thought that was what they wanted to hear and didn't want them to feel bad because of me. Can a kid ever be really okay with their parents splitting? I don't think so myself, but thats just my opinion. I think he needs love and attention and lots of it.
Thanks - yes I'm sure he feels more than he is admitting about us splitting up. We are going to be living close to ea h other and sharing custody - but of course it's a huge change and both frightening and upsetting. I was thinking about some sort if therapist who could perhaps help him to articulate feelings and anxieties he might even not be fully conscious of - but I'm wary of jumping in at the deep end and making him worry even more?
Personally I would not be too quick to label this behaviour 'attention seeking'.
It sounds like he is (understandably) stressed and anxious. Anxiety can come out as physical symptoms, even if the person isn't aware they are anxious. Given the timing of things there could be something going on at school or it could just be the home life situation.
It sounds like he might be bottling up his emotions, either intentionally or not. I don't think an introduction to a counsellor would be jumping in at the deep end at all, but it would have to be handled tactfully.
The sore throats could well be because he is tensing up in his sleep: that's one of my typical tension symptoms- that and tooth ache (jaw clencher). My mother gets a kind of ache under her eyes instead: I suspect that is also from jaw clenching. Dd, bizarrely enough, gets a hayfever symptoms when she is nervous.
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