Fatigue and Stress(10 Posts)
My DD is 16 and in Y11 - GCSEs in a couple of months time. Since the beginning of this school year she has been extremely stressed and feels so much pressure to do well in her exams. I've been into school and the pressure seems to be coming from her. During the Autumn term she had quite a few days off school with tears and tantrums.
This has continued but now she seems to be permanently fatigued. To the extent that she doesn't want to see her BF at the weekend anymore which is unusual for her as she's a social bunny normally! Today, I couldn't get her out of bed to go to school and we've had tears again about how tired she is. On other days she has had off she has used these to catch up on her work which seems to de-stress her but today has been very different as she just wants to sleep and cry.
We have been to the doctors for blood tests but nothing conclusive has come back and from what I've read it's unlikely that there is anything physically wrong with her. She has a good diet generally and eats more healthily than most people I know.
Has anyone got any good coping strategies or ideas how I can help her. It's breaking my heart to see her like this.
It looks like her tiredness is a side effect of stress tbh.
Is she usually better when she has gone outy/done a bit oif exercise/gone for a walk?
I suspect she needs strategies to handle her stress first. THEN if she is still overly tired, another trip to the GP would be a good idea.
What sort of techniques does she use as a stress relief? How is her sleep?
She says her sleep is ok - she's usually asleep by 10.30-11 and I start the waking up process at 7. Trying to get her to be physically active doing things like walking the dog but she refuses most of the time or slopes along behind me for 10 mins and then goes home. She won't do pe at school anymore as she says it tires her out too much - they do a whole afternoon of sport once a week which I think is too much for her at the moment. She goes to the gym with me sometimes but gives up after about 20 mins.
We've tried yoga/Pilates as stress relief but she gets bored. Other than that she just watches Greys Anatomy currently!
Have you had her eyes tested recently?
I ask because before DD2 was diagnosed with an eye problem she used to be completely wiped out after school from concentrating extra hard to see properly.
Is she sleeping okay - actually getting to and staying asleep
Does she have heavy periods ie could she be anaemic?
A good multi-vit may help
If she is wiped out after so little exercise, then it is really a tiredness issue.
I would go back to see the GP and let him know about you are mentioning, ie an afternoon PE is too much, actually 20mins at the gym is too much.
Maybe also try to make her go to sleep earlier (I know that's an heretic thouht for a teenager!) so she gets more sleep.
If she is so tired, she will struggle to cope with the stress of the exam all together, maybe feeling she ought to do x and y and not managing to do it due to exhaustion. Trying to learn xx but nothing is going in etc... Hence the tears etc...
Btw be careful about 'All the blood tests are coming back OK so there is nothing wrong physically with her.'
I have ME and all my blood tests are ok. That doesn't mean I'm not ill (Not saying that this is what she has btw. Just an example of things that might niot be picked up by a blood test)
What could help her though is pacing.
The idea is that you never do one big chunck of work all one one go until you are exhausted. But do some of it then have a break, do something else easier then go back to that. Learn about how much you can do until you are feeling exhausted and avoid to do that much or more than that.
It's about preserving some of your energy so you are never reached the fully exhauted level.
maybe have a word with ner taking breaks, cutting her work down into smaller chunks when she is at home, have a break when going back from school etc...
Doing some exercise would help still but maybe more like 5mins gentle walk rather than a full 30mins dog walk iyswim.
And having some time for a relaxing activity build within her day. Coulouring books for adults are all rage atm but whatever works well for her to relax but that she will still enjoy.
Thanks LoveBoursin - there's some great advice there and I will speak to her when she's in a better mood to be receptive. I'm sorry to hear that you have ME.
Sonnet - she has had her eyes tested about 9 months ago but she has been complaining that she doesn't see as well as she thinks she could so we are due to go back and have a re-test. She doesn't have heavy periods but I am looking into supplementation although she does have a healthy balanced diet so am at a bit of a loss as to what to give her as I don't think she's lacking vitamins due to the food that she eats.
Yes if she has issues with blurry vision, iron (with vit C) and vitB12 might help too. Floradix is a good supplement for that.
Was she checked for aenemia?
We're having really simmilar issues with my DSD, also Y11. She gets stressed by school pressure and copes by avoiding the things she ought to be doing and watching endless youtube or movies and then the work mounts up so she gets more stressed and unhappy. She's also had a lot of time off school due to vague illnesses, or colds, etc. Like your DD she's been to the GP who's done routine blood tests, etc and all seems fine, but she's sleeping a lot, and often very tired. I'm wondering if it may be mild depression making her tired. Unlike your DD she's never had much of a social life, but has none at all now really. I think that's a real worry if your DD is losing interest in social things - are you able to encourage her to make arrangements with friends? Having something to look forward to later can be a good way to motivate yourself to do some studying.
One thing we have tried lately is setting the wifi to go off automatically at 11pm, reducing her data allowance on her phone, and stopping her from taking her phone to bed with her - late night snapchatting was definitely one factor in her tiredness.
And maybe a somewhat earlier bedtime for your DD? Some teenagers do need 9-10 hours a night, maybe she's one of them.
Have her vitamin D levels checked - DS was permanently fatigued last year and a blood test showed he had low vitamin D. Would she consider mindfulness? The headspace app is a good starting point.
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