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my 13 year old out of the blue said she is suffering anxiety

(14 Posts)
user1465030071 Sat 04-Jun-16 09:56:37

She's always worried a bit how she looks and I always tell her she is pretty (which she is) but out of the blue yesterday she tells me she wants to change her drama option (which tbh I think is too late) because she has no confidence to get up in front of people and act. When I asked her why she just started crying saying she is ugly, she feels self conscious, she hates the way she looks, she's fat etc... I just couldn't understand how she can feel like this, I thought she was happy and confident, now she tells me she is not. I tried to say it could be pmt as she only just started her periods but she's been on-line and has convinced herself she is suffering from social anxiety, she's joined a chat forum with others - she would rather talk to strangers than me.... So I thought okay, maybe I will try the same but on here - are any other mums out there having similar issues? Thanks

BrianCoxReborn Sat 04-Jun-16 10:14:25

My DD is 12 and is being treated for severe anxiety with CAMHS.

One thing I've noticed is that when the few friends who know what's going on have heard her symptoms, they are suddenly convinced they have it to and need CAMHS referral grin

I'm not saying that your daughter isn't suffering with anxiety, far from it, I would however be very cautious about her discussing/reading it online as others experiences could heighten what I'd probably a "normal" episode of anxiety that most of us experience.

Does that make sense?

If you want advice I found Young Minds to be absolutely fantastic. They're a parent advisory charity and can guide you/hand hold you through this and offer a professional input, if required.

On a practical level, see how she is over the next month, try and keep a diary of moods and any obvious triggers. If you go to the GP this will help, just in case they query PMT/hormones.

Day to day: try and wean her off the peer forum, it could do more harm than good. See if MIND have any useful online resources she could read.

Let her know you are there, listen. Not everything that is a big deal to her will seem important to you but it shouldn't be dismissed.

Understand you can't fix everything for her. You can hold her hand and be a shoulder to cry on.

Time to get worried and seek GP help is when it affects her usual routine and she stops interacting on her normal level.

My DD has been out of school since late last year. So it's an extreme, but hopefully my ideas help a little. I know how lonely it is as a parent and how scary.

user1465030071 Sat 04-Jun-16 10:40:16

Thank you so much for your reply, it has been very helpful and I will look in to that charity. I am glad you think the same as I do that this online "sharing" of feelings could infect cause her to exaggerate her feels in order to get more comments or "hugs" but I already said I don't think it's a good idea she do this and she simply won't listen, apart from removing her phone I don't see how she will stop. I don't want this to accelerate in to something far worse so trying to give her other means of "help" is a good idea. Do you think a councillor would help, I even thought maybe I should tell her to talk to childlike.... I will monitor this, if it is pmt perhaps the gp could help, I have heard of people being put on the pill to regulate the symptoms though I thought that was more physical symptoms rather than physiological. I don't think this will be a quick fix, she's only just turned 13 and I have a long way to go I think XX

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

user1465030071 Sat 04-Jun-16 10:53:06

Thanks no I get exactly what you're saying, I suppose I am thinking I don't want to waste the gps time but I never thought about how it would make my daughter realise I am taking her seriously and if she does get help well that's all I want for her if she needs it. I do wonder though if I should talk to the school too as they may help xx

unlucky83 Sat 04-Jun-16 11:03:26

I really feel for modern teens - the internet does offer support and lots of good things - but when you are a confused teen being told about things like this can only add to your confusion. And you can convince yourself you have anything. It is so difficult to know what to do -whether to take it seriously or not. Probably best just to be as supportive as possible and not make a fuss and see if they 'forget'. And if they don't take them to the GP.

My 15 yo DD has been bullied and has recently been diagnosed with ADHD. So has always felt a bit different anyway .
She started saying she needed to wash her hands to feel better - she has never shown any previous symptoms of OCD and in the end I told she didn't have OCD but if she carried on like that she would develop it ...and it has stopped.
She talked about self harm and did scratch her leg but that has passed - I know she isn't (we are quite an open family and I occasionally see her naked so I would know)
Anxiety she can describe the symptoms of a panic attack and will say she can't breath etc - but pretty sure she isn't really having one. Just feels a bit nervous which is normal (and I've had a panic attack -I know what one is really like). She sees a consultant for her ADHD anyway and they have referred her to someone else to discuss her 'anxiety' I'm hoping that will be able to tell if it is genuine or she has convinced herself she has something she doesn't.
Like I said I would hate to be a teen growing up now...if it isn't things like this it is every stupid thing they do ends up as a video - which could go viral. It is so much harder for them...

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

rogueantimatter Sun 05-Jun-16 12:21:37

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alaspoorderek Tue 07-Jun-16 13:28:33

Hi User, it feels awful when we think our kids are anxious about things don't we so I can fully sympathise. I have a DD 14yrs who worries an awful lot and is anxious about her appearance and handling simple situations like shopping and bus journeys. She too is a pretty girl and has no need to worry so I scatch my head wondering where it all comes from.

Firstly with your DD it could be linked to the hormones if she has just started her periods, my DD can be much much worse on and in between periods! I suggest a diet as well balanced as possible and maybe some supplements (I got DD Well Woman over the counter, think it does help as far as can tell).

Secondly do you think anything has knocked her confidence in particular, a remark from someone at school or home? If she won't confide all you can do is make yourself available for chats, ask how she is, how her days gone etc and pass compliments regularly. If you think there might be issues at school is there any staff you could ring for a chat? I'm sure if the drama option looked like a big problem they would listen and consider a change. Meanwhile it might be worth telling her that many well known actors are not necessarily outgoing and confident as they are acting a role which is like any other job/skill.

As for the internet, they all seem to be obsessed with youtube in one way or another don't they and soak things up on there. I would say next time you get chance that it doesn't always help to label yourself with a condition. A lot of people can go through periods of social anxiety (or maybe be fearful of particular situations) at some point in their lives and then it can get easier with age/experience. From being a teen until about the age of mid or late twenties I hated having to do any sort of presentation, I used to get riddled with nerves!

I hope you've found some help on here OP. Being a mum of a teen is really tough these days and it's good we can all pass on advice or support.

chocolateworshipper Thu 09-Jun-16 21:04:10

As the mother of a teenager who has self-harmed and taken overdoses, please listen to her. Even if it isn't true anxiety in a medical sense, her feelings are real to her. Speak to her school and see if they can provide ELSA or some other emotional support, and also see the GP as there can be physical causes of anxiety. Do you let her have a device in her bedroom at night? Because a lot of horrible stuff gets posted on social media and I worry about vulnerable teens be subjected to this stuff when they are alone and tired in a dark room. Good luck to you and your DD.

MadamDeathstare Thu 09-Jun-16 21:12:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

chocolateworshipper Thu 09-Jun-16 21:39:52

Actually Madam makes a really good point. DD did drama GCSE and I can confirm that you can opt to do "Performance support" rather than acting. Performance support options are:
• lighting
• sound
• setting/props
• costume
• make-up/masks.

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