Unrealistic future expectations in 15-year-old(12 Posts)
My dd says that is she doesn't get to be an actor on TV she might as well be dead. This is the only thing she wants to do.
She gave up drama at GCSE choice time, doesn't read, has never had a part in a play and suffers from really quite severe social anxiety, to the point of going to CAMHS for the last 2 years on and off. She doesn't even eat all day at school because she can't do it in front of anybody, she no longer does PE or goes to assembly, all because of not wanting to be 'seen.'
Yet she harbours this insistence on being an actress. She won't join a local drama group in case there's anybody there she knows.
If I try to talk to her she gets very hostile with me and says she has no future. What should I do? Will she grow out of this?
I agree with pp, not in a condescending or horrible way but she certainly sounds like she needs more therapy - and extensive therapy at that.
I don't mean to worry you, OP, but to me she's starting to sound like someone who is at the edge of "what's the point in living anymore". Giving yourself unrealistic 'dreams' is a major warning sign that a person doesn't see themselves with a realistic future (in a suicidal way, not an angsty Teen way). Experienced this with my Dsis. She was heart-set on being a tv journalist despite having no interest in current affairs, hating attention and having major camera anxiety and stage fright... she then had to drop out of her education and be hospitalised.
If it isn't quite so bad, her social anxiety definitely needs more attention. Not participating is one thing, but not eating or wanting to be 'seen' are also warning flags of body dysmorphia/depression as well as anxiety.
Yes, there are definitely issues to be concerned about with her. You've made me think more seriously about this aspect of her behaviour as I wasn't sure if this was a 'typical' teenage thing or part of her other MH issues. I will raise it with CAMHS.
Definitely raise it with camhs. I didn't want to scare you OP, what you said was just so similar to my dsis just before she hit her worst period.
Hope things get better for her and for you.
Eliasor, how old was your sister? Was she actually studying to be a tv journalist at the time and what happened next? Is she all right now?
Dd is very obsessed with her TV shows, she's possibly on the autistic spectrum - CAMHS have put her forward for assessment but it takes ages and I'm not sure what difference it will make if she gets a positive assessment for ASD. Because she socialises so little, finds it very difficult, she sort of lives through these fictional characters.
I'm so worried about her. Thanks for your help, it's much appreciated.
My DD also had dreams of being an actress. Sounds a lot like OP DD. Refused to go to drama school because she didn't know anyone, didn't want to be in the school play, won't eat at school in front of anyone, Cahms for anxiety.
I supported her actress dreams to the point of saying I would take her to any drama group she wanted me to, and I never said "don't be silly you couldn't possibly do it" or anything like that.
Anyway now aged 14, after about 5 years of " I'm going to be an actress" she told me recently that she didn't think she would be an actress as it's really hard to get into, and she doesn't think she'd be that good at it, and most actresses are waitresses most of the time.
So I guess she just grew up a bit..
I would go along with the dream in a quiet way, don't talk about it, wait for it to pass.
Maybe get more help for the anxiety if you can. I'm sure my DD has got more realistic life plans now that she is less anxious after a change of school and 18 months of CAHMS and counselling.
Could be 2 things:
1. She needs more therapy.
2. She's being a teenager. I remember everything being the end of the world. i.e I wanted to die when my boyfriend split up with me and cried for 2 months, I told my parents I was moving out on the stroke of 16 because they wouldn't let me get a tattoo, I thought my life was over when I didn't get accepted onto an A level course I wanted and refused to get out of bed for days.
(Re point 2 - I am not minimising your DD's feelings at all, I have had extensive MH problems in the past and several years of therapy. But it is quite typical teen to think such things as per the above examples )
Sounds like she's fantasizing with the idea of acting but as she suffers from SA she will find it hard to act in real life.
Definitely more therapy, then careers guidance and maybe some ECs so she can keep her options open, enjoy herself a bit and build on her confidence.
Thanks. One of the most frustrating things is that she is an amazing artist and this is what she does in her spare time, not just for school. But she says she doesn't want to go to art school because that won't give her recognition. However, recognition is precisely the thing that she avoids every day on a daily basis - even to the point of never going out locally in case she sees anybody she knows. She writes me a shopping list of things she needs and stays home in her room.
The disconnection between reality and fantasy is pretty huge.
I'm not sure it is worth jeopardising her mh to burst her bubble. When she raises it gently encourage her to take it forward. Would private LAMDA lessons be a possibility, as it might help her confidence. Dd is a bit like this, has done ballet for years, music lessons, enjoys acting etc but rarely puts herself forwards and doesn't really enjoy the spotlight. She has , however, appeared in shows with a local youth group and made friends unconnected with school.
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