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Preteens

Worried about my 11 year olds mental health

4 replies

Mumma331 · 20/02/2021 20:28

My 11 year old son had a really bad nightmare about a month ago, he was screaming for help in the hallway and said there was a ghost in his room that had knocked things off of his shelf. Things had fallen but I can only assume he must have somehow done it. (He has never suffered bad dreams prior to this).

Since then, he is so anxious, cannot be left alone at all, wakes in the night saying he can hear footsteps/ knocking. He is constantly on edge and terrified. Says he can hear scratching, voices of family members in house when at any point he is left alone. This is happening even when he stays over with other family members so not just in our house.

I have had a big talk and he said he watched something scary on TikTok and now feels like he is ‘haunted’. We have now of course deleted TikTok but his anxiety is still there. He is a nervous wreck and it breaks my heart. He is usually the most laid back relaxed kid you could meet.

I have no idea how to deal with this, and I’m so worried about him. I don’t know how to make it better or what to say when he is adamant there are noises. I have used breathing exercises with him, nightlight and lavender spray. GP said he can be referred for talking therapy but waiting lists are very long.

Has anyone else’s child experienced similar? If anyone could offer some advice it would be hugely appreciated.

Thank you

OP posts:
Atlastadragon · 20/02/2021 21:57

I'm so sorry to hear this. I have no experience of this but didn't want to read and run.

It sounds like your son has had a really bad scare. Both of my dds (8 and 12) have had bad dreams recently having not had them before and I wonder if the current situation is somehow connected although, as you say, the video he watched sounds like it was as also a factor.

All I'd say is offer him lots of reassurance and cuddles - as much as he needs.

Mumma331 · 21/02/2021 15:25

Thank you for your reply. Yes the current situation is awful, a whole year of lockdowns/ distributions and too much time to think isn’t helping xx

OP posts:
ItsIgginningtolooklikelockdown · 21/02/2021 15:29

Maybe you could deconstruct the thing that scared him a bit (though this might involve you watching it yourself - don't show it to him again though!) you could talk about how filmmakers build fear through music, create atmosphere by hinting at horror rather than showing it, prey on people's fears and magnify them - turn it into a media exercise in an attempt to make it less "real" to him?
Time will make the memory fade and I would watch lots of more wholesome, funny things together to add newer, better thoughts in his head. Can you sleep with him for a while? Does he need to be staying with other family members when he feels so fragile?

Squaddielife · 22/02/2021 23:40

My son went through awful night terrors for quite a while. Made worse by kids at school talking about Slenderman!
In the end I bought him a dreamcatcher and before he went to sleep at night we would talk about nice things to dream of and come up with 3 choices of dreams that he could concentrate on. This seemed to do the trick.
I hope he settles soon. Its so awful seeing them distressed. Flowers

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