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Our 12yo daughter

If you're concerned about, or care for, someone with mental illness
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Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:57 am

Our 12yo daughter

Postby richardaylin » Mon Sep 27, 2021 11:11 am


Our daughter had a few days off at the start of Year 8 because of a procedure on an ingrowing toenail. This has seemingly brought to a head a number of underlying issues. Maybe we should have noticed signs earlier, I don't know, but we have major problems on our hands.

She is no longer willing to go to school. Not from the perspective of having a tantrum. She is getting into serious hysterics and tears and has threatened to kill herself if we make her go in. We took her to our GP and she appears to have depression. One evening last week, we had to take her to A&E; she was sobbing and repeating things over and over again ("I can't do this any more"; "I want to go somewhere else"). She has admitted to a couple of instances of self-harming as well.
We had the same issue trying to get her into school on Friday and had to take her to A&E again.

We are guessing (and this is only a guess and not an assumed diagnosis as we are not mental health professionals) that she has issues and is subconsciously projecting all those issues onto school and making it a large obstacle that she now wants to completely do away with. Unfortunately, as we all know, that is not an option we can let her take.

Whilst there must have been signs we missed, this has come at us like a bolt from the blue. We have a meeting at her school later today and a counselling session on Thursday, but we just cannot see how this is ever going to get resolved. There are times when we "get our daughter back", but the slightest thing that doesn't go as she wants can push her off the edge of an emotional cliff.

My wife and I have both had our own mental health issues in the past, so it is quite hard for us to deal with. We are doing our best and also trying to shield our nine-year-old son from the worst of it as well.

NOt sure I needed to put all the detail. I am just wondering if anyone has had to go through this before ... is she going to get better? How can we as parents know that we are doing the right things to help her?

Any advice would be welcomed at this point as it seems like an impossible mountain to climb.

Thanks :-)

Posts: 131
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:00 pm

Re: Our 12yo daughter

Postby epitaph » Tue Sep 28, 2021 9:15 am

Hello richardaylin,

Welcome to the forum.

This is obviously a very distressing time for the entire family, I feel for you.

I'm afraid what I'm about to say is not what you will want to hear, but given your post it seems obvious to me. Something is causing your daughter to become extremely anxious about going to school, (at this time of year, after a long summer break these things are quite common and not to be unexpected). Despite your best intentions, if you attempt to force your daughter to go this could get much, much worse. My suggestion (and this is all it is), is actually say to your daughter that given what she is going through the best thing would be for her to study at home for the moment. Then see how the next few weeks go and whether she starts to make improvements in her overall mental health. By all means have the counselling session with the school, but she may not be willing or able to do this yet, it might be all too soon.

For me the wellbeing, happiness and safety of your daughter are the highest priorities right now and if this means that she has to miss some school time whilst she recovers, then so be it. If you can subsequently find out from her what is causing her unhappiness then you might be able to take steps to address it, the hard part will be if she refuses to tell you!

I'm dismayed by the diagnosis of the GP, for me what he/she should have done is raised an urgent referral to CAHMS, but perhaps he/she already knows that there is a very long waiting time as the service is massively overloaded and only has the resources to work with those that require immediate attention (not that your daughter doesn't). If you search on the internet there should be local MH services located near to you that might be prepared to assist you with advice and potentially your daughter.

Lastly, I hope what I have communicated has not frustrated or annoyed you in anyway, these things are made with the best intentions, but obviously I don't know the full picture as you do.

Take care...

Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2021 10:57 am

Re: Our 12yo daughter

Postby richardaylin » Tue Oct 05, 2021 2:21 pm

epitaph wrote:Lastly, I hope what I have communicated has not frustrated or annoyed you in anyway, these things are made with the best intentions, but obviously I don't know the full picture as you do.

Hi epitaph,

Thank you for your reply and nothing in there was annoying at all.

Her first counselling session with CAMHS was a disaster as she wouldn't speak. Now being referred back to "outpatients" which will apparently result in her seeing someone "dedicated" in the next week or so.

We told the school that we have decided that we are not sending her there for at least the next two weeks up to half term (for our own sanity as well has our daughter's). The GP agreed with us. To be fair, the school have been very supportive of this and are going to arrange for work to be sent for her to do at home (which she is happy to do).

It seems that social situations in general are causing her anxiety as well, so I think school has become a focal point for her issues.

It's just all going to take time, I guess.

Thanks again :-)

Posts: 131
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2020 12:00 pm

Re: Our 12yo daughter

Postby epitaph » Fri Oct 08, 2021 7:10 pm

Hi Richardaylin,

Thank you for taking the time to reply.

For me your recent post is reassuring, whilst the counselling session with CAHMS did not go the way you were hoping, it's a start. The councillor should know that the first step is to build trust without creating pressure to ascertain what is wrong. Did she attend the session alone or with one or both of her parents? (Your daughter is likely to see through any obvious attempts to find out what is wrong and then try and immediately fix it). Much better to allow her the time, space and assurances to come to terms with what is bothering her with techniques communicated by the counsellor albeit only when she is ready (l assume best achieved 1 to 1)

The school should have lots of provisions in place to assist too, an exit card scheme (whereby your daughter can walk out of any lesson without offering any reason whatsoever can work wonders), same with greater awareness at student services relating to your daughter's anxiety. Sometimes just knowing that she can leave whenever she feels uncomfortable can be a really big help. She might never use the card but the knowledge that she could might be enough.

Lots of caring encouragement and support with the removal of pressure to immediately conform may work also wonders. Best wishes to you all.

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