I'm going to try to make this short but since my daughter is now seven, we've been through a lot. My daughter is what my friends and family call a "different kind of kid". I had a fairly normal pregnancy but when she was born, WOW! She barely slept at all and cried a LOT. I didn't realize really how different she was until having a second child and seeing other people's reactions to her. We rarely left the house the first six months. If we weren't bouncing her in a dark room with loud white noise (which sometimes helped), I was nursing her or we were walking her around. She would wake up crying as soon as you'd move to lie her down. If you'd put her in her crib, she'd cry and throw up in her crib. Completely exhausting. Every year since, I'd say to myself, "next year has GOT to be easeir!". Her second year she started pulling her hair out at night which lasted three years and was a constant worry. By one and a half, one side of her head was entirely bald. She said later that it made her feel good even though it hurt for a second. It's a miracle she's stopped, but other things about her are different. I have a easy going two year old and I'm constantly upset that the seven year old is the one being loud (no quiet voice EVER) in a diner, or throwing a fit crying in line at Target, or sobbing for an hour because her feelings are hurt. Her moments of true happiness are so rare that they almost always make me tear up. It is so touching to see her enjoy something. I took her to Disneyland, and she liked chasing lizards but was afraid of every ride. She'd cry through the line (six yrs old btw) for every ride even though after each one she'd say it wasn't too bad. She wouldn't put her foot in the ocean and even though I think we had a pretty good time, she said it wasn't very fun. She truly struggles with her clothes so I work with her and make accomodations (no jeans, sweaters, short socks, button up shirts, etc.). She is ahead of the class academically and pretty good socially. Her teacher says everyone wants to be friends with her. If I watch her play though, she'll only play with kids if she is allowed to be the leader otherwise she'd rather play alone. She is getting therapy right now, but I don't think its the right fit for us. My daughter has medicaid (I'm a full time student), so we're having trouble finding someone else for her. She's on a waiting list right now at the university I attends child psychology team, but I'm getting worried. She has very low self esteem, says that sometimes she'd rather be dead, says her life is horrible, and thinks there is something wrong with her even though I constantly remind her how wondeful she is.
Some things I read about sound like her but never fully. A little sensory disorder, adhd, depression.. all fit somewhat but not quite. I really feel she was born with her brain wired a little differently. My fear is that if we don't get help soon what her puberty will be like. She already acts like a hormonal 12 yr old. We are truly afraid. Sometimes I just hold her at night and tell her that tomorrow will be a happier day for her. She's sweet, and smart, and miserable.
Hmmm - a little sensory, adhd, depression - these three issues are often co-morbid with anxiety. I am wondering if your daughter is suffering from a severe anxiety disorder - not sure which one - but your entire post "screams" ANXIETY. And if anxiety is the issue, you are correct, the brain does react differently to life situations and people.
I might suggest you google phrases as "child behavior and anxiety" or "anxiety disorders in children" or similar words/phrases to see if the descriptions remind you of your daughter. If you feel this might be the issue, please seek out help from a medical mental health specialist with experience in anxiety issues as a child neurologist or child psychiatrist rather than a psychologist. Anxiety is a very common issue and highly treatable. By the way, trichotillomania is one of the anxiety disorders. Since anxiety tends to be an inherited genetic trait, your daugher will not outgrow this nor will it go away, but anxiety is highly treatable and the prognosis can be excellent. Your daughter can learn how to manage her fears/anxieties and be happy.
Our child was diagnosed with severe anxiety (as well as depression and sensory issues) at six years of age. Today she is a teenager and doing remarkably well. Please write if you have any questions. All the best ....
My 8 year old stepson is having similar issues. I understand he also had colic as an infant. He's an obediant people pleaser and an all around good boy. He is very loving, sweet and thoughtful but impulsive and worries about many things that are out of his control. He speaks in a very loud somewhat monotone voice and also suffers from Trichotillomania (hair pulling) disorder. I've been doing some research online about high functioning Autism and Aspergers Syndrome. It may explain the volume control issues and impulsivity.
The semi relieving/bittersweet thing about Trichotillomania is, it isn't a result of trauma in the child's life. The downside is it's a chemical imbalance which can be tough to treat (but it's possible!). I'm glad that your daughter stopped on her own. Our boy did too but has recently started again.
Good luck and let me know if you & your family have learned anything since 2011 as it sounds our children have similarities.
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