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17743838 tn?1459697463

My 10 year old daughter; sudden separation anxiety

Hello,
I am new here and I've been browsing the community looking for experiences such as mine. I'm doing this because our child behavioral intake appointment isn't until April 12. I'm at the edge of my sanity. My beautiful 10 year old straight A making, school loving, social butterfly has suddenly became withdrawn.

Here's some very unfortunate things that just have fallen upon our family; just to give you a brief background:

--Had to file bankruptcy Nov 2015 (my husband's ex keeps putting excessive litigation on us even though he has split custody of their boys, they're with us a week and her a week. Her lawyer took us to court to garnish over 500 a month, plus back pay since 2007 from us. They took everything, even his taxes. We were forced into bankruptcy. Even though she's had 4 DHR cases open on her for child abuse/neglect. She's moved over 7 times in 1 year! We are in a county in rural Alabama, with a dated family court system. Father's have no rights here.

--Oldest stepson has constantly caused chaos in our family. He's "splitting" between houses, meaning telling his mother lies that I force him to call me mom, that I talk about her, the list goes on..... He's caused SO much chaos in the almost 6 years we've been married on top of the excessive litigation, court issues, harassment,  and so on that she's caused as well.

--My 10 year old is going through puberty on top of this "separation /social anxiety " issue going on and she's no dealing with it well. I have an 8 year old daughter too. She's feeling confused as to why her big sister refuses to go to school. I make sure that I spend time with her and love on her all the time.

--There's a 9 year old little boy in the mix as well that is mistreated by his mother because he does love us so much.
They put the older son on a pedestal because he plays into her web. He's the prime example of parental alienation.

--My girls call my husband, daddy. Their biological dad isn't in the picture.

The most recent problem :
At the middle of March, she began saying she was scared of school and to go anywhere without me. She was out of school for a week and a half (during this time, we were in and out at the pediatricians). She began saying that her stomach would ache; ended up just being that dread/fluttering you get when your anxious. She's always loved school! She would get sad when summer break came, even. She won't go to friends house's either. I ask her what she's scared of and she replies with an "everything."

The pediatrician put her on zoloft, but after a few days it made her worse so she went off of it. I demanded a second opinion so we have been referred to a child psychiatrist. While we are waiting, I've searched the Web for experiences like hers before I lose my sanity.

She hasn't been alone around anyone. She complains one of her teachers embarrasses students constantly. Also,  I searched her school ipad (our county just got tablets for each student to use last year). I found some emails from a boy also in 4th grade. He was cussing her and saying mean things because she wouldn't be his girlfriend (yes, fourth grade!!!). We finally got her to stay and finish make up work with the counselor a few days but it wasn't easy. She's not staying a full day yet. I've got family telling me it's anxiety and some saying she's using manipulation.  This is a child that LOVED being at school that literally hates being there now, in thin air.

There's part of my story. Please, I'll take the advice, criticism,  whatever you have. Anything. :(
12 Responses
13167 tn?1327194124
I don't think you've hit on the problem.

All the issues you have with your husband's ex-wife and his sons,  are kind of your issues and probably wouldn't have a huge affect on her,  especially since they've been going on since 2007 and your daughter has been fine up until mid March.

You say she's never been alone with anyone,  but you note that "she won't go to friend's houses" indicating in the recent past she would go to friend's houses.

I suspect she's been sexually assaulted.  And I almost never say or think that.  

17743838 tn?1459697463
Thanks for the reply.

I added those things because I haven't ruled out the stressors in the home. But from going from loving school to hating it so quickly, something terrible has happened! All she says is that she's scared of everything. She doesn't want to leave my side. I don't know if this is something that happened recently or what,  but she needs so much help. Her anger has gotten out of control as well.
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
   First, congrats for demanding a 2nd opinion.   I won't get into my opinion of what the Pedi did.
   And ya, it does sound like it might be school related.  In many cases, the school is the safe place.  When the child does not want to go to school, then I would suspect the school.  Hard for me to say as I was an elementary school teacher and principal for many years.
   And, I have seen situations where teachers can really effect kids.  Usually, the principal will know if this is going on - they usually won't admit it.  
    I would talk to a few parents in her class or the class of the teacher who embarrass kids to see how their kids are doing.
    I would also talk to the teacher and simply tell them that your daughter is going through a really rough time now due to family matters and any extra kindness she can lend to her for support would be appreciate.
    It sounds like you have a school counselor (must be a big school).  That should be a resource.
    The school must departmentalize for different subjects.  Is there any one subject that she is doing bad in?   How is she doing in math?  How long does she take to do homework?
   You also might want to try this book.  It is aimed at kids of her age.  It deals with ways of handling stress.  Besides being helpful, it might also help open up a dialogue with her.   http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Pop-Your-Cork-Mondays/dp/0933849184/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51V1ACTA3PL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR109%2C160_&refRID=1Y6BK8C2QS05CYGRAYQS
     Also does she have any good friends who go to the same school or are in classes with her.  They would be a good resource into getting her back into school.
     It sounds like she is back to doing a partial day at school?  The classes or class she is avoiding could be part of the problem.
    Hope this helps.   Please post if you have any questions.
1 Comments
She was doing partial days. She was doing so well too!! My support system at home isn't good. My husband is coming around but my mother in law hasn't. She told me its all nonsense and that she's doing it on purpose. A straight A making, school lover just decides to wake up one morning to hate school? (My mother in laws opinion doesn't matter to me. She's a hypochondriac that's going around telling people she has grand mal seizures! She's never had a seizure).
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
   Opps, noticed that you told Rockrose that her anger has gotten out of control as well.  This is a really good book from the same series I mentioned.
      http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Rant-Rave-Wednesdays-Anger-Control/dp/0933849540/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51RXVZ3N7RL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR110%2C160_&refRID=1S4RQ4RS7ZFV0GPFQFGM
17743838 tn?1459697463
Yes, we are at partial days. She's a super smart girl. She breezed through the make up work like it's nothing. All A's in everything. Plenty of friends. When she was out that week and I brought her back to see her friends, the entire class swarmed around her. She's not a loner. So you see why this has us entirely puzzled and distraught.
13167 tn?1327194124
The image of all these kid swarming her - and her happily submitting to it - kind of confuses me about thinking she's been assaulted.

Have you considered PANDAS?  Did she have a strep infection or severe cold at the onset of this sudden fearfulness?  Strep can bring on sudden pediatric personality disorders,  especially in children 9-10 years old.

http://www.adhd.com.au/PANDAS.htm
17743838 tn?1459697463
She had strep and flu combined. It was the first time for her to have either of them, especially at the same time. But it was possibly 1 1/2 months before this. Give or take.
17743838 tn?1459697463
I meant, she had never had them combined. To clear that up. Her fevers would spike 104.  
13167 tn?1327194124
I think you need to look into PANDAS,  Artsymom.  Did your pediatrician treat her for strep and is now "treating" her for this sudden extreme anxiety?  I'm a little surprised he didn't suggest PANDAS as a possibility.

You may want to discuss it with him/her.  

Best wishes.  As I understand it,  it's treatable with antibiotics typically if this is the case.

1 Comments
Thank you so much for this. I'd never heard of this. We are now treating her for PANDAS, just in case. Ped said it doesn't hurt to try. Said its a strong possibility. But to keep her behavioral psychiatric appt just in case. It took me forever to get that appt so I'm definitely keeping it. It's in Birmingham at children's hospital. Thanks for all the replies and help!
13167 tn?1327194124
Hope she recovers soon!  This must be very hard.  
1 Comments
I know I've cried more in my life lately than I ever have. I've never been so puzzled, upset, confused with anything this much. For a child to love school one day, and wake up scared to go the next is complete torture.
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
Please keep in touch and let us know how things work out!
1 Comments
Sure thing. She had some blood work done on Wednesday. Her blood pressure fell so fast ,down to 81\55!! She's had it done before but they took a lot. She's testing anything and everything. From hormones, thyroid, inflammation, and much more. They're doing an MRI tomorrow afternoon.
189897 tn?1441126518
COMMUNITY LEADER
Please keep in touch and let us know how things work out!
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