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Question
Posted by: Carine Hartman | 2012-01-29

Anxious suicidal 12-year-old

I was on suicide watch with my 12-year-old daughter hardly three weeks ago. She was on a mild dosage (5mg) of Lexamil and is now " upgraded"  to 20 mg Nuzac taken daily.

She is happy. She laughs. And loves life. All her stress is removed: the old school was full of bullies, so she has a new school, with new friends and even a boyfriend.

So why did she tonight take 6 x 500mg extra strength Disprins?

She has been diagnosed with epilepsy two months before my husband died of cancer in May 2010. And she had her first attack the moment I told her he died.

We went through a string of attacks (36 over 5 days) in December last year and the neurologist then opened a new diagnosis: he thinks she is not epileptic at all, but is purely having panic attacks. She recovers quickly after each attack - and now even recognise it IS just a panic attack. But is still happens. She was in hospital overnight last week after one, because she felt " unsafe"  at home. Only the doctors can help her...

She has been seeing a psychologist since December last year, who tells me she is on the road to recovery.

So why the overdose tonight? And why two massice " panic"  attacks in just four days.

Should I consider hypnotherapy for her? Will she emotionally cope with the raw emotions that come out under hypnosis?

I am at my wits end

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

"mild dosages" don't work. One must euther use an effective dose, or none. A rather smaller dose may be appropriate for a child, depending on heir age and size. But anidepressants are not effective to treat GRIEF rather than depression. What i uually needed is skilled counselling. After such an act of self-harm, she MUST see a child psychologist or child psychiarts for a proper asessment and a discusion of treatment options --- this is well beynd the skills of a GP. Especially with the added complication of epilepsy or whaever this is --- the "epileptic" attacks may be forms of attempts to express feeling very bad and needing help and a sense of safety.
It is not usual for a child to sudenly start having epilepsy or o hav such frequent "fits" without major brain damage or patholog that wuld be easil pickd up by the neurologist.
No, if sh has inded ben seeing a psychologist, ha pscholoist should know a lot abou her, and should be asked o explain why the fits and the overdose when she's supposedly geting better.
Hypnotherapy would be totally disaserous in a sitation like this --- rule i out absolutely.
If her psychologst is not managing to understand and help effectively, rather get a second opinion from a more exprienced child psychologist



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Our users say:
Posted by: Janet | 2012-01-30

Losing a father at such a young age is devestating, and I am sorry for your loss too.

I can imagine you are at your wits end, she must be too. After all, she is the one that is going through these emotions.

Does she spend time with her friends? Or does she avoid them because their families are still " whole" ? Does she have any groups that she is a part of (sports, curch, that kind of thing)? If not, maybe it''s time she should be. After all, if she has a lot of free time, she has a lot of time to think, dwell, get sad, etc. Her mind needs to be occupied, she needs to see there is more to life and her father wouldn''t have wanted her to live like this.

There is obviously anxiety that is connected to the loss of her father, you said she had her first attack when you gave her the news. Perhaps, when she is feeling down, she''s thinking of him. Perhaps she was thinking of him last night- is her birthday soon? A special occasion? She might be very depressed about the fact that it''s a new year, she''s getting older, growing up and he''s not going to be there for her. She may only be 12, but there are some deep kids out there.

It is a very difficult situation. Talk to her- maybe she isn''t at the right psychologist. He/ She might think your daughter is on the road to recovery, but your daughter might not think so.

Maybe you can find a support group for her, or you yourself join one and hopefully some of the other people there have children too that she can connect with.

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