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Question
Posted by: Jessy | 2012/03/13

How do you tell if a child is faking being sick

How do you tell if a 14 year old is faking being sick. She goes to school and i get a call from school saying she had an ashma attack. We go home sometimes to the doctor and the doctor does not see anything. She goes to school i drop her off and few minutes later i get a call that she had another attack and now the principal called me and they all think she is faking it. She is new in high school and yes the problem is getting worse when she is at home she does not get any attacks but come school time she gets the attack. I want to believe that she is not faking it i want to believe that she is faking it so that we can talk about it and get a way forward. Please help me i will be online to answer all the questions.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Have the people at her school ever seen a genuine asthma attack, or is that just their guess as to the nature of the problem ( it could have been something simulated, or a panic attack, or various other things ). Depending on how long after these events she sees the doctor, there may be nothing for him to see even if there is a genuine health problem.
It would be odd if she only had such attacks at school, and never at home, or in the mall, or elsewhere. Unless there is an unusual substance at school to which she is very allergic, and that doesn't seem likely. Did she never have these episodes while in her previous school, but only after arriving at high school ? If so, that sounds more like a simulation than genuine asthma.
It sounds likely that she has encountered some problem at high school that upsets her, which she doesn't know how to cope with, and from which these episodes provide an escape, and maybe some hoped for sympathy.
You need a long, calm, chat with her, about many aspects of how high school is being experienced by her, what it's like compared to primary schol, what things she likes there and what she doesn't like, what things may be a bit better than she expected, and what are worse than she expected. Mention to her that sometimes people find themselves in a situation where they find it unpleasant and don't know how to cope, and if they don't feel there's someone they trust enough to talk to to get help from, they may feel very anxious and panicky, maybe the way she feels at times at school, and that this can be helped by seeing a counsellor to learn better ways of handling such situations.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Megs | 2012/03/15

She may very well be having these attacks, but why is she not taking her pump/ medicatoin then? If it was so severe that she has to go home and to the doctor, he''d be able to pick it up.

She may be under stress at school and she may not know how to deal with her stress correctly, which is causing this.

The other possibility is that she''s being bullied, like Dollar said and she''s trying to escape. There may be a certain subject she doens''t want to go to. Have you or the school noticed if her attacked are at the same time as a certain class? Maybe maths or a class that she''s not doing too well in? Get a copy of her timetable and check.

My sister used to fake being sick to get off school, she was just lazy and quite frankly didn''t want to go. I''m not saying this is the same for you, but it does happen. Of course, it also happens that people are genuinely sick.

Reply to Megs
Posted by: DOLLAR | 2012/03/13

Check if there he is not bullied at school .

Reply to DOLLAR
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/03/13

Have the people at her school ever seen a genuine asthma attack, or is that just their guess as to the nature of the problem ( it could have been something simulated, or a panic attack, or various other things ). Depending on how long after these events she sees the doctor, there may be nothing for him to see even if there is a genuine health problem.
It would be odd if she only had such attacks at school, and never at home, or in the mall, or elsewhere. Unless there is an unusual substance at school to which she is very allergic, and that doesn't seem likely. Did she never have these episodes while in her previous school, but only after arriving at high school ? If so, that sounds more like a simulation than genuine asthma.
It sounds likely that she has encountered some problem at high school that upsets her, which she doesn't know how to cope with, and from which these episodes provide an escape, and maybe some hoped for sympathy.
You need a long, calm, chat with her, about many aspects of how high school is being experienced by her, what it's like compared to primary schol, what things she likes there and what she doesn't like, what things may be a bit better than she expected, and what are worse than she expected. Mention to her that sometimes people find themselves in a situation where they find it unpleasant and don't know how to cope, and if they don't feel there's someone they trust enough to talk to to get help from, they may feel very anxious and panicky, maybe the way she feels at times at school, and that this can be helped by seeing a counsellor to learn better ways of handling such situations.

Reply to cybershrink

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