View Full Version : 5-year old with self-defeating voices??
04-26-2010, 08:22 AM
Maybe some doper parents can help me here. Recently my 5-year old daughter has been having meltdowns - usually these are brought on by frustration (doesn't like her outfit, can't read a certain word in a book, gets mad at her painting because she made a small mistake). One tantrum was so bad she literally stayed home from school (she made excuses that she felt ill after crying and writhing on the floor because she didn't like her clothes). A trip to the doctor confirmed that she was indeed physically ok.
This morning, my husband called and said she walked up to him and told him "daddy, my head keeps telling me that I'm stupid". I'm officially WORRIED. Is this something that is personality related, or is it the beginning stages of something more? (as a side note, I take medication for anxiety/depression) and it runs in my dad's side of the family. I consider myself to be a good mother, I always encourage her and support her, I don't push her to do more than she's able. She does well in school and has lots of friends.... I wonder if it's normal 5-year old behavior.
Anyone have ideas how to address this?
04-26-2010, 08:47 AM
I don't have kids, but both my sister and I dealt with psychological issues as kids - depression for both of us starting around the teen years, and OCD for her from early childhood.
I know that one thing I've read about depression in children is that they don't know how to really interpret and express the feelings that they're having so, for instance, boys might start bullying or do other destructive things because they're so sad but don't know what to do with that feeling.
In that aspect, I think it's actually somewhat positive that she's now trying to express exactly what's going on. I wonder if some kind of child-specializing counselor could help her to work through these perfectionist tendencies and help get at whether she's just afraid to not measure up to high standards she's set, or if there's something more.
04-26-2010, 08:58 AM
In that aspect, I think it's actually somewhat positive that she's now trying to express exactly what's going on. I wonder if some kind of child-specializing counselor could help her to work through these perfectionist tendencies and help get at whether she's just afraid to not measure up to high standards she's set, or if there's something more.Right. I've heard "my head tells me x" before, I've even used it myself a few times. It's not necessarily a case of hearing voices; I use it to mean that the thought of x keeps running through my brain.
FTR, I have Dysthymia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dysthymia).
04-27-2010, 07:15 AM
IIRC, the extreme reactions are not a bad thing, but, I don't remember what they signify.
04-27-2010, 08:38 AM
My son still has little melt downs as an adult. They come from frustration and not feeling good enough. At 5 he had a learning disability and full blown ADHD. I know how worried you can get when your child is not acting right. It has nothing to do with you being a good Mom. You would not be concerned if you did not care.
My son had to go inpatient at 5 because the school could not handle him. He was a live wire and I had to develop eyes on the back of my head to keep him out of trouble. After 3 months inpatient they got him on three medications that kept him calm enough for school.
Depression and anxiety also runs in my Moms side of the family and it does get passed down. I have one child with it and my sister has a son with it. If she has friends and is excelling at school then I would not worry too much at this age. She sounds like she has perfectionist tendencies so I would try and never judge around her. If she says this dress is ugly I would not reinforce it. With personality disorders kids see everything as black and white with no shades of gray. If her grades are good leave it alone. Don't push her to excel as she is already pushing herself too hard. As I said don't make harsh judgments around her or let her over hear you doing it.
My son had legit reasons to feel different. I countered them with positive things like finding things he was good at and doing those things. He liked hiking so we did a lot of hiking. Things that built up his self esteem. He went on outward bound at 16 which helped him. He graduated and it is thanks to some wonderful teachers.
As an adult he is an awesome person but as I said he can get frustrated. He has a home and a good job but as a Mom our job never ends. I help him with yard work, we do it together and we refinished some furniture but I am already dreading putting together his new Bed. It says it takes about 3 hours to put together. This is going to bug him but I will just keep on putting it together with him present. When we are done we will go out for pizza and celebrate!
My advice is to never judge or get into that around her. Help her by picking out her clothes if she has trouble with that. Find something she likes and do that together and praise her after. I hope this helped...
04-27-2010, 09:37 AM
I would recommend just talking to her when the outbursts happen. Personally, when she said she was sick from crying and didn't want to go to school, I would have told her tough luck and made her go anyway. Kids learn pretty quickly and if she thinks a tantrum will garner her special attention, she may start doing it more often.
As for the "my head keeps telling me that I'm stupid," I would highly recommend you ask her about it. Don't make it into a big deal, just ask her questions. Let her explain. If it sounds like she might actually be hearing voices, take her to a child psychologist to find out if something more serious could be wrong. Otherwise, being that she's 5 years old and exhibiting signs of anxiety (something that you said runs in your family), it could just be that. Don't disregard her statement, but don't make her think what she said is that unusual either.
04-27-2010, 09:48 AM
I would recommend that she should be diagnosed by a medical professional.
vBulletin® v3.7.3, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.