9 year old child who becomes emotionally overwhelmed

by Victoria
(Texas )

My 9yr old daughter over-reacts irrationally several times a day, and I do not understand the reason. She is a very compliant child and these "fits" (I don't know what to call them) have nothing to do with not getting what she wants or unwillingness to obey.

She is extremely irritable with her 5yr old brother with whom she has always had a wonderful relationship. She gets her feelings hurt very easily. She especially tantrums when she feels she has made a mistake on a drawing, etc. She melts down whenever something is what she considers difficult to do or something she feels she should be able to do.

When being corrected she looks almost terrified and begins to weep repentantly making discipline seem unnecessary. However I generally follow through and she always accepts the consequence without resistance.

I am always certain to reaffirm my unconditional love for her and my commitment to do what I should that is for her welfare, and she responds affectionately so I have no reason to think that she does not believe me. Once I a while, however, she has responded by saying that she is a "horrible" person and that conflicts with brother are all her fault. I am very careful to be sure to never send that kind of message so I have no idea why she would feel this way.

I was verbally abused by my alcoholic/bipolar father so I am extremely sensitive about saying or doing anything that would wound her or make her feel that she is not loved or valued. She has a great relationship with her father and I. Our priority as parents is to love our children well and make them feel secure and treasured. They are not indulged and are very well behaved and obedient children who are joyful and lighthearted.

This is why I don't know if this just her temperament, her emotionally immaturity or if I simply a behavior that needs to be corrected. When she does have

this fits she carries on like a toddler that has been seriously injured. Our home is very loving and stable. My husband and I have a very healthy, loving relationship and adore our children. We spend lots of time with both of them and all play together daily. She is very outgoing, silly and affectionate and is highly intelligent and creative. She has a very stable and loving home and many closet friendships.

I just don't understand her emotional volatility. I worry about her so much in this area because my childhood was very traumatic and crushed my self esteem.

I have bipolar 2 with predominately depression and have only recently finally come fully out of depression after almost 6 years of treatment. My symptoms first appeared when I was her age although I was almost a-emotional because of fear of my father and a emotionally unavailable yet loving mother. I don't know if these are symptoms or simply a behavioral issue. How do I know? What do I do? I am so worried about her and am so fearful that she has bipolar disorder too:(

Hi Victoria

It is wonderful to here how aware and conscientious of a parent you are. Understanding how your history impacts you is important. I think it might be helpful to get your child into therapy. Although I have no idea why she is so sensitive, it may be worth checking into to see if there are issues there which are contributing to the difficulties you are observing.

You said you recently came out of six years of depression. How has that effected your children? Are they aware of it? It certainly seems important to check into why it is so hard for her to be corrected, and also into where some of her guilt may be coming from. I'm sorry that this has taken me so long to respond to. Somehow, I completely missed your submission. Please feel free to update us on her progress!


Kristen McClure

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Jun 17, 2018
Anxiety? NEW
by: Anonymous

My daughter has very similar characteristics- almost mirrored. She was diagnosed with anxiety; every type except panicky attacks. She has started taking a low dose of medicine. We are waiting to see if this helps. It’s not fun for us as parents, so it must be really not fun for our daughters. Good luck!

May 16, 2018
My 9 year old daughter has terrible meltdowns NEW
by: Anonymous

My 9 year old daughter is a twin with her sister. While the 9 year old I'm worried about is very sensitive, has current meltdowns. screams and is starting to have the teachers worried. If the class is supposed to have a fun assignment and she forgets to bring her's in, it's a terrible meltdown for what can be twenty minutes. She is probably my sweetest most lovable child. Out of nowhere, will come into a room to ask if you are okay, feeling alright, will tell you how pretty or handsome you look etc. But, if something goes wrong she gets so overwhelmed, we don't know what to do with her. She is so loved and made to feel so special. I am worried about her. She is in acting classed and has had lead roles in plays. She performs beautifully, remembers all her lines and all the other kids lines too and quietly whispers them to them not to embarrass the other child. She is a very good student, but her sensitivity is starting to get in her way. I mentioned she is a twin. My other twin is the direct opposite. She is more self confident and does look after her sister. Is she spoiled with too much sympathy with her terrible meltdowns and what I call tantrums or shall we continue to just keep reassuring her "It will be okay"?

Feb 26, 2017
by: Anonymous

My daughter is also 9 with similar symptoms. I was very suprised at reading about ADHD in girls and how different the disorder is between the genders. My daughter fits a lot of the signs for adhd but I haven't spoke with her dr or anything. Also I am seeing how she has always been different. Her being my oldest I thought it was just normal stuff. But now that we have a house full my other children have not struggled so much emotionally as my oldest has. I also feel her starting puberty in last 6 months has really increased the frequency of her emotional outbursts. She is so loving kind and thoughtful. She is a truly incredible child. But she often says she is an idiot or that everything is her fault or that we hate her. Which a lot of these statements happen when she struggles to handle being told what to do or trouble understanding homework or just conflict with younger siblings. It has now reached a point where it's disrupting a stable home life and is interfering with relationships all through out our home. It breaks my heart to speak truth to her that she is loved that she isn't an idiot or that she can do something that she doesn't think she can and she doesn't receive any of it. I just always thought Linsey was very strong willed but I'm starting to think it may go deeper. I'll add she has never had any behavioral problems at school. The complaints are always she has trouble staying on task or finishing her work. ADHD in girls appears to have much more subtle signs vs in boys and from what I have researched they are most often lately diagnosed if at all. They can be very self critical and have low self esteem along with being talkative and daydreams often. I also read that bc the appearance of adhd in females is different than in males most teachers would not recognize it either.

Sep 30, 2015
Maybe a Highly Sensitive Child NEW
by: Anonymous

It sounds like this girl may be a Highly Sensitive Person according to Elaine Aron's research. You should check out her website, hsperson.com and the quizzes available there. When I found out that I was a Highly Sensitive Person, the world suddenly made sense. Elaine Aron has written a book that might help if you feel it applies, The Highly Sensitive Child. I have a Highly Sensitive child and I know how difficult it can be, even as a HS person myself. Hopefully this is helpful information.

Feb 06, 2015
9 year old stressed out to the point of almost panic attacks NEW
by: Anonymous

My daughter also 9 has episodes where she gets really stressed out mainly with her younger siblings aged 8-6-4 she starts crying goes very red in the face and start to have a sort of panic attack can't breath sweating and struggles to calm down I've talked to her about this to see if their are problems in school she said no and normally would tell me if there was anyway, she told me she gets stressed in school too if there is a time limit on work that she's doin ( if the teacher says she has 30 min to complete a piece of work) she is a very advanced/ clever child so don't understand why things like this get to her her teacher has told me that my child is the only pupil in the class that she doesn't have to help with anything and that everything she does is 110% so I'm really struggling to understand what is happening she says she doesn't no why she gets this way and that she can stop herself from crying but the hot feeling and sweating she can't ive also asked her with her being one of four children of she is lacking attention from me Nd her father or if we are relying on her or if she just needs some good old quality one on one time me her and her dad she says no she gets all the attention cuddles etc that she needs. I don't want to take her to the gp because I don't want for them to say she needs medication to help channel anger/ panic attacks or what ever they are she's having and then the medication take away who she really is she but then I think what if it's a Dr that she needs I'm at a total loss and don't no what to do I want the best for all my babies and hate seeing her this way it breaks my heart any advice would be greatly appreciated and took on board.

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