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Worried about my niece

JDot

J to the Dizzle O to the Tizzle
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#1
My niece's mother (my sister) died by suicide back in 2016. Her father died a few years before from alcohol poisoning. My niece has been dealing with ptsd and separation anxiety. My parents and I take care of her. She's afraid to go to school because she's afraid something will happen to my parents while she's gone. She screams and cries about having to go to school. She keeps saying she wants to kill herself. She pretended to kill herself yesterday. We took her to the doctor today. The doctor tried to have her hospitalized but couldn't find room for her. She got a referral to see a psychiatrist. She's just ten years old. She turns eleven this december. I'm worried about her and wonder what I should do.
 

Lane

SF Supporter
#2
She's so young. I remember a therapist giving me advice about my oldest children once and it stuck with me. She said to keep talking to them. She felt that a child's main caregiver was better than a therapist if they were there there to listen to the child's thoughts.

Do you think a psychiatrist will help her? They are trained. I know you must be very worried. Wish I could offer better advice.
 

JDot

J to the Dizzle O to the Tizzle
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#3
She's so young. I remember a therapist giving me advice about my oldest children once and it stuck with me. She said to keep talking to them. She felt that a child's main caregiver was better than a therapist if they were there there to listen to the child's thoughts.

Do you think a psychiatrist will help her? They are trained. I know you must be very worried. Wish I could offer better advice.
Thanks for the advice. Yes I think a psychiatrist is invaluable right now. I think the right medication will make a big difference.
 
#4
Sorry that this is happening JDot, that's awful.

It's a horrible thing for a child so young to lose both parents. I'm glad she's at least got you and your parents.

She screams and cries about having to go to school
I wonder if there are problems in school itself, or if it's just separation anxiety.

The psychiatrist may have some ideas about what to do. I'm guessing that she'll probably be referred to a therapist. If you let either the psychiatrist or therapist know that you'd like to play an active role in supporting her, they may be able to advise you.

It's terrible that she's had so much taken from her, but she's got an awesome Uncle!
 

MichaelKay

Well-Known Member
#7
Seeing a therapist would be a good idea (psychologist or shrink most likely)

My mom used to run a preschool/after school kids club for kids aged 6-10 and she helped set up this "Loss Group" for kids who had lost parents where a kids psychologist had sessions with the kids and helped them overcome their loss of a parent. Something like that could probably be helpful. But also just seeing a psychologist 1-on-1 so she could get some of that frustration and fear released and talk about it with someone not involved who has the proficiency to do so could be helpful.
 

MosesY

Functioning Alcoholic
#8
I'm sorry your neice is going through this @JDot .

I think the best you can do is be there for here, encourage her and love her and give her lots of hugs.

A psychiatrist is a good start. THe psych will probably give her medication and give her a recommendation to a therapist. Finding the right meds could take years. Therapy could take years. It is important to be supportive, loving, and listening during this time. Never be too busy to listen to her. Drop what you are doing and give her all your attention. I'm glad she has family during this time, a lot of children do not.
 

Champagne

✯✯ Heart of an angel ✯✯
Staff Alumni
SF Supporter
#9
Awww, J :( Your poor niece.

Make sure she knows you are there for her in good and bad times, make sure she knows she can come to you about anything at all. I'm also wondering if there is something happening in school? Maybe talk to some of her teachers as there could be something hidden there.

She's so young and she has gone through a lot of trauma, my suggestion would be to get to see a specialised therapist in trauma and grief and go from there. Make sure she isn't spending too much time alone as that could have a negative effect on her.

Losing her mom at just 6 years old and now she is still so young and doesn't understand the world due to age, I'm not surprised she is worried about ye when she is away. Have a heart to heart with her and let her know you will always be there for her, your studies should help in that matter too and focus on getting life's stresses out of the way for her as much as possible.

You're a wonderful uncle, don't doubt that and I hope the psychiatrist helps. *hug
 

1964dodge

Has a frog in the family
Forum Pro
SF Supporter
#11
i am so sorry about your niece that's a lot for a child to understand and process. i agree with @Champagne you should have a good heart to heart talk with her. try to help her process this trauma. also talk to her about suicide not being a good solution.

and i would try to get an appointment with a psychiatrist as soon as possible. it's possible that therapy and meds could help. and of course try to work with your parents to keep an extra eye on her right now. i hope she gets the help she needs and can start to recover...mike...*console*sadhug*shake
 

Waves

Well-Known Member
#12
My niece's mother (my sister) died by suicide back in 2016. Her father died a few years before from alcohol poisoning. My niece has been dealing with ptsd and separation anxiety. My parents and I take care of her. She's afraid to go to school because she's afraid something will happen to my parents while she's gone. She screams and cries about having to go to school. She keeps saying she wants to kill herself. She pretended to kill herself yesterday. We took her to the doctor today. The doctor tried to have her hospitalized but couldn't find room for her. She got a referral to see a psychiatrist. She's just ten years old. She turns eleven this december. I'm worried about her and wonder what I should do.
I feel for her. Sounds like parental history of mental illness plus parental deaths and one by suicide. That is overwhelming for an adult much less a child. She is having extreme anxiety. Age 11? Fifth grade? Start of pre adolescence when social issues and drama at school increases, hormonal changes, etc. Are her grandparents ill? Showing signs of aging and mortality? An inpatient unit will mean being on a locked ward and drug trial. That can be rough for a child. Maybe consider outpatient therapy twice a week. Consider blended schooling in light of covid (but for her mental health). Help her find a therapeutic friendship with another or other healthy girls to build her network outside of home. Anxiety interferes with doing that in own. As for medication benzodiazepines are addicting. Anything else will be Zoloft I imagine given her age. That is the caregivers’ decision but be her advocate. Not just accept a pill unwittingly. Good luck
 

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