Emotional roller coaster

Sondra - posted on 08/11/2013 ( 11 moms have responded )

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My 13 year old daughter has always expressed a wide range of emotion, so this is not necessarily something associated with being a teen and "hormones". I worry about her when she gets into a really sad place. It's usually fairly brief, but she over thinks things that she has absolutely no control over - like how the world is destroying itself and how she hates to be a part of such a world. She doesn't understand how we can cut down trees, destroy the earth, go to war, etc.... and I don't have any answers for her! These bouts usually start because of something that upsets her (like a friend being mean) but rather than focus on that, she gets into a frenzy about the larger picture. Help?

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Gabriel - posted on 08/13/2013

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I am not sure if this will help you or not but I'll share a little bit about my experience with my daughter who is now 20. She displayed symptoms of OCD when she was in middle school. It was more than just excessive hand-washing. The reason I finally took her to counseling was because of her obession over thoughts in her head. She would worry herself to death about things that were completely irrational or completely out of her control. It was getting so bad it was affecting her every day life. We saw a someone that specialized in adolescent and child anxiety orders. Before she would perscribe any meds, she wanted to just spend a few weeks visiting and getting to know her. It didn't take long for her symptoms to go away without any meds being neccessary. She still has set backs now and then but nothing like what it was. I have no idea if that's what your daughter might be struggling with but either way, it sure wouldn't hurt to have her talk to someone. A technique my sister taught me (she works with troubled teens) is to make a circle. Outside the circle, write down things that you have no control over. On just the inside of the circle, write down things that you could have influence over but can not completely do alone. then make another circle on the inside. Inside that inner circle, write down things that are bothering you that you have absolute control over. Those are the things you should be worrying about most. Anything on the outer circle should'nt be paid any attention because you can't change it. Sometimes it helps just to visualize.
Good Luck :) I'm sure she will be just fine!

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Hi, I empathise with your Daughter and often feel the same way. With my 13 year old I find that trading time with her works. We cut a deal, I listen to her for 5 minutes and then we do something FUN and silly for 5 minutes. Usually that breaks the pattern. If not, we pick a topic that we can work on just one single thing that we CAN do to make a positive change, as we know, if everyone were to do something it really could make a difference. Good luck..

HT - posted on 08/14/2013

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I was such a child - and what my motto has been is "be the change you want to see in the world,"

Unfortunately, sometimes, even as an adult and a mom, I am overwhelmed by the same things, and I feel too down. Counseling does help but the support of family an friends really does make a difference. Apparently, my Mom noticed the same things in me, but didn't take note of the really down points. You are right, however, to be worried.

Just remind her how much you love her, how wonderful she will be as she ages, what her good gifts are, and give her roots in God. It might just save her! Good luck, my dear.

Judy - posted on 08/13/2013

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Why not getting her involved in some environmental groups i' m sure there's something in her school then maybe she'll meet people she has things in common with and give herself positive things to do with her time

Bre - posted on 11/25/2013

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Sierra Club is great to volunteer for.
https://angeles2.sierraclub.org/volunteer‎ and here are some other suggestions. I'd recommend going with something she'd like...does she like kids? elderly? people who are ill and in need? homeless? veterans? dogs/cats? planting? sewing? outdoors? crafts? then find an organization that highlights her likes/talents which will promote self esteem, self worth and keep her interested.

Project Angel Food
www.angelfood.or
922 Vine St
Los Angeles
(323) 845-1800

Free Arts For Abused Children
www.freearts.org
5301 Beethoven St #102
Los Angeles
(310) 313-4278

Meals On Wheels
mealsonwheelswla.org
900 Hilgard Ave
Los Angeles
(310) 208-4028

Braille Institute
www.brailleinstitute.org
741 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles
(323) 663-1111

You could also try volunteermatch.com

Another idea is a local hospital, nursing home, or hospice.

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H - posted on 01/09/2014

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I have an 18 year old daughter who has struggled with her higher sensitivity. Not exclusive to over thinking and over analyzing. I would really encourage you to check into DBT. It stands for dialetical behavioral therapy. It teaches these special children how to process their very intense emotions.

Meadow Elizabeth Ehryn - posted on 01/03/2014

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what you need to do Sondra is sit your daughter down and ave a nice talk to her to see what is really going on in her life because there might be something you are really missing in her life and you just dont realize it so sit her down and have a talk with her and see what is really wrong because at age 13 this might just be a cry for help and you need to be there to support her GOOD LUCK :)

Betty - posted on 11/03/2013

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We are in the Los Angeles, CA area. Do you know any environmental groups that young people that have social interaction problems can meet and get adjusted and feel at ease with others?

Bre - posted on 10/23/2013

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It's so easy to focus on the negatives and sadness, after all we are programmed to do so. Look at our media focus, news, television....so seldom do we hear the good, the positives, the amazing things that happen everyday. I found that a family gratitude journal helped all of us focus on the good as well as the little things which brought it all into perspective. We try to write down everyday what we are grateful/thankful for or proud of....something uplifting that happened on that day. I've found that focusing on the positives has made us much less focused on the awful things and more focused on the good in the world. Sure we still are sad when we hear of things like the Boston Marathon...we still check out the news but we also turned it around by focusing on the good (Boston Strong, donating, creating a Boston Strong event). My youngest son was in the dorm at UMass (the bomber lived in)....many friends and family members freaked out and focused on the negative. I didn't.....sure I was scared but I found comfort (and was amazed and proud) that the school was so very very prepared.....they hit the fire alarm and evacuated the building in top speed, keeping all the kids safe. What a wonderful thing that happened in the middle of chaos. I don't think I would have been able to send my son back to the campus if I focused on the negatives of the situation. I also agree with volunteering for a cause and feeling like you are helping....Also letting your child know that you are sometimes upset, you worry too, you think about the issues in world is comforting.

Patricia - posted on 10/06/2013

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I would say not to get too emotionally vested in this(hard I know) because you don't want her to suffer. Understand it will pass.

Julie - posted on 08/12/2013

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She is obviously very sensitive and caring. Maybe by changing her worries to a global perspective is her way of dealing with things and taking the spotlight off her troubles.
My 17 year old daughter went through periods of being really sad and withdrawn a few years ago and I worried about her. It's a really hard age for them with all their hormones etc.
Is there any way that she could do something small to help one of the causes and I don't mean lying in front of trees being chopped down lol but maybe some fund raising or joining a society to find out more about these issues.
The world is a cruel place and its a shame but if everyone does something small to make it better than that has got to be a good thing.
Keep talking to her and show her you're listening - you're doing a great job xxxx

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