Could my 4 year old have mental illness?

Britanny - posted on 05/14/2013 ( 21 moms have responded )

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Oh boy where do I begin here. First off, Hi. I'm Britanny I am 25 and a married Mom of a 4 year old girl Jasmine and a 14 month old boy Landon.. My issue is my daughter. Since she was just a baby, she has always been... "off" It's hard to explain, but she wasn't like other babies of her age. Once she began walking and talking, I noticed she was even more.. "out there" she would stare off into space and just start talking away as if she was talking to someone. who very clearly wasn't there. She CAN'T sit still. I have tried everything to get her to just sit still for five minuets. even letting her use the computer. She will stand and play her games and move around while doing it. She refuses to eat most of the time, well anything that isn't a "snack" Crackers, apples, very rarely chips or something sugary (those are things she earns). She has horrible night terrors where she screams bloody murder for 20 minuets, but never wakes up. she has been doing that since age 2. She whines constantly, about everything. From needing to go potty to , well you name it she whines about it. It never ends, the whining. It gets to the point I just want to get away from her. She yells, and throws fits. Most of this I just assumed was her being a kid, but then things got, Darker.. After we had the baby, she became straight out mean, to everyone. I assumed jealousy would be an issue, so I had and still do, make sure we have our "special" time together, where Landon is with his father, or a friend and Jasmine and I have our time. That hasn't helped. Now she does some pretty scary things. She sits on her brothers head and bounces on him. She pushes and hits him. She has put a pillow over his head and sat on it, while I was doing dishes. She climbs on counters to get stuff that is supposed to be off limits and gives it to her brother. tonight I caught her trying to force feed him benydril pills. which I had put well out of her reach before I went to the bathroom. When I tell her not to do these things she just looks at me with this smug look. I ask her why, she did it and she claims she doesn't know. Then I ask her if she knew what could happen to her brother and she smiles and says. "yes, he can die."


I'm freaking out, and I need some help here.

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Britanny - posted on 12/03/2013

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Since making this posting Jasmine has been seen by a professional and it was concluded she has ADHD and oppisitional defiance disorder. She is being treated with meds and is now doing great. And now finally looking out for her little brother.

Rachelle - posted on 05/27/2013

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Autism???? Have u ever thought this could be wits up cos it sounds like it.. And sounds exactly like my autistic son

Alyn - posted on 05/28/2013

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Have her assessed. Could be a few things, make sure you look into sensory processing disorder. A lot of diagnosis can have underlying sensory issues. I always knew my son was "off". I was told he was a boy, that was why. He was my first, so was learning as I went. Trust your gut. After a lot of research I figured out what my son had and found the correct specialist for him. Good luck.

Sonia - posted on 05/17/2013

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Hi Brittany, I am a mom of seven kids myself and I can tell you honestly, your daughter needs to be evaluated by a professional NOW. Things are only going to get worse and the last thing you want is for something to happen that can't be taken back. I am really sorry you are going through this but please get her in to see a Dr. ASAP.

Carol - posted on 05/15/2013

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I'd get her seen by a counselor as soon as possible. The whining and talking stuff is typical for some kids. Force feeding a baby pills knowing it could kill him is scary. She needs 100% supervision, especially around her baby brother.

I knew a boy whose mom was bi-polar. He was only 4 when he killed a kitten. He was dangerous around his little brother. They moved away just as he was getting seen by a specialist. I don't think they can label kids that young, but they can treat them and tell you how to deal with her potentially lethal behavior. Good luck!

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Katie - posted on 08/26/2013

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Hang in there and fight for her :) My son is almost 4 and a half and after years of fighting with drs that theres something "off" with my son we finally got to see a real dr (psychiatrist) last month. It has been a very long road. It took seeing a psychologist a couple times a month for over a year to finally get him in for an eval. He has an anxiety disorder and is highly intelligent/manipulative and unless he is watched one on one 24/7 he will get what he wants. I cant trust him. He waits for that one moment my eyes are off him to go and do something. He also tells me he doesnt know what hes doing or why hes doing it and get extremely upset. It may take many drs and many many appointments to finally find someone that will listen and help but never give up on her.

Cathy - posted on 06/11/2013

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it is not your fault my daughter used to bite herself and hit her head into walls. she would tell me i was mean for taking a toy when she would hit me. she would have weird laughing too. another book that might be helpful with the weird laughing is louder than words by jenny mcarthy. her son is way worse off than yours in the book but she can explain that he was reacting to some foods and how you can see if that is something you can work on with your daughter.
cathy

Cathy - posted on 06/11/2013

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My daughter is soon to be 7 and has some similar issues. She is diagnosed with autism but add and adhd have very similar symptoms. I would recommend you read the book the four A's, autism, add, adha, and allergies. It might help explain in more detail why these things are really happening. We are doing biomedical intervention with a dan!dr to try to help but an Occupational therapyst might help too.
Cathy

Meredith - posted on 06/10/2013

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I am glad you have an appointment with a professional for your daughter, in the meantime please don't leave her alone with your son. Except for the incidents in which she is trying to harm her brother, my step-grandson had a real mean & dark personality which was very troublesome. They determined he was ADD & went on medicine. The change was remarkable, that was 10 or so years ago. Today he a fun loving 19 year old, enrolled in college and very talented. I hope the same happens with your daughter, in the meantime be open to all the doctors have to say. Pay no heed to your mother, they will not take your children away from you.

Christi - posted on 06/09/2013

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Oh boy, I feel your pain. My 5 year old daughter was (and still is sometimes) a handful with her strong personality. However, she does not have the malicious tendencies that you describe above. She is usually fun-loving, affectionate and high energy. I think it's much too early to label your child with mental illness but there is clearly something that she needs to work thru. Hopefully she can work thru these issues with a mental health professional and remain a joy and desired addition to your family. An idea might be to get her a pet to better learn compassion and love. I got bunnies for my girls and it has been a wonderful thing. Hang in there...do not lose hope. It does get easier as they get older and at this young age, they develop so quickly....every 6 months they have a new personlity it seems. Love her with all of your heart and continue to re-direct her behavior as much as you can to desirable behavior. Let her know that you love her just the way she is, you just can't accept some of her behaviors. I wouldn't use candy as a reward either if you can help it...just my two cents. Best of luck to you.
-Christi

Amie - posted on 05/26/2013

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My older sister went through the same thing with her daughter. She's 11 now, when she was younger she pulled the legs off her pet hampster and let him die in his cage. She tried drowning a friends son, and her older sister. She tried sufficateing her mother and me. She tired jumping out of a second story window. When asked why she was doing all these things she told the pych doctor "the voices and an old man only she can see told her to do them." With her though it was taken into account that her parents mental status wasn't that great. Her mother is bi-polar and her father is a scizoprenic.

Autumn - posted on 05/24/2013

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Good for you for getting the appointment. Shame on your mother for saying that! Make sure they assess what her time with your mother consists of! Especially conversations.

Britanny - posted on 05/21/2013

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I made an appointment with Early Child Hood Development to address these concerns. It's scary because it isn't just directed at her brother. She has stabbed me in the back with a fork, then laughed about it. She climbs on windowsills "to watch the cars" Most people would worry about molestation or something, but I am paranoid as It happened to me when I was little, so the only time she isn't with me, she is with my mother. So I know that isn't a factor. She goes around telling people we don't love her. (which breaks my heart to pieces) I know something is off, because when she has a "good day" she is so sweet, and attentive and funny and cuddly. I want that Jasmine 24/7. But even now after I have made the appointment I am nervous about going, because my mom keeps telling me that they are going to come and take my kids away because it's my fault she is like that.

Cindy - posted on 05/21/2013

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Evaluation by neuro and psych immediately! My thoughts are with you, but don't despair. I've had dark times with a kid and they did pass, but we went through tons of docs, etc. first.

Kristin - posted on 05/20/2013

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Some intervention is needed here. I would start with a full physical including bloodwork and a neurological exam. Get a referral to a child psychological specialist.

Until you get a handle on the situation, NEVER leave them alone together.

Good luck.

Rachel - posted on 05/19/2013

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She needs an EEG and bloodwork. Major red flags here on many neurological fronts.

Marissa - posted on 05/19/2013

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She needs some tough love. When she whines you tell her not until you speak correctly. She needs consequences and soon the longer you wait the worse it will get.

Sandi - posted on 05/18/2013

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Do you have a pediatrician? Have you asked their advice on getting her evaluated? Most counties have early intervention services (age 0-3, then school age 4+) if you cannot afford a mental health professional yourself. Call your pediatrician and ask the nurse for a referral.

Kids that age don't realize the permanence of their actions (she knows he'll 'die' but characters in TV shows come back to life).

Still you need 100% monitoring - even when you go to the bathroom (sorry).

Amanda - posted on 05/17/2013

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I am starting to notice my niece doing some of these things to my son who is three and half years older then her. She is almost two and my son is five and a half. She pushes him, bites him, sits on his head, throws things at him, goes out of her way to make his day horrible. He hides now when she is over and I mean hides I don't see him for hours, he either goes on the computer or goes in his room. I can honestly say I have no idea how to handle it, and know how helpless you feel. One thing that you have is she can talk. Getting her seen by someone is a good idea, but one thing that helped my son talk about how he was feeling at her age was draw a picture and tell me what the picture is all about. You may not want to hear what she has to say but it might give you some idea of what is going on. I would invest in a baby carrier and strap your son to yourself until she sees someone. I am sorry to hear what you are going through, but one thing I learned being a single mom, we are never given more then we can handle. You must have lots of patience. Hang in there and I hope you get the help you need.

Mary - posted on 05/14/2013

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Hi there Brittany..sorry i am not expert. Just a mum of one girl. Sorry for your worries with your daughter. It would be impossible to tell if she has some sort of disorder unless she was assessed by a suitable professional- like a child psychologist or psychiatrist. Could you get a referral via your doctor? She might be just an intense bright emotional sensitive child or she might have some problem that could be helped. Best of luck :)

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