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Norman M.
Norman M., Principal psychotherapist in private practice. Newspaper contributor, over 2000 satisfied clients on JA
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2568
Experience:  ADHP(NC), DEHP(NC), ECP, UKCP Registered.
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Girl 15, Excess anxiety (frightened of butterflys) Irritability,

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Girl 15, Excess anxiety (frightened of butterflys) Irritability, headaches, sucks thumb, worried about appearence, low activity, over eats and gaining weight but not obese, on edge, denies she did something when obvious she did it but still denies it. She skipped a grade in elementary school so one year younger now in high school. Step father has rasied her since age 3. Mother and step father had two additional children ages 11 girl and 5 boy. Father career military very involved dad, coach & school board. He is in Iraq. Monther stay at home mom.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.
To help me to help you, can you tell me:

How long has this been going on?
You mention low activity - what exactly do you mean?
Anxiety - is related only to butterflies, or more general?
Does she socilaise/have friends?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.


She has been sucking her thumb since childhood. Her only school activity is writer on newspaper. No sports or group activities (no physical use of body). She has one girlfriend. She appears to be very close to her. No other friends. I asked her don't you want friends. She answered why, I don't need them. No other outside interest. Never a Brownie or Girl Scout, no childhood sports. Her mother was a teenager when she was born. No father listed on birth certificate. Her step father has raised her from age 3. They have moved four times spending 3 to 4 years at each military base. Step father is on first tour of duty away from home. He will be in Iraq one year returning December. Anxiety -nervous, fast talking, can't sleep and overly concerned about her appearence. She seems troubled and lacks confidence. Also, lacking in affection - turns head away to a kiss goodbye. Spent a week in my household with a very loveable lab pup. She never played or touched her. She is not frightened of dogs, family has one. She shows little regard for others. She will be eating an ice cream (take two bites) and ask her younger sister if she would like it. The younger sister would say yes with joy and start to reach for it and she would throw it in the trash at the same moment. I have witness this disregard since age 9. Mother and father have college degrees. She is bright and does well in school. She is a year younger than class mates. She thinks she knows it all and gets upset if she can't have her way. If her younger sister starts singing a song on the radio and doesn't know the words, she will tell her to stop singing and point out you don't know the words so you can't sing. She wants her way no matter who it may hurt. No respect for others personal property. She leaves a mess or doesn't return an items to original place. If you call it to her attention she will try to blame someone or say it was that way and she didn't use it. Her younger sister and brother are very happy kind loving children. I enjoy being with them. I get an uneasy feeling around her and don't trust her. I want to see her a happy teenager enjoying life. I appreciate your help. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Oh, she is allergic to nuts and appears sensitive to pollens. Her mother is a drama queen over these issues to her but doesn't have her carry medical ID or treatment needle. I feel she has built fear in her daughter instead of teaching her how to live with these allergies.

Expert:  Norman M. replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for getting back to me on this. I have pondered on your reply for a while, and to be honest, I do not see anything to give a clear indication of a particular problem.

The girl does appear to have an introverted personality (in that she is very self contained, not demonstrative, has no great need for friends), and that in itself is not an issue.

I note that this is her father’s first overseas deployment, and that is more than enough to heighten any pre-existing anxiety. It looks as though despite the fact that she is anxious, she is managing g it fairly well.

She is obviously a clever young person, and very often kids who are brighter than average are used to being correct and things going their way, so that they become very frustrated when they do not. Besides, they often do not have much time for people who seem less clever.

Concerned about her appearance - what 15 year old girl is not?

However, her behavior over leaving things messy and refusal to take responsibility suggests to me that her parents' parenting style lacks an understanding of the need for adequate boundaries - she has been allowed to get away with whatever she likes, and she is going to carry that behavior into your home if she is permitted to.

I am not dismissing your concerns, but I have to say that I do not see anything here that would require outside intervention.

Perhaps, thpough you might be interested in reading the book “How to talk so teens will listen, and how to listen so teens will talk”. Its ISBN is 13: 978 1 85340 857 1

Very illuminating and it is also a good read!

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