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Steven Olsen
Steven Olsen, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 1765
Experience:  More than twenty years of expertise in counseling, psychological diagnosis and education
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Hello,My 8 years old girl who just being changed drastically

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Hello, My 8 years old girl who just being changed drastically since last Nov. 2011, her mood changes all the time. She has been diagnosed with the sleeping problem, because she wakes up during night about twice every night, either has to watch TV or talk to herself (she talks to imagination friends) for 30-60 minutes then goes back to sleep. She wants to watch TV because she wants to block voices in her mind, she can never be still or being relax her mind, either drawing, watching TV (Disney channels), or talking to herself.  Once a while she scream out loud.   During the day she can't keep stay up like in the class room, even in the fun activities she just fall to sleep. Her limps move a lot when she talks to herself, she smiles to her own conversation, and sometime she gets very frustrated and busted out to cry or shout, she said "I am not  a normal kid because I can hear voices and other kids don't, I see ghost, other kids don't, and I hate voices in my minds, every time I try to think it just block my minds with the voices.   She can be very violent, gets offended easily. We went to one counselor, after the counselor asked her to fill out and answers a lot of questions, and also asked her to draw, the counselor said there is nothing wrong with her, she thought it was just medical problem to do with her lack of sleeping. Every night she takes melatonin 5mg and she takes ions for deficit ion in the blood test. Do you have any suggestions, or opinion? or what should we do? Thank you very much.  Theresa Nguyen

Hello, My name isXXXXX am a therapist and have three children of my own, one your daughter's age. I have seen many children in counseling, and dealt with many children who have sleep issues. I was instantly drawn to your question.


Simply said, your daughter needs to have another assessment. I am not at all confident that the symptoms that you described are "nothing". Although it is typical for a child of her age to talk to herself, hearing voices in her head is not. And when they are significant enough to cause sleep issues and emotional distress, this is a problem worth much more investigation. Plus, she herself is concerned about the symptoms and her quality of life is suffering.


No one can tell, unless she has blood work, and a full physical and assessment, but it seems to me that she is having symptoms that are intrusive, frightening and persistent. This a a sign that something is wrong and: No competent therapist would simply dismiss these symptoms as irrelevant or just a sleep issue. (Melatonin, by the way, is metabolized by the body very quickly. 5mg is gone in ten minutes, and it only works if the person is already sleepy and needs a little boost to get there fully.( Your daughter sounds like she needs a real sleep aid, one that is designed to help her fall asleep and stay asleep.


I am quite shocked at the quality of the responses that you have been given by these "profesisonals". If this was my daughter I would insist on a completely new treatment team and new assessment. This is clearly an issue that can be helped, but to say that nothing is, not at all. Just her behavior described here is cause for a therapist to look into this further. Hearing voices and seeing ghosts is not a part of normal development and something, either physical or mental is driving it.


I do feel she can be helped, for certain, but she needs a proper assessment and diagnosis. I often encourage parents in situations like this to call the local children's hospital to ask for a referral to who they feel is the best child specialist in your area. Your daughter can be assisted, but she needs a second opinion, and not just a sleep study. Be encouraged, with the right assessment she can be helped. Steven

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