brigitteldx asks:

Elective mutism after 5 yrs?

Hi, my daughter is almost 11 and in 6th grade. She is very bright, creative and argumentative - but only at home, with me and my husband. Even with very close relatives she simply shutts off. If asked, she will eventually answer in an almost inaudible voice, and I can see she is struggling. She is also extremelly anxious with new situations; she won't sleep a night before or neither eat before going to school, to the point that she'll need to throw up or suffer from a lastminute diarrhea. Funny thing is that until she was 5, she was a very talkative, spontaneous girl. She'd been very long in therapy and with different specialists, but since she hasn't been through any trauma, they had concluded that's just her personality changing. She is very sweet, though mostly lonely and introvert, and doesn't dare to interact with others, even though she wishes for more contact. I try to encourage her to take initiative, bit it doesn't seem to be helping. I tried to engage her in several colective activities, without success. She keeps herself apart from the rest, even when other kids try to involve her in their activities. She confides me sometimes that she would like to be more assertive, but she feels helpless about it, because "that's the way she is, so she wouldn't be capable to change herself". Despite especialists opinions, that everything is fine, my guts do not agree to those conclusions. I've known her longer. Am I overanalyzing or overestimating something?
In Topics: Self esteem and identity, Friendships and peer relationships, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Mar 24, 2014
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What the Expert Says:

It is great that you are reaching out for some additional advice for your daughter.  It is true that sometimes a person's personality will change slightly to fit their needs. What you describe sounds like your daughter is dealing with some anxiety. Our counselors cannot diagnose this but we feel it would benefit your daughter to see a doctor about how she is feeling and what she is experiencing.  The feelings of being anxious, not sleeping well and having stomach issues can all be tied to anxiety.  
The great thing is that anxiety is treatable. Whether it is talk therapy , medication or a mixture of both, there is help.  

If you need help in locating a referral in your area please call us at 1-800-448-3000 to find a counselor in your area.  

Boys Town Counselor
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