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Months ago, I posted something about my 6-year-old sister saying she wanting to kill herself at times. Now she's 7 and has stopped saying that but I'm still worried about her mental health with my family's history.

Lately, whenever she messes up, she calls herself the stupidest girl ever and that she has nothing but bad luck. I try to convince her that is not true and she's actually very smart, but she won't listen. I also try to ask her to talk to me about it but she refuses. Just now she was playing a game on the computer and when she lost, she exited the game and told me, "I'm leaving the game because I lost, I always do that because I'm a stupid crybaby."

After I tried to convince her for the second time today (the first time was when she knocked over a can of juice), she was happy and playing again even though she refused to listen to me when I was telling her she was smart and didn't talk to me about why she thinks she's stupid at all. It was as if the whole thing didn't happen less than 10 seconds ago.

This isn't the first time her mood has switched quickly, but most of the times before were when I comforted her and it wasn't about her being stupid.

Her quick mood change bothered me a bit and I read that temper problems, which runs in my dad's side of the family and is something she seems to have, are a sign of some kind of mood disorder.

Other symptoms she has shown:
~ Having trouble sleeping but not being tired (except when she first wakes up in the morning)
~ Having trouble focusing
~ Does risky things (nothing too out of the ordinary, mostly jumping from the bunk bed ladder and the couches)
~ Feeling very sad
~ Feeling worthless and guilty

I'm not sure if I'm just being too paranoid about it or not. But if I am right and there is a possibility that she has a mood disorder, I know my parents won't believe it, they didn't take her saying she wanted to kill herself before seriously and just thought she was being a kid overreacting. So if I am right, what should I do?
 

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Months ago, I posted something about my 6-year-old sister saying she wanting to kill herself at times. Now she's 7 and has stopped saying that but I'm still worried about her mental health with my family's history.

Lately, whenever she messes up, she calls herself the stupidest girl ever and that she has nothing but bad luck. I try to convince her that is not true and she's actually very smart, but she won't listen. I also try to ask her to talk to me about it but she refuses. Just now she was playing a game on the computer and when she lost, she exited the game and told me, "I'm leaving the game because I lost, I always do that because I'm a stupid crybaby."

After I tried to convince her for the second time today (the first time was when she knocked over a can of juice), she was happy and playing again even though she refused to listen to me when I was telling her she was smart and didn't talk to me about why she thinks she's stupid at all. It was as if the whole thing didn't happen less than 10 seconds ago.

This isn't the first time her mood has switched quickly, but most of the times before were when I comforted her and it wasn't about her being stupid.

Her quick mood change bothered me a bit and I read that temper problems, which runs in my dad's side of the family and is something she seems to have, are a sign of some kind of mood disorder.

Other symptoms she has shown:
~ Having trouble sleeping but not being tired (except when she first wakes up in the morning)
~ Having trouble focusing
~ Does risky things (nothing too out of the ordinary, mostly jumping from the bunk bed ladder and the couches)
~ Feeling very sad
~ Feeling worthless and guilty

I'm not sure if I'm just being too paranoid about it or not. But if I am right and there is a possibility that she has a mood disorder, I know my parents won't believe it, they didn't take her saying she wanted to kill herself before seriously and just thought she was being a kid overreacting. So if I am right, what should I do?
How old are you? If you are an adult, consult a lawyer. If you are a minor, please confide in a trusted adult! A teacher or guidance counselor at school, a clergyperson, or even call the state hotline. Every threat of suicide must be taken seriously. You are an amazing sister and your lil sis is so lucky to have you!
 

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Hi again. In your other post you mentioned a lot of things that could be contributing to her issues, most of which are out of your control if you are a minor. Her unlimited tablet use, lots of online gaming, family issues. This is a big burden for you if you are under 18 (or even if you are over 18!)

You are not likely going to be able to change your family, but you can be a force for good. I have a few suggestions.

Even if it appears she isn't wanting to talk to you about it or listen, keep giving her an alternate message about herself and her worth. You can just say 'you're saying you're stupid but I know for a fact you are quite bright!' or 'I believe in you and we'll get through this together.' You'll be amazed at the things that later a resilient person will say helped them to get through. You probably have some of your own. It sounds like you both do not have the most supportive parents, but you can find the support you need from other trusted adults: teachers, guidance counselors, ministers, aunts or uncles, etc.

If it feels safe to do so, you can stick up for her (kindly) when she is getting yelled at inappropriately by your parents. Don't put yourself in harm's way, but if it is a safe enough home, you can just explain to your parents your view of whatever happened. She will see you as an ally.

You can note with your family that there is a bad pattern going on, with kids needing to get to the point of self harm statements or feelings to get your parents to pay attention. You don't have to fix it. You can suggest your whole family go to a family counselor for help.

You can talk to someone at her school and just flag them that she could use someone neutral to talk to at the school. You can talk to a nurse or doctor at her primary care to flag them to ask about it on the next visit. Mental health is part of health.

This is drastic, but if she is potentially suffering from a serious issue and is making suicidal statements, you can call the police or DCF (child protection) and let them know your folks are not taking her seriously. You can do this anonymously in most states. Or you can tell her guidance counselor and have him/her call.

If you don't yet have your own counselor you can connect with one to support you through all the things that seem to be going on with your family.

Keep us posted.
 

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how is she doing at school?

Just wondering where the "stupid" thing is coming from. I'm going to admit, even as an adult I say "Don't be stupid" or such things to myself to calm down and focus. Some might take that as low self esteem (which I probably do have) but I say it mostly to stay level (instead of getting frazzled). Does she struggle to read? Does she have impulse control issues i.e.. is clumsy, makes rash decisions, blurts out whatever is on her mind? Does she have friends?
 

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Just wondering where the "stupid" thing is coming from. I'm going to admit, even as an adult I say "Don't be stupid" or such things to myself to calm down and focus. Some might take that as low self esteem (which I probably do have) but I say it mostly to stay level (instead of getting frazzled). Does she struggle to read? Does she have impulse control issues i.e.. is clumsy, makes rash decisions, blurts out whatever is on her mind? Does she have friends?
Generally we internalize the things our caregivers say to us. When we are babies, mirroring occurs long before we understand language. The face on our caregiver (mom or dad) registers to us how they feel about us. We learn from their face and attitude, not their words, how they "feel" about us. If our mom or dad (consistent caregiver) is pretty constantly annoyed or dismayed with us, we "internalize" and get a sense of our worth, as seen through mom's or dad's eyes. That is how our internal sense of self is built--through the lens our parents/caregivers give us. This is also how attachment works.

So if we have a critical or judgmental parent, or one who says we are dumb or just not highly valued, that is what we believe about ourselves. Unfortunately or fortunately, our internal sense of worth or worthlessness if "built" by the time we are about 3 or4, which is when we are just starting to really grasp the nuances of language. So language becomes the 'icing on the cake,' for better or worse. We learn at that older age what words go with those unpleasant looks. Words like stupid.

On the other hand a child that feels valued, loved, priceless, cherished, will internalize a high degree of self love, security, and a positive sense of self. This is why the first 3 years of care and nurturing are so very important.

Once the unlovable/stupid feelings are 'on the inside' it can be hard to undo. But it IS possible. Just takes a lot of work and lots of people to give us the opposite message later. Also the ability to tell ourselves the stupid/unlovable feelings are wrong and need to be corrected. Research tells us we all need at least ONE PERSON who validates us, gives us a message of worthiness, helps us feel strong and competent.
 

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I guess I'm wondering

if she might have impulse control or fine motor issues, or a slight learning disability, which can make you feel like an outsider (constantly having accidents, saying inappropriate things, missing the gist of things). This in itself can make you feel kind of "stupid" because things may be harder for yourself than others (or it seems that way). My parents didn't call me stupid until I think I was a teen and we were in some kind of argument, so it's not like I got it from them, I just internalized it because I've always been out of synch with practically everyone else. I had bad eyesight (bad at sports, had trouble reading the blackboard), have had migraines since 6 years old, and I was probably ADD. Plus my parents were always operating on a budget so I got my brothers hand me down jeans when all the other girls (it seemed to me) were wearing girls jeans.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just wondering where the "stupid" thing is coming from. I'm going to admit, even as an adult I say "Don't be stupid" or such things to myself to calm down and focus. Some might take that as low self esteem (which I probably do have) but I say it mostly to stay level (instead of getting frazzled). Does she struggle to read? Does she have impulse control issues i.e.. is clumsy, makes rash decisions, blurts out whatever is on her mind? Does she have friends?
She does really well in school actually, gets a lot of ME's and MP's (A's and B's) and is a good reader. She is a bit clumsy, she doesn't really think about her surroundings and ends up knocking over a few things and sometimes tripping. She has attempted to run away before, but was never able to get out the door before we stopped her. The day after I made this post, she was wearing one of my old dresses and on strap came off (it was one of those straps you tie with the other behind your neck) and she blamed it on herself. As I was trying to tell her that it was just an old dress I wore a lot when I was her age, she wrapped the strap around her neck, but luckily I was able to take it away before she did any damage to herself. She doesn't exactly blurt things out but she does tell how she really feels about a situation most of the time. She does have many friends, of course she occasionally has small problems with them but nothing that isn't solved.

I also just remembered one time when I was picking her up from school, her teacher walked over to me with her while she was in tears and explained that she just started crying but wouldn't say why. She told me she didn't feel comfortable telling when I asked her myself.
 

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You need to approach this seriously. I think it can be very possible she has a mental health disorder. She needs to be approached with calmness, trust, and empathy, in order not to scare her or make her more introverted. I have been dealing with some issues myself a couple months ago. I wasn’t productive, was always feeling down, and with time passing I just lost the will to do anything, I found myself in a really deep depression. My friends couldn’t help me. Everything was on me, when one day I decided to change things. I was very lucky to find this website ADHD Treatment | Telepsychiatry Appointments Now Available that offers insightful information, advice and proper treatment for various mental health issues.
 
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