My Niece

Andrea Danielle

New Member

I finally have my 6 year old difficult child somewhat figured out - he has BiPolar (BP) and Tourette's Syndrome.
I need some feedback this time on my 13 year old niece as I am trying desperately to help my sister who is stressed - she is somewhat in denial that there is a serious problem here and I think there is….

Here is the story...
My niece was always somewhat different, even as a baby she was very sad a lot, moody and grumpy. She had a bowel issue for a few years where should she would withhold her stools for up to 10 days and be in so much pain at the end that she would moan for days. She rarely smiled. Up until about age 3 or 4 she would want to lay over people's knees and be rocked gently up and down for long periods for comfort. She would fly into rages and make some pretty gory threats like telling her grandmother that she would cut her eyes out and kill her.

As a young toddler she started her fascination with evil characters, she would fixate on them, her first was a black scary looking doll called Slappy which she carried everywhere. I think there were a few evil obsessions in between but then at around age 8 she became obsessed with Marilyn Manson and this has been her fixation ever since.
She always had very angry moods. She was and is still can be mean and abrasive, even to strangers. She is not comfortable with people, she lacks social skills. She can also be very loving and emotional to family members at times, cuddly and sweet and then hardly speaks at other times.
She has also had various tics over the years, many facial tics and for awhile she was throat clearing. (which I am now much more aware of since my difficult child has Tourette's Syndrome).
There was a period last year when she was cutting herself, not sure if it has stopped.

Now at age 13 she appears to be in a complete depression, she spends most of her time in her room watching tv or on the computer. She writes on her blog how depressed she is regularly and hates herself, belongs to an online group about hating life. She has a few friends but seems to be very needy of them and otherwise does not fit in at in school, my sister ended up keeping her home from school several days towards the end of last year because she could not handle it. She has been taken to a few social worker/therapists lwho agree that she is in a depression but are only looking at it in terms of her current issues, not what could be going on neurologically. She is going to see a Psychiatrist in 2 weeks, not sure of the quality – we ended up going to a lot of useless Psychs before we found the great ones that we have now…
The latest thing is that she went to a 2 week overnight music camp (she is very gifted musically) and she called home after the first day begging to come home. The second day the councilor called saying she was just laying in bed facing the wall, and told people that if she was not taken home she would hang herself. My sister is a great mom but I think this is hard for her to handle and tends to try to normalize it makes justifications for it ie. "she is an introvert, that’s just her, she is different".

So, you can see why I am concerned? Especially since BiPolar (BP) and Tourette's Syndrome is in our family. Her parents divorced in the last 2 years and her dad is a jerk which explains some of the depression but it seems to me that there is something much bigger going on here.



Well-Known Member
Well, it does sound as if she beats to a different drummer than the average 13yo. However, it also seems likely she has some mental health issues as well. Depression being the most obvious - but I believe alot of depression comes from other underlying disorders that make teens different from other teens.

I relate it to an episode of Grey's Anatomy when George told one patient (a girl that ended up really being a male physically but the male organs were inside her) that it gets better after high school. Being different is not so obvious after high school. There are many more groups to be yourself with.

It is a tough time for teenagers for sure. I did not realize just how tough until my difficult child was in high school. It was just easier for me I guess.


Well-Known Member
I really hope your niece is bluffing, but I would advise your sister that any sort of suicidal ideation must be taken seriously. A complete mental health evaluation is in order.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
I certainly hope your sister has the good fortune to have found a excellent psychiatrist the first time around. You might want to help your sister compile a parent report for the psychiatrist going over the childhood behavior history. I think that her history is just as relevent to what is going on now. It will give the psychiatrist a clearer picture.


Andrea Danielle

New Member
Thanks guys!
I have sent her the Parent Report to fill out - great idea, I forgot all about that.
Has anyone else had a pre-teen girl who sounds like this?



Well-Known Member
I don't think this is normal tween moodiness. I had bipolar as a kid and acted a lot like your niece when I was depressed, however it alternated, in my case, with times when I would be almost giddy and busy too. But when the black cloud descended, I didn't want to do anything and nothing made me even perk up a little. I'd want her to get good help ASAP. Depression/bipolar can hit suddenly and strong around the time a girl gets her period. That's when my mood disorder became obvious. Before that, I just seemed, like your niece, different. If I were her mother, I'd watch her very carefully. The threat to hang herself is a danger signal. She may not be thinking of really doing it yet, but it's much, much better to be safe than sorry.