Wife making daugther ill

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Rotsne, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    A pattern we cannot seem to loose:

    1) Wife get an anxiety attack. She has a depression. Has been in inpatient treatment for 3 weeks followed by 20 weeks of intense out-patient treatment. She as a job with state grants working 20 hours per week. She is on medication 150 mg Venlafaxine (In Denmark called Effexor), but she sometime has these anxiety attacks, which she then have some panic pills for (Can't remember their name). She takes one and are in bed usually for one day. Her work is informed about her condition and that why it is a job where they state pays half her salery.

    2) However, if the attack last for than one day our daughter gets ill too. I am taking fever (which can be measured), stumach pains etc.

    She has missed about 20 days this school year already. Because we have no system about a max. number of sickdays in her school it is not a problem regarding her education and she is bright so she can catch up with her co-students.

    But our family coach have mentioned that they could have some kind of symbiosis where our daughter actually are stepping in nursing my wife like a mother would do with her child.

    Have you experienced that in your family?​
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    My little girl will try to take care of me when I'm sick (I have a pretty low level digestive disorder that will make me feel wretched from time to time). I won't allow her to physically care for me except in ways that can help her learn to be kind and considerate to others. It wouldn't be fair to expect an almost eight year old to be my caregiver when parents are supposed to be taking care of children.

    My guess is that your daughter is getting sick because she's feeling a lot of stress about your wife (very normal) but feels her well-being is her responsibility (not normal). Alternatively, she may have figured out a way to make herself sick (making herself vomit or heating up the thermometer for instance) so as to stay near her mother.

    I'm going to move this thread to the General forum because the Watercooler is for non-difficult child topics. I hope you can get some meaningful advice on how you can help your daughter.
  3. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Rotsne, even a fever can be the result of extreme anxiety. difficult child 3 used to get very anxious at going to school, although he still has difficulty accepting that his symptoms are just anxiety. He wanted to be at school, he wasn't 'getting sick' to get out of school in any way. But he would get nausea, stomach pain and fever.

    In difficult child 3's case, he gets sick if he's really, really anxious about anything. Because he now does school at home, attending school isn't a problem any more. But having a blood draw, or being somewhere he feels is unsafe (such as Rotarua, on holiday - it's very volcanic) will cause these symptoms, coupled with a sense of dread. In Rotarua he kept saying, "I'm really ill, something really bad is wrong with me," and wouldn't accept that it could be anxiety. But as we drove away, the further we got down the road the better he felt.

    HOw high is your daughter's fever? And which daughter is it?

    There are a number of health problems we've found with our daughters as well as niece. This is on top of te anxiety problems we've seen in difficult child 3. easy child would get nauseous andactually vomit, when anxious. Just the fear that she would get so sick she would vomit, would make it happen. easy child 2/difficult child 2 actually has an organic illness which LOOKS like something psychosomatic, where she feels sick and nauseous after eating. She feels sick, she feels bloated, it lasts for hours. It took 18 months of constant investigations to identify the problem. We took her to a gastroenterologist who finally found the problem and found some medication that helps. It isn't acure, but it makes it easier for her and as a result, her anxiety has eased. The anxiety was adding to it, because she would get anxious that she would feel sick, and this made it even worse.

    From what we've been told, the nausea after eating occurs mostly in mid to late teens, should ease by her mid 20s.

    easy child's anxiety-related nausea and vomiting eased by late teens, but there were probably social factors to this.

    Have you had much checked out by doctors yet? Now could be a good time, before she's too old to be out of your juridsiction.

    There is also the possibility that your daughter has inherited some of her mother's health problems, but they could be manifesting in her in a different way.

    I'm sorry you're having such a rough time with this, I hope the ideas kicking around can help you find some answers.

  4. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    When one family member 'gets out of balance', it affects the entire family. It is very possible that your daughter is experiencing illness related to your wife's illness. This is sometimes called a 'psychosomatic' illness.

    I would keep a journal for a few months to document how your wife's and daughter's illness run parallel paths. Your daughter may need some therapy herself to help her cope with her mother's chronic illnesses.

    My husband suffered from depression while my children were growing up, and let me tell you, it was VERY hard on my children. Adolescence is a time when children need the security of knowing that mom & dad are a solid foundation in their Topsy Turvy lives.

    You sound like a wonderful and caring dad and husband!!
  5. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    When my wife was in the hospital I was the censorship between all the family and my wife. Beside our two children, none were allowed to visit her - by her demand. They could text her (I had to shorten the cord on the charger) but not phone her. Of course it affected the children to see her in that condition.

    My wife has no functioning thyroid and has been medicated for that almost all her life. But she got a blood disease, which went untreated for a very long time. Her dosis regarding the thyroid disease was wrong and she got a light brain damage (memory is lacking) and a depression.

    All the time we have tried to involve the kids at far as possible. They have been talking to nurses and doctors at the hospital where she was comitted and the other hospital where she received out-patient treatment. The school was informed from day one and while our daughter (the oldest) always has shown as very visible reaction, our son are a chess player showing no reaction. Newertheless we know that he also have things to talk about.

    When the money was in the system, my daughter attended a group where kids who had parents with mental illness could talk and socialize. It was not really therapy but just a nurse and a pedagogue working with 10-12 teens one 2 hours peer week. The school reported immediately success. Unfortunately the economy are not very good, so this group and the daycare center for the elderlies were shut down. The staff in some of the clubs (sports etc.) was cut in half.

    So we are back where we started and she doesn't - according to the school or town hall - qualify for single threapy. It is too expensive. There is almost no private sector with therapists we can afford. If she was an at-risk kid commiting crimes, wearing headscarfs (now forbidden in both France and Belgium) or taking drugs, they might consider mandated continuation school (we only have 7 secure juvies for about 200 youths in Denmark, so these schools are used instead).

    She is however only a girl, who likes to stay at home all time outside school reading books or helping with chores. She has about 2-3 friends in school who she texts or mails.

    I don't know if anything can be done about it. Some day she might decide to leave home and take an education because she likes art, but mostly her ambition is to work in the local supermarket, which are not that bad. Our family coach suggested a continuation school in order to break their bonds, but she hasn't committed a crime, so why lock her up?

    I have decided to avoid addressing it for the moment and see if her newearned and infact encouraged party life cannot bring her days of illness to an end. I just wanted to know if it is common.
  6. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    If it's at all related to what three of my four kids have shown, then it's probably not very rare.

    Maybe encouraging her to get a job at the supermarket could help, it would at least give her some experience outside home, which could give her a sense of balance and perhaps make it easier for her to be distracted form home worries.

    I remember now, you have shared some about your wife before. It must be very difficult for you and for your children at times.

    Are there any volunteer organisations you could use? In Sydney, Australia, we have a group called Carers NSW which provides support and advice for people who help care for someone with a disability. As another part of the work they do, they have Young Carers, where camps and get-togethers are provided for younger people who have someone with a disability (parent or sibling) in the family. The kids go away to cmap with oter kids who are like them, often with older carers as camp counsellors, as well as professionally trained staff. The kids often get to do things they don't get to at home, due to the problems of living with disability.

    It's a charity, a volunteer-run organisation, the camps are funded from business donations in exchange for media publicity for those businesses.

    Is there any way something like this could exist in Denmark?

  7. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    Volunteer organisations is almost non-existing. The general opinion is that we pay more than 50 percent in taxas and 25 percent in add-on taxes so it must be a state problem to take of social issues. I remember that a manager from a business chain called The Body shop found it odd that the Danish branch had almost none attending volunteer organisations because they in this chain actually gave people time off with pay to volunteer in the local communities. None did it.

    Some years back students in high schools could take one day leave without being registered as truant to work in various job sending aid to third world countries, but most students this year stayed at home or got into towns instead where bars and clubs had adds with "Project days work party". When I search for it, I found an article in Wikipedia about this particular issue.

    So volunteer jobs are out of the question. Summer camps are also non existing unless we are talking of something run by the government like trying to help overweight children. I have tried to suggest sports or the scout movement, but there is no interest and because she is doing well at school and the family coach has warned us against challenge neither of our children, I would not put my foot down.

    But maybe I can ask her to apply for a part time job on Saturdays. Because she is only 15 she is not allowed to work with money due to security laws, but she can place the goods on shelves etc. Good idea. I will try to suggest that to her.
  8. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    A job of any sort would give her a sense of accomplishment and it wouldalso work towards her career path in terms of experience. Even unpaid, there can be fringe benefits (employee discount?) and she can begin to develop a CV (curriculum vitae) listing any volunteer work as experience, so when she finally finishes school, she can show that she already has some experience.

    I'm surprised at the no pay for 15 year olds - in Australia, you can get into the paid workforce (even after school jobs) from 15.

    We have The Body Shop here in Australia. It's British-based and is involved in a lot of charity work, here and in Britain. The poor things must be in shock, in Denmark!
  9. Rotsne

    Rotsne Banned

    We had a lot of paperboys in the old days but the internet killed that off. Also Denmark signed a law against child work which all EU countries have to follow. It forbids any work by youth below age 13. Even at boarding schools the department for security in the work space did interfere when it comes to chores. There are rules for how long and what work they are allowed to do. The question is now whether any school is allowed to assign chores as punishment. I know that new rules are on the way regarding that area.

    She is allowed to do paid work, but she is not allowed to handle money unless an adult is present all time. In fact my father who had a gas station came under police investigation because he was down getting some spare parts while the gas station was robbed. The person in the shop was only 3 months short of her 18 years birthday, which made it illegal for her to stand in the shop alone.

    None list volunteer work in their CV. As a CIO I have handled several applications. I cannot recall having seen volunteer work listed in an application. In fact there was a case where one had listed an internship in an application. It became a case where the trade unions made a huge case out of it because they dislike unpaid internship.

    I will try to made her seek a job.