My daughter was diagnosed with an ASD at age 3. Now at age 12 she has increasingly talked about her "imaginary friends" who talk to her, applaud when she behaves in certain ways, and otherwise influence her behavior. She understands that they are in her imagination, and she says she is the only one who can see or hear them. She is extremely aggressive, and at times threatens her "friends" because they upset her. I think… read more
Hugs to all of you dealing with the mental health issues! In some ways they are so much harder to deal with than the autism issues, because we feel the need to keep them secretive and then we miss out on much-needed support from others who are dealing with it too! My daughter (9) deals with depression, has an anxiety disorder, and mild OCD--and we are now considering the option that she may actually be bi-polar. She, too, has a hard time separating her "imaginary friends" from reality and gets very anxious over it. (I should also say, she's not on the spectrum, but has SPD.) Don't let fear, shame, or anything else stop you from getting your child help--first of all, there is nothing to be ashamed of, no matter what anyone says! Second, you can't help your child until you know exactly what you are dealing with. Good luck to you!
This is exactly the question I was about to type --The first time I begame aware of this was when as I was tucking in our 5 year old daughter at night. She sat straight up in bed, fully awake and terrified, saying she heard someone whispering her name in her brain. I comforted her, reassured her, prayed for her, and helped her fall asleep. When I left her room I crumbled into a pile of tears. WTH had just happened. It happened again, several weeks later. I asked her a bit more about what she was hearing and then scheduled an appointment with her therapist. As much as I love our therapist, her "don't worry right now -- this is the age kids begin imaginary friends - could have been pre-sleep type hallucinations and therefore not concerning" take on it seemed a little too lax. That being said, I have had the paperwork to start a formal psych eval in my desk for over three months and haven't filled it out. It's time to get it done. :( Hugs to you my friend.
I know this is likely going to lean towards psychiatry... I hope they don't overlook neurology in the process. Mental health is so often separated from medical health, and there really is no line at all. Don't rule out seizure activity and other medical issues. My daughter's mental health issues are minimal when her seizure meds are on target. Whenever we have tried antidepressants or respiradone we have no benefit and always a BIG undesired side effect of some sort. That's not true of everyone, I know, but very often the behaviors that we deal with ARE the same... we just happened to have seen a couple seizures to guide us the right direction. Ironically, I can't tell you how grateful I am for a couple of scary seizures, otherwise we might have never been able to fit the pieces together.
Neurobehavior HOME Program
650 S. Komas Drive, Suite 200
Salt Lake City, UT 84108
You may want to check with Home program. Our kids are out of the range of many psychiatrists out there. Home program is prepared, or may be able to give you a good referral. Check out there web site.