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I saw the girl who isn't there....

 
 
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2012 07:38 pm
I know this is really vague but curiosity has finally got the best of me so I'm going to ask...

What malady might make a child just stop.

Just stop everything -- talking, having facial expressions, everything.

It happened very quickly. I've known this girl for years. She was shy, but social. She had friends and did things. Then she just stopped. School, friends, sports, neighbors, all of it just stopped. She's physically there, but she isn't there in any other way. She's a body.

I know that she has spent almost a month in a lock down psychiatric facility. She's been released but she's still not there.

I know her parents are frantic. They're good people and good parents. They talk about it, but not much. Of course, none of the nearby want to really intrude with questions but we're all really wondering what the heck might cause a girl to just stop.

Any ideas?
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Type: Question • Score: 16 • Views: 7,609 • Replies: 38

 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2012 07:44 pm
@boomerang,
I grew up very much like the description of that girl. While I got decent grades in school, I was otherwise just there. Said less than a dozen sentences in class most years, only responded to the occasional questions of others, with noncommittal replies. Read Dickens at an early age, but had nothing at all to say when conversations directed at me arose. But I can't answer about her.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2012 07:46 pm
@edgarblythe,
Was it sudden that you became that way?

I would say it was within a month that this girl went from normal to nearly catatonic. She went from having great grades to out of school. She's enrolled for next year but is only allowed to go for two hours a day and the other kids have been instructed to not try to engage her.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2012 07:55 pm
Nobody paid attention to me. Once, in the second or third grade, I said, "He's safe" when a runner touched the home plate. The teacher was thoroughly amazed and she gave me a long surprised look. More than midway into the school year, it was the first time she heard my voice. I was possibly born like that, but on the other hand, nobody at home interacted with me, except brother Sam. I recall getting sent into a room to play, mornings, with no toys and nobody coming in to check on me or talk to me. Possibly a combination of such things. In that sense, I was totally different from the girl in question. I probably should have refrained from mentioning this on your thread.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2012 08:03 pm
@edgarblythe,
It's fine that you mentioned it here.

It's a terribly sad story, though. Most kids think they're the most interesting person in the world and that everything that comes out of their mouths is brilliant.

From what I hear one of the things that might has set this girl's problems off is that a new nanny was told that she was old enough to take care of herself and that most of the attention would need to go to little sibling. In the past, the nannies were her companions. I can see lack of attention contributing to this kind of silence.

The fact that this was so sudden is what makes it so strange.
0 Replies
 
Torii
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2012 09:10 pm
@boomerang,
My uncle is kinda like that after active duty in the afghan war, and he is just a different person now. I haven't asked him why, but I'm guessing it's trauma, and after the incident of failed attempted suicide, he sees a psychiatrist every week. Are you sure her parents are as nice as they seem to be, or some bully or events in her life shocked or upset her deeply.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2012 09:10 pm
When those who ought to be positive in your life seem to turn away, it can be devastating. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall immediately prior to the change.
0 Replies
 
solanina172
 
  2  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2012 09:16 pm
@boomerang,
How old is this child you are speaking of?
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  3  
Reply Tue 4 Sep, 2012 10:37 pm
@boomerang,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catatonia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stupor
0 Replies
 
roundround
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 12:57 am
@boomerang,
We just dont know what's really happening inside the family. A child wont act that way is he/she is treated right, or there could be psychological problem,
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 06:07 am
@boomerang,
sounds like a girl I went to school with

I'd say she was a friend in Gr 7 and 8, she was in different classes in Gr 9 so I didn't see her as often. She disappeared in Gr 10. Came back in Gr 11 - we were told to call her by a different first name if we addressed her. She didn't really talk with anyone when she came back. She had lovely curly black hair that hung in a mat in front of her face when she came back.

The official word from our homeroom teacher was that she was depressed. The unofficial word was that she'd spent close to a year in the local psychiatric hospital.

I still wonder what happened to Cathy/other name.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 06:16 am
This girl is 12.

I do think things are okay with the family. I know them pretty well and they live very close. There is nothing to make anyone suspect abuse or neglect or any other problem. I would imagine if there were serious family problems that it would have all come out during the psych ward stay.

Thanks for the links, DrewDad, I'm off to read.

I thought depression too, ehBeth, but this is so extreme.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 06:25 am
@boomerang,
http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/symptoms/social_withdrawal/common.htm

Depression can be extreme. It's not a benign diagnosis.
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 06:39 am
@boomerang,
My first (layman's) thought when I read the symptoms was catatonic schizophrenia, but she seems like the wrong age from schizophrenia. Schizophrenia usually shows up in early to mid 20s, I think.
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 06:41 am
@boomerang,
The brain is such a fragile and complex thing. Who knows what switch (for use of a better word) has arbitrarily broken and left no obvious or noticeable scars for any doctor or doctors who may not know what to exactly look for.

Quote:
. There is nothing to make anyone suspect abuse or neglect or any other problem.

Well in some rare cases, abuse doesn't have to be exactly physical. Who knows exactly what this girl has seen that may have completely broke her psyche.

Maybe she witnessed some kind of uberviolent event that know one else in the family knows about or would admit to, etc....
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 06:43 am
@DrewDad,
DrewDad wrote:

My first (layman's) thought when I read the symptoms was catatonic schizophrenia, but she seems like the wrong age from schizophrenia. Schizophrenia usually shows up in early to mid 20s, I think.


Quote:
What is schizophrenia?

Schizophrenia is a major psychiatric illness. Symptoms usually begin in late adolescence or early adulthood. Numerous studies have found that about one in every 100 people around the world has the disorder. However, schizophrenia with an onset in adolescence (prior to age 18) is less common and an onset of the disorder in childhood (before age 13) is exceedingly rare. It is thought that at most one in every 100 adults with schizophrenia develops it in childhood.

http://www.nami.org/Content/ContentGroups/Helpline1/Early_Onset_Schizophrenia.htm
What I get from this is that early onset schizophrenia is rare BUT possible.
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 06:46 am
@tsarstepan,
Yes, I know psychologists that have worked with schizophrenic kids.

It's very sad and troubling.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 09:29 am
@boomerang,
you mentioned a nanny that was new - could the nanny been abusive in some way?
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 09:42 am
@tsarstepan,
Quote:
The brain is such a fragile and complex thing.


Yes it is quite scary how quick some one can change - my cousin (same age as me); during summer break after her first year in college went missing. She was found wandering around the high school and muttering to herself. I grew up with her and used to play regularly with her as a child, we went to school together being in the same grade.

But something "snapped" in a sense. She was determined to have some sort of psychological issue (can't remember the name of it). And as an adult now cannot fully take care of herself. Her mom worries what could happen with her if/when she cannot care for her.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 5 Sep, 2012 10:15 am
@DrewDad,
Childhood onset schizophrenia is one of the other options that comes up as a source of social withdrawal.

Horrible diagnosis.
0 Replies
 
 

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