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My daughter seems troubled

Published:Saturday | March 20, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Dear Counsellor:

My daughter is always getting into fights with her peers and her academic performance is poor. She gives the impression that she is studying or doing homework when she is at home. She has changed several schools with little effect.

- Mary

Dear Mary:

Behavioural problems and learning problems are very common in children and adolescents. Some children are simply acting out their pathologies or the social issues that they face each day. Your daughter needs to be assessed and recommendations made.

The diagnoses could be attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression or sexual abuse.

Many illnesses present with similar features and so your daughter may have several diagnoses.

She needs to be counselled and allowed to express her feeling. You might be surprised about what is causing the problem. She might need medication as well, so take her to see a child psychiatrist.

Gone too soon

Dear Counsellor:

My daughter died recently and I have been very depressed. She was my first born and I had a special bond with her. I was told that counselling might help.

- Anita

Dear Anita:

Grief counselling is helpful in alleviating the painful experience of death. Death is a natural part of life. We have to weep and mourn.

However, it's important to remember the fun times that you had together. Make a scrapbook of pleasant moments using the photos that were taken over the years.

Give thanks for those years that you had her. It is hard to be thankful at this time but this will become easier with time.

Counselling will help you to cope. You will have times when you will cry a lot. There will be other times when you will be happy. Some people write poems and stories about their experiences. This helps as the persons get to ventilate their feelings. The memories will always be present. If you are unable to sleep or eat, you should see your doctor who will prescribe the appropriate medication.

Be prepared for moments when you will feel overwhelmed, as if you can't go on. You may be filled with unhappiness. However, these episodes will not last forever. Be of good cheer. Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted.

Email your questions or feedback to Dr Yvonnie Bailey-Davidson at or call 978-8602.