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Does my sister have symptoms of adolescence?

Q: My sister is 14 years old. Since last year when school reopened, she found it difficult to adjust to her friends and was shifted to another section. She was very unhappy, stopped eating and lost weight, and became irritable, lost her self esteem and thought she was ugly, fat and useless. We tried counselling her at home but it did not help. We took her to a child psychiatrist and he said that these were severe symptoms of adolescence. She is still under medication: Trazine-H (3 times/day), Nexito-10 (1 time/day), Demolox-50 (1 at night). She is on these medicines for the last one month. Her behaviour has improved but she still suffers from low self esteem, is unable to make friends. She still feels that she is fat but is eating properly. She feels depressed sometimes. Otherwise she is very intelligent and has different interests from other girls like cricket and music. She does not watch movies or serials and is hence unable to talk to her classmates. How long will it take for her to get back to normal? Her period started when she was 9 years old. Last month her periods were delayed by 10 days. This month also they have been delayed by more than 15 days. The doctor says it is because of trazine. Will the medicines have any long term side effects?

A:I am not a medical doctor, so I will not make any comments about your sister's medication. However, I do think that you need to reconsider the whole situation afresh and definitely take a second opinion from another Child Psychiatrist. I feel that your sister would also benefit by seeing a Psychologist or a School Counsellor. I do not know where you live, so I cannot suggest names or institutions. Adolescence is a normal period of growth and not a disease condition. Children, at this age, do have self doubts and sometimes, great dissatisfaction with how they look. You need to take your sister to a psychologist, who has handled such problems. If she is bright, surely she gets some satisfaction in doing some of the school tasks. Try to encourage her to do what she is very good at. Cricket and music sound like very normal interests. What a pity that her classmates talk only of movies and TV serials. Discuss this issue with your parents and see if it is possible to change schools. But this change will be better done after she has improved her marks and grades. Surely some schools will appreciate their students having an interest in sports and music. If you are just a few years older than your sister, you are taking on a big responsibility. See if you can get one another adult to join you in this.

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