My 15-year-old daughter just stopped talking and I have no clue why. She won't talk to anybody. She has gone to her principal about the situation. Her principal has given her permission to write her answers on a piece of paper in order to talk to her teachers. She will type her answers on her phone and text me her answer!

This breaks my heart not knowing what I can do to help her. It started 11/18/2014. She had just found out that her best friend was switching from her school to another. Even though she was still living in the same house it was truly killing my daughter. She keeps crying herself to sleep. Could this be over this and that she's depressed and doesn't want to talk to anybody but her friend or what? I honestly don't know what to do about this. Can somebody please tell what to do about this?

  • 6
    Sounds like a cry for help. Suggest you take her to your doctor and have her assessed for depression.
    – A E
    Nov 21, 2014 at 20:16
  • 8
    I agree. This needs professional evaluation. It could be caused by a condition, a circumstance, or a traumatic event. There's no way we could analyze this from our keyboards. If it IS SM, then you'd want a proper diagnosis, so then you can properly arm yourself with knowledge and treatment methods.
    – user11394
    Nov 22, 2014 at 0:07
  • I think this is going a bit over the top. She's been silent for 4 days Tues-Fri. My 15yo can express herself consistently for far longer than that. Before freaking too hard, it might behoove you to take a step back and look at the full context of the situation. If she's already seeing a psychiatrist for w/e reason, then you should call that Dr. If she's not and there are no other symptoms, being silent and crying over a lost friend is a fairly calm way for a middle-teen to deal with things. Nov 23, 2014 at 4:41
  • 3
    @JeremyMiller Going to the principal and making arrangements to not have to speak in class seems like fairly dramatic way of dealing with a friend changing schools, even if it is calm. Supposing that's the issue, anyway.
    – user11394
    Nov 23, 2014 at 23:00
  • I realize this was just edited, but did she ever start talking? 4 years is a long time to not talk. Feb 14, 2019 at 16:52

1 Answer 1


What did her doctor say?

Selective Mutism is an anxiety disorder. It's not rare - about 1 in 150 children will have selective mutism.

You need to see a doctor, and make sure that you persist in getting help even if the initial doctor says your daughter will grow out of it.

Treatment should focus on behavioural therapies and cognitive behavioural therapy. Medication probably won't be needed.


This is not medical information. You need to see a doctor.

  • 2
    +1, especially since she is also crying herself to sleep every night.
    – Acire
    Nov 22, 2014 at 23:19
  • 1
    I think it worth pointing out that you say "it's not rare" while your link says it "is relatively rare" and then states it "usually occurs in early childhood." 4 days in High School (roughly 9th/10th grade) after a friend is leaving is a huge difference from an anxiety order about speaking in public. The full context -- that we don't have in this case -- is clearly important, but what has been presented does not suggest SM even slightly. Nov 23, 2014 at 5:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .