My 8 year old sister gets crazy and starts crying over "nothing". My parents agree that this is a problem, but they have no clue what to do. Luckily I know about SE :)

I'm not sure if this is on-topic as I am not a parent as such.

THIS IS NOT A FAD / CRAZE / WHATEVER. It has been happening for a long time.

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    Before we answer this, I'd like to ask a few follow-up questions: When your sister isn't sobbing, when she's happy, does she...Feel very happy or act silly in a way that's unusual? Have a very short temper? Talk really fast about a lot of different things? Have trouble sleeping but not feel tired? Have trouble staying focused? -- When she's upset, does she...Complain about pain a lot, like stomachaches and headaches? Sleep too little or too much? Eat too little or too much? Have little energy and no interest in fun activities? We need more information about her normal/abnormal self to answer. – Aarthi Jul 28 '11 at 3:07
  • She... Acts silly (but not sure if its incredibly unusual), has a very short temper, doesn't really talk fast about stuff, doesn't feel tired but doesn't have trouble sleeping, has trouble staying focused, and she always complains about pain, eats to little, has little interest in fun activities (although this is due to her short temper - she always believes that shes doing it wrong, and when we correct her she throws a tantrum), and just generally mood swings all the time. – drnessie Jul 28 '11 at 6:41
  • This could be anything from that she doesn't like school to a medical condition (especially considering she is complaining about pains). 1. Talk to her and ask why she is like this. 2. If that doesn't help, go see a professional. – Lennart Regebro Jul 28 '11 at 7:42
  • I don't think she has a medical condition concerning pain, she just likes the attention. It may be that she doesn't like school though. She has complained about teasing before, but, although it could be slightly true, the way she overreacts to everything suggests to me that it was just someone having a "joke" at her - just a normal part of life in my experience. – drnessie Jul 28 '11 at 7:52
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    Judging by what has been said so far, this question can't be correctly answered by an online community, so I am closing it. I'm not saying the question isn't good! It's just that we can't give you a good answer, except what has already been said - seek out professional help. Good luck! – Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jul 28 '11 at 10:56

If it is an ongoing problem, maybe your parents should take her to a child psychiatrist.

Maybe this is an episode, and if so, surely the psychiatrist will catch that and there will be not much to worry about. If it isn't an episode, it's something to pay serious attention to to make sure it doesn't escalate.

Adult problems can find their roots in child problems. I know an adult woman who, as a child, had untreated psychological problems and she developed Borderline Personality Disorder later in life.

There may of course be many factors at work here, but I wouldn't rule anything out -- and so professional help seems in order.

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  • That'll be hard to explain to them... Thanks, anyway. – drnessie Jul 29 '11 at 6:24
  • Hard is OK as long as it's not impossible, right? After all, this is in your little sister's best interest. – Roy Dictus Jul 29 '11 at 7:05

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