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Sunday, November 22, 2009

‘I felt like I was crazy’ | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota


By: Sarah Horner, Duluth News Tribune

Kamara Langenbrunner

Kamara Langenbrunner, 10, sits with her purple violin at her Cloquet home. Kamara, who was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder a couple of years ago, says playing the violin has helped her through the process of dealing with the disorder. (Clint Austin /


When Kamara Langenbrunner was 8, she started hearing voices.

The first time it happened, the Cloquet girl, now 10, was staying at a Minneapolis women’s shelter with her mom and siblings.

“I thought someone was really there and talking to me,” Kamara said. “I heard it say, ‘I am going to stay here and not go away until you do what I say.’ ”

Kamara knew whom the voice belonged to: her stepfather, a man who had physically abused her since she was 4.

“It would tell me to slam my head on my desk at school, or stab myself with a knife while I was helping my mom cook in the kitchen. It would say: ‘Regret being alive,’ and stuff like that,” Kamara said. When it got so loud that Kamara worried she might start to listen to it, she told her mom, Erin Camacho.

A few days later, Camacho took Kamara to the emergency room of Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis, where she was immediately admitted to the children’s psychiatric unit at Abbot Northwestern. It was there she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“It was absolutely shocking,” Camacho said. “I didn’t think she could have something like that at age 8; you think maybe 15 or 16 or when you start going through those hard teenage years. Words don’t describe what it felt like; you never want to see your baby hurt like that.”

Kamara is not a rarity. Mental-health providers say more young children — some as young as infants — are being diagnosed with a mental illness…

‘I felt like I was crazy’ | Duluth News Tribune | Duluth, Minnesota

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