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#1 of 47 Old 04-14-2010, 11:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I did a search and saw a couple of threads about children and anxiety. I was hoping to maybe start an on-going discussion with other parents who are dealing with this to get tips and ideas about what is working for you.

I have a 7 year old daughter who is dealing with a sickness anxiety. She fears getting sick or others getting sick around her. This is a very common anxiety. She doesn't like to go to school or be away from her father (SAHD) because she is afraid that she or someone will get sick and she feels that only he can deal with it.

We've been to one therapist already but I didn't like her and felt we needed to move on. She was a specialist in children's anxiety and practiced cognitive behavioral therapy. I was fine with this but felt like it was a factory where she really couldn't see my daughter or us as individuals but just another family dealing with the same problem and the same tools would be used to fix it. She actually seemed a bit bored with the whole thing. So I am in the process of looking for a new therapist because we are stuck and I feel like we can't make any progress without help.

When we first starting taking dd to the therapist, she would constantly ask us "Am I going to get sick." The therapist helped her to understand the anxiety better and she named it "dumb." For awhile, the constant questions went away and we thought we were making progress. Now the question has just morphed into "Dumb is telling me I'm going to get sick." It's all so sad. I just want her to be a happy, carefree 7 year old.

I've also been reading simplicity parenting which talks a lot about anxiety in children. Although I have to say that we have a pretty quiet, low key, predictable life at home so I don't really think that this is dd's problem. I do think that school may be overwhelming but HSing isn't an option right now.

So what do you do to deal with your child's anxiety--whether it be GAD, phobias or separation anxiety? Or OCD? Whatever. Right now, we are just trying really hard to be patient, helping her breathe through the hardest time and looking for a new therapist. I have also been looking for an online community that might have boards like this but devoted to anxiety. Anyone know if there is anything like that out there?

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#2 of 47 Old 04-14-2010, 04:16 PM
 
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My 13 year old with high function autism has extreme anxiety and it seems totally related to her sensory issues. It didn't kick in for her until adolescence. We've cognitive behavoiral therapy too and had some progress with it.

I'm really interested in art therapy for my DD. Have you check into it?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#3 of 47 Old 04-14-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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We're going to be starting cognitive behavioral therapy for our son's anxiety soon. He was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder, NOS, co-morbid with Asperger's. It was really bad while I was pregnant with his brother, worried about getting hit by a car and such. Now that our second one is here, I think he's been reassured that life hasn't changed that much (and he really does love his brother). He still gets worked up when he hears about various disasters, which is impossible to avoid entirely since he is somewhat obsessed with the Weather Channel. So I know that we'd be well advised to move forward with the therapy since we're bound to encounter other times that bring out the anxiety.
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#4 of 47 Old 04-14-2010, 08:03 PM
 
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I'm interested in learning more about this as well, especially if there is a discussion board that is for anxiety in kids.

Ds (5) has something I'm trying to put a finger on that feels like some sort of specific anxiety disorder, maybe like OCD without the C.

His is not about getting sick, but about change (new car seat and new shoes currently top the list, but really it's anything in his environment - even the layout of desktop icons on the computer).

We started with OT in January to address some sensory aspects, but I do believe there is a bit more to it. I think he is not ready for something like CBT, but we do try to talk about when his brain tricks him into thinking something is important or a problem - we call it his worry alarm sometimes, but that name feels wrong when he's freaking out about something that already changed.

Lately, I'm so torn about when to talk about something with ds or tell him that it is not something to talk about because his brain is tricking him into thinking it is a problem. I spend a lot of time holding him when he cries with me not saying anything because I'm worried I'll just reinforce the notion that something is worth the worry. None of this feels particularly right - I'm just not sure how to help him either.

me dh ds1 (11/04) ds2 (7/10) and
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#5 of 47 Old 04-15-2010, 12:35 AM
 
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My 7 year old struggles with anxiety. She had a very sudden onset of severe anxiety when she was 5, she had always been a reserved, cautious child before, but then it turned horrid. Another poster mentioned car crashes, we had the same problem, she would be convinced that DH would die in a plane crash when he traveled. I couldn't get in the car to drive her anywhere without her freaking out. I couldn't even pee in my own house without her thinking someone was going to come in our house and take her. I am a very relaxed person and had never discussed any of this with her before, these were all her own fears. That gradually got better, OT really helped actually, she also has SPD and is dyslexic.


Then it switched to insomnia caused by anxiety. She would wake up and be so consumed by fears that she could not sleep. We did all kinds of therapy,meds, and finally after 6 months where she literally was sleeping less then 5 hours in a 24 hour period, it *mostly* went away. I say mostly because she still has bad nights, and problems going to sleep, but at least she IS sleeping most of the time now. She has to sleep in bed with a parent, my 3 year old now has the fancy, princess bed we bought for DD1 so long along because she just can not sleep even if she is in the same room as me, only if she is in bed with us. She finds things to focus on, right now it is mountain lions. She in convinced one is going to get her, every single night we have to check for one in the house. She knows one is not in the house and can verbalize that she knows one is not going to attack her in her sleep but she says she can't help her fear. That is what breaks my heart.



She is not in therapy currently, we tried several different therapists and could not find a good fit. I went through all the ones in our very rural area. We just try to set her up for success now. Talking though her fears, we create routines that we do every day that help her, and boosting her self esteem is big. She knows she is different so we really try to encourage her in the things that she does excel. She may be a poor sleeper but she is an awesome snowboarder and gymnast, and she tells people that.

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#6 of 47 Old 04-15-2010, 10:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies.

We did have a bit of art therapy that went along with the CBT at the begining. But it wasn't really focused on that.

This is all so difficult because it isn't logical. And for me, it is hard not to just try to remove those things which cause her stress but I know that isn't the right thing to do because it just reinforces that there is actually something to be afraid of.

I made an appointment with a new therapist but I don't think I am going to keep it. She doesn't practice CBT and although I woud like a more holistic approach then just CBT, I feel like CBT needs to play a part in it in order to get dd some relief. I don't think this is going to be an issue where months are spent trying to figure out why it happened and then trying to fix it after knowing the cause. The things that I have read don't make it sound like it works that way. And at $150 a pop out of pocket without insurance coverage, I really can't afford it.

I really want someone who will see Harper as a whole person and part of a whole family but will use CBT as well.

Peony: how did you daughter react to changing therapists? Dd didn't have any problem with the first therapist. It was really me that didn't like her but I felt my reasons were valid enough to override dd's feelings. And honestly, the therapists needs to fit with me as well, you know? But I am also worrying about taking her to multiple therapists and whether or not that would cause problems. I'm really hoping that the next one will work for us!

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#7 of 47 Old 04-15-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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[QUOTE=Harper;15300968]This is all so difficult because it isn't logical. And for me, it is hard not to just try to remove those things which cause her stress ....]

it isn't logical and sometimes it kinda drives me crazy. I really can't remove everything that causes my DD stress -- that just isn't realistic. We are trying for a middle path. She understands she has to leave the house and be around other people, and we are trying to find the less stressful ways of doing that.

Quote:
I really want someone who will see Harper as a whole person and part of a whole family but will use CBT as well.
I'm with you here. I think that CBT has to be part of the answer, but I don't think that it is the whole answer. My DD just started a social and life skills class which should help with her specific anxiety, and it includes CBT has part of it even though it isn't the primary focus. We are taking a break from therapy during the 8 weeks of the class.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#8 of 47 Old 04-15-2010, 05:46 PM
 
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subbing to this thread --thanks for starting it. I have 4 children (3 w/SN). My youngest (almost 4) has high anxiety since birth (we adopted him; had meth background, so don't know if that helped contribute along w/genes.. don't have enuf info). He stops breathing when stressed and/or injured. We've been with EI & now EC/SE since the beginning. Work mostly w/a behaviorist & a little with an OT. Also see a naturopath (as I've been frustrated w/mainstream pediatricians in our area & the lack of knowledge). He also has OCD which ties into his anxiety hugely... if cups are not placed on the table, he can mentally shut down & loses ability to communicate (can't talk, comes out like gibberish & even drools). Mostly screams and goes rigid. Kind of seizure-like, but hasn't been diagnosed w/seizures. Behaviorist believes there's possible bp. He's extremely bright, but with the probs of regulating his emotions, his thinking ability and emotions are uncontrollable and/or non-existent. He hasn't had a sound, "typical" sleep ever. He deals with night terrors & those have been steadily increasing. I sleep on the floor in his room as he can't go to sleep on his own & wakes up frequently in an elevated anxiety.

Things that have *worked* for us so far:
1. PECS for schedule & timer for concrete tasks (rec by behaviorist)... so if he's anxious about his next meal (a common 1 for him, tho, as a pp said above, our lives are very "scheduled"), we set a timer so he "knows" when the snack/meal is happening.

2. Weighted blanket

3. Holding tight w/ or without a weighted blanket while sitting in a glider

4. Offering a quiet area and/or outdoor time (even if brief)

5. Kavinace (it's a supplement given by our Naturopath) & for some odd reason, has worked for us *some* (it works on his neurotransmitters)

6. Lullaby/calm music times

7. Light dimmer at meal times & we go into slow & low speak (this works tremendously), like: hooowww arre yoooou to-day? (with a lower pitch to voice). I know it sounds odd, but it helps decrease the anxiety. I picked this up at his EC/SE class (I stay there 2x/wk at 2.5 hrs/day --cuz I am not able to leave yet)

I would be interested in finding out more specifics in the things that CBT does. Liked hearing about one of the pp's exp & how the issue was given a "name" tho we couldn't use that "name" (I've got 2 dc that are learning challenged). Anyone found any helpful books, online sites, supplements, meds?

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#9 of 47 Old 04-15-2010, 10:49 PM
 
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My son is eight, he has bouts of severe anxiety triggered by illness (ear infections, strep, asthma exacerbation), occasionally as a side effect of medications (antibiotics, ADHD meds, inhaled steroids), supplements (magnesium), or dietary infractions with food he is allergic to.

Therapy has helped, once we found the right therapist, but finding a good pediatrician has made a huge difference. I try to find out if there is a physical trigger for my son, he had a terrible reaction to ADHD medications and high dose antibiotics taken together. His anxieties turned into full blown phobias in a matter of hours, he was screaming hysterically that ticks were under his skin. He went from a kid with mild to moderate anxieties (which had built slowly over six months of stimulant meds) to borderline visual hallucinations in 24 hours. Nearly all his symptoms stopped within of 24-48 hours of stopping his medications.

Recently he had some mild anxiety and sure enough, he had an ear infection. Just a thought.....
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#10 of 47 Old 04-15-2010, 11:03 PM
 
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My DS has major depression and anxiety that has emerged very recently. He is in 7th grade and his main triggers are at school - the kids' noise, fooling around, unthinking meaness to each other, uncontrolled behavior in class. He is allowed to leave the class and goes to his guidance counselor whenever he needs to. He was doing half days because of the stress, he is doing full days now but not making it through all the classes. His school suggested homeschooling but I couldn't see how eliminating the source of his anxiety would help learn to manage it. His various doctors said that he shouldn't be out of school for too long because it would be harder to get back.

The thing I have been wondering about is that he describes his anxiety as coming from not being able to block out kids talking at school. It is like he has lost his filter - which he used to have. He attempted suicide in November and has been on antidepressants, lithium and anti-psychotics since then. I am wondering if it was the attempt, the drugs, or the trauma of the attempt that has caused this. He did have a flashback about the attempt in early January and the anxiety has been much worse than that.

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#11 of 47 Old 04-16-2010, 09:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like we are dealing with a wide range of anxieties at different levels of intensity. Joyluc: I'm so sorry to hear about your son's suicide attempt. I understand what you mean about taking him out of school. And something our first therapist said that really stuck with me: if you try to remove the stressor, you are reinforcing that it is something to be afraid of. So for example, if my dh and I never go out to dinner again, we have reinforced the feelings of dd that there is something wrong/dangerous with us going out for dinner.

The last time we did--over a month ago--when I told dd, she totally freaked out. Sobbing. Hyperventilating. After I managed to calm her down with reminders about deep breathing, we could talk about it more calmly and made a list of all of the things that she could do with our friends while we were out and all the things our friends could do to help make it easier for her. She was okay when it came time for us to go out. But I mentioned in the last couple of days thinking of going out with daddy again and she started to have the same breakdown.

Our experience with CBT is limited since we only had two appointments. What dd's therapist did was have her name her worry. She called it "dumb." There are many words we avoid in our house (dumb, stupid, moron, idiot--really any name calling), so she gets a charge out of using these words around her worry. So they went through a number of exercises that would give dd ways to talk to "dumb" and tell him to "shut up"--something else we don't say in our house. After the first visit, dd had great success and seemed to get some real relief. But it was short lived. Basically what she did was replace the constant "Am I going to get sick" with "Dumb is telling me I am going to get sick." And I have run out of answers to that question.

The other thing that our therapist told us--which also made sense--is that answering the question give the child a short--often very short--period of relief but then the question just cycles back and they ahve to keep asking. Some of the things that we have tried are ignoring her (as long as she's not worked up) or responding with "what do you think?" She always answers no to that question but it doesn't seem to give her any relief. And the no is usually said as a question. And she has said many times over the last few weeks "I can't get dumb to shut up."

So we're stuck. I am interviewing more therapists this week.

Do your children have phrases that they are stuck on? Questions that they ask endlessly? How do you respond?

A book that was recommended to me was Freeing Your Child From Anxiety by Tamar Chansky. I read it awhile ago and really need to get back to it.

Mama to two wonderful daughers: 02/03/03 and 10/19/05
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#12 of 47 Old 04-16-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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Switching therapists didn't seem to bother DD1 but she didn't have a real connection with them anyway. She thrives on routines like others have said, I think when we used to homeschool, that was a part of the problem. I often keep a semi-regular schedule from week to week but every day is different. In her school, she knows exactly what to expect every day. Of course getting her transitioned to school when she had never been before, and did not want to go, was interesting, but she adores school now and is taking on a leadership role in her class which I never ever though possible. One year ago she was hiding under tables and chairs when someone would speak to her.


Another thing that is key for DD1 is to keep her busy, and I mean busy. We have become one of those very scheduled families, dance on Mondays, gymnastics on Tuesday, etc... The more active she is, the less she dwells on her fears, they come out at night of course, but she is now at least functioning during the day.

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#13 of 47 Old 04-16-2010, 01:28 PM
 
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Dd has anxiety. We've tried play therapy and ABA (not just for the anxiety she also has ASD). Those both helped and got us through a crisis. OT, sensory activities, magnesium supplement also help. She still has mild anxiety, always needs to know exactly what is going to happen, gets upset if someone uses a word she doesn't understand.
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#14 of 47 Old 04-17-2010, 01:53 PM
 
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I have serious anxiety problems and both of my kids are similar to me. we work hard to minimize stress so it helps in way (my husband and i both work from home).

that said my anxiey has gotten worse at times in my life. it was REALLY bad as a kid. I was convinced I would get sick, and everyone would know and then they would laugh at me and never talk to me again b/c I was gross. this lasted for years. if I was sick I would refuse to go to the doctor b/c I was convinced they would "test me" and I would have cancer and that means I would die. and I didn't want to know if i was going to die. I would rather just not wake up one day. I had no idea what cancer was or how they test for it... just something my mind overheard probably on TV and I became affixed with it. on and on and on my anxieties went. so believe I know what it feels like on BOTH sides of it - the one with it, and the mother of a kid who is anxious.

sometimes I don't deal with it well b/c their anxiety feeds my own.... but it also make me very sympathetic. I know how it feels to be paralyzed with fear and have insomnia for most of my life.

that said, I have taken meds, seen therapists and so forth but the thing that helped me the most was changing my diet and supplementing things that have to do with my adrenal glands. for differing reasons adrenal glands malfunction and leave some people in a state of constant "figh or flight". for some they are attacked with lingering anxiety and some have rage problems - I dealt with both as a kid. I was often raging in between sobbing from fear. I dont remember a time in y life not being scared of being alone in a room. even as an adult! the brain creates patterns and though I know there is NOTHING to fear in being in the bedroom alone at night... I find myself terrified at times. like a child!

I am taken a supplement that REALLY helps which I got from my AK chiro (they are GREAT with this sort of thing!) called "DSF" (DeStress Formula). It has mag/vits Bs, and a few other things that help the adrenal glands. I can not tell you how much it helps! it is worth every penny. and no side effects like meds give me. it makes things better instead of covering things up due to "chemical imbalances" which have actually nothing to do with the brain but with the adrenals!

also taking "natural calm" drink every night before bed does wonders for my daughter to get her to sleep! it's AMAZING! she has to take it every night but it does work. I also upped her EFAs (fish oil) and that has a calming effect on the body too.

for acute outbursts of anxiety a homepathic supplement called "EEP" or "rescue remedy" is awesome! I just have my son some before bed last night b/c he was having an anxiety attack of an unspecified problem. it worked great. it wont work as the only means of treating - but like I said it's great for acute outbursts.

(I never used to believe in homeopathics... now? having run through all of the western meds and being mishandled by therapists, I am a HUGE believer!!)

also the obvious - cut out as much sugar, caffeine and other such stimulants as possible. and occasional food allergies (gluten, corn, milk) will cause that adrenal response too. when this happens you'll notice a rise in fears (like mountain lions). The brain will affix the fear to a tangible thing but rarely is it actually the thing worth fearing.

I would really consider having your kiddo seen by a naturopath or a AK Chiropractor. they know how to treat adrenal glands - and the whole person. you are right - there is nothing worse than being treated like just another patient with the same old problem! (BTDT!) you need someone who will work with the whole body and spirit/mind and help restore proper function to the adrenal glands so your child doesn't live in constant fear. trust me, it feels horrible to be scared of everything.

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#15 of 47 Old 04-17-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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O, do any of you live near me? I could so use a "real face" to discuss these issues with.

Seriously, anxiety has been part of my life and my son's, and we are able to be nominally "functional," but posts like this make me feel less alone and give me ideas and some direction about possible options.

No solutions or ideas that haven't been mentioned above, but we are out here too - looking "functional" to the outside world but fighting anxiety every day.
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#16 of 47 Old 04-18-2010, 07:14 PM
 
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HennyPenny --Thank you *so* much for sharing not only your personal experience, but your specific recommendations!! I almost cried reading it, because, I know I've been dealing with panic attacks & I think it's related to so much stress (esp w/my ds' anxiety) & lack of sleep, that my body is having trouble managing it all. I can't stand nighttime, as I feel all alone & panic attacks seem to come out & I feel so trapped/scared that I can't breathe.

Yes, I agree that seeing the naturopath has worked for *our* family, too. And I've used Rescue Remedy for myself when a panic attack hits when I'm driving. If you have any dietary or other advice, I am all ears. We eat a vegetarian diet, but my son with anxiety hardly eats anything (he freaks out if a corner is missing from his sandwich or he likes a food one day, and next day runs screaming from the table). I am not a strict vegetarian & would give him anything he wants to eat, but, his anxiety and how he responds to a certain type of fork, color of cup, whether any of his food touched another... makes it really hard to know what to do. We work w/an OT (thru EC/SE), but she is really "hands-off" --just gave me a book to read, but that's it :-(

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#17 of 47 Old 04-19-2010, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So much good information. I am also interested in exploring the diet/medical side of this as well. It was one of the things that really turned me off from my first therapist. She is a supposed expert in childhood anxiety but when asked about physical causes, she had NO idea. She said we would have to speak to a doctor. We did speak with dd's ped who we really like but is completely mainstream and he didn't think it was necessary to do any testing since she had no other symptoms.

I spoke to a woman today who does NET and muscle testing. This has been recommended to me by a number of people and seems like it is worth a try. For one, she said it would be a visit or two and she charges MUCH less than traditional therapists. And just seems like it is worth a try before I try the therapist that does traditional play therapy, talk therapy and CBT but said that for the best and most long-lasting results, a year of therapy would be in order.

But again, I feel like all caregivers--and I suppose that's not odd--come at things from their own perspective and that's what they focus on. I have had many people with anxiety tell me that CBT works and needs to be part of any process. This woman today basically claims that she can make it all go away and be better with NET.

So has anyone tried NET to deal with their anxiety. Results? You can read more at www.netmindbody.com.

My dd is also a very selective eater. I have SO wanted to take her off of gluten and dairy but that is basically ALL she eats and I just can't imagine doing that. It may be my focus for June or August when she is home all day.

I'm curious if there is anyone reading this thread that had a pretty high functioning kid with an axiety issue that they chose not to treat and who's kid grew out of it? My nephew was very similar and maybe a little worse than dd and my sister dealt with it and eventually it went away without treatment. For me, that's not an option right now but I know that opinion has been voiced to me by several people.

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#18 of 47 Old 04-19-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harper View Post
I'm curious if there is anyone reading this thread that had a pretty high functioning kid with an axiety issue that they chose not to treat and who's kid grew out of it?
my DD got much, much worse with puberty.

I think that waiting would be a VERY dangerous game.

I don't get not trying to do something. Why leave your child miserable?

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#19 of 47 Old 04-20-2010, 01:33 AM
 
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But again, I feel like all caregivers--and I suppose that's not odd--come at things from their own perspective and that's what they focus on. I have had many people with anxiety tell me that CBT works and needs to be part of any process. This woman today basically claims that she can make it all go away and be better with NET.



I'm curious if there is anyone reading this thread that had a pretty high functioning kid with an axiety issue that they chose not to treat and who's kid grew out of it? My nephew was very similar and maybe a little worse than dd and my sister dealt with it and eventually it went away without treatment. For me, that's not an option right now but I know that opinion has been voiced to me by several people.
I'm lurking here and I think this is me( he hasn't outgrown it though) DS has had anxiety on and off since he was very little. I though a lot of it was initially sensory related , however I just don't know how to pin it anymore. It doesn't seem progress "worse"...just comes and goes. He had an OT through the school district when he was 5 and she really had all kinds of labels for his behaviors. I really liked her , but I think that she would search the behavior out so she could utilize her approach. I don't think it harmed ds ..I just don't think it really defined him in those areas.

DS has some (what I consider) mild anxiety for the most part. There are times when it elevates. He has always been cautious , but now that he is older(10) -he is a lot more vocal or stubborn when he is uncomfortable.

We have had some post-traumatic stress issues from a bee sting and car accident. He can work himself into a sweat if he hears a fly buzz and is unsure if it really is a fly. We have found him crying in the restroom because he saw a moth by the light. He will have bouts where he can't sleep because he is worrried. He does grind his teeth at night sometimes too. He does worry that a stranger will try to harm or kidnap him. He would probably make a good cop because he is always scanning everything and everyone. He will memorize signs and directions and repeat things over and over for reassurance. These behaviors come and go..they don't usually last very long.



I am not trying to seek therapy at this point because he is functioning and in the long perspective I don't see it getting worse. We talk about what he is worrying about or feels uncomfortable with. I tell him to pray and try to make calming conversation. There are times when I worry about it though..when it is elevated. I just hope that he can acclimate himself . DS doesn't receive any services for any of his disabilities anymore mainly because we moved to a small town with very few resources in the schools. We have homeschooled for the last 2yrs and it seems to suit him well. We do a LOT of social activities and he plays with large groups of kids 3-4 times a week. Here is the kicker..he loves public speaking. Yup..he likes to get up on stage or in front of a crowd and talk. When he does a presentation he is mostly doing it free style without reading his paperwork. If someone needs a prayer request or calls on the audience..he is the first to raise his hand. He didn't get that from me .
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#20 of 47 Old 04-20-2010, 09:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it's one of the things that is fascinating about anxieties. So your kid will lose it at a glimpse of a moth but is fine getting up in front of a group of people and speaking. It just depends on what their "thing" is, you know?

I think the reason why people wouldn't get help is varied. I know that in one case, it was because the mom had a TERRIBLE experience with therapy herself when she was a child and just would not go there. I also think the cyclical nature of some anxiety is a reason. So if it comes and goes and it isn't debilitating when it is there, it doesn't seem like it is necessary. And therapy doesn't come cheaply. We're lucky to have the funds to access it. And, one of the therapists I spoke to said "99% of kids outgrow their anxieties." I thought this was a reason to wait it out.

BUT, I am completely in the camp of getting her some relief now. I know a lot of adults that have told me they would have given anything for their anxieties as a child to have been taken seriously when they were children and given some help. That although they appear to be fully functioning adults, they still deal with anxiety that disrupts their happiness.

We're going to make an appt with the NET therapist. I'll keep you posted!

Mama to two wonderful daughers: 02/03/03 and 10/19/05
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#21 of 47 Old 04-25-2010, 08:47 PM
 
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so sorry I never responded! I didn't see this until now!

so this week has been very anxious for me. We're moving in 5 days. delaing with packing, a SPD 5 yr old and a baby who is BEYOND fussy (and clearly has SPD like his sister) has really been trying. I cried... a lot. but honestly crying helps me. it's better than when I get so anxious i can't cry at all. that is the worst feeling!!

I've been taking my DSF a coupe of times a day. it does help but I think the lack of sleep I get just really makes it hard on my body. I have been praying a lot more (which is a good side effect!) I tend to stop praying the harder life gets. I have NO idea why I do that! it's a nasty habit.

as far as diet - hate to sound anti-vegetarian.... but in my experience eating less fat and protien from meat made my anxiety off the charts terrible. I eat a pretty large amount of meat and veggies and very little cars. I only eat honey and ZERO sugar b/c I start having panic attacks almost instantly. I stay away from HFCS and the like.

for me diet and prayer are my best helps. I can't speak for others, but changing the way I eat has helped more than any other thing that I've done. it's 1000 times better than the meds. but I do admit there is something easy and so nice about popping a pill instead of preparing every single thing fro scratch! some days I wish I could pop a pill lol.

how have you been feeling lately?

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HennyPenny --Thank you *so* much for sharing not only your personal experience, but your specific recommendations!! I almost cried reading it, because, I know I've been dealing with panic attacks & I think it's related to so much stress (esp w/my ds' anxiety) & lack of sleep, that my body is having trouble managing it all. I can't stand nighttime, as I feel all alone & panic attacks seem to come out & I feel so trapped/scared that I can't breathe.

Yes, I agree that seeing the naturopath has worked for *our* family, too. And I've used Rescue Remedy for myself when a panic attack hits when I'm driving. If you have any dietary or other advice, I am all ears. We eat a vegetarian diet, but my son with anxiety hardly eats anything (he freaks out if a corner is missing from his sandwich or he likes a food one day, and next day runs screaming from the table). I am not a strict vegetarian & would give him anything he wants to eat, but, his anxiety and how he responds to a certain type of fork, color of cup, whether any of his food touched another... makes it really hard to know what to do. We work w/an OT (thru EC/SE), but she is really "hands-off" --just gave me a book to read, but that's it :-(

transtichel.gifMom of three - (2.5 yrs, 7yrs, and 11yrs). Birthing Doula, editor, and wife to my soulmate. I've had a c/s, hospital VBAC, UC and not yet decided what I'll do about this next little one

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#22 of 47 Old 05-09-2010, 09:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So we tried the NET and muscle testing with no results. I have to admit I was a skeptic going in but was willing to try it with an open mind. The woman that we saw was recommended by many people I know. After a 90 minute session, she was sure that she had found and fixed the problem. She muscle tested us all and said that we did not need to come back about this issue. It made no difference. She's the same. So we're back to the drawing board.

And I have another reason not to seek professional help. We've seen two therapists. Neither of them have worked out. I've spoken to at least five other therapists--none of which I thought were the right choice. Now what? I just really have no idea what to do next.

Mama to two wonderful daughers: 02/03/03 and 10/19/05
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#23 of 47 Old 05-09-2010, 10:01 PM
 
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My dd with social anxiety is 16. We started counseling after 9/11. She's a pretty sensitive kid and she watched me fall apart as a native NYer not living there any more. She was in 2nd grade. We went through 4 therapists until we found one she clicked with in 7th grade (5 years later). We had tried more time management, less time management, diet changes, supplements, etc. When she was 13 she was home alone when our house went on fire. We started meds. Honestly for her at that time, best thing we could have done. The next year we took her out of a rigorous academic program and put her in one that is more suited to her personality but will still get her into college but with better grades because she is no longer comparing herself to her friends, her brother (who hasn't cracked a book in 2 years and still has As in a rigorous program all while playing travel ice hockey), her dad and I. etc. She still sees a counsellor on occasion but actually had a signifigant bike accident last summer (impailed herself on her handlebars) and got back on her bike.
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#24 of 47 Old 05-09-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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I was thinking about starting a new thread to ask about anxiety when this one resurfaced. My DS has anxiety mostly limited to school issues but it is really interfering. I am not sure if his therapist is really using CBT to its fullest potential - DS doesn't seem to have new strategies to cope. For mamas whose DC have had CBT what has it been like? What should I be looking for? Does anyone know if there is a good national resource for children with anxiety? TIA

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#25 of 47 Old 05-10-2010, 10:48 AM
 
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we've just started family therapy/play therapy for dd to address her anxiety & what we are now realizing is SPD as well...kind of a vicious cycle. We are seeing a naturopath for dd who recommended Natural Calm as well and it has been very helpful for us. She also takes a half-dose in the morning when we know she is going to have a challenging day & it really helps. We also do fish oils, vitamin D.

I can totally relate to the PPs who mentioned: A) keeping their kids busy...dd seems to thrive on a schedule that would seem overprogrammed to most people (we are currently homeschooling so need to create our own structure). B) Wanting to change diet but terrified too...dd's little sister has multiple food sensitivities and is GFCF among many other things...but dd cannot stomach any of her sister's alternative foods and I dread the stress it would place on all of us getting her to change her eating. Sigh.
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#26 of 47 Old 05-10-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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I'm getting the impression that most of you aren't using medication for your children. Can I ask why that is? Have you yourself suffered from anxiety or depression? Unless you have I don't think you can understand how debilitating it is. The way I see it is my child only gets one child and I will do everything I can to make sure it's as normal of one as possible. If that means meds then so be it. I wouldn't force myself to suffer through unmedicated so I certainly don't expect it from my child. My son has bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and separation anxiety disorder. The change in him in the last two years of being on meds is huge. He is able to function as a (mostly) normal child in the world (with some accomodations of course). He has said to me so many times that he would never, ever choose to go without meds again because they make him feel like he is not going crazy. I highly believe that meds should never be used as a last resort. These disorders are medical conditions, not just in the child's head. You wouldn't expect your diabetic child or your epileptic child to go without meds so why would you expect your mentally ill child to do so?

Shawna, married to Michael, mommy to Elijah 1/18/01, Olivia 11/9/02, and Eliana 1/22/06
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#27 of 47 Old 05-10-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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I was thinking about starting a new thread to ask about anxiety when this one resurfaced. My DS has anxiety mostly limited to school issues but it is really interfering. I am not sure if his therapist is really using CBT to its fullest potential - DS doesn't seem to have new strategies to cope. For mamas whose DC have had CBT what has it been like? What should I be looking for? Does anyone know if there is a good national resource for children with anxiety? TIA
CBT provided by a very competent play/art therapist has really helped my kids. They consistently leave a session with new tools and improved outlook. Have you discussed your concerns with the therapist?

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#28 of 47 Old 05-10-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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I'm getting the impression that most of you aren't using medication for your children. Can I ask why that is? Have you yourself suffered from anxiety or depression? Unless you have I don't think you can understand how debilitating it is. The way I see it is my child only gets one child and I will do everything I can to make sure it's as normal of one as possible. If that means meds then so be it. I wouldn't force myself to suffer through unmedicated so I certainly don't expect it from my child. My son has bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and separation anxiety disorder. The change in him in the last two years of being on meds is huge. He is able to function as a (mostly) normal child in the world (with some accomodations of course). He has said to me so many times that he would never, ever choose to go without meds again because they make him feel like he is not going crazy. I highly believe that meds should never be used as a last resort. These disorders are medical conditions, not just in the child's head. You wouldn't expect your diabetic child or your epileptic child to go without meds so why would you expect your mentally ill child to do so?
I really support this. Kids deserve relief, and if natural approaches aren't working and if the child's functioning and enjoyment of their own life is not improved, meds are a good next alternative.

I think that the natural living, anti-establishment, AP vibe or paradigm can gloss over that some kids really are different from the norm and require different strategies. I think it's very AP to look at what a child needs and do your best to meet it - and if that need is relief from disabling anxiety, pharmacological strategies make sense when you've tried other approaches without success. They're not the first response but they shouldn't be the last or never response when a child is suffering.

Full disclosure: neither of my kids take meds, but I regret not getting DD therapist help earlier as she unnecessarily struggled with anxiety and emotional regulation while I tried to do it all myself and using alternative approaches (naturopath, diet etc). A good therapist has made a huge difference for her and at this point makes medication unnecessary.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#29 of 47 Old 05-10-2010, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As far as meds for my dd: her anxiety isn't debilitating. She goes to school. Entire days pass when she doesn't mention it. Or, she mentions it once and moves on. It's still there and I know kids who do not have it at all, but I wouldn't medicate her nor have any of the therapists that I have seen or talked to suggested it. I think anxiety is a HUGE continuum and I think my dd is at the "not so bad" end of that. That doesn't mean that I don't want to make it go away altogether but I still believe there are ways to do that without medicating her. If I had the same level of anxiety that she does, I would not consider medication for myself without trying several other things.

So this weekend, we were watching a movie and dh went to run an errand. He didn't tell dd he was leaving. When she noticed he was gone, she immediately started to break down. I gave her a dose of rescue remedy and she got over it almost immediately. I was also talking to her and comforting her. She had trouble relaxing enough to fall asleep without him but we managed. So I think we can deal with the anxiety when it surfaces but my goal is really that it didn't happen in the first place. I wonder if that is unrealistic.

Mama to two wonderful daughers: 02/03/03 and 10/19/05
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#30 of 47 Old 05-10-2010, 09:18 PM
 
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My DS is taking meds for depression which we are hoping will help with the anxiety (prozac, lithium and Abilify). His psychiatrist has not encouraged us to give him an anti-anxiety med because it can create dependence and doesn't really help. I am not sure when the point would be that we would ask for it anyway. My DS is totally compliant with his meds, he has said if he needs them for the rest of his life to never feel like he did before the meds he would.

I will be talking with his therapists this week about giving him more concrete skills and strategies to deal with the anxiety.

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