Anxiety Issues in 9 YO - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 08-30-2004, 02:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Help!! Last spring I took my 9 year old to the Doctor for chronic stomach aches. It was so bad that she cried almost every night because it hurt so bad. I finally took her to our Family Dr who did all kinds for test on her. With no cause found. They referred me to a Mental Health specialist that diagnosed her with Anxiety Disorder. She was started on Lexapro in March and has been doing really well as far as the stomach discomfort. I am just not sure that the mediation is the right course of action. She is also seeing a Therapist so that she can gain the skills needed to overcome her Anxiety issues. Is anyone else dealing with a similar situation??
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#2 of 12 Old 09-01-2004, 08:15 PM
 
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Well, I can give you my own personal experience. I was a bundle of nerves when I was a kid. Stomaches, and crying even before puberty hit. I played violin 4th through 12th grade and had performance anxiety throughout. I had test anxiety and new social situation anxiety and sports anxiety and whatever else you can think of. My dear, dear parents simply thought I was a drama queen and a spoiled youngest (well, the last part is true, definitly!). If your daughter is benefiting from medication then please, please, please, let her stay with it. It's no different than diabetes. Her brain has a chemical imbalance, the meds balance her out. This is going to help her learn and make those all important friends, so she can have a normal childhood experience.

I can tell you I sincerely wish these kinds of meds were available when I was a kid. Therapy in conjunction with meds is the best course of action. Meds without therapy has a higher recurrance rate. Hopefully the therapist is a behavior modification specialist who will teach her how to handle stressful situations.

Be there for her. Support her, encourage her and most importantly love her unconditionally. 9 y.o.'s are starting to feel socially self concious and don't want to be "weird" or "broken" or simply "different" in any way. Best of luck to you.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#3 of 12 Old 09-02-2004, 06:11 PM
 
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It's not clear from your post about the source of her anxiety. Are there some real events going on in her life to cause it, or is she generally an anxious person? If there's a divorce, if there's a death of someone close, if the kids at school are picking on her, of course she would be anxious. In that case, my humble opinion is that the therapy is more appropriate than masking the feelings with meds.

As someone who spent 18 months looking for the cause of an abdominal pain, I would also make very sure that the stomach pains are not indicative of something else. In other words, I would get a second opinion.

As a mother, I would be concerned about a 9-year-old being on Lexapro; I would consider it a last resort. Your doubts about medication are perfectly reasonable.

Good luck...
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#4 of 12 Old 09-04-2004, 08:48 PM
 
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Hi,
My also nine year old has also been diagnosed with anxiety disorder. We are now homeschooling her which has helped enormously. Of course, that is a hard decision and not one available to everyone. But we found out that the routine and the "unknown" plus the expectations of the school day were really adding to her anxiety.

She also has been diagnosed with Sensory Integration Disorder. You can do a google search about this. Kids with this may been occupational therapy to help cope with things in their daily life, especially school.

My daughter is taking Zoloft with good results. We went to counseling for a while and that helped. Next week she is getting an evaluation at United Cerebral Palsy with an occupational therapist and will most likely begin therapy soon after that.

There is also a good book out called "The Anxious Child". Also, check out "The Out of Sync Child".

Good luck, I know how stressful this can be. It is something that you need to learn to deal with so you can help your child deal with it.
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#5 of 12 Old 09-05-2004, 04:02 PM
 
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I dont have a teenage child but this topic caught my eye because I went through this throughout childhood and adulthood. My parents never took me to the doctor or a therapist...or addressed my issues at all. I wanted to say to you mamas that the fact that you are paying attention to your kids and are there for them through this is such a wonderful thing right there. I always felt like it was my fault and I needed to try and hide it from people...I felt ashamed of myself. I am finally about to start seeing a therapist in a few days...Ive always felt that medication was not the right thing but I am going to go into this with an open mind...if a medication will balance me out than I will seriously consider it...we all have to do what we feel is best for us.

namaste,
sarah

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#6 of 12 Old 09-07-2004, 03:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just to fill you in, I was 18 when I had my dd. Her father is involved in her life. (Not great, but better than nothing) I married 5 years ago and also have a 2yo ds. My daughter thinks of her brother 24/7. She has an unbelievable 'Mothering" sense. She is very loving, giving, and caring. There has NEVER been an adult who did not just fall in love with her. She has that truly good spirit. It kills me to see her so upset about such minor things. She is truly a great kid and if we only have a few more adult like her, the world would be a much better place.

She has anxiety about not getting a perfect test score, other kids getting in trouble, other kids getting picked on. Basically, you name it, she worries about it.

Her Bio Father has a huge family history of depression and anxiety which also helped me make the decision to put her on the Lexapro. My grandfather also suffered from depression and took his own life. I worry often about this.

I try to have a good relationship with her "father" for her sake. I would never say anything to hurt her or harm her feeling towards him. I can't image how she would be if I was nasty towards him like so many people are to their Ex's.

I think we are making headway. She does not have the stomach pain and she is able to see the big picture. I just hope it is because the skills are being developed and not that the mediation is just masking the problem.
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#7 of 12 Old 09-07-2004, 05:16 PM
 
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I just hope it is because the skills are being developed and not that the mediation is just masking the problem.
Just my thought, the medication isn't masking the problem, it's helping to alleviate the anxiety that gets in the way. With the meds she is better able to learn life skills.

I think sometimes I come across as a drug pusher at this site. I don't mean to, but I sincerely believe thoughtfully administered meds can be such a boon for someone who is suffering.

Mommy2BEJR, your daughter sounds like a gem! It sounds like you are doing all you can right now.

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#8 of 12 Old 09-07-2004, 11:25 PM
 
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My oldest dd, who is now 9 yrs old, has been in therapy for about 18 months for anxiety disorder and panic attacks. We have strongly considered homeschooling her, but have not yet made a decision. Because her 3 yr. old sister is disabled and chronically ill, lots of the symptoms were blamed on a difficult family situation. While I believe this contributes to her issues, I also feel like she would have had these issues regardless. She is a strong-willed girl, and has been since birth! What I worried most about in terms of meds was taking away her innate personality. She was prescribed Zoloft last winter, but with her therapists approval we opted not to fill it. So far, she has made tremendous progress with behavioral therapy. The therapist also has sessions with me individually or myself and dh (without dd) to update her on how we are handling everything. I think there are situations where meds are important (especially if your child is talking about hurting herself or others, is unable to function normally, etc.) and I wouldn't withold them if that were the case. Our take right now is that since this is a life-long problem, she needs some life-long solutions, including techniques for handling the panic moments and understanding her body's reactions to the anxiety. Watching a child suffer from anxiety disorder is truly heartwrenching, so I hope you are getting the support you need, too!
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#9 of 12 Old 09-07-2004, 11:31 PM
 
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I believe that there are children who are born without enough of a protective coating. They are just too thin skinned. They feel with every nerve fiber.

If we could, we would protect them and cherish their enormous sensitivity. But they can't be hothouse flowers, they want to be in the world. So we have to build them a second skin to protect their hearts. Without protection they will wilt and the world will lose their beautiful gift.

Meds are part of that protection, therapy is part of it and attachment parenting is part of it. I think you are on the right path. Good luck.

Maureen
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#10 of 12 Old 09-07-2004, 11:42 PM
 
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My grandma is high strung as all hell. My dad got ulcers in elementary school. I have always been a "worry wart" (as I wrote in my 4th grade diary - though wart was spelled wort). It is genetic.

I have to take sleeping pills now cause I do tend to get very anxious at night, but I also have periods, especially when I am surrpounded by friends, in which I am very balanced and can sleep without a problem. I try to surround myself with laid back people because that helps a lot.

Try to think of this as a condition that will forever need managed. Keep her on medication and in couseling for as long as she needs it. Help her find anxiety management techniques that work for her - journal writing and list making can give a sense of control, baths can help calm, book reading works some to take you mind off anxieties.

If my parents had brought me in I probably would have been diagnosed with anxiety. Instead I suffered (all through 5th grade I would start getting this sick feeling in my stomach as it got dark outside and worry about not being able to fall asleep) until I found coping mechanisims (some healthier than others). Because of her diagnosis, your daughter has a chance to find some really good management techniques.

Good luck.
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#11 of 12 Old 09-07-2004, 11:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MsMoMpls
I believe that there are children who are born without enough of a protective coating. They are just too thin skinned. They feel with every nerve fiber.

If we could, we would protect them and cherish their enormous sensitivity. But they can't be hothouse flowers, they want to be in the world. So we have to build them a second skin to protect their hearts. Without protection they will wilt and the world will lose their beautiful gift.

Meds are part of that protection, therapy is part of it and attachment parenting is part of it. I think you are on the right path. Good luck.
that is beautiful
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#12 of 12 Old 09-09-2004, 06:17 PM
 
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I just came across this thread. my 8.5 yr old is so much like your dd. I never could figure out WHY he had so much anxiety--he was born at home, ebf'ed, family bed, all that stuff that i guess i believed would ensure a laid back kid lol

The anxiety got real bad for him in first grade when he had longer school days and homework.
I figured out that low blood sugar would contribute to his anxiety, so i made sure he had a high protein snack twice a day. Chiropractic has helped him tremendously . He also practices his relaxation breathing (basically just yogic belly breathing). and we do hypnosis occasionally to help him learn to relax on his own.

Good luck to you.
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