My daughter has had anxiety issues since kindergarten. She just turned nine two weeks ago. With some therapy she learned a few coping skills that helped her get through her school day. But each year her anxiety level seems to increase. Everyday/multiple times a day she asks me "if she will be ok, am I sure, will she get sick, am I super duper sure". She also says "I have heavy breathing, my heart is pounding, my stomach hurts" everyday. Recently, she saw vomit on the floor at school. Since that day she asked me about 20 times a day "am I going to throw -up,". In addition to the other questions. She cries , scream of fear, and hides because she does not want to go to school. I bring her to school crying everyday. We are working with the social worker at school as well as the principal, nurse and her teacher. I am trying to get her in with a physiatrist also. I guess I am looking for any information one might have that can help me help her. I feel so bad for her as she carries enough worry for the whole world on her shoulders.
This actually made me cry. I was like that starting 4th grade. In and out of the nurses office, constantly missing school, crying and begging my mom to let me stay home. And the main reason was because I thought I was gonna be sick also, which I have pinpointed my anxiety to emetephobia (Fear of vomit/vomiting) If I hear, see or even think about it, I panic. It's great that she has a mother that is being supportive and that she's open to tell you how she's feeling. (Note my family is very supportive, I just never knew exactly what I was scared of so i never told my parents). Having her start her anxiety at such a young age is devastating, and I truely feel for her. I'm wondering, around kindagarten has she gotten a bad flu? had a bad experience with sickness? My anxiety developed after I was rushed to the emergency room after taking the wrong medicine for poison ivy and was forced to throw it up.
Cjack1990, I am sorry to hear that you have suffered for so long. My daughter too, begs me to let her stay home. As far as a cause/trigger, the main thing I can think of is that she has a twin brother and in kindergarten is the first time they were not in class together. I would volunteer in her class for 1 hour and she would start crying within 5 minutes of me being there because she was already thinking about me leaving in an hour. She could not enjoy me being there. As a toddler she was always the strong one. I thought I would have to worry about her twin brother being on his own. It turned out he flourished by himself. He liked having his own teacher, his own class, his own experience. She worried where he was and if he was ok.
I recently told my daughter that she needs to start letting other people in. Letting people see her worry, and not hide it until she sees me. She even hides a lot from my husband. I explained to her that others need to know, her dad, nurse, teacher, social worker, grandparents ect so they can understand and be supportive too.
Did you try medication? And if so did/does it help? And at what age did you start? Our pediatrician, my husband and I have been against medication because she is so young and was able to cope. But after seeming how deathly afraid she is I am willing to research and explore this idea.
Cjack1990, thank you for taking the time to share your story.
Oh the seperation anxiety. To me, it might be something else deeper to make her worry so much for this long. I don't know, that's up to your psychologists to come up with that.
Yes, I am on medication. I am on Zoloft. I didn't start mine until I was 16. It has done a lot for me, which is great because it was the first med. I tried and usually it takes some people to try a few out to find the right one for them.
I understand completely about you being against medication, especially with her being so young. Unless there's a less harmfull medication for youth, I don't recemmond it either. The only reason why I was put on medication was because I was housebound and had panic attacks in my own backyard.
I think with her being so young you might have a better chance of her over coming it. I'm not sure, i'm not a doctor so it's my own random opinion.
the things that helps me sometimes when I go through anxiety and I have to go to work or go do something, i try and think about what I'm going to do afterwards, like if there's a good show on, or if I want to read, or something good is made for dinner.
I know my parents also rewarded me when I did something good like go to the store for them, or make it through school they would let me see my boyfriend or in your daughters case you can tell her she'll get some ice cream.
I also used to walk around in the park during the day when the others were in school, but I don't suggest that a 9 year old walk around by herself...haha.
I can see that you are trying to enlist all the aid that you can in the social worker, principal, nurse and your daughter's teacher, but I'm wondering if a child psychologist should be the next person consulted. Psychiatrists do not do therapy and I would be reluctant to place your daughter on any medication. Of course, I'm not an M.D., but I always believe in using the most conservative approach possible.
You'd indicated that she had been in therapy for a time and she did learn a few things that were helpful, but I'm wondering if this was a child psychologist who could do any testing that might be useful. No other mental health care practitioner offers testing and that is the reason I am suggesting this.
Another option, of course, is that the two of you attend therapy together for a number of sessions (or whatever is recommended) so that together you can both work on her difficulties. I don't think this is something that she can be expected to handle alone and I do believe that your participation might be very beneficial.
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