Anxiety?????

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Anxiety?????
4
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 11:13am
My son is driving me nuts. All of a sudden everything has to be microanalyzed before he will do anything. He's only 4.5 and he's worried about everything.

I mentioned going to the beach when the weather is sunny in the summer trying to give him something to look forward to. His response: what if you forget sunscreen, what if we forget towels, what if I forget my toys at the beach, what if there are bullies at the beach, what if I forget my sunglasses....this went on and on until finally I had to forcefully change the subject.

He used to appear a little anxious when he first started taking ritalin but it stopped and he was happy again. Now EVERYTHING is a big deal and has to be gone over 5 times before it's acceptable for him. This behaviour has now carried over long after his meds have worn off.

Does anyone else have this problem with their child. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Elspeth

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
In reply to: bipolarmom
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 11:37am
I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. My 9 yo. has ADHD and also anxiety. He also had a bit of depression.

The way his pediatric neuorpsychiatrist explained it to me, anxiety is one way that an ADHD person compensates for the ADHD. My son, in fact, did very well in school for his first 2 years. The third year, he was also a high performing well behaved kid. But, he became angry and depressed at home. One component was this worrying. Especially at bedtime. We had long riduculous conversations about tornados (a real danger in my area, but not at the time he was worrying about them), fire and hurricanes (we live 300 miles from the nearest shore). The other worry was homework. He was 6, and became very worried that when he went to first grade he would have homework. What if he couldn't do it? We actually had trouble getting him to school. This was one of our first real indications of a psychological problem.

When we first started talking about meds, we were given the choice of starting with an SSRI (anti-depressant) or a stimulant. We started with the stimulant, and had some results, but eventually added Zoloft. The Zoloft helps a great deal with the anxiety.

It really helped me to realize that our bodies don't differentiate between real and imagined stress. So, you deal with the imagined stress the same way as the real stress. Go through the steps you take to mitigate that stress: for going to the beach, make a list. For fire, plan escape routes. For hurricanes, educate the child about where hurricanes actually are a threat. And, knowing your child has this tendency, don't overexpose to your worries.

A child's story book that deals with this issue that I found very good is Wemberly Worried. Here is a link to several books on the subject:

http://www.childanxiety.net/Resources_for_Parents.htm#child

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2003
In reply to: bipolarmom
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 11:41am
Hi and welcome to the club

Both my boys are like that, although my eldest is the worse.At age 14 he was worried that the Russian Space Station Mir would fall on him as it came back to Earth

We found it helps to let him know that you trust him to make handle situations.It's going to be hard in the beginning because you have to stay one step ahead.Show him where you keep the sunscreen and tell him it is his job to put it in the bag.Tell him you trust him to do that job.You can also tell him the important thing is solving the problem, not the fact that a mistake was made.So you forgot the sunscreen, you can borrow or buy more, or he can keep his tee-shirt and hat on. You know things like that.

It is also possible that you son may have an anxiety problem.Talk to you doctor. He may give you some guildlines as to what is to much worring.If you doc is no help, talk to a pycholigist.I don't know if your son has ADD/ADHD or Tourette's or any other condition in which aniety plays a big part, but it might be worth looking into. Things should get better as he gets older, but please don't ignore it, he is a little boy who just needs a bit of help with coping skills. Remember don't all have the same skills.

GOOD LUCK

Pat

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-05-2003
In reply to: bipolarmom
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 11:07pm
I'm not a psychologist, but I have read enough about Ritalin to know some of its adverse effects on children, especially young ones. It sounds like your son is developing a bit of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder..which just happens to be an adverse effect of the Ritalin, as well as loss of appetite (one of your other concerns) and many other health issues the psychologist may not have told you about. I've been reading alot recently, and I would suggest this book to any parent who might be considering putting their child on Ritalin or other amphetimines.. Talking Back to Ritalin, by Dr. Breggin. Very Comprehensive, Highly Informative and eye opening. I have learned that ignorance is your worst enemy and education your greatest asset. Good luck with your little angel.

Heather
Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: bipolarmom
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 7:24am
Kevin used to be a lot like that, and I'd find that he would behave really badly before we did anything (including fun things) because it was like his anxiety level just soared. What I found was that letting him know not only what we were doing, but what to expect, seemed to help. Like instead of 'we're going to the beach' it was more like 'tomorrow at 10:00 we're going to go over to the beach ... we're going to eat breakfast, then put on sunscreen before we even get in the car so that we don't have to worry about it when we're there; I'm going to pack drinks but we'll get a burger at the snack bar. The weather is supposed to be warm, but the water may still be a little cool. You can take one float ..." Trying to answer some of the questions before they're asked, and to sort of paint a picture beforehand seemed, for us, to relieve some of the anxiety and allow us all to have a better time.

Nancy

Nancy 

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