8 yr. old daughter with an anxiety disor

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-15-2003
8 yr. old daughter with an anxiety disor
13
Mon, 12-15-2003 - 9:51pm
Hi

I am new to this board and don't know if this is where my post belongs! I have a little girl with an anxiety disorder. She's just started prozac which was not a decision I made lightly. Her behaviour, panic attacks, tantrums were too much for her or us to take anymore. We tried to get by on our own without meds or outside help but she's now suffering too much and asking what is wrong with her and why other kids don't react like she does. Anxiety and depression run in my family.

We have become very isolated. I work (ironically as a child social worker), go to school part time to obtain my master's degree, have two others 11 and 6 who are at their witts end with their sister, take in relief foster children and have a partner who works shifts. My mother babysits a lot but stormed out of the house tonight after she couldn't take the behaviour anymore. Now I've lost that support. I have no extra money for a sitter and few can manage or understand my daughter's special needs. My oldest daughter wants to leave home because she can't stand her little sister acting so horribly mean to her. My partner, also on prozac, has serious health problems and is often emotionally and physically unavailable. I don't know how much longer I can hold down the fort. Every minute of every day seems like an eternity with no hope. I just can't see things getting any better for a long time. I'm usually a strong person but I'm not coping well right now. I have never felt so alone. Is there anyone out there going through anything similar. I'd love to hear some coping ideas.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
Wed, 12-17-2003 - 11:10pm

((((((Hugs))))))


I can only imagine how difficult things must

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-15-2003
Thu, 12-18-2003 - 8:38pm
Thank you Paula,

We are all doing a bit better since I wrote that last post. Emily's still taking her meds eventhough she can't stand the taste, poor little thing. It does seem to be helping. She's noticed herself that her "mads" don't happen as much. Her "episodes" are not as frequent or as long. She will be having a thorough assessment in February to take a better look at her situation. As far as other childhood disorders, we don't really know. Anxiety and depression seem to be the most prominent. The only other thing I've wondered about is ADD but she really doesn't fit the profile. In the meantime, two things really help her, her piano (she's amazing) and her guinea pig.

Take care and thanks again for your response.

Cathy in Ontario

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 12-20-2003 - 3:41pm
Sounds sooooo familiar, rearrange the ages of the kids, oldest the "difficult" child, then 12 year old dd and 5 year old son. My dd has muscular dystrophy and suffers from anxiety, ocd, depression and is just plain pissed off all the time. She is horrible to everyone in the family and her tantrums can just start for no apparent reason. She has been on prozac and I took her off last May because I am a little concerned about leaving a kid on meds for long periods of time. However, things have deteriorated to the point that we are going to start them again ASAP. I know how you feel, this affects the whole family and my middle dd and son wish older sister would just go away, sometimes I am in agreement, more times than I like to admit. When my daughter was at muscular dystrophy camp this summer my then 4 year old son commented that everyone was so much happier without the sister, and said it was so much quieter. Unfortunately, I don't have any suggestions for you, we are currently in therapy but that does not seem to be having any affect. THe therapist mentioned a reward system for dd and suggested that if she controlled her behavior and screaming fits for a certain number of days that mom would take her to the mall or a movie. Her response, who the hell wants to go to a movie with her, as for the mall she can drop me off and leave. Don't feel bad about the meds, if it works it can be a miracle. I hope the meds work for you. Denise
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-15-2003
Sat, 12-20-2003 - 7:01pm
Wow Denise. Sounds like your hands are full. Em's tantrums seem a little less severe now that she's on meds but it's still a challenge. I try to give the other kids diversions and activities outside of the family just to give them a break. I think we are our own best therapists. Someone else can make suggestions and are helpful to vent to but the most effective creativty comes from inside.

Cathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Wed, 12-31-2003 - 11:24pm

{{{{Hugs}}}}} Wee

Snowman Siggy

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-15-2003
Thu, 01-01-2004 - 2:50pm
Thank you for your kindness and words of encouragement. Emily is doing better these days, since she started taking prozac. The tantrums or fits of anger and rage still occur, but are over in a half an hour versus the entire day. She can compromise now and stop to think about her actions and the consequences of certain actions or decisions. She actually hugged her little brother last night when the New Year came in! I feel like she's herself again. She smiles, laughs and talks to people a lot. She's taking pleasure in simple things and laughing at jokes. It's amazing. She herself has noticed the difference and said "ok mom, I'm better now so I can stop taking the medicine." I've explained to her that it doesn't work that way. She still thinks the medicine was a punishment for poor behaviour, poor baby. I've told her it's like having epilepsy and having to medication to prevent seizures, like her foster sister, age 9. Right now she's singing in her room to her new cd, Baby Boy, Beyonce. It's wonderful to see her confidence come up. Before she would never sing out loud in case somebody heard her horrible voice (her words, not mine).

Hugs to you and your son.

Cathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-15-2003
Sat, 01-03-2004 - 10:45am
I spoke too soon, as I feared! Oh my have we had a morning with Em. She had an absolute FIT because a particular shirt she's worn for the past two days and nights is not clean this morning and she's not allowed to wear it. I refused to stay up past midnight to wash it and oh my, here's the price. I haven't seen this rage for a few weeks but it's back and in full force. She was asked to keep her voice down (ya right) because her other parent is asleep after working the night shift but she just can't process that info. She screamed and slammed doors, etc. She just can't calm herself. Although, the screaming did stop after about five minutes, which is much better than it used to be. But now she's refusing to let anyone in the room and there's a good chance she'll try self harming which scares the heck out of me. Now the rest of my day will involve emotional check ins with her and the others will be ignored. I'll have to get the other two doing crafts or something with each other. Back to work Monday for a break!

Cathy

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 01-06-2004 - 11:18am
It is always too soon. Unfortunately, the med is not a cure all in this case. In our case, I just put dd back on prozac-she has been on it 2 other times, and am seeing some improvement. I expect things to get a little better and life around here to be more bearable for everyone but I don't expect perfection. It would be nice but not going to happen. Usually the med takes 4-5 weeks to really kick in, I am already seeing an improvement after one week but I think it is psychological, ha ha. The med should make your dd somewhat more pleasant to live with but it will not take all the behaviors away just put them in check. Good luck.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-15-2003
Tue, 01-06-2004 - 2:08pm
No, the meds are not a cure but I'd hoped the meds would allow her to learn some coping skills. The past two days have been very very difficult. She had a full blown panic attack last night and started turning blue. She couldn't breathe well, had chest pains, afraid she was dying, scared to death. It lasted 40 minutes. This morning she had an absolute fit because she couldn't find her bracelet. She screamed and cried until we took her to school. She's also not sleeping. She has not gone to sleep before 12 to 1am for two weeks. (therefore neither have I and my son is up by 6 or 7am). I'm exhausted! We can't all eat in the same room or have family time together. It doesn't exist. She can't be in the same room as the others without yelling at them or screaming "stop it" when they haven't done anything but look at her. I'm back to work and go to school part time and my partner works full time and is always sick. Most of the work with the kids is mine. I don't resent it, I'm just really tired and worn out.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-21-2003
Tue, 01-06-2004 - 2:17pm
I don;t know if you can swing it, but if you can you should leave the house in capable hands and get some me time. It won't cure what's happening but sometimes a break can give you new and renewed ideas and perspective. I'm a SAHM to 2 my DD is almost 6 and she has CP, so it's very timeconsuming and demanding in a different way. But I finally learned to distance myself sometimes- even going for a coffee somewhere alone. It makes for a happier me which means I can handle the things at home for awhile longer. Hopefully the meds will take the edge off, I'm sorry that I don't have better help for you. Shelley

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