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Topic: 12 years old - anxiety issues?

11 posts, 0 answered
  1. George81
    George81 avatar
    8 posts
    30 January 2019
    Hi, my name is George and this is about my 12 year old son. For roughly 4 years his anxieties have been building. We are at a stage now where symptoms include not being able to shower without assistance (turning on/off taps, shielding him as he makes his way to his room after the shower), not being able to walk past him as the wind one creates may touch him, blinds must be down in case people are watching him as he changes clothes, if we go somewhere he is suspicious of the surroundings as they may be bugged I.e cameras and not being able to touch him I.e hug, pat on the back etc. If any of the above is compromisec my wife has to scratch his arms or back etc to make things right again. Until such time he brings the house down with the way he carries on. With some of the above we can predict the behaviour on some occassions we can't. For example sometimes he wants a hug and other times he stays well away. So, I know there is no easy solution but just thought I'd get some insight from others through a forum like this. Thanks...
  2. White Rose
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
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    White Rose avatar
    6313 posts
    30 January 2019 in reply to George81

    Dear George

    Thank you for trusting us with your story and a warm welcome to the forum. My word you have a lot of difficulty to manage. I feel your son has some form of autism. Have you taken him to a professional person for diagnosis and help? If not I believe you should do this straight away. Start by visiting your GP and telling him/her what you have written here, or simply print your post and take it with you.

    It seems you and your wife have a great deal of insight into your son's needs and you are prepared to help on the practical level by shielding him physically from view when he feels vulnerable and on other occasions. You have my admiration for what must be a difficult situation.

    Does your son go to school? I wonder that his teachers have not spoken to you about your son. Do you know if the school is able to assist you? There are so many things I want to ask but I don't want to sound like an inquisition. The most important part from my viewpoint is getting him some help and also help for yourselves when managing him.

    I did a search on autism to find symptoms. Have you looked into any of this or have you been managing alone for the past twelve years? According to the literature the earlier a child is diagnosed the better the long term outcomes. Apart from that I have no personal experience of autism and cannot help you with ideas and suggestions to manage. I am sorry about this.

    I do think the best thing you can do is see your GP and go from there. Your son sounds like a bright boy with some behaviours that may frighten away other children. Getting a professional opinion would help you all to manage in the here and now as well as in the future.

    Sorry I cannot offer more help but I believe others will be along soon to chat with you.

    Mary

    1 person found this helpful
  3. George81
    George81 avatar
    8 posts
    30 January 2019 in reply to White Rose
    Hi Mary, thankyou so much for your thoughtful response. He is quite bright. He is able to control himself in public so the school is not aware of his issues to the extent that they manifest at home. He does avoid the school toilets, taps and makes comments to us about unhygienic conditions at school and other children he considers to be unhygienic. Yes, we have gone to our GP and phychologists/ phychiatrists two years ago. They did suggest medication but we declined at the time. Perhaps as you suggested we need to see our GP again. Autism had not crossed my mind. I will look into this also. Kind regards George
  4. Sebastian Bach
    Sebastian Bach avatar
    1 posts
    30 January 2019 in reply to George81

    George,

    From what you have posted I think this sounds pretty serious. It could be a traumatic event that has triggered this behaviour (I am not a health professional) but It needs professional help. Posting here will help, but I think you need to go to you GP and get a referral to a specialist. His symptoms sound quite specific so the right specialist (psychiatric or paediatric) is essential. You need to be prepared for possibility that he might require medication. However, don't wait. See your GP tomorrow if possible.

    SB

    1 person found this helpful
  5. George81
    George81 avatar
    8 posts
    31 January 2019 in reply to Sebastian Bach

    Thanks SB. Yes, I believe you are correct. Finding the appropriate child specialist is important so I'll get onto that today.

    Regards

    George

  6. George81
    George81 avatar
    8 posts
    31 January 2019 in reply to Sebastian Bach
    Thankyou SB. I'll look into going back to the GP today and looking for an appropriate specialist.
    1 person found this helpful
  7. Emlm
    Emlm avatar
    63 posts
    31 January 2019 in reply to George81

    Hi George

    Im sorry that you are going through this. Seeing your child struggle is heartbreaking to any parent. I’ve been through the process but my son was diagnosed with ADD last year. He’s 13yrs. I also found that speaking with the school Counsellor beneficial. She has a lot of insight working with children and could keep an eye on him and let me know if there were any issues. She would work in with his teachers and it was a relief knowing that he was being looked after.

    I am a pharmacy manager, and I even found it hard to agree to medication for him. At the end of the day I knew that it’d be better for him and I had to put my judgments aside.

    I hope you get some answers and the help that he needs, and be kind to yourself. It’s a tough process for parents too.

    Emma

    1 person found this helpful
  8. George81
    George81 avatar
    8 posts
    31 January 2019 in reply to Emlm
    Thanks Emma for the reply. I appreciate the advice. Yes, we will make sure to touch base with the school counsellor and may have to consider medication..
    1 person found this helpful
  9. lemi
    lemi  avatar
    5 posts
    8 February 2019

    Hi George,

    This sounds like such a tricky time for your boy, yourself and your family! As the others have suggested, I would recommend going back to your GP to ask for a referral to a child/adolescent psychologist. At your GP you can complete a Mental Health Plan on behalf of your son, which will allow you to get Medicare rebates from 10 sessions with a psychologist in a 12 month period. I am currently seeking therapy using this method and as a student it is a lifesaver ( and $$$ saver!)

    I truly do feel for your son right now. I also began to experience some major anxiety issues around the same age and can be tough for kids having to manage their anxiety on top of puberty and transitioning to high school. My biggest advice to you as a dad would be to trust your parental instincts- more often than not these instincts will guide you and your son in the right direction. If you find a medical professional who your son is not comfortable with, or who does not seem to be helping your son, don't be afraid to seek out another medical professional. Actively listening to your son will help you both as well- this may be difficult if his concerns seem irrational, however he will never ever be negatively affected by having someone truly listen to him.

    You both will get through this xxxxxx

    1 person found this helpful
  10. White Rose
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    White Rose avatar
    6313 posts
    10 February 2019 in reply to George81

    Hello George

    How are you all going? You have received replies from a number of people and it sounds as though you are considering some different approaches. It is always useful to be open to new ideas.

    You spoke about medication above and your reluctance to let your boy take any. There is so much information and disinformation about medication for anything that it's quite confusing to make a good choice. I take an antidepressant these days but I resisted it for some years. There was a lot of trial and error and a reluctance by the psychiatrist to try something different meaning I went through many years coping with side effects that made my life difficult and in many ways added to my depression. Eventually I was prescribed a completely different class of medication by my GP and life started to look up almost immediately. No side effects.

    This is not to persuade you to give your son medication. Until you have a full diagnosis of his difficulties I think any medication may obscure the problem without treating it. Perhaps that was part of your reasoning. We often say we are not medical people and it is important that you know this. Any advice or suggestions we offer is usually from our own experiences and not necessarily the most appropriate for someone else.

    Having said that I do believe a full and proper diagnosis is essential for your son. I know autism and ADHD are popular diagnoses these days but not necessarily anything to do with your son. Perhaps you can ask your GP the best way to explore various options. Do you have full confidence in your GP? I have been very fortunate that I have had three GPs that I trusted implicitly and also a psychiatrist (not the one with the meds) who I find very helpful. This trust is very important.

    May I make a suggestion? Write down all the information you have about your son. Your first post was very open. Start from there by copying it to your computer and working on it. Like all children your son no doubt has his good points and those that drive you to distraction. I had four children close in age and at times they drove me up the wall. Now they are grown up and have their own children I can say, when one of my grandchildren's misdemeanour crops up, yes I know, you were the same. Fortunately my children laugh and declare they were never that bad. Hmmm.

    Take your notes to the doctor as it is easier than trying to remember at the time. Also list his good points to give a balanced picture.

    Mary

  11. Sophie_M
    Sophie_M avatar
    3414 posts
    12 February 2019 in reply to George81
    Hi George81,

    If you are still reading, there are a couple of resources on our Healthy Families website that you might find helpful to read through:

    Child mental health checklist

    Anxiety in children

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