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Topic: 9 year old daughter suffering anxiety

9 posts, 0 answered
  1. Glennis
    Glennis avatar
    3 posts
    29 December 2019

    Hi

    A few months ago I had a happy go lucky, active and funny daughter. A few particular events sparked a few worries about her ability to cope with situations. The last two weeks of the school term she became detached and unable to understand or explain how she felt. Many new worries became part of her daily concerns- vomiting, catching a cold and she started to display OCD traits. She lost interest in food because she couldn’t decide what she wanted , she couldn’t decide what she wanted to do so she wandered around aimlessly. Before school finished I booked an appointment at the doctors for myself to explain what was happening from there an appointment for my daughter was made. We were referred to a Mental Health service. Because of the holiday break the appointment isn’t until late next week. We as a family feel that we are drowning in not knowing how to support her correctly as her symptoms are becoming overwhelming for her. She continually asks when will she get well and that she does not want to feel like this. Her emotions are like a roller coaster. We have had many conversations about how she feels, what we can do to help her through. We are oblivious to what has triggered her anxiety. We need some guidance to help all of us through these next two weeks until we have professional help

  2. geoff
    Life Member
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    geoff avatar
    3392 posts
    30 December 2019 in reply to Glennis

    Hello Glennis, and a warm welcome.

    I am so terribly sorry what is happening to your daughter because not only does it affect her it has an enormous reaction in how you are feeling.

    I know late next week is a long time away to get help, but at the moment you could contact Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800, these are trained people who help people from the age of 5 to 25 years old.

    They are dressed in casual clothes for various reasons as someone dressed in formal clothes maybe a deterrent for young children, so give them a ring or contact them online.

    Would really like to know how you get on.

    Geoff.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. Summer Rose
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    Summer Rose avatar
    193 posts
    1 January 2020 in reply to Glennis

    Hi Glennis

    Welcome to the bb forum and thank you for sharing your story.

    My daughter fell ill at the age of 13 and a few months later was diagnosed with OCD and anxiety. I have cared for her for the past eight years.

    I completely understand your concern and I know how difficult it is to wait for help. I understand the shock, saddness and fear that you might be feeling.

    My advice over the next two weeks would be to reinforce to your daughter that while people do unfortunately fall ill, they also get better. And remind her that you have organised an appointment for her and that you will support her every step of the way.

    Ensuring she is eating well, sleeping well and exercising is really important. Exercise in particlar offers great benefits and will help to improve her mood.

    If she is having trouble sleeping you can buy some Hoarlix at the supermarket and give this a try. It's a powder to mix with hot milk and it is very relaxing before bed.

    If she is expressing concern about disturbing thoughts remind her that they are just that, thoughts. And thoughts can't hurt her. Thoughts will pass, they always do.

    You can also try to distract her from her thoughts by keeping her mind and hands busy. You could try drawing, painting, video games, movies, bouncing a ball or even jumping on a trampoline. See if anything helps.

    If you are really concerned you can take her to see the GP.

    Most of all just love her. Be there for her to talk to. And remind her that it will get better.

    You hang in there. I'm here if you want to talk some more.

    Kind thoughts to you

    2 people found this helpful
  4. blondguy
    Life Member
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    blondguy avatar
    892 posts
    2 January 2020 in reply to Glennis

    Hi Glennis

    Without a diagnosis its difficult to diagnose as a parent..yet good on you for making the appointment with a health professional! You have mentioned anxiety and OCD traits. I dont understand how you came to that conclusion

    I understand the pain you are experiencing as my daughter also displayed the same symptoms at 9 years old and it was awful to go through Glennis

    My doctors did give me a firm warning about using Google to 'partially' diagnose any issues as mental health and Google can be counter productive to our childrens well being due to the many 'opinions' available

    You are a very proactive mum Glennis for already seeing your GP with your daughter

    If you are still online please do try 'Kids Help Line' These people are excellent where our young ones are concerned and can put your mind at ease with just a phone call....Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 24/7

    My very best for your daughter's well being and your family at this time

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  5. Glennis
    Glennis avatar
    3 posts
    13 January 2020

    Thank you all so much for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. I firstly sourced assistance from the Kids help line for my daughter. She shared her thoughts online to them but became a little overwhelmed. We will try it again, as she is willing.

    We feel as a family we are beginning to say the correct responses to some of worries ( thank you Summer Rose for your comment about ‘thoughts can’t hurt you’ - I will use this). We also learnt from our visit to CAMHS that we need to acknowledge her fears and not spend time trying to make her think logically. Rather, moving onto another subject that will refocus her.

    We made it to our appointment last Wednesday and my daughter held it together and answered questions for the first 15 minutes. I then noticed her slowly shrink into herself and the emotions took over. This was an initial consultation and from here her case will be taken over by another health worker. Now we wait again for another appointment. We both came away with a few more strategies in dealing with emotions. But still feeling lost.

    Every day is still different from the next . Our daughter has stopped waking up each morning in tears which is a blessing. We can now anticipate when she may become anxious. She talks about wanting to be ‘normal ‘ again.

    One symptom she is displaying from her anxiety is holding saliva in her mouth. At first she couldn’t tell us why she was doing it . Now she tells us it’s a fear of falling ill. There are times where she is aware and will swallow and we remind her to be the ‘boss’ of her body. Her saliva build up is lessening as she is wanting to talk more than a few weeks ago. Good sign.

    We are working on getting her to engage in an activity on her own. She use to love playing outside, drawing, lego, riding her bike. She still wanders aimlessly or follows myself or her dad around. She will only engage in activities with myself, her dad or sister.

    One day at a time is how we will take this.

    Thank you once again

    Glennis

  6. blondguy
    Life Member
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    blondguy avatar
    892 posts
    13 January 2020 in reply to Glennis

    Hello Glennis

    You are a wonderful caring mum for doing everything you can for your daughter and its great news that she no longer wakes up in tears anymore

    Summer Rose did make an excellent point when she mentioned 'If she is expressing concern about disturbing thoughts remind her that they are just that, thoughts. And thoughts can't hurt her. Thoughts will pass, they always do'

    You mentioned 'One day at a time' and also the benefits of distraction too...You are doing everything you possibly can....I hope you are doing okay too! Can I ask when your daughter was diagnosed with anxiety Glennis?..just so we can support you more effectively if thats okay

    Thankyou for being a part of the Beyond Blue family too!

    kind thoughts

    Paul

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Summer Rose
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    Summer Rose avatar
    193 posts
    13 January 2020 in reply to Glennis

    Hi Glennis

    I want to echo what Paul has said, you are doing great. Your daughter is lucky to have you. This is really tough I know, particularly as you and your family may be in uncharted waters.

    When my daughter fell ill mental health wasn't even on my radar, so if you are anything like me, I understand that you may be facing a time of great learning.

    Paul has mentioned diagnosis a couple of times and this is critical. You need to know what you are dealing with from a mental practitioner with the right qualifications. You can't effectively move forward without this.

    I don't know anything about the services provided by the kids helpline (sorry) or who you are seeing next. But unless you have a diagnosis you have confidence in, I'd hope you will eventually be seeing a child psychiatrist or clinical psychologist.

    At the start of my journey, I didn't understand the different roles various practitioners play in the system. I called the bb supportline for a crash course and I also spoke with my GP. It's a long story and it was a trial and error process but I eventually put together a team to help us.

    Child psychiatrist to diagnosis. Pediatrician and psychologist to treat my girl and mental health nurse/family counsellor to coach me on how to help my daughter. I'm not suggesting you need to follow the same path, not at all. Every situation is unique.But I wouldn't have known what we needed without the diagnosis.

    Sounds like your daughter did her best at the appointment. Particularly as I imagine she is terrified by what is happening to her. How is her sister coping? How are you feeling?

    Kind thoughts to you and your family

    1 person found this helpful
  8. Glennis
    Glennis avatar
    3 posts
    15 January 2020

    Hello all

    Our path so far has been - doctors, referral to CAMHS, initial consultation there, now appointment to see a Child Psychiatrist next Wednesday. I initially described her symptoms as anxiety (having experienced anxiety through Postnatal depression). As yet, we have had no diagnosis. My support has come from my own readings and a wonderful children’s book called ‘Hey Warrior’ by Karen Young which nails it in regards to simplifying why and how anxiety occurs for both children and adults . We read this together often and refer to it during the day.

    How am I feeling? Probably numb. That’s the only way to describe it. Thank goodness my partner is on holidays . He is able to put so much energy into uplifting our daughter. And does his upmost to make her laugh and talk.

    My eldest daughter - she laughs at her own mistakes and bounces through life. But fully aware her sister is in another place at the moment. She tries to be patient.

    So now we wait again for next appointment.

    Glennis

  9. Summer Rose
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    Summer Rose avatar
    193 posts
    16 January 2020 in reply to Glennis

    Hi Glennis

    Sounds like a very logical path and that you are on your way to a diagnosis. Excellent.

    Bb has some material on it's website to help people prepare for first meetings with mental health practitioners that may be of interest to you. Questions to ask, issues to think about, that kind of thing.

    It's wonderful that you have the support of a partner and that he or she is currently at home to assist. Perhaps this will give you the opportunity for some self-care?

    My suggestion would be to do something nice for yourself everyday. Talk a walk, coffee with a friend, read--whatever will let you recharge and remind you of who really are. You matter, Glennis. And it's really important to you and your family that you stay well.

    Good to hear your eldest is well. Just keep an eye on her, she may be worried about you or her sister or both of you. Lots of reassurance that while people do unfortunately fall ill, they do also get better.

    Keeping your family strong is really important because if you have that the rest will be a lot easier.

    Kind thoughts to you

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