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Children with anxiety support group?


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#1 Mrs.Brown

Posted 27 March 2012 - 10:26 PM

Have c and p'd from the children with special needs/dissabilities forum -



I would like to start up a support group for those of us with children that have anxiety. I think it is really important that we can support each other, as I really dont have anyone IRL I can talk too, and when I mention that DD has anxeity to others, they react in a way that is saying anxiety is really nothing and just something she will grow out of!

I think alot of people just dont realise or even understand that anxiety affects your whole life and it really is something serious and takes alot of work.

If there are enough takers, I will check with the mod of this forum and see wether it is something we can do, and if it should go here or in the Depression/Mental Illness forum.

Thanks

Laura


Thought I would post this here as well.

My 6 yr old DD Abbey has been diagnosed with severe anxiety, DAMP ( deficits in attention, motor skills and percetion ).

Her anxiety is very severe, resulting in her life being full of stresses and worries. I do beleive that there is more going on but I need to wait it out a bit longer and see if other symptoms come to the surface.

However the anxiety is very real and it pains me to see her so anxious and scared all of the tme sad.gif

Are there any other parents here that would like to participate in a support group for our children?

Edited by Icehouse, 27 March 2012 - 10:27 PM.


#2 HillmanMinx

Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:14 AM

I would.  Tomorrow morning I am taking my DD 7.5 back to the doctor for anxiety.  

Her name is Ellie.

She has not been formally assessed though 3 times we have had referrals (long story) but not followed through.

She has ASD symptoms (obsessions for eg) which is in the genes (paternal) and related sensory things (movement, sound, touch).

She is also very ADHD-like (no dx) and always has been.

Or it could be childhood onset bipolar, she certainly has pressured speach and flights of ideas.

Anyway, assessment will tell.

But one thing she does have is anxiety.  She finds it hard to sleep.  She thinks she is going to die and panics.  She thinks trees are going to fall on the house or car.  If she hears something on tv she worries about it non stop.  She gets stomach aches and headaches at school daily.  Poor chook, she is so adorable.  So sad that she is always so troubled.

Hi all.  waves.gif

#3 Mrs.Brown

Posted 28 March 2012 - 12:16 AM

Hi HillmanMinx original.gif

Im just about off to bed but look forward to posting more about DD tomorrow and getting to know you.

Anyone else, please feel free to pop in and say hi.

Chat soon

#4 AMPSyd

Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:06 AM

I will quickly reply and come back later. DS has GAD, is 11, ans is actually doing OK but still has some anxieties - especially with large dogs.

#5 PB2

Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:23 AM

Great idea. Have a son that has anxiety.  I have to rush off now to work, but will be back on line tonight.  

Might be a good idea to post this in the WDYT section to get more traffic and notice.  I just happend to see it in the side bar thing, normally I wouldnt look in this section or the special needs section.  There have been a few threads over the last year about anxiety so there are definatley a few of us mums around.

WE could share resources, ideas and just have a chat - sometimes it is so hard for family to understand what the impact of this is and that he cant just snap out of it, or our parenting can fix it.

great idea.



#6 i-candi

Posted 28 March 2012 - 06:41 AM

DS is 12 and has anxiety and depression cry1.gif

I could have him diagnosed with Aspergers but have decided against it.

This morning he is good, tomorrow who knows????

DS is medicated and it has made a huge difference to him coping with day to day life. He still has problems with high stress situations.

I have a DD who is 9 has the most amazing outlook on life. She is so outgoing and shines on stage in front of people and is loved by most at her school. It's strange that I have two children so opposite each other.

DH is also medicated for depression and anxiety. I believe he is on the spectrum as well. DH is very successful in his career which probably helps that he is on the spectrum.

DS started high school this year and they have been awesome helping him and watching him and making sure he is ok. At one stage DS was in such a bad way that he was being watched by teachers to make sure he didn't do anything to himself.

I've never had anxiety or true depression so this board has been so helpful for me trying to understand DS.

#7 Mrs.Brown

Posted 28 March 2012 - 09:28 AM

Great idea PB2. Im off to wrok now but if a mod could possibly pop something into WDYT today then start up a group for us here that would be brilliant.

Chat very soon ladies xo

#8 HillmanMinx

Posted 28 March 2012 - 10:51 AM

Incase anyones around - What do you think

Should I get a referral to a developmental paed or a child psychiatrist to best help my daughter?  (see my previous post for details)

20 mins till GP apt

#9 Mrs.Brown

Posted 28 March 2012 - 11:10 PM


Hi girls

S sorry Hillmanminx I didnt get a chance to reply earlier thismorning. How did you go at the GP? I honestly wouldnt know which way to go, either paed or psyc? My Abbey seems very similar to your child and I really beleive there is more to her than what the paed has said. I truly think there are ASD or ADD traits there but the paed wouldnt go with that. And we waited  ages to see her! Grrrr!

Hi icandi original.gif Both DH and I are sufferers of depression and anxiety, so I guess it was inevitable that Abbey would have some form of MI. It is also rampant on both sides of the family in past generations so the poor thing has copped it!  Its great to hear your sons school are pro-active with him. Our school isnt so great and Im contemplating a move, if Abbey can cope with the change.

Ampsyd and PB2, its nice to meet you. Would love to chat more when your able to come in.

Thought I would give a quickish run down on my DD ( will try and make it quick lol )

Very difficult baby. Never slept. Just screamed. Wouldnt settle for anyone but me for a very long time. Didnt sleep thru until 4 years old!! Still wakes now at 6 but not as often, but its mainly when she is anxious or had a bad day.

Hates crowds, gets very nervous at playgrounds where there are other kids and clings on to me constantly when at a park. Will only play at the playground without clinging on to me if no one else is there. If there are just a couple of kids she will play but I have to be in there with her.

Doesnt like sudden loud noises, altho this is getting better with time. Has no idea on how to socialise and gets very anxious and goes into meltdown mode when things dont work out when playing with other kids. She doesnt understand or know how to manage conflict and if things are not going the way she is comfortable with, all hell breaks loose.

Still refusing to do a poo in the toilet ( is scared of something but we cant work out what, the paed said with some anxious kids they are afraid of letting go of what is inside them ). She is wee trained tho, but her bowel problems also cause constipation.

Has sensory processing difficulties.

Cannot leave her anywhere without me, except at school. She doesnt even like staying with dad sometimes, and goes into meltdown mode 90% of the time that I leave her at home with anyone. I have never been able to leave her at a birthday party and if we go anywhere like that she clings and refuses to interact with the other kids.

Has a speech delay and a stutter.

I think that is it! Phew!

The teacher was saying today that Abbey is not completing her work very well and there are constant trips to the toilet which is resulting in her not getting her work done. Im wondering if that is an anxiety thing ( had it last year in prep and it was anxiety ), or a way of her not haivng to sit still all the time at her desk, or a combination of both.
I spoke to the psychologist today that I have chosen and we have our initial consult in 2 weeks.

I really hope that we can accomplish some stuff and get my child enjoying life and to be not as fearful.

Hi to everyone. I probably wont get in the thread more than 2 or 3 times a week, like all of us Im so busy but I realy look forward to us all helping each other and sharing ideas. Evening coming in and having a cry ( which we all need ) will make us feel better.

Some people in society see anxiety as nothing. They see it as a very minor thing, like a grazed knee. And that is so upsetting. I see it at times when I have spoken to other parents at DD's school. They hear the word anxiety and say she is just nervy and will grow out of it, like its a nothing.
I want to scream at these parents that anxiety can rule a persons life and that it is not a nothing, but a very real and emotionally painful condition. One that can make a person life full of fear and can lock them down.

I wish people wouldnt think of anxiety as nothing. I wish they could see that it can control a persons life.

Chat soon girls xo

#10 HillmanMinx

Posted 29 March 2012 - 01:37 AM

Icehouse my GP wanted to go the paed option first, and then psychiatrist if necessary.  

The earliest paed appt I can get is mid september, so I booked that and also hunted down a child psychiatrist and have an apt the end of May. Now I have to go back and hit her up for both referrals.  

I have emailed a clinical psychologist about 'play therapy' for my dd to be started ASAP.  This I am hoping will ground dd and make he feel that her issues are being worked on actively right away, instead of waiting months which is like years to a 7 year old.

I think she will really love it and benefit.  

And I emailed child therapy centre about getting dd into a social skills group therapy program to be started ASAP too.

Now I just have to win the lotto to fund it all.
QUOTE
Some people in society see anxiety as nothing. They see it as a very minor thing, like a grazed knee. And that is so upsetting.
  I know its almost like 'she has anxiety? we all have anxiety!'  well, no, we don't all worry ourselves into an emotional mess about every day things.  We don't all find crowds so distressing that we have meltdowns or spin out or get sick when in them.  Otherwise the whole crowd would be clinging to each other and looking totally out of their comfort zone, instead of just OUR kids whilst everyone else is having a great time.

Anyway I am just as guilty as those people.  My family really beat home the need to accept variences in people and refrain from pathologising natural traits etc.  But they did the same to me and my life has been a much more disturbed and traumatic affair than it could have been, if only they hadn't felt so strongly opposed to 'pigeon hole-ing' me.  So I have finally run out of tolernece for letting a child suffer in ways nobody would let an adult suffer without support.  And I have run out of fear that I will seem more neurotic than I already do for getting my daughter help.  It took a lot and I failed my daughter by leaving it this late, but, better to repent now I guess.

Edited by HillmanMinx, 29 March 2012 - 01:46 AM.


#11 HillmanMinx

Posted 29 March 2012 - 06:44 PM

Hows everyone going?

Something great happens to my daughter when I make space and time to discuss her anxieties and feel heard.  She still gets them, but she can observe them and comment about them freely, and finds it easier to push past them.  We discuss them as symptoms that are real experiences but not healthy and proportionate responses to whats really going on.  

So she knows she is really feeling it, its a validly uncomfortable experience, and she also doesn't have to feel worse because 'nobody understands'.  But that its OK to say 'its just my thoughts and feelings over reacting, so I don't have to worry so much about it and I can let it go'.

Its not a cure.  It just helps her with the expression of her experience and maybe will help prevent her thoughts getting stuck in negative patterns.
Just thought I would share in case anyone else benefits.

#12 Mrs.Brown

Posted 29 March 2012 - 09:21 PM


Hi everyone

Just a quicky, just about to put DD to bed. HillmanMinx thatnks so much for sharing your thoughts. I agree, making time for our anxious children does really help. Its hard to find the time to sit down with them and talk about how they are feeling. With DD being only 6, she doesnt share alot ( I get most of her feelings thru her behaviour ) but time is so important wiht our kids I feel.

Can you tell me more about the social skills training? Our paed also wrote me a referral for such a thing but there doesnt seem to be anything like that where I live. Is it run thru CAMS, or is it something the psyc will do?

And are you looking for a dx of something other that anxiety for your child with going to the paed?

I think I wrote before that DD has been been struggling with going to sleep badly the past few weeks. Well for the past 2 nights I have massaged her for 15 mins and she has dropped off much better original.gif Thought I would share original.gif

Better run, over tired child happening here.

Chat soon xo



#13 HillmanMinx

Posted 30 March 2012 - 01:49 AM

QUOTE
Can you tell me more about the social skills training? Our paed also wrote me a referral for such a thing but there doesnt seem to be anything like that where I live. Is it run thru CAMS, or is it something the psyc will do?
Hi Laura.  My names Angela By the way original.gif .
  
In WA where I am, there are a variety of choices but I'm not clued up on them enough to say who offers the best kind of program.  

There are group programs run through occupational therapists, which may be ideal for your DD, because of her DAMP diagnosis.  So you might be able to find an OT practice that will support Abbey 1on1 for motor skills and attention, and also offers group therapy in social skills.

Clinical psychologists seem to be the other field that practice child group therapy for social skills.  

Is Abbey on a mental health plan, or eligible for funding under the medicare chronic illness plan?  The first one entitles her to up to 10 medicare subsidised 1-on-1 appointments per year with a psychologist, plus up to 10 group therapy appointments with approved providers (I think both OTs and psychologists can be approved providers if they are running a program that they can lodge as the correct medicare item number to qualify.  Im not 100 percent sure though).  The latter (the chronic illness plan) I don't know a lot about but read about it yesterday on medicares website.  She may qualify.

Medicare subsidy may not cover the whole cost but it can make therapy affordable.

If you go down the path of having Abbey see a therapist and do group therapy with the medicare subsidy, make sure you register as a family for the medicare safety net.  It means if you rack up a certain amount of out of pocket expenses for services that attract a medicare rebate, eventually you qualify for an even higher rebate which will reduce your out of pocket costs.

Another place I have found group therapy for children is at Curtin university (in my state).  They train registered psychologists who are doing PhDs and training to be clinical psychologists.  This seems an affordable option. The group therapy is 20 dollars a session and they run closed groups I believe, with a set number of sessions.  There is a social skills program and a 'pen pal' program to address written communication and relationships simultaneously at this particular uni.  I am yet to hear back from them as to whether my daughter qualifies and how long the wait list is.

QUOTE
And are you looking for a dx of something other that anxiety for your child with going to the paed?
  I don't know what the paed or the psych will diagnose.  Im at a bit of a loss.  She is definitely a quirky kid, always has been, and her anxiety is proving reasonable impactful on her life.  But whether she fulfils the criteria for some dx on the autism spectrum and sensory area, or adhd, or childhood onset bipolar, I don't know.  She has elements that to my untrained eye, fit very well under all those headings, and maybe lacks elements of some or all too.  Wait and see I guess.  I'd never heard of DAMP and will be googling at some point.

QUOTE
Well for the past 2 nights I have massaged her for 15 mins and she has dropped off much better original.gif Thought I would share original.gif
  Beautiful  wub.gif


#14 i-candi

Posted 31 March 2012 - 08:58 PM

We're on a good slide at the moment.

Hope it lasts original.gif

#15 HillmanMinx

Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:15 AM

QUOTE
We're on a good slide at the moment.

Hope it lasts
tthumbs.gif

#16 Mummy2RyanandAlex

Posted 01 April 2012 - 12:36 AM

Hi,
May I please join?
I have a 7yo son with anxiety.
We are going ok at the moment, but last year was a bad year.

We are on a mental health plan, but found the  school counselor was using the same program that the child physcologist was using. Ds felt happier and more comfortable with the school counselor  so he saw her most of last year.

#17 HillmanMinx

Posted 01 April 2012 - 01:06 AM

Hi Mummy2RyanandAlex and welcome.  Glad things are going well right now original.gif  I didn't think about the school as a source of counseling for my dd7 which is silly as dd15 has used her schools counselor on a number of occasions.

#18 Mrs.Brown

Posted 01 April 2012 - 02:21 PM


Hi Angela and everyone original.gif Angela, will reply to your post tonight original.gif Had such a busy last few days.

Welcome mummy2ryanandalex.

BBL tonight for a chat.



#19 Mrs.Brown

Posted 01 April 2012 - 09:59 PM

Hello again, Im finally here original.gif

Angela, thanks so much for all the info you have posted, your a wealth of information. When we begin our psyc sessions, I will find out about the social skills and I hope there is a program that she runs or knows of where to find one. We are regional in Albany and facilities here are a bit shoddy. Too many shops and not enough medical/mental health facilities. Typical! They cater for the tourists here and not the residents so much.

Anyways.

Yes, we received a care plan from the paed. 10 sessions. I dont know what will happen after that, Im sure Abbey is going to need therapy for a while.

Your DD sounds so much like my Abbey. Kind of in the middle with symptoms - red flags - if you like,  of certain dx's, but perhaps not enough for anything official. Even tho Abbey has not been dx with any of the automatic conditions for the carers payment, Im thinking of applying ( I said that 2 weeks ago but havngt done anything yet! ) as the time I have to spend with her doing her therapies, and the types of therapies are very similar to those if a child was dx with a specific condition. They will knock me back, but I will appeal.

I wish she was more socially adapt. Last night DH and I along with Abbey went to a bbq. We tend to not socialise very much, as Abbey's lack of social skills plays havoc with that ( and most people think of her as a spoiled brat, rather than one with issues ). The hosts have only 1 child and altho their DD has no issues as such, she has never had to share, or resolve conflict with siblings, so put this little girl with Abbey who also hasnt had to share much being like an only child and along with Abbeys lack of social skills, well the evening was interesting. If you count Abbeys numerous meltdowns and the other childs lack of sharing and being "bossy".

We managed to settle them both down and relax for a while but who knows if we will have another catch up! I hope we do, its was fun in between the kids carrying on, but at the same time was very stressful for me. This is what Im finding, its very isolating being a parent of a socially inadept child with anxiety. Of course, Im not making excuses for when Abbey carries on and beleive you me she gets disciplined for her behaviour. But behind the behaviour is a reason and altho I do discipline her, I wish people could understand the reasons why she acts the way she does sad.gif

icandi, thats awesome news. original.gif I love hearing when parents and their children are on a good roll. Well done to you and your family.

Mummy2RyanandAlex, hello again. Looking forward to when you can pop back on and tell us more about your family.

Well, after not getting home until 11 last night and Abbey waking at 7am!, she went to sleep at 7.30 tonight. Normally she cant wind down and thats why we have started the massage after story, as getting to sleep on a school night not until 8.30-9.00 is not good. Popped her into bed at 7.15, did a quik story then put on the childrens rainforrest CD I bought a couple of days ago and gave her a massage. by 7.30 she was out to it. Thanks for the heart smiley Angela, i have to admit I enjoy seeing her so relaxed and comforted.

Now, I wish I could get the same treatment lol. A massage would be heaven.

Well, better go and have dinner.

Take care everyone

Laura xo

Edited by Icehouse, 01 April 2012 - 10:01 PM.


#20 HillmanMinx

Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:31 PM

QUOTE
We are regional in Albany and facilities here are a bit shoddy
.  Not much better here in rockingham but at least its not that far to go out of area for appts.  
QUOTE
but at the same time was very stressful for me. This is what Im finding, its very isolating being a parent of a socially inadept child with anxiety.
can relate to this so much.  In addition to my own issues that come and go, having a socially 'inappropriate' child, one you can't relax at all when out with them, and (in my case) can't even have a full conversation without big problems, just makes it hard to be social.

Glad she got to sleep nicely tonight xx  Sleep hygiene (thats what its called) and circadian rhythms (the 24 human cycle that is affected by environment, like sunlight, food, etc) is often out of whack in people with mental health conditions.  Good sleep hygiene and routined days can help reduce or eliminate symptoms and prevent relapses.  

Well I heard back from a psychologist who I would like to see Ellie.  She offered to do a full cognitive, behavioural and social assessment of ellie, prior to the psychiatrist appointment in late May.

The cost is killer though.  680 for 2 x 2 hour appointments plus 1000 dollars for compiling reports on the assessments.

*sigh*

I could just about get the money together to do it.  But Im nervous about making that decision (been here in the past too) and worried if it is bipolar for eg, then the assessments will miss the most critical aspects.  urgh.  what to do.

She has been behaving terribly this weekend.  Honestly just out of control.  Ending tonight with a meltdown at 8pm that lasted till 9, because it was past bedtime and I wanted her to go to bed and sleep.

Her 6 year old sister ended up crying because she was sick of Ellie being hysterical.

Thank gosh there is school tomorrow - now lets hope I don't get called to pick her up.  Again.

Edited by HillmanMinx, 02 April 2012 - 03:15 AM.


#21 HillmanMinx

Posted 01 April 2012 - 11:38 PM

ps its not usually being hysterical that stops ellie getting to sleep.  its usually just she is anxious and cant relax.  this weekend has just seen her behaviour plummet though.  not sure why.

#22 Mrs.Brown

Posted 02 April 2012 - 12:22 AM

QUOTE
Not much better here in rockingham but at least its not that far to go out of area for appts.
Oh wow, I lived there for a while when I was with the XH. And I spent many years in Kwinana as well ( not that Kwinana holds any good memories for me, long story but my time there growing up, going to school and being with XH hold terrible and frightening memories for me )

QUOTE
ps its not usually being hysterical that stops ellie getting to sleep. its usually just she is anxious and cant relax. this weekend has just seen her behaviour plummet though. not sure why.


The past week or so has been terrible with Abbey. I think she is way tired from school and needs a break.

How often do you get a call from the school about Ellie? I too want a full behaviural assessment done on Abbey. There is more going on, I know it. Its just finding that special person who wants to listen and beleive in what I have to say.

Do you pop on any relaxation music for Ellie? Im no expert thats for sure, have only been doing it for a few days now but the difference is amazing. Especially the one I downloaded - see post in this forum -. It has the sounds of birds, frogs, crickets etc in the background of very soft barely there music. I fell asleep to it last night, was amazing.

Edited by Icehouse, 02 April 2012 - 12:34 AM.


#23 HillmanMinx

Posted 02 April 2012 - 02:59 AM

QUOTE
How often do you get a call from the school about Ellie?

It changes but in the second half of this term there have been 5 calls.  
I picked her up on all but 1 occasion, and she was fine.  She gets a terrible headache (and gets hot) and sometimes a tummy ache.  
By the time I get to the school she is usually fine again and bouncing off the walls again.  
Except it happened in assembly once and when I got there she was still distressed... though they had kept her at assembly, just laying down with an icepack... so she was still in the 'environment' where the attack came on so that could account for her not getting better as fast.  Yet by the time she got home she was over it.
All the other times, shes been taken to the office, been in a quiet environment for a while with a bit of TLC and it just goes away.

I get her blood test results tuesday.  they will rule out the usual suspects like thyroid and anemia etc.

QUOTE
I too want a full behaviural assessment done on Abbey. There is more going on, I know it. Its just finding that special person who wants to listen and beleive in what I have to say.
Its worth getting the assessment early.  If you have findings before abbey turns 7 you may be entitled to a couple of packages of significant funding for therapy depending on her dx.  And in any even the earlier the intervention, the better the course of her life, allegedly.
QUOTE
Do you pop on any relaxation music for Ellie? Im no expert thats for sure, have only been doing it for a few days now but the difference is amazing. Especially the one I downloaded - see post in this forum -. It has the sounds of birds, frogs, crickets etc in the background of very soft barely there music. I fell asleep to it last night, was amazing.
no I dont but I am at the stage of rejigging her night routine to try to find a solution, so its on the cards.  Will let you know what I come up with original.gif  Thanks for the suggestion.



#24 abcangel123

Posted 02 April 2012 - 10:51 AM

Hi,
Not sure I belong here, I have a DD7 who is sometimes anxious, more so at night. She has trouble sleeping, switching off and thinks about dying and other scary thoughts while she's lying there waiting for sleep. She has been showing signs of depression/bipolar for about 4yrs now, we've seen numerous psychs but i don't feel we are any closer to getting a dx.
The past week or so like others has obviously gone downhill for her as well. Last night's episode lasted about 2 hrs ending at 11pm. As much as i'd love the heart to hearts that follow the hysterical screaming/crying, it just isn't really working for us. It seems late at night is the only time she wants to talk. We're scheduled in to see a new counsellor this week, so will hopeully can get some insight on what is going on.  

It's been comforting reading about your children, helps me see that I'm not the only one. It can definately be isolating.

#25 HillmanMinx

Posted 02 April 2012 - 04:29 PM

QUOTE
It seems late at night is the only time she wants to talk.
welcome abcangel, sounds like you do belong here.  I was like this and it was very trying on my mum and caused a lot of friction.  Its a hard one <3  Making special time to get heart to hearts done earlier - literally scheduling in to the bedtime routine - say 20 minutes over a cuppa before she gets her pjs on - might work.  It can be a pain to find that 20 minutes, but if she is able to get in to the swing of off-loading all her thoughts before bedtime, she may settle easier when she hops in to bed.  Something to think about anyway xx




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