Anxious teenage daughter with morning nausea and diarrhea

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poppygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 2/26/2012 12:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, I am new to the forums, from the UK, and am really worried about my daughter so could do with some support!  She is 16 and for a while now has been suffering from feeling sick in the mornings. She has never been sick, gagged a few times maybe but not actually 'produced'. We have experimented with different breakfasts and sometimes she seemed to be a bit better but most days she has been going to college feeling sick and struggled through the mornings in class. She then gets shaky and faint and often has to leave the class for ten mins or so which is embarrassing for her.  It suddenly seems to have developed into diarrhea in the mornings now which is worse as she really does need the loo in the class, she can't just sit there and 'think' it away.  She has had various tests at the docs but I know this is anxiety and with no physical cause. She does not get it in the afternoons, evenings, weekends or school hols. The only time she does is if she has to go far away from home on a trip somewhere. The earlier in the morning she has to get up, the worse it is. If we have to get up early to catch a flight, she will be pale and feel sick for a few hours. She has always had a fear of being sick and unfortunately has had quite a few sicky virus's which I think may have set this off, she was very ill over a year ago with viral gastroentritis and was ill for three weeks. She is also not very 'strong', she cannot tolerate any form of discomfort, she will cry if she has her blood pressure tested (can't bear the tightness on the arm) and freaks out about injections. She has not got any obvious problems, she gets good grades (without pressure), has friends and a stable, happy home life.
 
The doc has told me she can take immodium for the diarrhea and has referred her to a psychologist to have some CBT. Has anyone had this and did it help? Also, does anyone know of teenagers that have been put on anti-depressants for this? In the UK we have one called Citalopram which is brilliant for anxiety and panic but they don't like to give it to youngsters.  I think she is just on a panic cycle about being sick and that cycle has to be broken. Any advice would be appreciated, I am so worried and am starting to feel very anxious myself!
 
Poppygirl
 
 

Scaredy Cat
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Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 11882
   Posted 2/26/2012 8:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Poppygirl and welcome!

I am so sorry to hear all that your daughter is going through. I am also sorry to hear that you as a mom has to see her suffer...I feel such empathy for both of you because I am a mom and an individual with anxiety!

Your daughter may be experiencing such trouble in the early mornings due to Cortisol. This is a stress hormone, that is at its highest levels in the a.m. It actually helps us to get up and going after sleep...but people with anxiety either have too much of it, or are overly sensitive to it, and thus all of the symptoms.

CBT will be great for your daughter! I went through it, and no longer suffer the (daily) panic attacks that I used to. I still have to manage my anxiety, but have not had nearly the problems that I used to deal with on a regular basis.

If you are more comfortable with this than medication, then why not give it a try first and see how it goes. Everyone is different, but I found this to be the treatment that worked for me.

We also have a Resource Guide here (main page 3rd post) that has some great self-help ideas that she could start right away. The breathing and relaxation exercises are especially helpful if practiced everyday.

Either of you are welcome to post with us anytime. It is good to talk with others for understanding and support:)

Take care,

Scaredy Cat
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

belleadonna
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 2/27/2012 3:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Poppygirl
what your daughters going through sound just like me 15 years ago. When I was about 16 i was sick on and off with a series of viruses for over 6 months ending in a strep throat and a rather spectacular secondary infection. The whole thing left me feeling drained, anxious and quite under weight (under 50 kgs!) I also became depressed. I would feel sick after eating even small amounts. Breakfast used to make me feel terrible so I often went to school after only having a cup of tea. I went to the dr about the physical symptoms but I didn't tell anyone about other things I was feeling. I used to get angry with the people around my for not noticing that something was going on. I didn't seek treatment until I was in my early 20's and practically house bound.
Anxiety does trigger off diarrhea in lots of people (myself included) and developed quite a phobia about it. You're right about the cycle. the anxiety make you sick which makes you anxious which makes you feel even worse. It's brought me to tears sometimes. It can also make you senses hypersensitive including touch which maybe a reason she can't stand the pressure cuff. I know a lot of the women on here noticed their anxiety levels are linked to their cycle and get worse at certain times. that might be aggravating things too.
It's great that your supporting your daughter through this and she's getting treatment early on in her life so can develop the coping skills for later in life.
I hope things start to improve for both of you soon :)

poppygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 2/28/2012 4:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you SC and belleadonna for your replies. It is comforting to know that CBT really helped you SC and interesting about your experience belle, thank you for sharing it with me. I am so worried about her, it is so hard as she is a very 'closed' person and will not talk to me about how she is feeling. My other daughter who is 19 is so open and talks to me about all her problems but to have this other one that just shuts me out is so hard. It is so frustrating waiting for her to get professional help, she needs to see someone now! But I worry that she will be closed with them too. If she won't talk, how can they help her? It is so weird, she is like this little, pale ill creature in the mornings (she is underweight too belle) and then from about midday she feels so much better and is her normal self. I guess I am grateful that she doesn't have it all day long. I find myself looking too far into the future, all the 'what ifs' (that's my anxiety kicking in!), what if she never gets over it, what if she becomes agoraphobic - I think I need CBT too! I think mental illness is so hard as you do not know when it is going to get better, a broken leg you can see and you have a time guide to it, if someone could say "she'll be much better in 6 weeks" it would give me some comfort but, of course, that is not possible :(

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 11882
   Posted 2/28/2012 10:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I have two daughters as well, and they are as different as night and day. My oldest is as open as a book (sometimes alarmingly so!) and my younger one, well she hasn't hit adolesence yet, but I think she will be more private. The key is knowing how to communicate with them...but of course that is easier said than done, right?

Her therapist will hopefully know how to approach her, having dealt with a spectrum of different personalities...and may even help open the lines of communication up between you and your daughter. However, don't be suprised if she talks more to her therapist than you. This is pretty normal, and will be to her advantage as far as her recovery goes. Sometimes it is just easier to talk to someone impartial!

Keep posting for yourself as well. Yes, having a child go through something like this could stir up your own anxieties. We will be here to support you and cheer you on. You are doing great, and everything is going to start to improve soon.:)

Hugs for you and your daughter,

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

belleadonna
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 2/29/2012 6:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Yeah I was (still am :) quite introverted and 'liked to keep my own company' as my dad would say. Your daughter might be picking up that your worried and is trying to spare you more stress. I still keep a lot of things to myself. Often it's because I don't want to worry other people. I never really talked to my mum about that kind of thing at that age. I was more likely to talk to my dad. We more similar personality wise I think. SC is right, I'd have probably opened up more to an impartial 3rd party like a therapist as long as what I said didn't get back to mum (I know they'd be under confidentiality but you don't always fully believe that when you're 16 :)

If your daughter's willing to go see someone I'd take that as a good sign that she want's to talk to someone. Is she close to another family member or friend that she might talk to? Does she have to wait long to see the psychologist?

Even though I was quite bad at one point I did manage to get some of my life back. I studied to become a qualified library technician and have found a job and career that I love. I've worked for 2 years. I've been having a bit of a rough patch lately there is hope :) It may take time but I'm sure with your love and support your daughter can get better
Take care

poppygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 3/11/2012 6:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi there you two and thanks for your replies. Things are so frustrating at the moment. Our doctor referred her to CAMHS (Child and adolescent mental health team) two weeks ago and I phoned them up myself this week. They have told me they don't consider her to be serious enough, that she obviously has a problem with school and have suggested we access the counselling team through the school. So basically they have rejected her referral. My doctor has re-referred her and I have written saying that she doesn't have a problem with school but she has an anxiety/panic disorder that is manifesting itself at school because it is a public place i.e. how can you be fine if you have diarrhoea sitting in the classroom - you have to leave the room and everyone looks at you. She is on a viscious cycle because she cannot stand the feelings that anxiety bring i.e. feeling sick and she stays at home as it is 'safe' to have diarrhoea there. No-one seems to get that she is not worried about her exams (she has always been very laid back and nonchalent about such things!) and she is not being bullied, she has a fear of being ill at school and by avoiding school is making the situation worse!
 
I have started to remember other things as well now, like 8 months ago she had a sickness bug (picked up at school as always) and had a panic attack whilst being sick. She also gets an upset stomach on public transport and when she is away from home.
 
She doesn't seem to 'get' that she is not actually sick (she never has been unless she has had a virus) so she can't seem to tell herself that it is only a feeling and it will pass. I know it isn't her fault but I find that so frustrating!
 
I am hoping that CAMHS will now realise that her case is more pressing than they originally thought and will see her soon but I don't hold out much hope. In which case we will take her to a private psychologist for CBT but I just feel I have to wait to see what CAMHS say.
 
I spoke to my doc about medication and she cannot put her on anything because of her age but CAMHS could authorise it but they won't if they don't get to see her! I said to the doc that I could not see how a very low dose (like 10mg) of an anti-depressant could harm her and she agreed with me and said it probably wouldn't but her hands were tied.
 
Belle I am sure she knows I am stressed. I am trying to hide it and be calm and smiley but she knows I am not sleeping well and I look like c----p! How can a mother not be worried about her precious daughter, it is so hard.
 
I am scared of booking her in with the private psychologist in case CAMHS suddenly say they will see her in a week or so and she has started with him and then has to break away and see someone else, that can't be good surely.
 
Thank you for letting me rant. I hope you both are doing ok at the moment x

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 11882
   Posted 3/11/2012 8:36 AM (GMT -6)   
I wonder if the doctor's note, and a recommendation from the school counselor would be enough to get CAMHS to listen!

I am not familiar with this organization, but I am assuming that it would be a more cost efficient way to go about things...so ride it out a bit longer and see what happens, but ultimately, if you have to go through your medical insurance, or even pay out of pocket...it will be worth it!

Did you get a chance to look in the Anxiety Resource Guide? Those self-help methods really might help her to get through this until you can get her seen. It doesn't seem possible that breathing and muscle relaxation could make a difference, but our bodies are just as good at reacting to positive stimuli, as they are to negative!  We know that anxiety can cause nausea and gastro problems...well healthy coping techniques can help reverse those symptoms!:)

I hope that you get resolution with all of this soon. Hang in there, and know that you are both in our thoughts.

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

poppygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 3/11/2012 9:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou SC. I will have a look now. I have told her about deep breathing, I use it myself but being sixteen she sort of looks at me as if I am mad and I don't think she tries these things. I will persist though. I feel awful at the moment, I have just dropped her into town to meet some friends and she has diarrhoea. She is pale and anxious. It is my worst fear, that she gets anxious about doing ordinary things now. I am giving the NHS (UK free healthcare) one more week and then I will get her to see someone private - I don't care how much it costs. (it is at these times I wish we had taken out private medical insurance!). If she copes with staying in town this afternoon I am going to praise her for her inner strength, but instead of having a relaxing Sunday afternoon with my husband I am looking at my cellphone waiting for her to call to say for me to come and get her! If she stays the course she will have done so well. I am so glad CBT worked for you, it gives me hope, love Poppy

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 31814
   Posted 3/11/2012 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   
 
You are truly a great Mum.  I like that you are advocating for your daughter and I think you are doing a good job.  It is so very hard to see our children going through things that we cannot just make better for them.  Do get her into see a Dr. if the NHS does not come through for you soon.
 
At her age it is awful to be "different" from you friends and this alone will cause her to feel anxious.  Blessings to both of you.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

paniccu
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 995
   Posted 3/12/2012 5:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know if this is a similiar situation, but my 8 year old is having similiar problems. Ever since she had the stomach flu 3 weeks ago she has been feeling nauseas every day. It is especially bad in the morning. She feels like she's going to throw up, but she doesn't. It was causing her a lot of anxiety and I wasn't sure which came first. She was so afraid to go to school because she thought she'd throw up and it was making her feel sicker and panicky. The doctor put her on prilosec (because she thinks her esophogus lining is really irritated) and she told me to give her a probiotic for at least a month. I'll let you know if it works. A probiotic helps get good stomach bacteria back in and it's recommended for everyone. Maybe you could try that for your daughter. You've got nothing to lose really. Also have you had your daughter tested for low hypoglycemia? I know when I wake up I have to eat something right away or else I feel terrible and I also get nervous when I have to rush and/or when I'm going someplace new. It helps me to make sure I get everything ready the night before and to write notes about what I need to remember. It also helps me to leave enough time to have a leisurely breakfast (although that doesn't happen much). Maybe she could start with something really small, like a banana and then eat a little more later.
 
I also wanted to add that I would recommend pepto bismol for the diahrea unless it's really bad. Immodium works really well and really fast, but then you don't go at all for a day or two. I sometimes take a pepto before I'm going somewhere if I'm getting anxious and I can tell I"m going to have intestinal issues. It works more slowly and isn't as dehyrating IMO.

Post Edited (paniccu) : 3/12/2012 7:22:19 PM (GMT-6)


Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 11882
   Posted 3/12/2012 9:24 PM (GMT -6)   
I am sorry to hear about your daughter Paniccu.:( My daughter (10) went through this as well a couple of years ago, after a stomach virus! She became pretty emetophobic for awhile, but she is improving.

It has taken another couple of bouts of the flu, ironically, to help her. The first time she threw-up after being so terrified to, she calmly said...'That wasn't so bad.'...and she survived it and felt better afterward.

She is still nervous in regards to throwing up/someone else being sick...but who isn't really. She grew out of the phobic stage, and is now just uncomfortable about it...I am sure your daughter will do the same.:)

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

lancia
New Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 3/13/2012 6:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi- I'm new to the site but felt I had to share my experience with my daughter. She was 9 yrs old when it seemed she had a stomach flu for 2 months during school, oh, and a headache. It took me a month to figure out she was stressed out and we tried a different diet, not only to calm her digestive tract but removed all refined sugars/ flours or anything that could make her a little 'hyper.' This helped but not enough- eventually she didn't want to eat and lost a lot of weight. I took her to the dr. during all of this and the suggestion was kids' zantac for the nausea (thought to be due to reflux), immodium for the diarrhea, and later an anxyolitic. This didn't make me feel comfortable, after all she was just 9! I researched several topics and came across irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), a condition which causes gastrointestinal problems; although not much on the topic, it is thought to be triggered by stress. So, I asked her Dr. for a referral to a children's gastroenterologist, who gave her the diagnosis of IBS. Uncommon for a child her age, which is why the regular Dr. didn't even consider it- she was put on an anti-spasmodic which helped and she started eating normal after 1 week. The specialist didn't like the idea of immodium long term as it can cause paralysis of the intestine; instead, she was to take fiber (citrucel or metamucil). When her stomach stopped bothering her in school, the stress went down and she coped; she is fine now and we are learning to deal with stress. I fear her hormonal changes when she becomes a teenager though. Anxiety runs in families and can manifest in a variety of ways- her older brother has ADHD, which is also been linked to anxiety (for him, xercise helps though Vit. B-12 sublingual and in high doses are miraculous! He doesn't have a super bad case). So, not trying to say your daughter has or doesn't have anxiety- just sharing; the antispasmodic helped with the cramps and had a calming effect. Finally, anxiety can trigger autoimmune disorders, so getting the right treatment early on is very important. I feel for you as a mother- good luck and keep searching; not all doctors are created equal and sometimes they too miss something as they are human(they can never have a bad day). You are doing everything right and your daughter is fortunate to have you as a mother :-)

poppygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 3/17/2012 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all of you for your replies. It is interesting how having an actual illness can trigger such fears, I am pretty sure that is what started it all off for my daughter. I also think maybe personality type too - she is quiet and sensitive and has always been inclined to be cautious. She has always hated injections and anything medical and does act like a 6 year old when she is being examined. She refused to let our doctor just feel her stomach just in case there was anything physical going on! I don't think she has IBS but I worry that she will get it eventually with all this stress. The imodium seems to be working and I had high hopes that if she wasn't going to get diarrhea she would be able to tolerate school by going in a tiny bit earlier but because she still feels sick and gets shaky, she says she can't. We've even suggested going into the school library and working there on her own for a while, so she doesn't have to be in a classroom but everytime you suggest her even getting into school a tiny bit earlier, she starts to feel sick. I wonder if she is now phobic, not just anxious.
 
I posted last week about her going into town to meet a friend and getting anxious. She could barely get out the car when I dropped her in but she did and came back three hours later absolutely fine. But the next day, it all starts again, she doesn't seem to have the ability to 'learn' that actually she will be ok.
 
The good news is, she has now been accepted by the Child and Adolescent Psych team and she should be seen in 2-3 weeks. I think she will probably be given CBT which I know quite a lot about (I am a counsellor who has been trained in the basics of CBT - how frustrated am I at not being able to help my own daughter?!) but I wonder how she will respond. If you say to an adult "so when you first opened your eyes this morning, what is the first thing you thought of" they will probably be able to answer but when you ask her she just shrugs and says, "I didn't think anything, I just felt sick". I am sure the team will be used to dealing with monosyllabic teenagers but I worry how the hell they will get anything out of her!!
 
I also said to her the other day something about being frightened of being sick and she looked at me genuinely puzzled and said "no I'm not"! Er, hello? I just don't think she has any awareness about herself and this problem but hopefully talking to someone other than her mum will help. Everything I say is wrong anyway. Yesterday she had decided to try and get in for school at 11 (she is only managing to get in for 1.00 so far) as she had a school trip (not far away) that she really wanted to go on. At the last minute she said "I can't go" and very gently I said "ok then". She got really angry with me for not persuading her to go and yet, when I have, she gets angry with me for that!
 
Kitt and Lancia, thankyou, I can own being a good mum but like all mothers we get tested to the absolute hilt and I hope I can stay sane over the next few months!
 
Best wishes to all of you and thanks for listening x

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 11882
   Posted 3/17/2012 5:12 PM (GMT -6)   
PG,

That is great news about the program!!! They will know how to help your daughter...and hopefully this will take some of the anxiety off of you as well!

Let us know how her progress is coming along.:)

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

poppygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/14/2012 1:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, I hope you are all doing ok at the moment. My daughter has now been seen by the Child/Adolescent Psych team local to us. It was rather an ordeal, my husband and I went with her as they wanted to meet us too, probably to make sure we weren't a horrible family causing our daughter terrible stress! It was an assessment session with a member of the team who afterwards would decide on which therapist to put my daughter with. It was very difficult as our daughter was sullen, monosyllabic and had silent tears rolling down her face throughout. She wouldn't answer any of the woman's questions, just shrugged and stared out of the window. In the end we went out of the room and they managed to get her to fill in a questionnaire about mood etc. When we returned she said that obviously anxiety was a problem but that she felt that our daughter was also depressed. This came as a shock to me, I had considered it but it is so difficult to tell with her, she has always been self-contained, fairly quiet and quite happy in her own company. I asked her a while ago if she was feeling down and sad and she said 'no'. They want her to see a psychiatrist for meds to be prescribed and she has been booked in to see a therapist in two weeks, a counsellor who specialises in CBT. They are also writing to her college as she has important exams coming up and they are going to see if she can take them in a separate room so if she feels ill or needs the loo she can leave without her peers seeing.
 
So I am glad that something is being done but it is so scary. I hate to think of her being on meds at her age but they could help enormously I guess. I am worried about the side effects - she is so sensitive it really wouldn't suprise me if she got every side-effect under the sun and would not be able to tolerate them. Also, she will not speak easily to a therapist - I know this for a fact - in fact, I feel sorry for them already, I know from experience that sitting with a client that refuses to talk is not easy! She said of the woman who assessed us 'I don't like being asked patronising questions'!
 
A lot of people have said to me that she will come out of this in her own good time (although she definitely needs help with the anxiety and getting back to school). She has locked herself away, where she feels safe. I do wonder if anything has happened at school or if anyone has said anything to her that has upset her but she says no. I am getting rather tired of guessing what is going on inside her head, I just want her back at school so I don't have to worry anymore! (selfish I know but I am tired).
 
Poppygirl x
 
 

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 11882
   Posted 4/14/2012 5:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi PG and welcome back:)

Do not feel selfish...you have been dealing with alot! Not only your own anxiety issues, but your daughter's as well...and if I may gently suggest that the weight of it has been mostly on your shoulders...as it seems that at this time, she is not very pro-active in getting/reiceiving help.

I think that as she gets a little older, with more maturity and less teenage angst, she will come around and be more receptive...so do not despair. The things that she is learning in therapy will be there to help her when she chooses to use them. It is sinking in even if it seems it's not!

Keep up the good work mom...you are doing a great job...but don't be afraid to step back and let her (and her therapist of course) take up some of the responsibility of her recovery. You are always there for her, and she knows that, but maybe giving her the little push to own her issues and treatment could be a good step.:)

I am keeping you both in my thoughts and prayers. Thanks for the update, and let us know how you are doing soon.

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

poppygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 4/15/2012 12:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou SC. You are right, she is not taking any responsibility for her own recovery at all and it is all on my shoulders. My husband is supportive but does not understand these things as I do so although I can talk to him he doesn't really know how to help. She has been off school for the Easter hols and it has been nice not to worry about whether she is going to make it in or not on a daily basis. She is meant to be back tomorrow and I know that she will get her upset stomach thing again and not want to go but I guess I shouldn't expect anything different as she has not started any form of therapy/meds yet.
 
I am going to talk to her tonight (it won't go down well!) to say that she MUST try and open up a little to the therapist - if she doesn't the therapist is not going to be able to help her very much although as you say something might go in but it would be a lot better if she actually spoke! I do agree that a lot of it is teenage angst and that if she was 25 this wouldn't be so hard.
 
I will let you know our progress and thanks again for listening.
 
PG x

belleadonna
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 4/15/2012 5:40 AM (GMT -6)   
It's great that you've been able to access those services. At least it's a step in the right direction. Hopefully she'll be able to form a bond with the therapist and trust her. There might be the issue of not wanting wanting to be labeled "mentally ill" lurking around her head too. It took me a long time to accept that I fall under the heading of mentally ill. It must be even harder for a teen.
Best of luck to both of you :)

poppygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 5/5/2012 4:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi again everyone, well my daughter has had a couple of sessions with the local child/adolescent psych team and I am not overly impressed. She is seeing a counsellor who just keeps asking her how she feels. I have told them she needs specific treatment for a school phobia, relaxation techniques, strategies for coping when she feels ill in the classroom, irrational thoughts about school challenged, but it doesn't seem to be happening. So, I have pulled her out of there and she is now seeing a private psychologist who is doing pure CBT with her to get her back to school even if it is just for an hour a day at first. She has only just started so it may take a while and I am worried sick as her exams start next week but I guess if she can't do them, she can't do them. The school are putting her in a separate room so she is not in the big hall which my daughter says will help her. Also the doctor has prescribed diazepam (valium) to help her through her exams. I am only going to give her half a tablet as a whole one could make her drowsy but it might just help, even psychologically - once the doctor prescribed some anti-nausea tablets and my daughter did not take them but having them in her school bag made her feel better for a while (didn't last but heigh, ho!).
 
If she can get through some exams for a couple of hours it will really boost her I think. If she can't and has to leave the room it is going to make matters worse as she really wants to do well in her exams and has been working so hard at home with her revision, poor little thing.
 
Sigh,
 
Poppy x

Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 11882
   Posted 5/5/2012 8:13 AM (GMT -6)   
Well I am sorry that the original team that she was seeing was not helpful...but great job on getting set up in private therapy. I am sure that you wil find that it's worth it.:)

I wish her the best during her exams. I am sure that she will do much better now due to the therapy, medication and the awareness of the school!

Changes are being made, and things are going in the right direction to help her navigate her way through this exam time, even with her issues.

Thanks for checking in, and keep us posted.:)

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 31814
   Posted 5/5/2012 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
 
First of alll, your daughter is so lucky to have a wise Mum who recognized early into therapy that her first counsellor was not a good fit.  I just spent 3 years  seeing a therapist that had very much the same approach and would just ask me to talk -  and then she would set goals for our sessions however for three years they were always the same.  She also asked closed ended question - so the last time I saw her 2 weeks ago I decided no more.
 
I would like to find a therapist that uses formal CBT also and I am so glad you found one for your daughter. Learning to  understand the thoughts and feelings influencing her  behavior and recognizing that she can take control of her feelings one step at a time will be good therapy for your daughter. 
 
I truly believe the most effective plan for anyone seeking help with anxiety should be individualized to the person and his/her family.  Hurrah for you for being spot on !
 
Sending many gentle hugs to you and your daughter.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

poppygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 6/1/2012 5:45 AM (GMT -6)   
Thankyou for your kind words Kitt. She has had five sessions with the psychologist and they have been going well in that she was able to attend school to do her exams! She had a panic attack before the first one and after sitting outside the school with her wrestling with herself as to whether she could go in or not, we missed the start of the exam and she had to come home. Half an hour later she had calmed herself down and said "I think I could go in now". The school said to bring her in for the second half of the exam and she did it. After that, she attended all her exams, I could see she was anxious but she did not get herself into a state again. I think the fact that she calmed herself down the first time, gave her the confidence to realise that she can handle the anxiety if she is determined.  So that is progress and at least this year is now finished and she has one year of college left before Uni/job or whatever it is she is going to do.
 
I am feeling a bit fed up today as I have just taken her to her therapy and she announced she felt ill right before we were leaving and that she didn't want to go. The trouble is, she says she feels ill so often I have no idea if it is anxiety or if it is something else. I was cross as if we do not attend the session at such short notice, I still have to pay. We got to the building with her sullen and morose and pale and when the psychologist came to get her she would not move so I had a word with him and he said that we had booked the hour and that he would wait in his room and if she wanted to join him during that time she could. Conversely, if she wanted to go home she could and we were to just let the receptionist know. She ended up going in about 20 mins late so at least saw him for a while. I still don't know if it was anxiety. I guess I will have to see if she does the same next week but so far, she has been fine and gone in relatively happy.
 
She is so bad at feeling ill - she gives into it, even if she has a headache. She can't seem to 'soldier on'. Maybe it's her age.
 
So on the 11th June normal school will resume until they break up in July. This is the next hurdle, to get her back to normal class, even if it is for a few hours a day at first. If she manages it, I will be one hugely relieved person and maybe I can start to get my life back a bit (I know that sounds dramatic but this is how it has felt).
 
I hope you find a good CBT therapist Kitt, I am sure it will help.
 
Poppy x

gishstar
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2012
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/1/2012 1:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Your daughter sounds so much like me when I was in high school. From the time I was 12 until I was 25 I was so terrified to get the flu, or any symptoms of the flu, to the point where I made myself ill.
 
I would wake up in the morning feeling sick and anxious to go to school, or any public location (I'm having the same issues now, but it's different this time).
 
A few things which helped me were I cut out all dairy from my diet. It sounds weird, but it helped stave off the nausea. I even avoided pizza because of the cheesy topping. Avoiding dairy really helped with not having any stomach issues. Soy milk was (and still is) a great replacer. Even if she doesn't feel hungry (which is very common), make her have breakfast. I would usually have two slices of whole wheat toast with a very small cup of coffee.
 
A trick I taught myself whenever I felt sick, was I would close my eyes, and envision the largest brick wall imaginable. And the large brick wall wouldn't be a wall, but it was actually the word "NO". The "NO" enforced in me to stop the thoughts which were causing the nausea, or that actual nausea itself. I mostly envision it in the animation style of "Schoolhouse Rock" google it if you get a chance. ;)
 
I'm not sure about your religious views... but if the "NO" visualization didn't work, I would then pray "Hail Mary" or the "Our Father" over and over and over and over. Almost like I was crazy. I would say it inside my head though.
 
Another comforting thought that helped when the praying didn't work, and as an alternative to the "NO" wall, I would tell myself "I am a healthy person, and God doesn't make sick people. Because I am a healthy person I will get through this and I will not be sick." When I remind myself that God loves me and He has a plan for me to prosper and to not be sick, that really helps.
 
So... tell her to think of the word "NO" or imagine her own mental "stop sign" to stop the feelings of getting sick. Eliminate the dairy from her diet, I can't explain it, but it just works. And if that fails, try praying. Sometimes having a spiritual comforting moment helps more than we know.
 
 

poppygirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 25
   Posted 6/1/2012 2:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you gishstar, I will tell her about the NO and STOP. It may be difficult to eliminate the dairy from her diet as she is a veggie and loves cheese and stuff but I can look at alternatives. It makes sense as she did not want breakfast so I used to make her a banana milkshake and I think that made her worse! She does not have a faith unfortunately (yet) but I do so I pray for her and I feel we are getting help which is a comfort to me. xx
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