I'm a regular on the Crohn's forum, but this post is about my daughter. She is 11 and for years (about 4?) she has moments of intense anxiety. It seems to revolve around a couple of basic fears: #1. Things are going as she expected them to go. #2 being late #3 not being able to control her world.
I have always noticed that she has a really strong reaction when things in life don't go as she has "planned" them to go. I guess this is the same as #3 not being able to control her world. This seems like a silly example, but since it's fresh in my mind, I'll use this.
She's been wanting to add blue streaks to her hair for a while and chose to do it yesterday, with one week of school left. It had to happen Thursday. Could not happen Wednesday and certainly not Friday. So we stopped by a salon when she freaked out about the colors not being what she wanted. There were 4 shades of blue and none were what she wanted. We left and went to a store to purchase our own "do it yourself" kit. The color on the bottle was what she wanted so off we went. The first time we applied the color it hardly took. And, worse, some of the blue dye got on her skin (hands/arms) and she was out of control fearful that it would never come off. ("Get it off, get it off" shaking hands in the air...) I had her wash her hair and applied the dye again (now it's 10:30pm) to leave it on longer in hopes of a darker color. Well, the color went pretty good, but it's not what she was expecting.
This morning her alarm (and mine) did not go off. We woke 15 minutes later than usual, but still plenty of time to get ready and arrive at school on time. She was shaking and hysterically crying that she'd be late. She breaths very shallowly, almost like hyperventilating, and is repeating her fears: "I'm going to be late! I'm going to be late! I'm going to be late!" (We were not late and never at risk for being late.)
Again she starts the hands flapping in the air and almost like screaming, but more of a squeal. Again with the blue on the hand (about the size of a pencil eraser), "get it off".
I won't go through the whole episode and all the details, but it was an irrational fear and it wiped her out. I remained calm through the time, helping her get her stuff together, but did tell her that her reactions were not appropriate. She said that she does not know how to stop when she gets that way. I remind her to "breathe!" I turned on the tv while I brushed her hair, in hopes of distracting her thoughts/fears and pulling her into a rational state of mind. It did not work.
When we finally arrived at school (4 minutes early), she asked what she should do if she started freaking out at school. I asked why she'd freak out at school and she said she didn't know.
I just don't know what to do to help her. This is only one example, but this type of over-reaction, panicky behavior happens far too often. I'm just hoping I can get some perspective here and maybe some advice and ideas to help her feel less fearful...
Thanks for taking time to read!
--female dx as UC in '04 (1st symptoms in '03), switched to Crohn's in '05, 1 fistula, crohn's colitis, limited to large intestine --rejected (reaction/didn't work): Asacol, AZA, 6-MP, MTX, Remicade, Humira, prednisone, Tysabri
--Prochymal in Phase III study (can't wait til it's approved!)
--Compounded budesonide 3mg/daily, Started Cimzia first dose 2/10/09. Dx Osteoporosis 10/08 started Forteo 1/27/09