Thank you so much - I will try - the psychiatrist did say that the Daddy parenting techniques were better for her right now than the Mommy. The push out the door is important, we will keep encouraging.
Fitness Minutes: (660) Posts: 10 5/31/11 1:35 P
So Im rather new, but I am not new when it comes to dealing with anxiety, from extreme to low level. Some suggestions, and things Im doing with my own child may help yours. My daughter would fall down or get hurt and my immediate reaction was to go to her and help her get better. Its a mother's instinct to protect and heal. But I noticed she was having a hard time dealing with her pain, her anxiety was getting almost unmanageable for her. She snowballed it and would take a long time to calm down, over a simple little scratch! So I watched her with her dad, and she fell again, got hurt, but he instead of running over to her, just stood there and yelled over to her "get up your fine". Oh how angry I was at him for not kissing her owies! But holy cow, this girl got up and walked over to him, he met her part way, and he picked her up they inspected the 'wound' he tickled her, she laughed and was back riding her bike. Now I know that was rather a long little example, but we as parents inadvertently encourage our children's behaviors good or bad with our reactions. Im not blaming anyone for being a caring parent! Im also not saying ignore their pain.Im also not saying its all our fault, there are physical, emotional and mental things we have no control over that cause these challenges. I am however saying, watch other people's reactions to her pains and issues and see how she reacts. If she calms down, perhaps you can take on the same behavior to help your child get better results. I have a lot of coping skills that help me ( and I taught a few others with their anxiety issues). Though not one alone was able to combat my anxiety, learning about them gave me a sense of control and relief that I could do something to help myself. One thing I haven't used for a long time was the blue dot, when driving places ( not me, but I was in the car) I had to concentrate on my blue sticker dot on the dash. I stared at that thing for a very long couple of years. But even better now for me (and younger people) is my distraction techniques. I start with the alphabet. I look for the actual letters and go all the way to Z. If that doesn't work, I start with A and find something that starts with A, then move on to the end of the letters. ( I skip Q and X often). Also when my mind starts tossing the negative thoughts around, my therapist told me years ago, (say this out loud, even if you just gotta whisper it under your breath) 'thanks for sharing brain, I have other places for you to go', or 'thats enough I'm busy with ...'. And make your self deliberately stop thinking about that, and focus on something else. Another is to ask to be excused from the room, go outside and breath for 2 minutes, put your head down as you lean against the wall, and shake your hands and arms like you are stretching and loosening up. This is again distracting your body and mind and focusing on something else. Next, if you are unable to leave the area and your really having a hard time, you can announce to the person next to you that you have anxiety challenges and ask them to please rub your hand. I know this may feel extremely uncomfortable at first, but believe me I had a few episodes where I had to so could calm down, and the people were always kind and supportive and though a bit startled, really enjoyed helping out and doing something kind and good. Don't forget to practice *kind* self talk. We are always bombarding ourselves with negatives, so try to tell yourself good things daily, : I'm OK, I'm fine, I did a good job, wow I'm amazing, I like me, I love doing this, I am happy, I am calm, I am pretty, I am smart, I am doing great, I cant wait to go fishing.... try to avoid this self talk : oh that was stupid, I'm not dumb.. I guess I can do this, I have to do this, I'm too tired, I don't care..
All this takes time, you are not going to get it at once. And as I said they don't always work all the time! But your daughter can use the techniques to retrain her brain to react differently. As long as you are honest with her, and telling her that her feelings are real, but they are a product of hormones and sensitivity to changes real or imagined, and just as she learned how to read she can teach herself how to minimize or get rid of those thoughts and reactions. You can't toss her back into class right away, but you can have her go to one class a day for a week, then two, and so on. The longer she is out of the routine, it will take her that much longer to get back. Life does not stop. I know it feels harsh, but I wish I had been shoved out the door sooner, it took forever for me to get over my agoraphobia and actually become a productive member of society. And Momma hit another point, one that came from watching my own daughter's reactions, don't put so much emphasis on the negative, encourage her, support her, tell her it will stop in a minute, and smile, rub her hand, and be there. Listen, participate, and ask for help, and remember its going to be ok. Always remember your not alone. ( and let her know she isn't either).
Some of it sounds familiar to me, as my son dealt with a few of those thoughts and, especially, just stopping to do his homework or even go to school. It was super tough in our household as I wanted to do the best, but I couldn't control him going or doing his homework. He, too, was put on an anti-depressant and had counseling. But, I'm not sure what really worked the best for him. He didn't take his meds and he fought everything we tried to do to get him the help he needed. ALSO, he was about 14 or so at the time, so a bit older than your daughter, but still an adolescent, and those years are toughies for alot of kids. But, what I found was just trying to improve his self-esteem by even more positive comments, asking my hubby to keep things around the house a bit more low-keyed in the activity and noise levels -- anything that could add to his anxiety -- even taking him shopping for the latest clothing that was "in" -- it was like it took him out of his pent-up feeling mode in alot of ways -- It was just Mom and me time and I think that added to his feeling of support that so many of our kids need nowadays. He's now 18, but I've seen and heard comments from other kids when they come to our house, and the little involvement their parents have in their lives. That's just my way of thinking -- but I think life is running on such a fast pace these days -- we feel stressed and so do our kids.
So, try making the psychologist appointment and day a fun one! Sounds odd -- but take her out to lunch, or go shopping with her -- anything that makes her feel relaxed and having fun. And, sorry, I only have my son to somewhat compare the feelings with -- but even when he knew he "needed" help and went to the appointments, he felt different than the other kids and not in a good way. He had self-doubts and the feeling of what is wrong with me. But, if you can switch it around and not put too much emphasis on it - and make it a positive thing in her life, she may feel better. It's kinda hard to do at times, but by sticking with it, she knows and feels the love and care that you have for her and that's always a great self-esteem booster.
I hope all goes well and let us know how she's doing after her appointment. And, remember, Mom, try to relax as well -- they feel our stress at times too -- make this a new and fun journey that you're both going through and something that you'd only do with someone you love -- your lovely daughter!
My 11 year old daughter was recently diagnosed with clinical depression with obsessive compulsive anxiety. She has been taking Cipralex (Lexapro) for two weeks and is seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist. When the dr's talk about anxiety it is clear that I have been suffering from some mild anxiety all my life. She has been out of school for 3 weeks and she has stopped going to her gymnastics practices. At first it was that she was too sad, now she says she is sad and scared. She can't seem to articulate why she is scared. Last week she had said she was worried that her friends wouldn't be her friends anymore but we had her best friend over on the weekend, and she agree she was still her friend and the kids at school sent her a present yesterday. She still says she is scared and won't even go to just drop off her homework. Nothing happened at school, she was a popular high achieving girl until this started at the end of March. We see the psychologist today again but i was wondering if anyone has any advice. Thank you.
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