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10yo dd with anxiety - advice please(20 Posts)
Dd has always been a bit anxious at stages, since she was around 5yo. Nothing too serious, things like being impressed with something she saw on tv and worrying about it for a few months, or being anxious about going to a party. At some stage she was scared about fires and would worry about it before bed, but it was only at night and not every day.
Since the summer however it's all getting a lot worse. She's fine during the day, she goes to bed fine, but as soon as it's lights out time she'll start panicking that she's scared and anxious. She worries about global warming, about dh and I splitting up, about one of us getting ill, about her being on her own, about diseases, anything and everything. I always listen and try to reason against her worries but it doesn't really help. Dh has a different approach and tries to joke about it and pretend it's not really happening but it's also not helping.
I'm finding it really stressful and worrying, I just don't know how to help. I don't want this to escalate but at the same time I don't think it is that bad, since she's basically well and happy during the day.But also don't want to ignore it.
We have an appointment with the GP this week, but I'm not sure what to expect or what to ask for?
An success stories of dealing with this?
Many thanks in advance!
Bumping for you, and also watching as I have a dd of similar age with anxiety and am not sure what to do.
Is your dd's anxiety similar? ie at bed time?
Maybe you can find some help and advice here:-
Have you thought of listening books - so she can listen to a story before bed - her mind will be on that and not the other stuff?
Lots of kids worry but she seems fine in the day when her mind is occupied
My oldest has been/can be like this.
She was always quite serious and she has always hated what I call 'moral peril'. People doing the wrong thing. She would race out the room when Swiper the Fox came on Dora.
When she was nine she started having quite high anxiety about getting into trouble at school. She never did get into trouble but she couldn't stop worrying about it. In the end her teacher arranged for her to see the school councillor. She went once a week for a couple of Terms and it really helped.
In the meantime I worked on getting her to feel a bit more relaxed about herself. I made sure I exposed her to different sorts of people. Less suburban. We went on holiday somewhere famous for being so relaxed its horizontal.
I signed her up on an art course which was something she really wanted to do but she know nobody when she started.
I gave her some nice responsibilities in the house. Cooking pancakes every Saturday etc. I started meeting her and dd2 across the road from school and put her in charge of getting dd2 from her classroom and getting her across the road.
LaCerbiatta - yes it is quite similar. Mostly at bedtime. But with different things focussed on. She worries about bad weather, for example. Or about things she suddenly remembers she hasn't done. And then eventually she starts worrying about not having got to sleep. She was up several times in the night last night with 'stomach ache', which was really anxiety.
She sounds quite similar to SavoyCabbage's daughter as well.
(Actually, I was the same at a similar age. Very vivid imagination and worried about war, burglars, the environment etc at bedtime).
Ds3 (9.5) is like this. He has always been quite an anxious child ( he had a thing about fire and burglars) but last year was in a composite class in which he was the youngest. The other boys in his year in the class were the bigger, sporty
wilder ones whilst all ds's friends were in the other class. He started feeling sick in the morning with a "sore tummy" and couldn't eat breakfast. He also felt sick as soon as I tried to drop him off at his activities but was fine if I was staying with him.
He's back in a class with his friends this year and mornings have improved but he now doesn't like to go upstairs without me. Not even to use the toilet. If his older brother is not upstairs then he won't settle at all until I go up to bed. He keeps coming down again. Even with his brother there he has to have his bedroom light on and wants to read until I come up. He won't say what he's worried about and I'm not sure he knows himself. Once I go up to bed he settles fine. He's also very scared of fireworks and loud noises.
It's funny you should say that MarvellousCake I had stomach migraine as a child which was put down to anxiety so perhaps that's where he gets it from.
Thank you everyone for posting, it is nice to know she's not too unusual! We'll see what the GP says but I'll also ask about the school councillor.
DD is quite anxious I got her a book called what to do when you worry too much and we worked through it. DD found it really helped her
Relate do counselling for children, we pay £25 for a 50 minute session for our daughter.
It has really helped her with the anxiety she suffers with.
My 10 yo dd is just the same. Has lost a lot of time off school due to 'stomach aches'.
I also had (still have) stomach migraines - just debilitating pain at times of stress.
Night times are bad at the moment and often we have tears etc. until midnight. I'm quite exhausted with it.
School counsellor has been good in the past and she is on the waiting list for that currently.
I sometimes feel like an awful parent not to be able to resolve her concerns!!
Thank you, good to know about Relate, i didn't know they worked with children as well.
Does the school councillor usually work at the school? Dd wouldnt want her friends to know... And is there usually a waiting list?
I have two anxious children. My dd used to get similar at bedtime and think about all sorts and worry she would forget to do something the next day. I suggested she have a pen and notebook by her bed so she could jot down anything she was worrying about that she had to do. Not sure that that would work with your dd's concerns about illness etc, however.
My ds got very anxious at school at the age of 12. I sat down and helped him to write some reminder cards. Such as reminding him he was feeling ill because of the anxiety - he used to get anxious about being ill at school and then the anxiety the would make the ill feeling worse. Another would say that feeling anxious is normal and it will stop. Another would remind him to do some deep breathing to calm himself down.
He carried these cards in his pocket and would take himself off to the toilet and read them if he felt it coming on. Eventually he only had to know the cards where there to help.
I read somewhere that when you are feeling anxious you can't think logically, so these cards can remind you and focus your mind to stop it escalating.
What are your dd's concerns Scootering?
The problem with my dd's worries is that some of them are quite valid. , like global warming , etc. My problem is making her understand that she just has to live in a world that is not perfect and quite scary at times and manage to still be happy in that reality. ...
Yes some of my DDs concerns are valid; I work in quite a dangerous industry (dodgy part of NHS) and at times my family has been targeted. Also I have two parents quite ill.
BUT mainly it's separation anxiety though I think... doesn't like not clinging onto me... She's always been like this since being very tiny. I sometimes think that she's just permanently in a hyper-aroused state!
I was a bit like this as a child. I worried about everything. Reassurances didn't work because I either didn't believe them or I'd just move on to the next worry. Joking about them also didn't help, as to me they were very serious and I didn't like being laughed at.
Looking back, I had quite low self-esteem, and felt vulnerable generally. Things improved when I found things I was good at in school, and had hobbies I enjoyed. Maybe encourage your DD to try out some craft or sport, or get her involved with some responsibility for something so she feels in control.
Counselling would be well worth trying too. Hopefully the GP will refer you.
In the meantime, just keep reassuring her that you love her. She might feel a bit rubbish for feeling so anxious.
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