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What to do about my 11 year old DD's anxiety

(6 Posts)
Titsywoo Fri 23-Sep-16 19:57:19

DD has always been a bit of a worrier but recently her anxiety is getting too much for her. I have suffered from anxiety myself for 15 years (mainly health anxiety) and have mainly got it under control. I have tried to not let my children know about it as I was concerned they might end up the same way but it has happened anyway sad

For her it is worst at nighttime and she hates going to bed because of it and struggles to sleep. She has just started secondary school which of course has been a big change which has probably made things worse but she seems to be coping pretty well and has made friends easily.

She is worrying about things like the end of the world - she says she knows it isn't going to happen but can't stop thinking about it. Also she is worried about solvents. Last year they did a talk about drugs at school and mentioned solvent abuse and what happens to the body. Now if anyone in the house sprays deodorant or perfume she panics about breathing them in.

At night she comes in to me and says she feels like she can't breath properly and has a lump in her throat which I know are classic anxiety symptoms having had them myself. I try to reassure her but it doesn't really work and she is getting to sleep late and is tired at school.

I'm taking her to the GP on Monday but not sure what sort of treatment is best for a girl her age? Is CBT available and does it have to be through CAMHS. With an autistic son I am well aware of the length of the waiting lists!

Any advice or stories of similar experiences would be greatly appreciated!

SealSong Fri 23-Sep-16 20:10:30

Hi, I'm a CAMHS practitioner so hopefully I can offer some useful advice.
You are right, it does sound like your DD has got a lot of anxiety going on, poor lass. And CBT is one of the 'treatments of choice' for anxiety - and one of the best targeted treatments for anxiety in my opinion, but other therapies such as counselling or art therapy can be effective too.
You can pay for private therapy if you wanted to, but choose your therapist carefully, make sure they are accredited and have worked extensively with anxious children before.
You are right about the possibility of waiting lists for CAMHS but if may not be as long as you might have had to wait to get your sons Autism assessment (nationally the waiting lists for ASD assessment are longer than for any other condition).
Maybe you have nothing to lose by pursuing a CAMHS referral then deciding what you want to do when you know what the options might be. Plus it might be the case that for your DD referral to another local service might be felt to be more appropriate ( e.g. Young people's counselling , or CAMHS 'Tier 2' services which are often provided by voluntary or other organisations).
First point of call is discussing it with your GP.
Wishing you and your DD all the best.

Kindlygreen Sat 24-Sep-16 21:12:28

It's probably worth looking into Yoga and Mindfulness while you are waiting.

colouringinagain Mon 26-Sep-16 23:04:16

Hi Titsywoo, my dd is similar, she was experiencing major anxiety from about May onwards in anticipation of secondary school, making friends etc.

Over the summer I paid for her to see a counsellor, someone that her primary school had brought in in the past. It was play-based, talking therapy with a bit of cbt but also practical ways to manage anxiety - worry dolls, worry box and worry time, breathing exercises.

It was definitely worth it and dd uses the strategies. It also helped me tbh as I had someone helping as it had been a huge strain to deal with on my own.

I would try and get a recommendation for a counsellor - ask your gp, sympathetic friends, local charities... Good luck and best wishes.

colouringinagain Mon 26-Sep-16 23:05:36

PS you might want to request this thread is moved to the childrens mental health section

WinchesterWoman Mon 26-Sep-16 23:09:27

I would try a placebo first. Say a homeopathic remedy that will 'help her sleep'. Sleep is the key to facing the world with strength and confidence. Also I would face it head on. 'So what are we freaking out about today'. If you get the tone right it can defuse the tension.

A lot of it comes from school. They freak the kids out all the time with dystopian climate change warnings and other dire stuff.

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