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Severe anxiety

(23 Posts)
Afteradviceplease Tue 14-Jun-11 19:23:21

My dc (yr 2) has severe anxiety, when school day changes, i.e. school trips/play/sports day etc.

They become ill - raised temperature, clammy, diarrhoea, bed wetting, stomach cramps, nausea - about 3 days before, and remain ill until after the event has occurred.

They are upset as they want to partake and don't want to miss out, but school won't accept them due to diarrhoea/sickness even though it's not a bug, it's fear.

Anyone any experience of this and able to offer advice?

Carrotsandcelery Tue 14-Jun-11 19:38:06

My ds (aged 6) has recently been diagnosed with anxiety problems after a severe and prolonged bullying episode.

He too becomes very unsettled if the class are going on a trip or the routine is changing in a very significant way.

I would recommend getting your son seen by your community paediatrician. My son has been referred by ours to clinical psychology where he will, apparently, be taught cognitive behavioural therapy techniques to help him manage his anxieties.

A friend also recommended a great series of books here which might help you a bit while you are waiting. It is interactive so the child works their way through the book filling in sections as they go along. I don't think it will solve the problem but it might help.

You could also explore Bach's Rescue Remedy products.

We started our son on a high does of Omega 3 oils and these have helped noticeably with my son's behavioural problems - not entirely the same thing but worth investigating.

If your son is a good writer then keeping a journal may help him.

We were advised that music and drawing were very helpful for our son (who is very artistic and draws a lot) so his music teacher now does music therapy with him too.

If nothing else I am happy to share my experience and listen to yours if it helps.

You may also get very helpful advice in the Special Needs section - there are many very knowledgeable posters there who are very understanding and helpful.

I think, once you have gone down the medical route, the school then can't refuse your son access to school. At present the way he reacts to his anxiety means that he is probably not actually facing his fears and doing the thing that he has been worried about as the school are then refusing him entry to the school.

MigratingCoconuts Tue 14-Jun-11 19:43:40

No experience but I would suggest that you try two avenues.

One is the senco at the school (co-ordinator for special needs) as a worry like this over sudden changes in the routine can (but not always) linked to special needs. At the very least, they could think about an individual action plan to help your Dc deal with changes in the day so that you all co-ordinate your support.

The second is to go to your GP and consider a refferal to CAHMS which is children's mental health service on the National Health who may be able to support you and your child come up with coping strategies with the anxiety.

I hope these don't sound too drastic. I don't see it like that, I see it as using all the proffessionals at your disposal to stop the suffering your child is going through each time there is such a change.

Good luck smile

Afteradviceplease Tue 14-Jun-11 20:22:50

Thank you both very much for your info, I think first stop is GP and see if we can get some help.

I will post on SN to see if anyone can add anything more.

But thank you both.

Carrotsandcelery Tue 14-Jun-11 20:27:54

I started at the GP and he was wonderful.

Good luck!

smee Tue 14-Jun-11 20:30:43

DS wasn't as severe as your DC sound, but we had a lot of stress last year (yr1), whenever there was a supply teacher, which there was quite often as his teacher went on a fair few courses. He'd get hysterical, stomach aches, fever, etc so it does sound a bit similar.

I went with DS and sat with his teacher to a special meeting and talked it through. We agreed with DS what might help on those occasions to make it feel okay. We let him talk about why it was so hard, and found solutions to help that he agreed to. We gave him a choice as to which option to take and in his case it was going to an adult he knew (a TA) on those days and being able to stay with her, so she could help him through. It was very clear, very structured and he'd agreed to it, so there was no room for negotiation. I'm not saying it could work for your DC, but it did for us. He still found it hard, but slowly it became easier. He's Year 2 now and totally different. Not at all phased by Supply Teachers, though he still doesn't like change.

beautifulgirls Tue 14-Jun-11 20:34:56

Obviously depends what school are saying and how alert your DC is to time scales, but as a small child I would get overexcited about things like Christmas and end up with asthma attacks as a result. My mother took to telling me things were further off happening than they actually were so when the day came I was doing fine and only excited about the actual day on the day, mostly avoiding anything illness wise.

Afteradviceplease Tue 14-Jun-11 20:48:27

Very alert to time scales from short term (what 5 minutes is) to long term, (next month).

We have tried minimal information or no information, this has just resulted on him having a complete meltdown after the event. Can always hold it together for the occassion, but then goes rapidly downhill after.

School are not being very helpful and won't see him as having a problem and just say it is coincendental that he's come down with a bug when any activity is happening.

smee Tue 14-Jun-11 21:24:03

Go and talk to the school again maybe? Must be horrible for him to be affected so much and am guessing it could escalate if they don't help you find a different tactic/ route through. I think it's harder for them to ignore you, if you start mentioning GP's, etc.

Afteradviceplease Tue 14-Jun-11 21:32:38

Thank you all now have my first plan - GP tomorrow, then based on that/armed with that, I'll arrange meeting with the school's senco team.

Carrotsandcelery Thu 16-Jun-11 20:08:27

Hi there, How did you get on with your GP?

Afteradviceplease Fri 17-Jun-11 18:44:55

GP fantastic got medication for symptoms and going to monitor if that helps situation.

School on the other hand, have called me a neurotic mother, and said that there is nothing wrong with my child, and it is all just childhood bugs that conincide with every trip/event that is going on, and that they just don't get them at other times.

Carrotsandcelery Sat 18-Jun-11 13:38:07

I am so glad the GP was helpful. Fingers crossed the medication works.

Who have you been talking to at the school? Did the class teacher or the head make those comments? Either way it is a disgrace. If it was the class teacher I would arrange to chat with the head.

Afteradviceplease Sat 18-Jun-11 21:33:50

Meds worked, school went straight to the top - will just have to hope we as a family and doc can help.

Carrotsandcelery Sun 19-Jun-11 10:18:41

I am glad the meds worked.

Are the school this unbelieving even after a GP prescription? That is shocking. I would keep a close eye on how things progress on the health and well being front at school.

When do you see the doc again?

Sorry if I am being nosey blush

Afteradviceplease Sun 19-Jun-11 18:51:46

No not nosey thank you for showing interest.

See the doc again in 6 weeks, if all okay i.e. if we can manage it with the help of meds, with all the changes of school year end, sooner if we can't.

Think we may have to go back, as we are now having extreme night terrors, with incontrollable screaming, that we can't wake him from, for over an hour for the last 3 nights.

School were dismissive of medical when realised it was only GP and not paeditrician.

homeboys Sun 19-Jun-11 19:12:49

please do not try and wake your child from night terrors you will scare the living daylights out of him it is very very harmful and scary for him

night terrors are not normally related to what is going on in a childs life - it isnt the same as a nightmare

Afteradviceplease Sun 19-Jun-11 19:28:56

Ah his relate to what is going on - must be nightmares then. He is screaming about what we know is causing him anxiety.

ScarlettIsWalking Sun 19-Jun-11 19:33:58

Poor little thing - that sounds extremely severe. Is it about the school trip / sports day again?

Afteradviceplease Sun 19-Jun-11 19:57:02

We had exam last week got through that. Sports day this week - this is what he's currently worked up over.

Afteradviceplease Sun 19-Jun-11 19:59:27

Also wanting to know who his teacher is for next year and who'll be in his class. School won't share this information with me yet.

Carrotsandcelery Mon 20-Jun-11 11:22:50

Can you ask the GP to refer you to the community paediatrician? That is what ours did. Our school wanted our son referred but asked me to take him to the GP so it went that way.

It usually comes from the school but if the school are being unhelpful or not actually having to deal with the intense anxiety then that is unlikely to happen.

I would ask him to do it soon as the referrals usually take a while.

Can you research any calming techniques in the mean time? Does anyone know any?

Carrotsandcelery Mon 20-Jun-11 11:24:40

Some of these might help

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