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Teenage daughter generalized Anxiety Disorder our of education

(5 Posts)
Boo2323 Mon 15-May-17 17:09:28

Our DD has finally been diagnosed with GAD, General Anxiety Disorder and has now been out of school for 5 months. She isn't able to sit any of her GCSE's due to her anxiety and is at home permanently recovering from the stress and anxiety that school and GCSE's have caused her over the last few years. She has a councilor that she sees once a month and she has just visited a equine therapy center that she has a place booked for a session one day a week for 6 weeks in a couple of weeks time paid for by her secondary school. We have visited our GP to discuss and review her medication 20 mg of Fluoxetine daily but she has said that she is not confident with this aspect of our daughters needs and has again referred her to CAMH's for advice on medication and CBT to help her manage her Anxiety. I wanted to ask if anyone can offer any other advice or has any ideas regarding managing our daughters anxiety and help with her recovery.

AlwaysHungryAlwaysTired Tue 16-May-17 08:57:07

Hello Boo. Sorry that you have had no replies yet. This must be a really tough time for you, your daughter and all of the family.

Time, space and routine are the friends of anxiety. If you can afford it, you could get her some sessions (weekly) with a qualified, person-centred counsellor. You can find them online. CBT is what the NHS are usually able to provide but it isn't always the quick fix they hope it will be. Concentrate on the basics with your daughter - ensure that she gets the right amount of sleep, that she eats nourishing food, regularly, that she exercises (even if only walking or swimming). It sounds a pathetic thing to say but a healthy body really can help to support a healthy mind, and looking after herself physically can lay the foundation for looking after herself mentally.

Don't belittle her anxieties, but do try to help her to see things with a wider perspective. What she really needs to know is that she is ok just as she is, and that there is world enough and time for her to get an education, get a boyfriend, get a best friend, get everything whenever she feels ready. She needs to remove the pressure she is putting on herself to do those things at a time when she isn't really ready to do them, or they are simply not available to her for whatever reason.

Sadly anxiety is rife among teens these days, and there is no doubt that it is very, very hard for girls (and boys) to make the transition from childhood through their teenage years to adulthood. Others will seem to be breezing through it but one of the biggest lessons for any young adult to learn is that comparing yourself to others is a route to madness!

Help her to find out what she likes doing, and let her know that her likes and dislikes are just as valid as anybody else's, no matter what they are.

Best of luck. I hope that she pulls through this and learns to love and trust herself. And I hope that you have some support for yourself too. Don't be afraid to refer yourself for counselling if you need it; supporting a loved one through any mental health difficulty is tough.

swingofthings Tue 16-May-17 08:59:19

You say refer again. Was she seen by CAHMS and discharged? Has she has CBT previously?

My advice would be to help her prepared for CBT. CBT really works BUT i it is a painful process because it requires to accept exposure to the stressors that trigger the anxious response. It works though because that exposure is progressive, with the learning of mental coping mechanism to get you through it.

However, it will not work if the person is not prepared to accept any form of exposure and remain focused on avoidance.

What they need is the reassurance that they will be ok and that they will have the support of those close to them to get through it. They also need to know that although CBT sessions are 6 weeks, it is only to learn the process. The hardest part comes afterwards to put the learning into action and it can take some time to start to see the positive outcome.

It's very similar to a diet in many ways. I hope your DD gets into the programme soon with a good therapist that will give her confidence that she can do it.

sheepskinshrug Tue 16-May-17 14:38:12

Have you got a dog? - they are brilliant for calming teens....helping with anxiety etc

Boo2323 Tue 27-Jun-17 18:01:03

Thank you both for your considered, but hopeful posts, I appreciate your advice and there are many aspects of your comments that we can follow up. Yes she has been to CAMH's before and in a couple of weeks she has been booked on a Workshop for the whole day. Where she will take part in some group activities. My husband and I are going on a workshop next week. Healthy body healthy mind is what I have been trying to help her with for weeks. But it just does not happen, she has no appetite, no exercise, hates doing headspace, her sleep has disintegrated into not able to sleep at night but sleeps in in the morning! Just getting worse and can't help her to realize the importance of these things, it is just me nagging!!!!! tried a routine but she never sticks to it as soon as I take my eye off the ball and I need to keep another plate spinning, my job, my son doing A levels, applying to uni, just the normal stuff but just feel that I go from one thing to another and back again and have to go to work which is also demanding. Sooo frustrating.
I know you guys are right but just can;t get through to her and fed up with nagging and arguments. Will just keep, keeping on that's all I can do for now. Don't want to argue any more.
Don't think our two gorgeous cats would appreciate a dog, but know where you are coming from have often thought about it but I know I would end up looking after it not her. She cant even look after the hamster we got recently. Sorry to go on good to unload but still need strategies as I know where I want her to be but can;t get there in a way that isn't exhausting, or causing arguments and ill feeling between us including the rest of the family. Could keep writing for ever!!!but need to stop. Bless you all and thanks for reading or responding.

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