Jump to content

Menu

Need help dealing with DD's anxiety flare


Recommended Posts

There is some history of my youngest dd getting anxiety flares at exactly this time of year. This time it hit very suddenly and she is having a terrible time getting work done. She's 12 and I think the hormones are not making it any easier. She is my youngest of four girls and I know from experience this age has never been easy, even without anxiety to deal with.

Besides school, she is also reluctant to practice and go to music lessons. Thankfully, she is still enjoying gymnastics, time with friends, and martial arts with her dad.

I have put in a call to a counselor we've used in the past who is excellent and positive about homeschooling. Hopefully I'll be able to get her in soon. I may also try a different allergy med to see if that helps. 

A related problem is that my self-esteem is a little too tied into getting school done everyday. She is feeling bad but thinks I don't care. She thinks all I care about is school. :(

And honestly I feel like a failure when school doesn't get done. It's irrational but it's bad. Crazy thoughts go through my head like I suck as a mom, I'm a loser, etc. Thinking about it rationally I know it's not true, but that's how I feel on the days she can't get more than a couple of things done.. :(

I need some suggestions about how to handle this situation with her positively. How she is feeling is real and not manipulative, and I need to let go of my own anxieties about schoolwork.

Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Do you know the trigger? If not, does she have any allergies or is there a family history of seasonal allergies?

2. Have you tried NaturalCalm or a magnesium oil with her?

As far as coping goes for you, many hugs to you! Take some self-care breaks. I find meeting a friend for a walk, a movie, or a late night dessert to be helpful.

Recognizinf that anxiety is driving a lot of her behavior is so helpful. It gives me a chance to emotionally distance a bit so that I don’t get wrapped into an individual’s  emotional loop.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Allergy meds are AWFUL for both me and my daughter when it comes to anxiety. I have yet to find anything that works and, honestly, the allergies are easier to suffer through than the anxiety that the meds cause. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

1. Do you know the trigger? If not, does she have any allergies or is there a family history of seasonal allergies?

2. Have you tried NaturalCalm or a magnesium oil with her?

As far as coping goes for you, many hugs to you! Take some self-care breaks. I find meeting a friend for a walk, a movie, or a late night dessert to be helpful.

Recognizinf that anxiety is driving a lot of her behavior is so helpful. It gives me a chance to emotionally distance a bit so that I don’t get wrapped into an individual’s  emotional loop.

Every year, for my entire life,  I would feel awful in spring. My mood was low, I was tired, I'd get GI symptoms. My mom was sure it was an anniversary syndrome because my dad left our family in spring when I was a child. But a few years ago, I started taking allergy meds and I I have never had that problem since. 

My D has seasonal and other environmental allergies. She takes Claritin. I find Claritin isn't strong enough to cut handle my post nasal drip in spring so I use Allegra in the spring. 

How do I know how much magnesium  to give a 12 year old who is as tall as me, only skinnier?

I really have almost no breaks and I think that might get worse rather than better. My oldest has been home helping a lot, but I think she'll be getting a job offer any day now.

Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, prairiewindmomma said:

I just reread and saw about the allergy med. Absolutely switch and have it noted in her medical file. FWIW, Zyrtec particularly flips a lot of people out. 

Uh oh. Now I'm afraid to try Zyrtec. 

She takes allergy meds through the fall but only has this problem in speing so I don't think the current med is causing it. I just wonder if she needs something else that might work better.

Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, JMG221 said:

Allergy meds are AWFUL for both me and my daughter when it comes to anxiety. I have yet to find anything that works and, honestly, the allergies are easier to suffer through than the anxiety that the meds cause. 

Have you tried Xyzal? That's what I was thinking about trying.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tiramisu—I would try taking her off Claritin and put her on a nasal spray only until you can get her in if her issues are stuffy/drippy nose. Nasal sprays aren’t systemic like oral antihistamines.

Three of us in our family do great on Zyrtec. Allegra messes me up.

Magnesium—your body will tell you when you’ve had enough through loose stools. I take 800 mg a day. I would do a oil on her body if she will tolerate it, otherwise start at 400mg and work your way up.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Have your ever had her tested for strep? My DS9 has PANDAS and, weirdly, seems to pick strep up in the summer each year, which sets off his (usually very mild) anxiety/paranoia/ocd. Antihistamines are known to help some people suffering from PANDAS. Just a though.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It sounds like taking the steps with a good counselor as you are will help to address the anxiety. 

I am wondering if there is a compromise with school that could benefit both of you. I am a firm believer in knowledge is power. As a counselor one of the first things I do with the kids I work with is start teaching them what anxiety is and how it manifests neurobiologically. It demystifies it and allows someone to feel more in control. I wonder if you found age appropriate resources about anxiety and maybe even a fiction book about a character who has anxiety if you could create a unit study around it. You could tie in writing, light research, some math and science of course...I could see a project like this covering many areas. They make wonderful anxiety workbooks for teens as well. Reading a biography about someone who might have overcome anxiety... I am just throwing some stuff out here. Characters and people who share our walk ease our burdens because they show us a potential path. Sometimes teens and preteens just do not see a path yet. 

One goal I have for my kids isn't necessarily that I need to focus on certain content but the steps one takes to learn. I want them to be learners and synthesizers of information. Relevant knowledge is sometimes what helps someone overcome that stuck point. Or maybe she has another passion you can wrap school topics into for her just to help her through this time.

 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My dd (18 years old at college) went to the doctor and got put on Claritin. Aack. Weepy (which is totally out of character) brain fog, anxiety, especially since she couldn't think straight and had finals. She went off of it and immediately felt better. And we stay away from Zyrtec because it makes EVERYONE flip out. My dh said it made his skin crawl and he was sooo irritable. 

 

My dd uses flonase and supplements with a small dose of Allegra. It seems to be working. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
21 hours ago, Noreen Claire said:

Have your ever had her tested for strep? My DS9 has PANDAS and, weirdly, seems to pick strep up in the summer each year, which sets off his (usually very mild) anxiety/paranoia/ocd. Antihistamines are known to help some people suffering from PANDAS. Just a though.

Interesting that you mention that because a few springs ago when she was going through the same thing, her pediatrician ordered bloodwork to try to rule out PANDAS. The tests were negative but I'm glad it was investigated.

Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, nixpix5 said:

It sounds like taking the steps with a good counselor as you are will help to address the anxiety. 

I am wondering if there is a compromise with school that could benefit both of you. I am a firm believer in knowledge is power. As a counselor one of the first things I do with the kids I work with is start teaching them what anxiety is and how it manifests neurobiologically. It demystifies it and allows someone to feel more in control. I wonder if you found age appropriate resources about anxiety and maybe even a fiction book about a character who has anxiety if you could create a unit study around it. You could tie in writing, light research, some math and science of course...I could see a project like this covering many areas. They make wonderful anxiety workbooks for teens as well. Reading a biography about someone who might have overcome anxiety... I am just throwing some stuff out here. Characters and people who share our walk ease our burdens because they show us a potential path. Sometimes teens and preteens just do not see a path yet. 

One goal I have for my kids isn't necessarily that I need to focus on certain content but the steps one takes to learn. I want them to be learners and synthesizers of information. Relevant knowledge is sometimes what helps someone overcome that stuck point. Or maybe she has another passion you can wrap school topics into for her just to help her through this time.

 

 

I love all these ideas. Thank you. I have heard about anxiety workbooks for kids so I'll look into that. And I'll go through my book shelf for inspiring books.

Link to post
Share on other sites
On April 10, 2018 at 2:29 PM, Jean in Newcastle said:

Hydroxyzine is a prescription allergy med that is also used to treat anxiety.  It might be something to ask her doctor about. 

We put my ds on hydroxyzine when he was having a really intolerable allergic reaction to some things in Florida, and it did work very well. It's very short-acting, and it left him a little groggy. They use it as a sedative for pediatric dental work as well. I wondered about using it more full-time, but we ended up trying 5HTP instead. That has stabilized his behavior much better and it comes in a time release version by Natrol. 

You can run genetics with 23andme and see if she has defects in the gene for 5HTP. One of my kids was heterozygous for the defect and the other was homozygous. Basically the body has tryptophan and needs to convert it to 5HTP which then converts to melatonin and serotonin. So if that conversion step is glitched, their 5HTP levels are low, glitching the melatonin and serotonin. So you end up with anxious night owls, sigh. Ds was heterozygous, so I just tried it just to see. Supposedly they're only affected 30-40% and can make up for it. In our case, adding the 5HTP was SO stabilizing, I definitely would not want to be without it, mercy. And it's cheap. And it's something you can evaluate the need for based on genetics.

Natrol time release is what we're using. 100mg twice a day for my 65 pound ds. Also comes in a 200mg tablet for larger people. But it only seems to last about 12 hours, so I'd do the twice a day dosing rather than a larger single dose, if that makes sense.

Someone mentioned D. That was one of the early things I found in the genetics. I had no clue you could have a defective vitamin D receptor. Literally my kids just weren't using the sunlight they got to make D!! So if they happen to have that, something as seemingly insignificant as D could make a big difference. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, PeterPan said:

We put my ds on hydroxyzine when he was having a really intolerable allergic reaction to some things in Florida, and it did work very well. It's very short-acting, and it left him a little groggy. They use it as a sedative for pediatric dental work as well. I wondered about using it more full-time, but we ended up trying 5HTP instead. That has stabilized his behavior much better and it comes in a time release version by Natrol. 

You can run genetics with 23andme and see if she has defects in the gene for 5HTP. One of my kids was heterozygous for the defect and the other was homozygous. Basically the body has tryptophan and needs to convert it to 5HTP which then converts to melatonin and serotonin. So if that conversion step is glitched, their 5HTP levels are low, glitching the melatonin and serotonin. So you end up with anxious night owls, sigh. Ds was heterozygous, so I just tried it just to see. Supposedly they're only affected 30-40% and can make up for it. In our case, adding the 5HTP was SO stabilizing, I definitely would not want to be without it, mercy. And it's cheap. And it's something you can evaluate the need for based on genetics.

Natrol time release is what we're using. 100mg twice a day for my 65 pound ds. Also comes in a 200mg tablet for larger people. But it only seems to last about 12 hours, so I'd do the twice a day dosing rather than a larger single dose, if that makes sense.

Someone mentioned D. That was one of the early things I found in the genetics. I had no clue you could have a defective vitamin D receptor. Literally my kids just weren't using the sunlight they got to make D!! So if they happen to have that, something as seemingly insignificant as D could make a big difference. 

Very interesting. It makes me want to do 23 and me. There's a lot of wonkiness in the family and I'd like to figure it out.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it takes a little work, but the raw data from 23andme, when put through other engines, gave us some really good leads. I like that I'm not guessing on supplements now. I really hate the whole try this, try that, wondering if it's ok. By using the genetics we can say you know you actually really NEED this. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...