Tweenie and anxiety part 2

Posted: August 22, 2011 in Anxiety, Medication, Recovery, Trying to be a good parent !

Tweenie came home from her tropical holiday yesterday.

Although she knows she is a lucky young madam – to have flown off into the sunrise with a bikini while Cape Town shivers in cold and wet – she felt very very homesick while on holiday.

After catching up for an hour or two late yesterday afternoon, I made Tweenie a bath like I always do. Because she has wanting to be so private lately, I closed the door and carried on with her favourite supper of lasagne, washing, cleaning and general mild OCD behaviours.

I was outside in the rain cleaning my kitchen window (don’t ask) when I heard her crying.

I went upstairs to find a near hysterical Tweenie. All because I had not heard her calling for me. She was probably alone for maximum 5 minutes.

I promptly soothed her. Although I know she is being a bit of a nana, I am aware that anxiety cannot be explained if you have it. This was an anxiety flare up.

This time when I left I didn’t close the door, but left it half open so I can hear her call me.

In the interests of speed, I copy and paste a thread to a resident psychologist:

Hi Antjie

My daughter has just turned 12. She has previously been diagnosed with ADD with inattention and is on a 25mg dose of strattera each day. This apparently also helps with anxiety.

There has been a recent flareup of anxiety around a few issues. I do not want to take her back to the ADD specialist as I feel that her medication will be bumped up to combat the anxiety. As an adult with anxiety myself, this is my experience of medication. Medication helps me, but I also need to do additional things to assist.

She was on a higher dose at the beginning 3 years ago, but was like a zombie so it was reduced to this “maintenance” dose. This has helped dramatically with her concerntration at school.

I have had anxiety probably all my life and from my own perspective, I feel that medication is not the 100% solution to anxiety. I therefore want to help my child manage her anxiety in various ways.

I think her recent flare ups of anxiety are about:

1. Her Dad and I are not together since she was 1 and he has always lived far away. He has been in Mozambique for 4 years. He forgot her birthday 2 weeks ago. He did eventually phone. Very late on her bday. Past 9pm. After I had sms’d him. She found this out. Its broken her heart. I think she is feeling very vulnerable. He also came to visit recently and when he left she was more heartbroken than I usually see. The loss seems to be getting harder the older she gets.

2. She was recently been babysat while on school holidays (in PE). The babysitter left her alone (to go to the shops) for about an hour. This has reminded her of past traumas involving me when I had a nervous breakdown and was on sleeping tablets. Twice that I know of I did not wake up in the night when she needed me. I think this being left by the babysitter has bought up all these fears. We have discussed what happened when she was smaller and I’ve explained that this could be triggering her “afraid of being alone” fears.

My daughter used to go the play therapy for about 4 years from age 4 – 8 and also did a 6 month group OT group. She doesn’t want to go back to the OT group.

Any other suggestions ?
I was thinking along the lines of meditation or yoga or similar. Or perhaps something designed for children with anxiety.

Luckily, I have 30+ years worth of anxiety research under my belt to share with her, but I want to make sure I am giving her the right advice/help. My path might not be her path and all that.

Her Dad is an addict and has been in and out of rehabs for 20 years (in a long term one now for 4 years). I am concerned that she will be prone to addictions because of her anxiety.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.


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