difficult child's anxiety...now plane crash

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Kjs, Jan 16, 2009.

  1. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    difficult child is worrying non stop that he is dying. From his headaches to any ache or pain he is convinced he is dying. Today when we saw the plane down, husband and I looked at each other with the same thing in mind. (yes - we did connect on this one thought).

    They are flying to Pittsburgh in a month. please don't let difficult child see this.
    Well, he reads the news on the internet and was immediately questioning his trip. I am honestly afraid he will have himself so worked up he will be sick. Plus - Eustachian tube dysfunction - hope it is not painful. Won't even go.

    Any suggestions to handle his fear?
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Kjs, his anxiety sounds very intense. I strongly recommend Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or the right medications or both. NIMH researchers, who have conducted studies about childhood anxiety, believe this is the appropriate way to treat anxiety in children.
  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Have you talked to a psychiatrist or his regular doctor about this overwhelming anxiety? It really seems over the top, interfering in his daily life. That is usually the criteria for dxing things. It may even be Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) leading to this anxiety.

    whatever the cause, I strongly feel he would benefit from anti-anxiety medications and from therapy.

    I hope he gets better soon - this must be terrifying to go through. I only know a little from anxiety due to a medication side effect. Poor guy, this is awful. But I am willing to bet if you get the anxiety under control his headaches will get much better.

    Hugs to you, I know this hurts your mommy heart.
  4. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    we tried anti anxiety medications. We tried Lexapro and ativan. Medication and him just do not mix well. The only medication he has not had bad effects from is Lamictal.

    His psychiatrist that he has gone to for 4 years has never spent more than 5 minutes with him. Never talked to him or listened. Just kept giving drugs to try. Finally after 2 years arguing with insurance got into a place to do neuropsch testing. I met with the man for an hour, today is difficult child's appointment. They do a lot of bio feedback there.

    Anyway, I was just impressed that someone actually talked to me and is willing to talk to difficult child.

    prior attempts at counseling failed. I now believe it was due to counsolers approach. or lack of.

    Pediatrician well aware of anxiety - heck he sees him often enough and difficult child drills him about his different aches and pains. We have done all the physical testing and then some. This is a new path to follow.
  5. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    We did CBT with easy child over his anxiety with planes. He has no problems now but that's easy child vs. a difficult child.

    Will he handle Benadryl? If your doctor ok's it, I would give him enough to really relax him about an hour before his flight.

    Anxiety isn't fact based or you could tell him more people are injured in cars. I hope he gets a handle on things.

    You could read up on some CBT techniques. The desensitizing and visualization is easy enough to do. I took easy child to the airport and had him see what things were all about. It decreases their anxiety a bit.
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am so sorry - anxiety is so difficult. As Fran stated, it is not fact based so it is hard to reason through. And in fact, as you attempt to reason, the anxiety will find something else in that reason to fear.

    The person with the anxiety has to be able to take the ownership of the anxiety, recognize it for what it is and mentally fight it. In other words, the person with the anxiety has to know that the situation causing the feelings is not real and force those negative feelings away. That is super hard - how can we dispute our feelings? Sometimes people need medications to keep the fears at bay - though you state you have also tried that route with minimal success.

    I have switched from addressing the fear itself with my difficult child to focusing on his feelings being anxiety based. My difficult child has been working on this for a little over a year and I believe he does understand for the most part about anxiety being a bully (though we are going through an anxiety based testing of this right now with his lack of sleep). I can tell him that it is anxiety and he will start his coping skills. It is hard though, because the anxiety will make you self doubt - "Are you sure I am just anxiety? What if I am for real this time? What if something is really wrong with you this time?"

    I wish I knew how to help, what to suggest. Is your difficult child ready to hear, "That is just anxiety talking trying bully you into being afraid."?
  7. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    difficult child asks that. "promise me I am ok" do you promise, do you promise... But a week or so ago when he called from school convinced he had cancer, convinced he coughed up blood (he didn't have a cough) He was totally losing it and he said, "ok, think rationally now, if I had cancer I would be very sick" but then went right back to the cancer dying thing.
  8. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    It sounds as if his anxiety is causing distorted thinking. You really need to get him into a psychiatrist.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    His thinking is VERY distorted. Poor guy, I have no idea how he is handling school with all that anxiety.

    You need a psychiatrist who will spend more time with him. I hope and pray that this neuropsychologist will give you some answers. There are a LOT more anti-anxiety medications out there than the 2 you have tried. It may be worth it, after the testing results are in, to explore other medications.

    His thinking is VERY distorted and could become dangerous. Keep a close eye on him.

    A therapist who will work on CBT would also be a good thing.

    I am so sorry. He sounds like he is in so much anguish. I wish I could just wave my magic wand and make it "all better". But that never seems to work. Dang wand is on the fritz again. LOL!

    Many hugs,

  10. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Aw Kjs,
    He does have so much anxiety. It definitely sounds like he needs a new psychiatrist-one that will take more time with him. I hated difficult child's old psychiatrist because he never spent time with him or listened, just kept trying new medications. I hope the nuero-psychiatric is able to help.
  11. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I am so sorry to hear that his anxieties are acting up again.

    I, myself, have long had anxieties about flying...and all the reassurances that "it's safer than driving"...or "the odds of a crash are so slim"...did nothing to calm my fears.

    For me, believe it or not, one of the most helpful things was to actually learn the details of airplane crashes. In the Hudson River crash, for example, I think the important lessons are that the pilot made a decision about the safest place to make an 'emergency landing'. The pilot was in control. The airplane did not simply careen out of the air unexpectedly. The pilot warned all of the passengers about the emergency landing--so the passengers had time to get ready. AND the passengers all survived because the pilot was very careful to land in water instead of risk crashing into buildings. The plane is intact.

    For me, as a person with anxieties/fear of flying, hearing the details of this incident is actually helpful. It makes me feel that I would have the opportunity to "get ready" for a crash and that I would be able to take steps to prepare and survive.

    Maybe your son would feel better if you talked about this plane accident and actually explored how the passengers were able to handle it. Maybe your son would feel better if he felt like there was something he could 'do'--a plan in the event of a similar emergency?

    Sometimes our worst anxieties stem from a feeling of helplessness...maybe if he felt like there were actions he'd be able to take, it would lesson his fears?

    Just my two cents...