phobias?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by EB67, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. EB67

    EB67 New Member

    I'm curious to know whether or not any of your difficult child's have phobias. If there are phobias, how did they develop? How do they manifest?

    I ask because I see a phobia of blood developing in Seb. Earlier this year I cut my hand with a hand blender which resulted in lots of bleeding, a trip to the ER, stitches...

    As soon as Seb saw the blood he ran from me and locked himself in his room. A neighbor came to watch him while I was at the hospital, and when I returned after being stitched up, Seb was mildly hysterical. He would not come out of his room until I promised that my entire arm, from shoulder to wrist, was covered with a towel.He would not look at me for a day and went on about "the blood".

    Now, whenever he sees blood he flies into a panic. Today he saw a drop of blood on my leg by a mosquito bite-- he covered his ears, cowering, walked backwards and muttered about not wanting to see blood.

    Miles whacked himself in the nose with a shovel the other day which resulted in a bloody nose. Seb flipped out, ran away and hid.

    There have been numerous blood freak outs like this.

    I'm not sure how to react. I'm not even sure if these are true phonias or just strong and seemingly unreasonable, over the top reactions. Or maybe that's what a phobia is.

    Are phobias part of the package with some of these behaviors / conditions we have in common? How do you deal with your difficult child's phobias?
     
  2. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    kt has several fears; some have passed - others are being treated. Having said that, I always downplay any anxiety producing episode. A cut on her hand becomes an oops - hope we don't have to amputate. It really settles kt - if mama isn't worried, kt isn't.

    And it's taken a few years to get to this point.
     
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    A phobia is a fear of a particular object or situation. Phobias can be part of an anxiety disorder, which can also (but doesn't have to) be part of a larger umbrella disorder. Most children who have phobias have anxious natures.

    How one handles a phobia depends somewhat on how much the phobia affects life functioning. Last summer M (my easy child/difficult child 3) developed a choking phobia and refused to eat because she thought she would die. She lost so much weight that she was hospitalized for 5 days and fed via NG tube for a month. Clearly, we needed to be very proactive in her treatment because her phobia involved a life-sustaining function. Her intensive therapeutic interventions included desensitizing her to chewing and swallowing as well as medication to reduce her anxiety. Today she is eating almost entirely normally.

    I have a friend who has a phobia about flying so he refuses to travel anywhere that requires an airline trip. His way of handling his phobia is through avoidance.

    A book you might want to check out is Helping Your Anxious Child by Ronald Rapee et al.
     
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have several phobias. One is quite common...well I guess two of them are. Snakes and tall bridges/places. I go absolutely apexxxx if I even think about snakes. God forbid I see a snake! If I happen to see one on tv I panic and have to close my eyes and cover my head and I have a panic attack.

    I had the complete misfortune to find one in a trailer I lived in years ago. I was cooking supper and reached into a cabinet to get some vinegar out to make cole slaw and saw it move and I screamed...backed away, grabbed the baby out of the swing and ran. I had fish frying on the stove and I left it there!

    I was standing in the yard when husband came home with all three kids surrounding me while smoke poured out of the windows. He stared at me while I was sobbing hysterically and pointing to the house. He got the word...snake...out of me and he rushed into the house, threw the fish into the sink, turned off the stove and found the snake and saved the house...lol.

    I didnt go back into that house for a week! I made him search that house for days making sure there wasnt more in there.

    Im also phobic of high places. I cant go over bridges unless I am driving. Even then I have to be on the inner lane and not the outer one. I cant stand to go up in tall buildings especially if I am in glass. Glass elevators kill me. But planes dont bother me a bit.
     
  5. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    difficult child is deathly afraid of spiders---and denitists---see my other post. I don't know how to get him other either because they have existed for as long as I can remember.
     
  6. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    A fear is a fear. A phobia is an irrational fear. And based on Seb's aversion to blood, I don't know which I would consider that, a fear or a phobia. The thing is, he is afraid to see it whether it is his or not.

    I did learn one thing about kids and fears. Never belittle them for being afraid of something (by saying "oh, come on Johnny, it's just this or that"). To them it is real. But, as had been said, the less of a deal YOU make of it, the sooner your child can and will get over it.
     
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    My difficult child 1 has a needle phobia -- very big problem that has become intensified in the last year with his Crohn's disease diagnosis since he has to have bloodwork quite often. It's not even the blood for him, just the sight of the needle that sets the panic in him. He's even asked to have us "cut" his finger with a knife to get the blood for labs instead of using a needle in his vein!

    We've used CBT/guided imagery/relaxation breathing to help him cope for procedures, plus 1mg of Ativan to take the edge off. I also try distracting him and let him use my iPod during the draws if he wants. Recently put him on 10mg Lexapro and that seems to have helped hugely, so I've been able to cut back on the Ativan to 0.5mg and he does just great now. No more tears, hysterics, metldowns, bolting from the car when we get to the lab! He's still nervous about it, but he gets through it way better than before.

    Whatever you do, don't minimize the seriousness of the feelings your difficult child has. They have no control over the fear and you cannot rationalize it away.
     
  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My children didn't have phobias, but I did. At age four, it was bandages (don't ask me why). I'd scream if I saw them and completely flip out. I remember feeling terrified, which puzzled my folks. At five and six it was bloody knees, then nosebleeds, then throwing up, then passing out...it seemed that as soon as one went away another developed. I probably had childhood bipolar, but also had a ton of neurological issues that have never been pinned down (a NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) is the only one I know for sure). The only thing that worked for me was SSRI medications, but I know many kids do badly on those types of antidepressants. Going to doctors when I was freaking out would temporarily make me feel better--I developed a healthy hypochondria at a very young age and always thought I was dying (rolled eyes). I've been told these are a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), but I'm not sure. I just know that my medications got rid of the phobias. I was plagued with them all my life before that. I hope you find the magic key to helping your precious son.
     
  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child was the EXACT same way. She would run if anyone got hurt (blood or not, because there could be blood). She REFUSED to go to a hospital for any reason. She could only think blood when she thought of the hospital. She locked herself in the bathroom when my step father fell off a stool and put a screwdriver through his hand. Imagine that one when I had to get him to the hospital and my difficult child is locked in the bathroom!!
    She also worried constantly about ME and GMA. Just the 2 of us specifically. If she could not reach one of us at any time - she freaked out.

    She also would fear other things. She feared riding a bike. It took her until fall to actually try and then she would get it within a few days. By the next summer she was fearful again and would not try for months. Because of this she did not ride a bike until she was 9.
    She would be fearful of roller coasters - even though she had riden them and loved them before. Again, by the end of summer she would try them and only be able to get in a couple rides at that point. Next summer - no way she was getting on that roller coaster.

    This has changed with time. As she got older she was able to rationalize the fear in her mind and get over it on her own. I never forced her.
     
  10. house of cards

    house of cards New Member

    My girl L was deathly afraid to walk on grass as a toddler, took two years for her to get past that, then she was afraid of dandilions that had gone to seed, she teeters on the egde of fears about germs, blood and gets very worried about vomit.
    Her brother S is afraid of ambulances cutting him open, he will comment about it every time he sees one no matter how many times we have reassured him they are there to help not hurt, but he doesn't get paniced.
    My difficult child tries to hide his fears. As I told his p-doctor...he doesn't "do" sad or scared, just anger.
     
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