Update on difficult child's current anxiety episode

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Andy, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I left the morning post when difficult child came in and said he had just had some suicide thoughts. It is very difficult for him to explain what these are - what I gather is that they are quickly passing thoughts - they do not "stick" but are strong enough to get his attention and scare him. His anxiety bully sure knows what buttons to push.

    He very reluctantly went to school this morning. I asked if he wanted to talk to Pastor L. (who helped him through last year's crisis). He said, "no, I don't know, maybe". So, we went to the church office to see if Pastor L was in and available today. I had forgotten he is gone for 3 weeks.

    difficult child's teacher was in the office when we had asked for the pastor. She walked out with us and then before getting to the school wing asked if we were having a bad morning. We told her what was going on. I was on the verge of tears. I just can not handle difficult child's dispair. She talked to him. She told him that she understood what was going on because when she was about his age she also had a lot of anxieties. She told him that she would help him through it. ANYTHING we can think of to help him the teachers were willing to work with.

    We have a very small school of 3 teachers for K - 6th. The K teacher was difficult child's teacher last year. His teacher told him that if he ever needed to talk to ANY of the teachers, even last year's, the teachers would help cover for each other so he can have that talk ASAP. I know that they probably spoke during lunch today and have made plans to put into action who covers for who and what do they do with the other students if there is this need. They know that when an anxiety attack comes on, difficult child can not wait for a major break (snack time, lunch, ect), that he needs someone NOW. She told him that they all know him and that was an advantage of a small school - that he gets to see and talk to someone who really does know him.

    The goal for the rest of the year is for him to find support outside of me. I will still be in the picture big time as his main support, but he needs to learn that others can help also. It is not healthy for him to be so dependent on me. His teacher said, "I am not taking away from your mom. We want you to understand that there is a lot of people who want to help you and the more people helping, the more ideas they will have."

    difficult child and I both felt stronger after our talk. When I went to school at 12:30 to help with the 2nd grade Social Studies class, difficult child was outside on the playground. He was having a great time and said that the morning went very well. His teacher was supervising recess today and told me that she sees that he needs the other kids to distract him from his anxiety. She also had a great report. difficult child was behind on some Iowa Basics from missing school some last week and he actually asked her if he could do them.

    The teacher is going to look for some positive readings/devotions for him to read during "morning meeting". She said that they may help lift his spirits for the day and he will not have to participate in morning meeting if he chooses to do these readings.

    Tomorrow he has a therapist appointment to address his current anxiety. He needs to go to school from 8:30 to 10:00. I had decided not to take him to school but since he has done so well today, I have a feeling that he needs to continue to overcome his morning anxiety - to know that he may not feel good facing the day but once he gets going he is fine. I told him that I have been there done that so many times. I remember years at a time when I didn't want to face the day but once on the road felt great. So strange that feeling that you don't want to get going and knowing once you do you will be fine. I also have a job duty that has to get done at work tomorrow before leaving town. So, unless he is in deep despair, I am going to get him to school. He should be able to handle 1 1/2 hours. He of course thinks I should leave him at home for that 1 1/2 hours while I go into work. I am so afraid that if I start letting him stay home once in awhile then true school refusal will sink in. I think it will be good for him to do one of the readings/devotions if his teacher finds some by then. I am very interested to see if that will help (I think it will).

    It was so reassuring for me to see/hear his teacher in action. She said all the right things for him and really conveyed her support. That is going to help me tremendously to get through this. I hope we find someone in the Middle School that we can trust as much.

    So, tomorrow we get input and support from the therapist with a request to the psychiatrist for possible medications. Does anyone know of a PRN for anxiety? It would be great if I had something just to give him when the episode arises and not have to deal with every day medications. You know, like I give him Motrine at the first twinge of a headache or migrane. I suppose I am still dreaming!

    This is a real rollercoaster. Feeling great one moment and then BAM! down we go and then BAM! feeling great again and then BAM!....... Just like the flu bug - sicker than sick, feel like you are getting better and then another wave of upset stomach, ect. hits harder than before. You know it will end but since you don't FEEL it will end, you start falling into despair.

    I felt good this afternoon/evening but then difficult child started his case about not going to school tomorrow morning. That is NOT a good sign of what the morning will bring! :whiteflag:
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Well, Andy, since I've had (and have) every anxiety disorder in the book, I'm thinking he could have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as well as hypochondria and panic attacks; on the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)--those can be intrusive thoughts that you HATE but can't get out of your head (such as thinking about suicide). You then get afraid that you are going to do it. I can understand now why he was put on an SSRI as if you find the right now it can be miraculous (it was for me). He is exhibiting so many anxiety symptoms (like I did) that I truly feel for the little guy and wonder how he can functions. Talking only works so long then it wears off. I would think it would help more to talk to a therapist than to talk to even the nicest preacher as some preachers don't really believe in mental illness and try to rationalize it--and the whole anxiety bit is NOT rational. I really don't like medications if not necessary. If your son is truly that debilitated on a daily basis by bad anxiety that makes no sense and affects his life so much, I do think he will need to play the medications game and try to find that medication that will help him. Paxil was a MIRACLE for me (which doesn't mean it will be for him). Klonopin alone dulled me, but didn't help the "baaaaaaaad" thoughts (as I call the Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) things that pop in my head and won't go away). Also, please realize depression usually goes hand-in-hand with anxiety although it is often masked by the anxiety symptoms. I truly hope you can get this little guy on track. I wasted all my young years worrying and being scared and thinking I was dying and having "scary" thoughts. I wish somebody had put me on medications (which they didn't have at the time). I was in my 30's before I was better. I have so much more hope for your little guy. But I do believe in my opinion that he needs medications. This day-to-day anxiety torture is absolutely the pits and stops one from having a fun childhood. I think a long acting drug is far superior to one that wears off quickly and leaves you all nervous again. I took one like that and it didn't do the trick. AFter it wore off, I was back to shaking again. I haven't had a panic attack in fifteen years on a combo of Paxil and Klonopin (both long acting)> (((Hugs))) to your precious boy.
  3. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We've used Ativan PRN for anxiety...specifically to get difficult child 1 through blood draws when he was initially having panic attacks. But Lexapro is what got him stable enough that he no longer needs the Ativan for the draws refuses it now. He is still struggling with anxiety and possibly a little bit of panic... thus the evaluation he's going in for soon, so we'll find out more.

    Glad his teacher is so understanding. It would be good to go over the the middle school in the next month or so to talk about your concerns for him.

    Does he have an IEP?
  4. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Just want to let you know I feel for you and difficult child. I know how heart breaking it is to see difficult child so scared. Glad he has people who care.
  5. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Andy I know that roller coaster ride very very well. Saying that, it sounds as though you have a great group of teachers; very understanding of the situation willing to help at the drop of a hat. That's remarkable.

    kt's anxiety kept her from school a lot over the last few years. It becomes almost habitual for her & it's taking a lot to break her from it.

    I agree ~ you need to continue to push, for lack of a better word, difficult child to go to & stay in school as much as possible.
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    Thank you all!

    Today's appointment with therapist will be reported to psychiatrist who can then prescribe medications. difficult child was suppose to wait until next Friday to get in but after therapist talked to him via phone, therapist found an opening today.

    Midwest, you are correct that he is most likely back to where all the talking in the world will not help. I am trying to find all the supports I can for him. His pastor does not get involved in or attempt to give input in the medical side of this. difficult child had some spiritual questions a year ago Fall/Winter while going through the worse and his pastor helped him with that. I want difficult child to know that he can be comfortable going to his teachers. As you are aware, it can not be just talk and it can not be just medications. There is a process of both along with coping skills. It is a true battle with lots of stratagies to set up to win.

    I think he is doing better because he knows he will be seeing therapist today. I have to remind myself of that. Just because I don't see that deep anxiety this morning, it is still there - he is just very good at handling it though needs more help so that he doesn't have to focus 100% on that and miss out on being a kid.

    Thank you! Midwest, I so appreciate your input. It does bring to light so much and helps me find the right path. GCV - thanks for the input on the specific medications. KJS and Timer, thank you for your support.
  7. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    You've already gotten some great support and ideas. I just wanted to add that it is fantastic that his teachers are such great supports. I would feel very good about taking my son to school in an environment like that.
    You may be right--that once he's settled ea day, he does fine for the rest of the day. Maybe the medications will nip the first a.m. thoughts in the bud.
    Fingers crossed.
  8. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    O.K. Plan for now:

    Our psychiatrist who can prescribe these types of medications and monitors them is an awesome pediatritian. I have decided to ask him for a referral to a child/adolescent pscychiatrist - a true psychiatrist. Do you realize how hard it is to ask someone so knowlegable to be referred out? I really do like this person and trust his treatment plans. Tomorrow I will ask for a referral to someone with even more input and options. We need to go the next step with this. I am thinking that maybe a true psychiatrist can provide more tests to determine what else may be going on besides anxiety. Keep your fingers crossed that he will honor my request.

    Today's therapist visit did not directly help difficult child. He could not focus on what was being said and just wanted out of the room. Very unlike him. His anxiety is causing all sorts of mischieve - he is afraid he is going color blind, he is afraid he is loosing his voice (he thinks that is why I am taking sign language classes!), he can not connect and doesn't feel he is recognizing people. It did indirectly help by having a current therapist report describing the latest in the records so when I call to ask for the referral.

    An eye exam is easy so I am agreeing to that (maybe he does need a new prescription? Could happen.). We also have a neurology appointment the day after Easter. She can let us kinow if some of this is the migraine varient.

    therapist states when he sees the referral come through (he could not make the referral, had to be MD to MD) he can talk to the psychiatrist and maybe difficult child can get in a little sooner?

    difficult child is doing so well when he is with people (except me - I told him he must be allergic to me - I know it is because he feels safe to fall apart). Once at school, he has a great time with the other kids. I really feel good about the class trip on Friday. The teachers work so well with him and the other kids will keep him distracted. He is an expert on all that they will be doing except the State Capital which he has never been to. He will get to take his friends to his favorite parts of the Science Museum, let them know how the Omnitheator works, point out his favorite fish at the UnderWater World, and share input on the Rain Forest Cafe menu. His dad will be in the cities to receive a call if needed. I am sure his aunt will also be available. difficult child says that just hearing my voice helps calm him so if the worst comes about, I can talk him through via the phone.

    I am in a much better place than I have been this last two weeks.