New Member
Ok, here's the deal. I am lost, confused, and just want to break down and have a temper tantrum all my own. My difficult child, is having panic attacks I think. His therapist is away for 2 weeks (not good as he is Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and VERY ritualistic). So, I turn to you to help me get through this and bring it up to his therapist next time I see her. :hammer:

Yesterday my difficult child had a baseball game. As we were getting ready his sisters came in and said there was a black cloud coming. I turned on the news and we were under a tornado warning, had a tornado touch down about 20 miles from here, and a storm was coming. My difficult child starts to freak out, crying, running in circles, saying goodbye to the dogs. Crying cause he didnt want to die, the house was going to fall in, his toys would be lost. He was out of it. :smile:

The storm passed in less than 30 minutes, just a little bit of rain and wind. Nothing big. We ate dinner, my difficult child refused to eat saying he wasnt hungry. He then had the runnies afterwards. They were nasty and of course I had to look to please him or another melt down would insue.

So, could this be his anxiety? Should he be medicated for these "episodes"? They are becoming more frequent, but at therapy he is an "angel". Hard to explain to an outsider what I go through and what I see. :angel:

Also, he breaks out in rashes for no apparent reason and itches himself raw. These have become more frequnt also. He was sent to an allergist and nothing was found to be out of the ordinary.

So, here I am back at square one! I quit drinking a while back, but I really need a drink now! :smile:


Active Member
Yep, sounds like some pretty intense anxiety. Do you have a psychiatrist that can help while the therapist is out of town, and that you can run your concerns by? Your son might just need a gentle dose of an anti-depressant to relieve some of his anxiety. Although it sounds like your son was pretty upset, his anxiety was actually based on a well founded fear of the weather, which as of late has caused a lot of headlines. So, he is really not too far off base or irrational with his fears, it just sounds like his anxiety fueled the fire to another level. Perhaps a visit to psychiatrist is in order.

take care


New Member
It certainly sounds like he is anxious. I am not a doctor, but it seems the rash may be signs of anxiety as well. Since he acts like "an angel" during therapy and you find it hard to explain these behaviors, it might be a good idea to keep a journal or log of the behaviors you are concerned about. This way, you will have dates, times and exact behaviors to share with therapist.
Good Luck!


I remember when my son was about 7 and he started freaking out about Osama BL and what would happen to him if his entire family was killed. This was 4 years AFTER 911. Any way, I understand about this type of anxiety. I hope that you get to talk to someone about this soon. Hugs, Michele.

Hound dog

Nana's are Beautiful
All of what you've described are anxiety symptoms.

I dread storm season because they still terrify Nichole. She starts having her tornado nitemares at this time of year. When she was little it was horrible. Now that she's grown she can hold it together much better. But you can still see the terror in her eyes, and if she's over at boyfriend's house she never fails to call me. I guess the sound of my voice reassures her. (although I keep telling her you shouldn't talk on the phone during a storm lol)

I'd definately let therapist know, and psychiatrist too. You might want to remind them that of course they don't see this behavior because he's not in a highly anxious state when he sees them. :rolleyes:



New Member
our psychiatrist is just a family doctor. Im not real comfortable with them prescribing medications and them not knowing his history. I took my difficult child off of his medications for the summer and a couple of weeks ago he hit his head and the er doctor had the nerve to tell me it was his anxiety that modified his behavior and that it was making him urinate all over himself! I know better than that. I will be making some phonie calls tomorrow and seeing if i can get the therapist to prescribe something for him. I have done the journal, yet he has no real triggers for his behavior (this storm was the first real trigger). So when trying to pin point why the melt down, there is nothing tangible for me to write down. There is no certain times that they are worse, no certain foods that trigger it, my difficult child is my unique difficult child.

Another question for you... When my difficult child was very young 1 1/2 and his sisters were 2, i and his older brother were removed from them thanks to my wonderful ex and his lies. I spent 13 days away from my children and they got to stay with my best friends. My older son, has not come home yet. I have brought this up to my therapist (?) regarding his anxiety and separation issues. He doesnt really have any with me, but animals and his sisters are a problem. He did ok with his sisters being gone to camp for a week, but he also banged his head and was in and out of the hospital and therapy. But, back to the therapist, she just skirts around that and doesnt really give it much weight. To me, I feel that that would be something to look into with his anxiety. But, hey I'm not a doctor!

So, what do you think?


New Member
Here is a new twist to the story.....

my difficult child is now staying up late (we never had this problem) and refusing to eat. Any thoughts on this new development?


Well-Known Member
I would freak out if a tornado was coming my way, too. But, I am sure what you saw was excessive. Was he able to relax after the storm at all?

Sounds like there have been issues of anxiety or obsession for some time. I would think the psychiatrist would be doing something about it if it is affecting his quality of life.



New Member
the urinating, staying up late, and the refusing to eat is since the bike accident. his behavior has been ok till the storm. he's been a pain and out of control ever since.


Active Member
Momof4, you said, "So, could this be his anxiety?"

My response (In Dr Phil's classic comic sarcasm), "You THINK?"

Too right, this is ALL anxiety. difficult child 3's anxiety has him vomiting. These days he's got it better controlled (plus we've reduced it by removing his worst stressor - school) so he only feels nauseous, weak, pale and gets the runs. difficult child 3 cannot accept these symptoms are due to anxiety - he still is not well enough in touch with his emotions or his body response. But in some ways, the vomiting is at least a safety valve for him, we've not had the rashes. We do get the low-grade fevers, though, which difficult child 3 will now accept as anxiety.

Well after the event, when things have calmed down and difficult child 3 is feeling much better, we can debrief about it and he can then understand (a bit) that the symptoms were due to anxiety, but often just talking about it will set off the anxiety symptoms again.

While difficult child 3 has a specialist who sees him regularly, we also got him to a psychologist for specific help with anxiety and coping strategies. difficult child 3 cannot take antidepressants and I don't want to drug him out of it all, I want him to learn to adapt as far as possible. Cognitive behaviour therapy did help a lot. We've stopped for now as we're coping. For now.

We can't take difficult child 3 off stims or he loses his speech. Sounds weird, I know, but no stims - no go.

The suggestion to keep a log - I heartily endorse it. We've kept such a diary on difficult child 3, I even went back and filled in what I could remember from his early childhood, also using reports of earlier assessments.

We also have had to censor what we tell difficult child 3. It was two years at least before he learned about 9/11. All news was strongly censored. And then he learned about it at school in a "news for kids" TV show on why we were going to Iraq. Dealing with it so much later made it easier for him to cope.

Storms - difficult child 3 isn't fazed by storms, thank goodness, unless they get really bad and he's worried about the trees coming down on our house. Thankfully, the sort of tornados we get ("willy willys") are much smaller and you just don't see them coming, so I don't have to talk about them to difficult child 3. They are moderately rare for us, most of them in Sydney hit the northern suburbs in a narrow corridor, only about once every five years or so. For us, the trigger for panic isn't tornados, it's bushfires. It doesn't help that husband gets panicked by it too. Smoke on the horizon will have husband up on the roof with the kids cleaning out the gutters and stopping them up with tennis balls so the gutter can hold water.

I wouldn't necessarily see things like food as triggers unless he has some rather extreme food sensitivities. From my experience with difficult child 3, he gets anxious for similar reasons to other people; only to a much greater degree. School made him extremely anxious, for example, because he was being bullied and he also wasn't able to cope with the routine, the noises, the distractions and the intensity of it all.

Separation anxiety could still be a factor even if difficult child doesn't seem to react - it's like difficult child 3 insisting that he's not anxious, he has no reason to be, as he then complains of feeling sick while we are wandering around a strongly volcanic area on our recent holiday in New Zealand! (Before we'd left, difficult child 3 had been in full panic mode about volcanic activity - I KNEW he was anxious at Rotarua, and yet he couldn't see it himself, he was convinced he had a tummy bug). So yes, separation anxiety as a component IS a possibility.

Head banging and wetting himself - also likely to be classic anxiety responses. Sorry. That doesn't mean you refuse to medicate an acute episode, if medication is the way to treat it. It's just as serious if it's anxiety, or a virus.

Refusing to eat (anorexia = loss of appetite) can also be a sign of anxiety. I've also observed that difficult child 3 loses his appetite when he's anxious. Also, when he's short of sleep his coping abilities in general go out the window. The more stimulation (ie the more his brain has to process information) the more sleep a person needs. While on holiday, difficult child 3 slept an extra 2 hours a day, at least. If you try to eat when you're anxious, the food just sits there and decays in your stomach. Anxiety triggers a "fight or flight" response. Your body prepares you for fast energy output by shunting blood flow to the muscles and away from unnecessary (in the short term) stuff like digestive tract.

If you can't convince the therapist to take this degree of anxiety seriously, find someone else, preferably someone who specialises in cognitive behaviour therapy. You want action and solutions, not your hand patted. But before you make the change, give this current therapist one last chance to actually DO something.



Of all difficult child's problems, his anxiety is the one I find most difficult to deal with.

All the symptoms you describe could be anxiety related -- including urinating. When difficult child was younger, he would sometimes just suddently wet himself. It was uncontrollable.

difficult child always has a certain amount of general anxiety problems. But he also has "episodes." You never know what will trigger an episode. Because children have irrationale fears (normal for kids), sometimes you can never figure out what the trigger was. It can take months for difficult child to recover from one of these episodes.

You might want to do some research on Adjustment Disorder with-Mixed Disturbance of Emotions and Conduct in children to see if it's something the psychiatrist may need to at least rule out.