Anxiety Is Fun

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Janna, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. Janna

    Janna New Member

    That was sarcasm for those that didn't pick up on it lol.

    Talked for about an hour with Dyl's therapist today. It's pretty obvious the Concerta isn't doing anything but making his anxiety worse LOL! LOL! Lucky me, eh? :hammer:

    Did I say this was the last drug we were gonna try? Hmmm :scared: Don't remember.

    Anyway, I'm pulling him off. Two weeks...nothin'. Kid's ready to crawl out of his own skin.

    Therapist kept commenting on Dyl's anxiety. Anxiety, anxiety....tons of anxiety.

    I see it. Always knew it. Ignored it, I guess. Was more worried about the dining room table being flung across the room at the time, I suppose :smile:

    Anyhow...anyone have thoughts about anxiety medications? I ask because, mood stabilizers are now out. I'm not interested. Ditto for all antipsychotics and stimulants LOL! Hmm...leaves me alot of options, eh?

    So, we thought MAYBE settling the anxiety will help with...uhh, I dunno. Anxiety.

    I know nothing about the anxiety medications. Anything APPROVED for kids? Yeah, hahahaha...well, thought I'd ask :nonono: Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

    Thing here is, I'm not gonna say to psychiatrist, well, let's give him a mood stabilizer for moods, atypical to calm him down, stimulant for ADHD, anxiety pill for anxiety...etc. I'm not into drugging him up, well, let's take the biggies and work from there. I don't think stims are it. Never did, and this trial has proven me right.

    Don't I feel smart?

    Not really.......


  2. KateM

    KateM Member

    My son (Asperger diagnosis) does well with Zoloft for anxiety.He has been on this medication for several years. As you probably are aware, it is an SSRI medication with a warning for kids as to suicidal ideation.Many do not tolerate this, but it has helped with anxiety for years for difficult child.It also cuts down on his obsessive tendencies, which are a manifestation of anxiety.

    But, again, not all can tolerate this and some on this board have had terrible responses to this. It is all so difficult and individualized, as you know from all your experiences with Dylan. Good luck!
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator


    The SSRI antidepressants are used "off-label" to treat anxiety. Among the antidepressants, only Prozac is approved for use in treating Major Depressive Disorder in pediatric patients. Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, and Anafranil are approved for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) in pediatric patients. None of the drugs is approved for other psychiatric indications in children.

    The Benzodiazapines (Klonopin, Ativan, Xanax, for example) are used for anxiety in adults and are sometimes prescribed for children (although not FDA approved). Because there is the risk of dependency, Benzos are generally used short-term.

    Buspar is an anti-anxiety medication that I've known some parents to use (it made my difficult child 1 dizzy so we didn't trial it that long). The blood-pressure medication Propranolol is sometimes used for anxiety as well.

    Obviously, the atypical antipsychotics can help tremendously with anxiety, but you said you don't want to use them.

    Maybe the psychiatrist will come up with some other options.
  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    My difficult child takes lexapro for anxiety. While AD's take a while to get into the system to help with depression issues, the anxiety portion kicks in almost immediately - at least with lexapro, can't speak for the others.

    She missed her lexapro for 2 days (my fault) and OMG, could I tell. Huge, huge, huge difference. The day after she took her medication again, calmed right down.
  5. jannie

    jannie trying to survive....

    My 10 year old is on 5 mg of lexapro for anxiety/depression and he is also on vyvanse, which is the newest stimulant on the market, made by the same company as adderall. He did not respond well to zoloft. The zoloft made him more hyper. I have seen benefits with lexapro, but I still wonder if its making him a bit hyper as well...However, he is less anxious and happier.
  6. oceans

    oceans New Member

    Hi Janna. Sorry to see you are still on the medication merry-go-round. I know when Ben started displaying anxiety the psychiatrist said that increasing the Zoloft would be the best thing, but that would have put him at the level we say cognitive dulling in the past. His depression started to go out of control shortly after and we increased the Lamictal. The increase in Lamictal rescued his mood and it also took care of the anxiety. When Ben was on Zyprexa in the past, that also took care of his anxiety, but he gained tons of weight. He seems to do well without it now on the combination he is on. Since you ruled out using mood stabilizers and antipsychotics, I guess you are looking at trying SSRI's. I can't remember...has he tried antidepressants before?
  7. Janna

    Janna New Member

    Thanks for the suggestions. I am going to look into the few mentioned and talk to the psychiatrist. I do know there can be issues with anxiety medications. However, through the previous 8 years, things that SHOULD have done one thing for my son (i.e. the antipsychotics) like calm him down, made him hallucinate and gave him incredibly awful side effects (drooling, slurring of words, barking like a dog, encopresis).

    My thought is, if none of the other stuff worked....maybe. I'm not even 50% sure I'm comfortable going this route. It's just a thought.

    I wish we could explore the AP's again, SW, but it's not worth it to me. He had absolutely no benefit from Seroquel, Risperdal was horrible, Abilify caused too many side effects, and we saw nothing from Zyprexa. Geodon made him coooookoooooo.

    I dunno. I'm leaning 50% toward trying something else, and leaning 50% toward telling the Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) to spend the rest of the months diving into more intensive therapy with him so he can stay medication free.


    I'm 98% sick of medications. I still have that glimmer of hope, somewhere....but man, it's really dying.

    He did recently try Wellbutrin. He seemed to ME to be much happier. But, it didnt do anything for his ADHD symptoms, so the psychiatrist discontinued it. I don't like him. He's more concerned with trying to treat the ADHD stuff, and he's just going to have to remove that from his mindset. Permanently.

    Thanks everyone.
  8. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Janna, we did make it through seriously debilitating anxiety without medications (following a disastrous trial of Celexa, then Zoloft). But my difficult child doesn't have ADHD/attention problems and I'll be the first to admit that changes the situation dramatically. I'll also admit there were times when I would have loved to have had a medication to fix it--it would have been cheaper, easier, and faster than the labor intensive slow road. On the plus side he's learned a lot of coping skills. He's not totally clear of anxiety, but he's coping much better than I ever would have dreamed back then.

    One thing I would mention is if you haven't already, don't leave any stone unturned in the area of sensory integration (now frequently called sensory processing disorder). Sometimes kids who are highly active due to Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) present exactly like a child with ADHD so they get written off as needing medications instead of getting the evaluation and treatment they need.

    Even if it turns out that it isn't Sensory Integration Disorder (SID), sensory strategies can often help kids whose bodies never seem to stop moving. One of my son's classmates was seriously the most ADHD child I've ever seen and when she mentioned his problem activity level in the classroom (in spite of the highest dose of Ritalin) I suggested he be given a gel ball to keep at his desk. His ability to remain seated and listened improved dramatically just by having an acceptable way to channel physical motion into. She said for the first time ever he was actually able to sit at the desk instead of stand.

    Ditto with sensory strategies being helpful for anxiety.
  9. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Also, have you looked into the omegas fish oil supplements? There's some clinical research that is showing improvement of ADHD symptoms with use of omegas.
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    My difficult child's anxiety looked almost identical to ADHD. I wonder if Dylan's anxiety is exacerbating the ADHD. Maybe it's time to try to work on the anxiety and worry about the ADHD later? Just a thought...

    I wish we didn't need medications. It doesn't take the anxiety away, but it does bring it to a manageable level. I'm hopeful that once she has learned through therapy to manage her anxiety that we can nix the medications. We'll see
  11. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts


    I was going to bring up the same thought as SRL. Although neither kt nor wm is ADHD or have tested out significantly for the sensory issues, we are using a lot of the self calming sensory therapies.

    It simply seems to apply to children with high levels of anxiety; we've put into play a lot of calm body alternatives. kt is getting for Christmas, a different rocking chair for her room. It's one of those media chairs that sits on the floor & she can rock til the cows come home for all I care. (by the way, last count there are 6 rocking chairs of one type or another in my little home)

    Warm showers, rocking, a box filled with rice & all types of beans - all of these work for kt & wm. All strategies that don't involve medications.

    And saying that, I still have a PRN for high anxiety in kt. And kt is a totally different child than Dylan.

    Goodl luck in finding an acceptable treatment plan for your difficult child.
  12. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Wynertersgrace, during the period when my difficult child was highly anxious, all of his other issues were exacerbated and I've seen that (or some variation) through the years. High sensory produces high anxiety. High anxiety produces high rigid thinking. Extremely rigid thinking produces high ODD. And so and so on.

    There were only two times I saw what if someone was taking a snapshot looked like ADHD. The first was when he was on Celexa. The second was when the anxiety flared up. At that time he did a short trial of medications which I'm sure didn't help but the elevated activity level lasted for months after the medications were discontinued. It was almost manic gotta keep moving looking. Actually when he occasionally has a rage mode we see a little too but that's understandable. :rolleyes:

    I used the sorts of things Linda mentioned as well as weighted blanket, heating pad, etc during difficult child's flareups. But difficult child's best regular sensory regulation is through giving him the right kind of stimuli. Swinging/spinning motion is very helpful to him. That reminds me--time to put the basement swing back up to help through the holidays.
  13. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    With my difficult child, when her anxiety is up her Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues go up, not the other way around. If she didn't have such high anxiety, I don't think she would have the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) diagnosis...I think she would just have a few 'quirks' like easy child and me. Now that she's back on the lexapro, I have hardly seen any Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) issues. However, when she missed those two days recently the Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) was very pronounced.

    So many of the professionals want to treat everything individually, like a lot of regular, physical health doctors, instead of treating it like a whole-body 'thing'. I have found it to be important to try to determine what causes this, which causes what. Ie, anxiety is difficult child's most debilitating issue, but I believe that the Executive Function and NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) characteristics lead to the anxiety. But since the anxiety gets in the way of addressing the other issues, we have to deal with it first. The anxiety then exacerbates her Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) and depression.

    difficult child did the 'manic gotta keep moving' thing for years. She made me dizzy. :faint: It's only been in the last year or two that she's slowed down and her anxiety looks more like what we expect anxiety to look like.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Janna, as one who has experienced almost all the SSRIs and who has severe anxiety disorder, I can tell you that SSRIs are hit and miss and you'll be playing the "will it work or make him worse" game again with SSRIs. in my opinion I wouldn't go there with Dylan. Lucas was on Buspar for a while and it was all right, seemed to calm him a little. Clonadine or Tenex may help, but, really, I always wonder if the child is calm or a zombie. I've taken many medications that probably made me seem calm when I was actually zoned out on them. The one type of medication that really helps my axiety are benzos, and I wouldn't go there with a child because they can be abused on the streets (although no more so than all the ADHD stimulants). My daughter told me all the lovely things teens do with their ADHD medications...ugh. Actually, all medications are habit forming and cause withdrawals--I dunno--I like Clonazapan for anxiety. It's long lasting and doesn't make me "high" or "zombie" me out, which I hate. Remember that all kids on the spectrum have anxiety. Lucas has gotten better without medication. Do you know what Dylan worries about? Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids worry about the weirdest things. Or does Dylan just appear hyper? Lucas calmed as he aged and is a couch potato now. At one time we had to pull him down from the rafters. Almost all Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kids have ADHD symptoms. Our Neuro-psychiatric said, however, that, no matter how it appears, it is NOT ADHD. At least for Lucas, that's the case. I'm not sure if any medication will help the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) kind of anxiety, but I do wish you luck, and, yes, I owe you an e-mail.
  15. Janna

    Janna New Member


    Who would I look for to do those types of testing (for the possible sensory issues)? neuropsychologist strongly recommended Occupational Therapist (OT), remember, and I've been bugging the school, but never did anything outside of (regretting now, am looking into that at the moment). Would an Occupational Therapist (OT) be able to help with things like that?

    Thanks for the ideas, you guys. I may have more questions later lol.

  16. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    School isn't the ideal place to have Occupational Therapist (OT) testing because they only assess for those issues that impact educational performance. It's better than nothing but they won't do anything for his issues on the homefront and for treatment to work best it must be coordinated between home and school. You would need a private pediatric Occupational Therapist (OT) and where to find those depends on your area. University or Children's Hospitals, Easter Seals, and in larger cities you can sometimes find Occupational Therapist (OT) clinics, often in conjunction with a speech clinic. our pediatrician may be able to refer you and actually would need to make a referral for insurance purposes.

    You might try contacting the nearest Autism Society chapter and see who families there recommend. Parent to parent recommendations often yield good sources.

    You'll want to do some reading--The Out of Sync Child by Carol Kranowitz is very good.
  17. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Janna, you'll probably want to slap me, but have you tried Strattera?

    We just started it because difficult child 1 is hyper, takes Concerta but his anxiety stirs up most of his b.s.! Thus far, we haven't seen any improvement, but we started at the lowest dose (10mgs) as his psychiatrist believes in "baby steps" with medications.

    I feel like throwing in the towel sometimes on the medication wagon, but if something will give him some relief, I'll give it a shot!

  18. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    (((Janna))), know how you feel. My son tried ritalin, adderall and concerta. They worked as far as him staying focused in class and not being violent at school. Which kept his behind from being expelled from Elementary school. He is now 14 and I so don't want to put him back on medications. We are trying a natural medication right now called Attend. It is working somewhat.

    When he was on those medications I hated it. He was like a walking zombie. He would sit at the table and poke a fork at his food. He would not eat or make eye contact with anyone. He loved to run and was so fast. In 4th grade he attempted the mile run at school and had to stop half way because he just couldn't do it. He had no energy. It broke my heart. He hasn't been on medications since he was 10. When he was on adderall he also had to be on something to make him go to sleep at night.

    I like you just don't know what to do. I take xanax myself for anxiety but haven't heard of them putting kids on it.

    So what do I do. Put him back on what I call "speed" just to get him through High school? He wants to try out for football. If he goes back on drugs that won't happen. He loves to skateboard. He is very active which I consider normal for a 14 year old. I love the fact he would rather be outside jumping on the trampoline or riding his bike then sitting in front of a TV playing games constantly.

    Not sure why I went into all that. Just know you are not alone, and if you find some medication that works, without all those side effects, please let me know.