Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Does anyone have children with anxiety/panic disorder & school avoidance? What to do about it?

I'm at my wit's end. My child has anxiety/panic disorder and cries, hyperventilates, etc. every morning before school. They started Prozac and Ativan but it's not in their system yet. Will it work? Has anyone dealt with this with their kids? Is there hope? When schooltime is over, they are fine. . But every night efore school, the anxiety/insomnia starts and in the a.m. it's at the worst. We are in therapy and no, nothing happened to start this. It's not bullying, some other kid, it just happened . All they want to do is stay home & avoid school & life. Our therapists say the best thing it to force school and not avoid it, so that's what we're doing. It's so hard to push them away when they are falling apart! Any insights into this would be appreciated! Also, the more they avoid their child social life/activities, the more they cling to me and my husband & think they're the 3rd adult in the house, when they're not! Help!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:46 AM on Feb. 25, 2010 in Tweens (9-12)

Answers (10)
  • This happened to me when I was a kid. They tried the same 2 meds and they made me sick and they made the problem worse. I was a straight A student, had tons of friends, great involved parents, the works. I just puked all over the place and had a melt down ever morning before school.

    I'm extremely sensitive to stimulants, gluten, caffeine, chocolate, food dye, preservatives (especially sodium EDTA), and I have chronic low blood sugar. Sometimes I think I'll be fine to just have 1 Girl Scout cookie then 12 hours later I'm sitting in the floor crying bc of a dog treats commercial.

    It sounds insane, I know. It's insane. A whole food, gluten-free diet has changed my life. I have a website of what I eat.

    Get your baby off those meds. I had chronic pain from the prozac and auditory hallucinations from the ativan. My mom really thought she was helping me with the meds-- they made it so much worse!

    Answer by ecodani at 10:54 AM on Feb. 25, 2010

  • Home school, my daughter had to do it. The school does not understand.

    I get panic attacks but I'm celexa.

    Prozac you need to get on line read how it works on young kids.

    Don't assum the doctors know best, you have to do the research.

    teach him yoga he has to learn how to breath when he know he is getting a panic attack.
    Good Luck

    Answer by gammie at 10:56 AM on Feb. 25, 2010

  • I had this when I was in school and my dad went and talked with a guidance counselor. I was able to leave classes 5 minutes before everyone else. They adjusted my schedules to make me more comfortable especially when it came to going to alternate classes when my teaches were absent. I would find medicine that helps because I know I couldn't do it with out mines. And sit down with a school counselor and your children and see what yall can do to help them feel more comfortable!

    Answer by HannahLee87 at 11:08 AM on Feb. 25, 2010

  • Homeschool!! Obviously, your children have major issues with going to school and isn't going to learn a thing like this. Pull them out, and allow them to get comfortable and secure and I promise you, they'll learn much better. In addition, once they feel more secure in their surroundings, they'll feel more comfortable branching out.

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 1:18 PM on Feb. 25, 2010

  • Your therapist is an idiot. I have anxiety/panic attacks and the WORST thing to do is to force me to be in the situation known to trigger it. It burns out the adrenal glands after a while and cause her medical problems. Can't you homeschool her? My grandson goes to a school that has computer classes. She could do classwork at home online. Have they tested her for agoraphobia and sociophobia? It's a fear of being around others. This child is being tormented with the therapists orders. Get them to a child psychiatrist who is trained in this specialty not some lame brain therapist who isn't a doctor. yes kids like this cling to parents and siblings. They want relief from their torment so look to you for help. The best thing for me was to stay in familiar surroundings and with the same people. Don't move around a lot. It takes years to build up a secure feeling with people but it can be done.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:20 AM on Feb. 26, 2010

  • be careful with the ativan. it's addictive and makes some of us sleep which isn't good. we find peace in sleep so we want to sleep all the time so we keep taking the ativan. see the cycle on that one? the things you mentioned are merely symptoms of a larger disorder. have the child tested to find out which one so you can read up and find out how to deal better. I agree that forcing a child to "face fears" does NOT work for children who have a problem. You are asking for serious trouble by forcing anything. Keep in mind therapists get lots of money when you come in. If they tell you to do something that ends up causing more problems then they get even more money. ask for the therapist's experience with this. see what their concentration was in school. therapists don't always have a lot of education and don't know all they should.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:26 AM on Feb. 26, 2010

  • How would you do if you were forced to do something that terrified you? What if you were deathly afraid of snakes and someone forced you to do it everyday? How about spiders? ok, go put those spiders in a jar every day. My point is that the stress you would endure is traumatic. That is what this child is going through

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:32 AM on Feb. 26, 2010

  • I feel sorry for you the mom and the child but please dont make your sweet child take anymore pills,it does more harm than good in the long run.

    Answer by MarGeee at 12:14 PM on Feb. 26, 2010

  • I agree that your therapist is an idiot and another one is whoever prescribed prozac and ativan for yourchildren. I very much doubt it will work and ativan in particular is dangerously addictive. They may repress some symptoms but they will not cure the problem .

    You need a psychiatrist who specialises in anxiety disorders. These have become increasingly common among schoolchildren and college students. In a program on this subject on PBS recently ( see if it is available online there ) university health services report it as the most common problem they deal with now, having overtaken relationship and sexual problems which used to rank #1. It is most common with high achievers and children of so -called " hyper parents " who place an inordinate value on success and organise the kids' leisure, recreational and social activities for them. It goes without saying that you also need professional advice.

    Answer by janet116 at 11:24 PM on Feb. 26, 2010

  • that is exactly how I was in school -- the evenings and mornings were the worse

    I was on different meds and went to counsiling and everything and nothing worked I just "grew out of it" ... it honestly didnt get better until I was out of school !

    Answer by glamomomo at 1:54 AM on Feb. 28, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.