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A daughter with anxiety

Posted by on Aug. 6, 2016 at 12:25 PM
  • 22 Replies

My 15 year old ended up in tears as we started talking about her upcoming school registration.  She will be a sophomore and, despite the fact that she is intelligent, she failed a few of her freshmen classes.  She didn't turn her homework in, she didn't ask the teachers when she didn't understand things and she says they always go too fast for her to absorb the information.  I tried to tell her that, now that I'm out of school myself, I will work with her every day to make sure she can succeed but she ended up almost in hysterics as a panic attack took hold.

She's had some before but I honestly thought she was getting better about it.  She doesn't want to see a doctor because she doesn't want people to think she's "crazy".  She won't consider the idea of a school tutor because she doesn't want people to think she's "stupid".  No amount of logic is helping.  "No one will know about seeing a doctor."  "The medication that your friend took that changed her personality doesn't mean it would change yours too (IF you were put on meds)."  No one will know you've failed those classes."  It doesn't matter what I say, she's determined that she will hate school.  She wants to go to an online school like her cousin did.  However, the cousin had a stay at home mom and only went to an online school in middle school.  Now she's enrolled at a different high school.  I don't want my daughter to do that because I don't feel she's disciplined enough to keep up with the classes.  I work full time so she'd be alone most of the day.  I do not want her to hide in her room all day long and never see anyone.

My eldest daughter also had some anxiety issues, although not as bad.  I once took her to a doctor and the car ride there was awful!  "I'm not going to talk to her!" over and over.  And when we left, "I'm not going back and you can't make me!"  She ended up not getting anxiety meds until she turned 18 when the doctors would perscribe them without conseling.  Under 18, they won't give meds without counseling.  And I have a feeling it will go the same way with my youngest.  But I can't let things go on like this and I'll be calling for an checkup appointment with her doctor and we'll see where we can go from there.

Does anyone have some ideas of how to help me make her understand that counseling and tutoring are NOT the end of the world?  Any advice would be appreciate and, please, NO FLAMING.  I've got enough to deal with without other moms telling me what I've been doing wrong.

by on Aug. 6, 2016 at 12:25 PM
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Replies (1-10):
campingmomof4
by on Aug. 6, 2016 at 1:35 PM
1 mom liked this
We did private tutoring in our home. Nobody from the school knew about it. That might help.

Never had anxiety issues with my kids that effected everyday life.
suzeebloch
by Ronna on Aug. 6, 2016 at 1:36 PM
1 mom liked this

Okay first a disclaimer - I really have no experience with kids with issues similar to this at all.  So, take what i say with a grain or two of salt!

HOWEVER, I did have a colleague once who had HORRIBLE migraine headches.  but she HATED the idea of taking medications to control them. 

I explained to her something along the lines that her brain simply had issues with imbalance of chemicals and therefore the inability to make proper connections resulting in headaches, and the medication being prescribed was to help correct those imbalances, make the proper connections, etc.  Of course I really don't know if that was the case or not but hey, it sure made sense - and she "fell" for it.  :o)

In the case of your daughter, you could probably try making a similar argument.  Explain that the counseling and tutoring, along with medications, is to help "retrain" her brain cells, along with the medications to help correct chemical imbalances. 

But wait there's more - if you break your leg, you are going to need at the very least a cast to help stabilize the fracture to ensure correct healing (i.e., the anxiety medicines).  Obviously, you will then need to undergo routine physical therapy (tutoring) and regular checkups with your doctor (counseling) to ensure everything is healing/working properly.  

Being only 15 years old, she might 'buy' this explanation.  Healing a broken leg takes time and effort.  Treating your daughter's situation is very similar, right?  Maybe using an explanation like the broken leg might help her "see" things in a more logical fashion.  Or, if you know of anyone she knows that maybe had a similar situation, whether broken leg, maybe a heart attack, stroke, whatever - use that so she can compare with what's going on for her.   Just make sure she understands this "isn't her fault" and the medication/tutoring/counseling are all part of the process of "healing" so she can get back to doing things on her own?

I'm just rattling off the top of my head, so again, take it with a grain of salt! 

and I don't know what groups you've been in here at Cafe mom, but in THIS group, very few of the actual members of this group will "flame" you at all.  We're not here to tell YOU that you're doing anything wrong at all! 

LadySaphira
by Lisa on Aug. 6, 2016 at 2:14 PM

excellent advice!

Quoting suzeebloch:

Okay first a disclaimer - I really have no experience with kids with issues similar to this at all.  So, take what i say with a grain or two of salt!

HOWEVER, I did have a colleague once who had HORRIBLE migraine headches.  but she HATED the idea of taking medications to control them. 

I explained to her something along the lines that her brain simply had issues with imbalance of chemicals and therefore the inability to make proper connections resulting in headaches, and the medication being prescribed was to help correct those imbalances, make the proper connections, etc.  Of course I really don't know if that was the case or not but hey, it sure made sense - and she "fell" for it.  :o)

In the case of your daughter, you could probably try making a similar argument.  Explain that the counseling and tutoring, along with medications, is to help "retrain" her brain cells, along with the medications to help correct chemical imbalances. 

But wait there's more - if you break your leg, you are going to need at the very least a cast to help stabilize the fracture to ensure correct healing (i.e., the anxiety medicines).  Obviously, you will then need to undergo routine physical therapy (tutoring) and regular checkups with your doctor (counseling) to ensure everything is healing/working properly.  

Being only 15 years old, she might 'buy' this explanation.  Healing a broken leg takes time and effort.  Treating your daughter's situation is very similar, right?  Maybe using an explanation like the broken leg might help her "see" things in a more logical fashion.  Or, if you know of anyone she knows that maybe had a similar situation, whether broken leg, maybe a heart attack, stroke, whatever - use that so she can compare with what's going on for her.   Just make sure she understands this "isn't her fault" and the medication/tutoring/counseling are all part of the process of "healing" so she can get back to doing things on her own?

I'm just rattling off the top of my head, so again, take it with a grain of salt! 

and I don't know what groups you've been in here at Cafe mom, but in THIS group, very few of the actual members of this group will "flame" you at all.  We're not here to tell YOU that you're doing anything wrong at all! 


 Donations to our team can be made here: #mce_temp_url#

EireLass
by Platinum Member on Aug. 6, 2016 at 2:29 PM
1 mom liked this

You should make an appointment to meet (just you) with the school guidance counselor and bring these concerns to her. She will help you.

PinkButterfly66
by Member on Aug. 6, 2016 at 2:41 PM
1 mom liked this

This sounds EXACTLY like my daughter.  We got her tutors to come to the house through Tutor Doctor (cannot say enough about how great they were, I found Tutor Doctor online) to help her with math and english in 8th grade and it really helped. Then I finally found a therapist who tested her and we found that she has a processing disorder and the anxiety stems from that.  She needs help with walking through and step by step instructions on new and unfamiliar tasks.  Once she does them enough, she is able to understand the process and can handle everything solo but she might still need someone to be her sounding board or mentor to ask questions about the project.  

After a few years of trying to manage her anxiety with supplements I finally convinced her to try zoloft.  It has made a world of difference and while she keeps saying they don't help, we've seen that it does.  The med didn't change her personality, they didn't stop her from feeling and yes she still can get anxious because it is a normal emotion that everyone feels now and then but the anxiety isn't paralyzing.  

Counselling will help give her techniques to help control the anxiety so the anxiety doesn't control her.   She should definitely give it a try and she shouldn't be turned off from counselling if the first counsellor doesn't seem to be empathetic or helping, she should just look for a different counsellor.  

Goobergal
by Marian on Aug. 6, 2016 at 4:08 PM
My child has anxiety. She does better with CBT. It helps restructure her way of thinking. And in my kids cases, they don't get a choice with counseling. If they have an illness, it's expected they go. Same w mental health. I know kids that don't learn coping skills and they are self destructive messes. As bad as my kids have had it, I have one in college and the other a gifted high schooler. And she fought me about going to online school and refused to go to school. She is now interacting with others and a club officer at school.

Some things as I said are non negotiables.
Element5
by Member on Aug. 7, 2016 at 8:17 AM
I am sorry you and her are going through this.. my kids had tutoring and it's actually not looked down at but as something that if you get a crappy grade and before it turns into a failing grade and a grade for the semester you get help. It costs $ and after the got better grades I took them to a center Mathnazium where they started to get more independent work.. They are both A students now.

She def. needs to talk to someone because just passing classes is not enough.. She needs help. There will be other stressful situations and college is even tougher. She needs to know how to handle things.

Do not get where she got the idea of tutoring is for stupid kids.. Tutoring if for kids that need help. She needs it. Why don't you reach out to teachers obviously it was for last year and just talk with them ask what is needed because she got a bad grade and explain that she get stressed and so on.., and that you will be helping her. Good luck.
TomeDr
by on Aug. 7, 2016 at 9:26 PM

You have given me a very interesting approach.  I've said many things like this but I'll try (when she's calm) to go over this with her again.  When she's upset, nothing seems to get through.

I appreciate your thoughts.   Thank you. :)

Quoting suzeebloch:

Okay first a disclaimer - I really have no experience with kids with issues similar to this at all.  So, take what i say with a grain or two of salt!

HOWEVER, I did have a colleague once who had HORRIBLE migraine headches.  but she HATED the idea of taking medications to control them. 

I explained to her something along the lines that her brain simply had issues with imbalance of chemicals and therefore the inability to make proper connections resulting in headaches, and the medication being prescribed was to help correct those imbalances, make the proper connections, etc.  Of course I really don't know if that was the case or not but hey, it sure made sense - and she "fell" for it.  :o)

In the case of your daughter, you could probably try making a similar argument.  Explain that the counseling and tutoring, along with medications, is to help "retrain" her brain cells, along with the medications to help correct chemical imbalances. 

But wait there's more - if you break your leg, you are going to need at the very least a cast to help stabilize the fracture to ensure correct healing (i.e., the anxiety medicines).  Obviously, you will then need to undergo routine physical therapy (tutoring) and regular checkups with your doctor (counseling) to ensure everything is healing/working properly.  

Being only 15 years old, she might 'buy' this explanation.  Healing a broken leg takes time and effort.  Treating your daughter's situation is very similar, right?  Maybe using an explanation like the broken leg might help her "see" things in a more logical fashion.  Or, if you know of anyone she knows that maybe had a similar situation, whether broken leg, maybe a heart attack, stroke, whatever - use that so she can compare with what's going on for her.   Just make sure she understands this "isn't her fault" and the medication/tutoring/counseling are all part of the process of "healing" so she can get back to doing things on her own?

I'm just rattling off the top of my head, so again, take it with a grain of salt! 

and I don't know what groups you've been in here at Cafe mom, but in THIS group, very few of the actual members of this group will "flame" you at all.  We're not here to tell YOU that you're doing anything wrong at all! 


TomeDr
by on Aug. 7, 2016 at 9:32 PM

Thank you for your insight.  It's interesting to hearing from your point of view.  Oddly enough, my daughter was a good student in her middle school years - mostly As an Bs with one or two Cs now and again.  She had some anxiety then with panic attacks.  This last year it's been more her grades rather than a social anxiety.  I was surprised to see how upset she was when I talked about school registration.  I think the summer spent at home hasn't been helpful at all but as a single mom, there really isn't much I can do about that.  I encourage her to see her friends but many of them have been away and her dad rarely sees her. 

I'll start by getting her a doctor's appointment for a physical and we'll go from there.  There won't be anyone at the school to talk to for a couple weeks yet but I'll be in touch with the counselor.

Thanks again!

Quoting PinkButterfly66:

This sounds EXACTLY like my daughter.  We got her tutors to come to the house through Tutor Doctor (cannot say enough about how great they were, I found Tutor Doctor online) to help her with math and english in 8th grade and it really helped. Then I finally found a therapist who tested her and we found that she has a processing disorder and the anxiety stems from that.  She needs help with walking through and step by step instructions on new and unfamiliar tasks.  Once she does them enough, she is able to understand the process and can handle everything solo but she might still need someone to be her sounding board or mentor to ask questions about the project.  

After a few years of trying to manage her anxiety with supplements I finally convinced her to try zoloft.  It has made a world of difference and while she keeps saying they don't help, we've seen that it does.  The med didn't change her personality, they didn't stop her from feeling and yes she still can get anxious because it is a normal emotion that everyone feels now and then but the anxiety isn't paralyzing.  

Counselling will help give her techniques to help control the anxiety so the anxiety doesn't control her.   She should definitely give it a try and she shouldn't be turned off from counselling if the first counsellor doesn't seem to be empathetic or helping, she should just look for a different counsellor.  


TomeDr
by on Aug. 7, 2016 at 9:34 PM

Excuse me but what is CBT.  I'm not familiar with that term.

And I'll be making doctor's appointments tomorrow.  I think she understands that she cannot go on the way she is right now.

Quoting Goobergal: My child has anxiety. She does better with CBT. It helps restructure her way of thinking. And in my kids cases, they don't get a choice with counseling. If they have an illness, it's expected they go. Same w mental health. I know kids that don't learn coping skills and they are self destructive messes. As bad as my kids have had it, I have one in college and the other a gifted high schooler. And she fought me about going to online school and refused to go to school. She is now interacting with others and a club officer at school. Some things as I said are non negotiables.


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