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Old 02-16-2006, 10:49 AM   #1
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yesmetoo HB User
7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

My 7 year old has been having what seem like panic attacks. She also has been having severe head pain (almost migraine-like; we have a family history of migraines) that even wakes her up in the middle of the night (?) and nausea with burping, episodes of trouble breathing (she has a reactive airway anyway), and now is having such fear of going to school or anywhere that she is away from me. She cries most of the time, even in school. She also has severe fatigue and just has no energy to do the things most kids do, including play.
The doctor jumped to a diagnosis of anxiety before he ran any tests. I told him I thought we were supposed to rule out physical possibilities before jumping to a mental health diagnosis and he replied that when the symptoms are blatantly staring you in the face its pretty obvious. However, when he physically examined her he was very surprised to discover that she had swollen glands all the way down the front of her neck and in the back of her neck as well. I told him that there is mono going around in the school right now and in her classroom. I asked the doctor about hypoglycemia and he dismissed me immediately by saying that it is not the problem because it is very rare and really doesn't exist, unless a person has tumors on their pancreas or something. He said anyone can experience low blood sugar if they don't eat. (He mentioned something about having a little more training than me...) She tries to eat and then after a few bites is "full", so she eats often.
He ran tests for anemia, thyroid, and mono as well as a urinalysis and culture. All of these tests have come back normal. For the headaches he told me to give her 650 mg. of Tylenol every 4 hours as needed. (That seems like a lot to me). He also recommended a good therapist for her.
I am not satisfied that there is not some underlying physical cause of her not feeling well, but I have an anxiety disorder (which he doesn't know about) and I wonder if my anxiety is making me overreact(?).
I took her to the chiropractor and she has another appointment today. She is also going to the eye doctor today for an exam. We see the therapist tomorrow.
Her anxiety is worsening by the day.
Does anyone have any ideas? I keep reassuring her that it will get better and that we will find some help so she can feel better, but you know, when someone is panic-stricken no amount of reassurance and "reasoning" works very well.
Hanging in there,
Robin

 
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Old 02-16-2006, 11:21 AM   #2
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Hello Yes:

I have suffered anxiety since I was around your daughter's age. My mother would always have to come and pick me up from school almost everyday, because of all my headaches. That is a MAJOR symptom! I had headaches, dizziness(I use to tell my mother the walls were moving, but that was my way of explaining dizzy back then), a FEAR of being alone or doing things alone. I also had tummy aches too. The best thing to do is find her a great child psychologist, one that she feels very comfortable with. Maybe with great counseling, she will outgrow it. I did, but it came back in high school years, whcih I was older at that point for medication. I hate to see a 7-year old on any medicine, so please try to get her to talk and they will help her deal with her feelings when they happen, as I'm sure you know because you are an anxiety sufferer yourself.

Best of luck to you both!!

Melly

 
Old 02-16-2006, 11:38 AM   #3
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Thank you, Melly,
The woman her doctor recommended is Licensed Social Worker who works with kids. We'll see how that goes tomorrow.
I guess I really had no idea that a 7 year old could have such acute anxiety.
I appreciate your thoughts on this.

 
Old 02-16-2006, 11:39 AM   #4
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Well, it could definitely be anxiety, but I do NOT like your drs. attitude at all, so the first thing I would do is take her to get a second opinion.

 
Old 02-16-2006, 02:01 PM   #5
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

{REMOVED} With that said, being that mitral valve runs in families, I would get tested myself, and have her tested. I had the same problems growing up. I was in cheerleading, and became very uninterested in it because I had the panic disorder that goes along with Mitral valve prolapse syndrome. I also wanted to stay out on days when we had to get up in front of the class etc.
I don't know if this is her problem, but, it is very simple to treat if it is, and can make the world of difference. I was 29 before I was diagnosed. You should ask your dr to let you wear a heart monitor for 24 hours, and have an echiocardiogram to see if you could possibly have it. Neither of these things hurt and are quite simple to do.
The worst part is you can't get the monitor wet so you may just have to take a sponge bath.

I had my son tested at age 3 for mvps because I didn't want him to go through what I did. The test were negative, thank God, but, If he woudl of had it, I would be glad to find out early before he misses out on so much because of fear, which is a secondary symptom caused by the mitral valve prolapse.

I would also get a second opinion from another dr on my daughter. Their are so many other test that can be run other than the ones your dr did. I would think the ones he ran did not pertain to anxiety at all, and I would think about getting a second opinion.

Good luck! let us know about your little girl and God Bless!

Last edited by ms_mod; 02-16-2006 at 02:38 PM. Reason: Inappropriate comment. Ms_Mod

 
Old 02-16-2006, 02:05 PM   #6
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MellyMel
Hello Yes:

I have suffered anxiety since I was around your daughter's age. My mother would always have to come and pick me up from school almost everyday, because of all my headaches. That is a MAJOR symptom! I had headaches, dizziness(I use to tell my mother the walls were moving, but that was my way of explaining dizzy back then), a FEAR of being alone or doing things alone. I also had tummy aches too. The best thing to do is find her a great child psychologist, one that she feels very comfortable with. Maybe with great counseling, she will outgrow it. I did, but it came back in high school years, whcih I was older at that point for medication. I hate to see a 7-year old on any medicine, so please try to get her to talk and they will help her deal with her feelings when they happen, as I'm sure you know because you are an anxiety sufferer yourself.

Best of luck to you both!!

Melly

I hope before you start taking your daughter to counseling, phychologist, etc. you will make sure you guys don't have mitral valve prolapse syndrome.
It could be very upsetting to your daughter if their is a physical abnormalty causing her anxiety and fear, and she is unable to get better from counseling.
Please, believe me, this is VERY COMMON disorder. Some have extreme symptoms, while others barely have any or don't have any. Mine were extreme. Please just check it out.

 
Old 02-16-2006, 05:51 PM   #7
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yesmetoo HB User
Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Thank you mjewell, melly and trittsneighbor..
I will investigate mvps. Although I had all the tests done on my heart several times over the years, including Holter monitor, echocardiogram, EKG's, and stress tests, it didn't show up on any of mine.
My little girl found out today that she is profoundly farsighted, especially in the left eye, but also in the right. The eye doctor said that her muscles in her eyes were so tight he couldn't even do the exam without using special drops to relax the muscles. He said he is 99.9% sure that is cause of her headaches and resulting nausea. He explained that both eyes are working against each other right now, causing eye fatigue. He also recommended I take her back to the ENT/allergist because of the deep dark circles under her eyes, which indicate allergies. I agreed.
Her anxiety may well be all because she knew she didn't feel good, yet no one seemed to be able to help her feel better. Her symptoms are worse at school because she is working her eye muscles more there.
At least the eye doctor was smart enough to say that maybe she has more than one thing going on and didn't dismiss me like the family doctor did.
I'll follow up with whatever I have to to make sure we're on track here.
Thanks to all of you!

 
Old 02-16-2006, 06:23 PM   #8
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Wow! I just went to read understanding mitral valve prolapse syndrome and see that anxiety/panic attacks are one of the symptoms, in addition to all of the other sypmtoms my 7 year old has!
I will be printing out some info for my doctor I think!
I forgot that she has had the tingling in her hands until I read about it.
Wow, thank you trittsneighbor!
V_dubgurl, have you checked into this possiblity for your fainting?

 
Old 02-17-2006, 12:12 PM   #9
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by yesmetoo
Wow! I just went to read understanding mitral valve prolapse syndrome and see that anxiety/panic attacks are one of the symptoms, in addition to all of the other sypmtoms my 7 year old has!
I will be printing out some info for my doctor I think!
I forgot that she has had the tingling in her hands until I read about it.
Wow, thank you trittsneighbor!
V_dubgurl, have you checked into this possiblity for your fainting?

You're very welcome. I hope she don't have it, but, so many people do, that think they are just crazy or suffering panic attacks, when in reality it is the mvps causing it.
Good luck, and let us know the outcome for your little girl!

PS. Most people who have Mitral valve has a certain 'click' doctors can hear when listening to the heart. This might be the reason I was never diagnosed as a child, because I don't have that click. You can still have it and not have the click sound docs can hear with their stethoscope. Best thing is to be persistant with her doctor and just ask them to do an echiocardiogram to be safe. My son had one when he was 3, and they didn't hear the click, but did it anyway, because I have it. But, noone in my family has it, and I do, so it doesn't always run in families!

Last edited by trittsneighbor; 02-17-2006 at 12:16 PM.

 
Old 02-20-2006, 07:07 AM   #10
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Now she doesn't want to go back to school at all. At least not THAT school.
It seems that the school nurse (who is also the guidance counselor with a Ph.D.) has really intimidated her.
The social worker thinks it would be a good idea for my girl to be able to call me, just to talk for a couple minutes and be in the nurse's office for say 10 minutes to regroup and calm down and then go back to class. It has already worked when she was permitted to call me. But since the nurse knows her blood tests are normal she seems to be irritated or disgusted with my daughter's behavior and dismisses her without letting her call me. Also her reading teacher won't let her even leave the classroom to go to the nurse's office.
Days before she is to go back to school she starts with the anxiety. I don't know what to do.
I am very upset with the school right now.

 
Old 02-20-2006, 02:19 PM   #11
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Oh that just makes me sick. Those teachers and workers can be so obnoxious, just because they are teachers. That's what I hate about public schools. {REMOVED} I have a kid in 2nd grade, and his teacher is one of the worse teachers I have ever saw. I am having to grit my teeth to hold on to get him through her class. She uses phrases when they are misbehaving like "If you don't quit, I'll put you all in summer school," etc. Anyway, I'm sorry you are having to go through this with your child. That's what that nurse is their for, and if she don't like her job and her duty, she shouldn't be a nurse for children. If it were me, I would just go demand that she let my child do this, and, if that doesn't work, I would contact the principal and talk to him about the teacher and the nurse. Of course, he's probably on their side, but, you still need to make sure. After that, I would check with an attorney to find out what you can do about this. Or contact the superintendent and talk to them about it. It sounds to me like your school just doesn't want to deal with this issue.

Last edited by ms_mod; 02-20-2006 at 02:52 PM. Reason: Inappropriate comment. Ms_Mod

 
Old 02-21-2006, 05:36 AM   #12
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

I am going to call the school this morning and talk to the principal. She is very fair from what I've heard, but does indeed support "her" staff. The nurse/guidance counselor has been doing this for 20 years. Maybe she's just burned out.
The school needs to know what we've found out medically and that we're working very hard to come to terms with whatever is wrong!
I started a new thread this morning about my daughter expressing her feelings of not wanting to be alive as a result of this.
My anxiety level is way up. I hate the thoughts of talking again to the school and having them patronize me one more time. But I will do it because I am my daughter's only advocate right now. She deserves better than this.
Taking care of her is my primary objective.

 
Old 02-22-2006, 06:00 AM   #13
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Every so often my 6 year old daughter shows signs of anxiety, this is normally caused by something, and school was a first trigger, she is slowly settling down but this isnt helped by my own anxiety which she sees, what i try to do is when she seems depressed i try to focus on doing positive things with her, which she enjoys, i like her to go to bed happy. I hope you get things sorted with the school, and if your ot happy with there attitudde you dont havce to send her back ( I never) its horrible to see a baby go through this. I hope the Drs sort themselves out, but at least it seems your getting somewhere
Good luck

Last edited by layla=; 02-22-2006 at 06:06 AM.

 
Old 02-24-2006, 05:42 AM   #14
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Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Good advice Layla!
She is still participating in gymnastics on Saturdays and going to Sunday School on Sundays which are two things she really enjoys. It is school that is her biggest obstacle because of their lack of taking her seriously right now.
She still draws and plays quietly but has eliminated (on her own) anything strenuous that seems to set off these hot flashes and then her anxiety/panic.
She comes to me and my husband very often for hugs and I know this is her way of reaching out for reassurance. We give her as many hugs as she needs and verbally reassure her, too.
Thanks.

 
Old 03-08-2006, 09:18 AM   #15
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yesmetoo HB User
Re: 7 Year Old with Anxiety? Help!

Looks like we may finally be getting somewhere. After lots of bloodwork and a Ct scan and some wrong lab interpretations we finally found out that my daughter is one of two children in the entire Northeastern US with a disorder which is being called "autonomic instability".
The autonomic nervoussystem is what governs our breathing and heartrate and body temperature, etc. Well, apparently, in this disorder the brain's wiring is malfunctioning. Breathing , heartrate and body temperature can change in a split second for no known reason. No wonder this child goes into a state of panic!! Her anxiety levels can escalate in a matter of a minute or so. We have to wait to get in to see an expert in Neurology in Pittsburgh.
My daughter's pediatrician has been in contact with the other expert pediatrician in Pittsburgh who has the second child as a patient in his practice. My daughter's doctor told us to hang on for a wild ride. So far it has been just that.
Just for your information: When my daughter had her urine tested for electolytes, the initial test came back indicating an adrenaline metabolite. This led the doctor to suspect an adrenal gland tumor (either benign or malignant). So she ordered a CT scan f her chest, abdomen, and pelvis. No tumor. The doctor thought then that it might be very small and we might need an MRI. The lab then called and said they had miscalculated her results and when they recalculated based on her height and weight they were within normal range.
Just so you know: Adrenal gland tumors, whether benign or malignant,can trigger the fight or flight response and anxiety/ panic attacks when they dump adrenaline into person's body.

I hope this helps somebody else because it sure has been crazy here!
Thanks for listening and all your help!

 
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