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mother of 4 04-21-2002 10:49 PM

anxiety and shyness
 
I have a teen-aged daughter who shows some signs of anxiety and shyness..........she speaks in a whisper (sometimes doesn't talk at all), she will talk to teachers (privately) but does not talk to classmates, has to be coaxed through the lunch line, does not participate in class discussions, does not talk to people in public settings, sometimes talks (softly) to herself, sometimes wrings her hands, etc. I know it is challenging for ds kids to develop appropriate ways of handling stressful situations, and they sometimes exhibit odd behaviors when trying to cope. But her communication problems have been going on for a long time and will continue to affect her ability to learn in school and her ability to perform any kind of job. Does anyone have any experience with this? Any experience with interventions or treatment? Possibly anti-anxiety medication? Thanks.

Tifferbelle 04-22-2002 05:58 PM

Hi, I have an 8 year old daughter with DS but she certainly isn't shy. I, however, was nearly paralyzed by shyness as a child. Looking back I realize my shyness was connected to a lack of self-esteem. When I found something I was good at my self-confidence improved and gradually my shyness went away. I continued to have a mild problem with anxiety though. A couple of years ago it got really bad and I started taking Zoloft. I've been taking it ever since and it has made a world of difference. Anxiety can lead to depression which in turn can also give the appearance of shyness. When my anxiety problems got bad I seemed to withdraw from people although it wasn't quite the same as when I suffered from shyness. I hope this helps. Tiffany

mother of 4 04-22-2002 10:28 PM

Tiffany,

Thank you for your helpful reply. It's good to hear about others' experiences with this. You make some interesting points about shyness,anxiety, and depression that I had not thought about before. I am glad that you found something that worked for you. I am going to bring this up with my daughter's doctor during her next visit. I've heard other good things about Zoloft in the past and maybe it is time to give it (or something like it) a try. I'd be interested to know if there are any side effects. One in particular .... weight gain........ is something I have to watch for. My daughter is not overweight at this time, but ds individuals can lean toward putting on extra weight.
Thanks again. Karyn

Tifferbelle 04-23-2002 02:51 PM

The only real side effect I experienced was a little hyperactivity for the first few days I was on Zoloft. I have put on about 5 pounds over the last couple of years but I also have a thyroid problem so it may or may not be a result of the Zoloft. My friend who is also on it claims she has gained weight but she's 5'8" and can't weigh more than 130 lbs. So if there is a problem with weight gain I don't think it's a big one.

mother of 4 04-23-2002 06:23 PM

It doesn't sound like weight gain is too much of a problem, so that's good. If there's any hyperactivity in the beginning, that's not such a bad thing! My daughter could use a little bit of a boost. It would be nice to see her back to her old self.........some time ago she was very animated, very talkative, much more outgoing. I don't know if the hormonal changes in adolescence had anything to do with the change to how she is now, but I am anxious to get her back on track.
Thanks again. Karyn


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