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Has anyone medicated their 4 year old for anxiety?


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Old 03-05-2016, 05:51 AM   #1
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Has anyone medicated their 4 year old for anxiety?

As a parent I think I might be running out of options. My daughter is 4 and both my husband and I are seeing increasingly negative behaviors. The brick wall goes up and our child will flat out refuse foods she even likes. Positive reinforcement works some of the time and negative just enhances the anxiety she has experienced since she was even younger. She was a sensitive baby since birth.

I'm not sure how to get through to my child. She is bright, but her speech is delayed. She does speak, however. She has been diagnosed twice with autism. When she was 2 and then again when she was 3. We weren't actually seeking a second opinion, but at that time we were trying to figure out how to help her. It put us in touch with some great doctors. They suggested testing her for fragile x. I didn't think she had it, but we ruled that out.

With my daughter's autism, we're not sure if we should keep trying the natural route (supplementation with natural therapies that have NO side effects) or looking at the pharmaceutical option. When she was 3, she was offered Zoloft. I asked the neurologist if he was receiving kickbacks. I was serious. I didn't want my child to become a statistic of "Prozac Nation".

I, myself, have had epilepsy for 30 years and many of the conventional anti epileptics did not have the efficacy that Clonazepam (a benzodiazapine) has. I've been on the same dose (more or less) for the past 20 years. I took some time off it when I became pregnant and was off it for a while to find out if I still had epilepsy. I do. So anyway, I am aware the class of benzos can be difficult to come off, but am also aware of their relatively few side-effects when compared to some other forms of brain drugs. I'm also wary of anti depressants. A lot of the drug types I mentioned can cause fatigue and contrary to what some thing, the anti depressants can cause depression too. Reading an older post about someone who gave their kid Zoloft, they thought perhaps it caused a switch to occur that might not have and caused a new psychiatric condition. One will never know. But, my concern is if we don't get my child's behavior under control, that she will anxiously cancel herself out of a lot of wonderful things in life and head down a bad path in the future. I say this because my own brother has an undiagnosed issue, which we simply refer to as brain damage at birth. He was a sensitive kid too and made a lot of poor choices. He wasn't naturally as bright as my daughter at the age of 4, but he was sensitive and smart enough to know how to play the game, which eventually got him into serious trouble as an adult. However, he has a benevolent nature due to how he was raised (good heart).

I will admit I am looking at my daughter's behavior and anxiety as a potential precursor to major problems and I'm looking through the lens of some kind of experience, but I acknowledge every individual is just that: an individual. My brother was never medicated. Back then all was available was ritalin for ADHD and my mother wasn't down with that. I can't say I blame her. But I do wonder if something would have been better than nothing. There is no right or wrong answer because individual results may vary and parenting isn't exactly an artform, it feels like a total experiment!

After my long-windedness, can anyone tell me of their experiences? I'd appreciate. I don't want to mess my child up. But behaviours occurring now are likely to stick and get worse. We're going with the positive reinforcement with charts and stars in a final attempt NOT to put her on drugs, but if that fails...I need a back up plan.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:42 PM   #2
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Re: Has anyone medicated their 4 year old for anxiety?

Medication is not the answer. I'm no doctor but my brother has epilepsy and yes, certain medication has stopped his seizures but be he used to distract himself a lot and it worked. He also has anxiety but is generally a lovely person. Anxiety should just run its track because mental health can't be cured with medicine. Treat her like the normal 4 year old she is and make sure she feels that way. Focusing in the problem is not always the answer. Or in my example form using in his epilepsy was never the answer. Think back to your childhood and let her do things you wanted to do or found fun. If she can explore and discover know things then you can't break down that brick wall and be who she is made to be! She may get sad and she may not want to eat but she will eat in her own time once she realises she hungry. Treat her like nothing every happend!

 
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