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  1. #1
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    Default 6yo DS with recent anxiety and panic

    Hi all
    Just wanting to get some advice and help for my son who has recently over the last week started experiencing anxiety and panic. It all started when he was sick a couple of weeks ago with a virus which caused him to have fever and headaches along with vomiting one of which happened at school in front of friends which he is very embarrassed about. Now he seems to be anxious about having a 'sore tummy' or 'mummy will this make me vomit' and panics and cries that he doesn't feel well and wants the pain to go away! We went to the children's today to rule anything out and he is perfectly healthy! When his mind is not on his woes and fears he is ok and back to his happy go lucky self but slowly the fear creeps up and he starts panicking and worrying again and this leads to anxiety symptoms. I don't know what to do it's been a few days of this and it got so bad last night I had to pick him up from his grandparents house where he was staying while me and the hubby were out. Today he wasn't himself and kept saying he feels scared and has a sore tummy and worried he will vomit and we tried to get his mind of it by offering to take him out for pizza and all his favourite things but he didn't want to go and that is not like him! Please if anyone can give me some reassurance or advice on how to tackle this it would be much appreciated! TIA

  2. #2
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    Had similar with my DD ages 6-7, also after a bout of gastro which she handled pretty well at the time but then started getting pre-bedtime and middle of the night tummy aches/trembling/shallow breathing and distressed then she was going to be sick. When this happened multiple times without her being sick I theorised that it was anxiety/panic attacks. As someone who had a 'just-in-case bucket by my bed from ages 8/9 until almost adult I could sympathise!

    So we had lots of talks. About different types of sore tummies - sick, nervous, indigestion, wind/burps. That sore tummy doesn't always mean vomit but if it does happen yes it is yucky but we just clean it up and you will feel better soon. Discussed strategies for if you really thought you were about to be sick - nearest toilet/basin/bath/shower/outdoors. And if you don't make it that's okay too - we just clean it up. That if it happened at school you wouldn't get in trouble for running out of class to be sick. That she hadn't actually vomited with any of the sore tummies she'd had since the gastro. That if she felt bad at school she could tell her teacher and have a rest in sick bay and they will call me if she really is sick. That it happens to everyone at some time - you can reduce chances of getting sick by washing hands but sometimes it just happens anyway and it's not your fault.

    The talk is also for my benefit - it's about the only thing that gives me anxiety and my kids saying "I have a sore tummy" strikes deep dread in me! The anticipation is worse than when they are actually sick - when it happens I just deal with it but it's the lack of control over it which is what I'd say bothers my DD and your DS too.

    Anyway, after similar talks and reassurance each time she's been anxious with a sore tummy they began to reduce in frequency and she hasn't been distressed about it in ages. Other things to keep in mind 1) some people bounce back from gastro really quickly. Some it can take a lot longer for their tummy to get back in balance and feel normal. 2) worms - my DD did have a case in the midst of the sore tummy anxiety and symptoms did seem to improve with treatment. Could have been placebo effect though.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Thank you so much I really appreciate your feedback! He has been a lot better yesterday only really having 1 major panic attack which he seemed to work through himself.. I'm hoping school today will take his mind off it! I've created a song that I sing to him that's funny and makes him laugh when he's feeling a little worried this seems to help also.. baby steps... I just hate seeing my usually happy boy all sad and worried!!! It breaks my heart!

  4. #4
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    Btw worms can cause anxiety so it does make sense that your daughter improved after treatment! My son did complain of an itchy bum last week so it's interesting I'll keep an eye on it


 

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