I have a 15 yr old daughter with anxiety and social phobia.

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She only goes into school about 3 days a week due to her anxiety. She has a targeted youth support worker and she sees CAMHS once every 2 weeks. Nothing seems to be helping her. School are trying to help but it's not working.they are worried about her attendance more I think because it affects their overall attendance figures.i have asked them about flexi schooling but after 2 weeks they haven't replied to my letters and I have emailed them to remind them I haven't heard from them.everything looks bleak at the moment and it's starting to take its toll on me too .any advice from anyone please 

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  • Posted

    It sounds like your doing all you can, is any other therapy available? It could be the therapy being offered perhaps needs to be changed? I know CBT is often used first, and for some it works - I found it totally pointless. Maybe a discussion with therapy to talk about other forms of therapy?
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    • Posted

      They have started doing CBT. But I feel only seeing her for an hour once a fortnight doesn't help.that and my daughter hates talking about it with people, though she does talk to the lady when she's there.unfortunaly mental health doesn't get the funding that's needed and everyone with mental health issues suffers. Camhs are overworked and underfunded. Though I will mention to them about different therapies.
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    • Posted

      CBT really is always the first port of call for many, it simply isn't always effective, or may not suit an individual. Other types of therapy may work a lot better, I know that was the case for me, I'll never endorse CBT, for me it doesn't resolve anything, it just encourages avoidance
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  • Posted

    Are there any special arrangements that the school can make to help your daughter? For example, I was able to sit by the door in lessons so that I could step out if necessary. CBT seems like a good idea, and it's really useful. Have a look at 'positive steps' on the Internet, and that'll give you a list of anxiety networks near you. They provide CBT and counselling in one-to-one and group sessions and there are lots of extra materials/links on the website which are pretty useful! I've also heard that hypnotherapy is good, but I've not tried this myself. 

    I hope you get this sorted soon! 

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    • Posted

      Hi amy. My problem is getting her into school. She has got so behind with coursework for art and science that when she has these lessons she gets so worked up, crying, breathing problems feeling sick etc that she can't go in. I know not going in May help her anxiety for that moment but doesn't help her as she just gets further behind. The school did offer support but that support is only available when she's in school so if I can't get her in then it all just gets so much worse. What's not helping is I asked the school about if she could flexi school.which would mean her dropping a few lessons but could relieve some of her anxiety. Despite me repeatly contacting the school they still haven't replied to my request.the past 2 weeks the school decided rather than do work experience they would spend 2 weeks doing coursework for certain subjects, this has meant my daughter couldn't go in last week when it was a whole day of science and this week she had art on Monday which she wouldn't go in for, science all say Tuesday which she wouldn't go in for and we just found out they have changed Fridays all day lesson from DT to science so I know she won't go in Friday. So that's 3 days she will miss this week.im getting so depressed about all of this.i want what's best for my daughter and am fighting all the way for her and will continue to but it's taking it's toll on me now. And the school are making it worse by ignoring my emails. 
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    • Posted

      I used to be like this at school (only for a couple of months after I had symptoms of coeliac disease with no diagnosis. After I was diagnosed I had no gut problems and felt less anxious about going into school as I knew what had caused my gut illness) so I can empathise with her. It's a shame that the school is being unhelpful, I guess that perhaps they don't know what to suggest. 

      I think perhaps trying exposure therapy (part of CBT) may help in the long term. I.e of you were scared of going to the shop, they would say drive half way, then come home, then the next time, drive to the shop, but do not get out of the car. And this builds you up to getting to the shop.

      What helped me with my anxiety at school was going to my local library. I was very anxious still obviously, but I would go every day, but when I felt most relaxed to do some school work. At least your daughter would be going out to study, but in a less regimented way than school. No start time, end time, a lot less people there, quieter, able to leave when feeling overwhelmed etc.. I know it seems very daunting and a round about way, but it might build her up to staying at the library slightly longer, and maybe eventually going to school a bit more.

      Are her friends able to visit her at home? I became quite isolated at the time, but having a friend visit me helped me with my social interactions and anxiety. You seem a lot more understanding than my parents though! 

      You can get 'books on prescription' a new scheme at libraries that are generally self help books that talk you through certain therapies and other techniques, and give you work sheets to fill out, showing your progress. I found that CBT was useful but I had a hard time getting there as I was too scared to leave the house! Filling out the worksheets with my progress and activities everyday was quite satisfying- documenting it made me feel like I had achieved something and I was making progress! If you google www.ntw.nhs.uk/pic (or look on the nhs website) you'll get a guide giving you info on panic attacks, coping techniques, and work sheets where you can list your symptoms, feelings, and a structured plan to help with anxiety though CBT/exposure therapy. 

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  • Posted

     There's an expression. "A mother is only as happy as her unhappiest child."...and it's so true. You do sound very pro-active, Mum. Your daughter has special needs and you are her best advocate. Never give up or back down. A firm and determined attitude is key. And even in the face of oppositing, forge ahead.

    School boards need to adapt to the needs of kids like your daughter so that she reaches her full potential. They are required to establish a 'care plan'. to best meet her requirements so that she receives an education...taking her special needs into consideration. http://www.nhs.uk/CarersDirect/guide/assessments/Pages/Careplansforchildren.aspx

    I hope this helps. And I wish your daughter the best. Make sure she studies every day when she is home. Staying home from school doesn't mean watching TV or playing and chatting on the computer. If she were my child there would be no TV during the day and definitely no computer unless it was for doing math exercises. She would be at the gym, in the pool, going for walks every morning etc..physicall activity on a daily basis being a huge stress buster. And I would take her to the library to choose books that she must read. (or no TV in the evening) I would give her nutritious foods only...banishing junk from the house altogether. 6 - 10 servings of fruit and veggies per day. If she cannot be at school, basically i would turn home into school. There would be no slacking off at home. She can do housework as well and learn how to make meals. She needs an education and even if you are having her learn about Shakespeare's life or do grammar exercises on line, she should be learning. All this taking her condition into consideration. Be careful about manipulation...she is a teenager after all...

    Is she on meds to help with the social anxiety? Does she go to a clinic that helps her learn strategies for coping with S.A.?

     Good luck, Fiona!

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    • Posted

      Hi robin. She's not on meds for her sa. She suffers with migraines so she's on meds for that and now the GP has put her on beta blockers for her migraines.which worries me a bit as she's only 15. CAMHS are only doing CBT with her. My daughter thinks nothing is helping .she is going to start going once a week for 6 weeks to an hour sessions run by a mental health nurse and a counseller. It's a small group of people all with the same problems. Though my daughter hates talking with people about her issues.so not sure if this is going to work .her targeted support worker is going to take her to a drama club once a week for 2 hours and stay with her ,my daughter loves drama but again it's a social event with people she doesn't know so not sure how she will cope with that either. I'm doing all I can and trying so hard to be strong but honestly it's wearing me down and the school ignoring my requests for flexi schooling is really not helping..
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    • Posted

      Hi,Fiona,

      Sorry to hear of your daughter it must be hard,I am sure you are doing the best you can and every mother brings their child up as best she can and not what others do,Just one thought if you are not getting the support from the school have you tried to talk to the school go enters or even an MP don't know if you are in the U.K for MPs and while diet is essential it's not the case here that will do nothing you need physical help and support

      Do hope you have some success.

      Keep us informed on here

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    • Posted

      Hi Joan.yes I am in the uk. Her school is an academy so it's the governors I will need to talk to.ive emailed her head of year one more time to try and get a response if I haven't heard by tomorrow night I will contact the governors. 

      It does feel like I'm banging my head against a brick wall sometimes. I swear the school think I should drag her to school.but at 15 that's impossible and completely the wrong way of dealing with a child with these problems.

      thank you for your support.

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    • Posted

      Keep on don't give up,yes the wrong way I agree she will just rebell I know it must be frustrating,you will get there with the right backing ,if that fails will your GP or somebody medical back you.Use anybody who has some push to help you.

      I am here if ever you want to off load ?

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    • Posted

      Amy had an excellent suggestion. Desensitization. You drive half way to the place where she will do theatre. Then the next day, all the way there. Then the next time, into the building...etc...getting closer and closer. When she starts drama, maybe she will stay only 5 minutes...and go home. Then the next time 10 etc.. She should not feel obliged to stay there. If 5 minutes for example, is too much on the first day, scale back.  She can do it and she'll get there, putting one foot in front of the other. 

      I suggest she take magnesium supplements. Read up on it and have her read up on it as well. And check my recent post: https://patient.info/forums/discuss/magnesium-deficiency-cause-of-depression-anxiety-s-a--258921  Good luck!

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