16 answers

Help with My Daughter's Anxiety...

Hi Mom's I have a question about my daughter, she is 9 and she has this issue that has been going on since just before I had my son who is almost 5. A little history, I had her in a 2y/o class, 3y/o class and then in 4's she was fine no problems up until just before I had my baby, then she started crying about school every day. It got better and she was fine again, then about half way through k it started again, then again in 1st, her excuse is always that either her belly hurts and she thinks she is going to throw up or that she misses me and the school day is too long. In 2nd grade I found out a boy was poking her in her privates we immediately took care of that situation and she was fine again until 3rd grade when a boy was telling her he wanted to be her boyfriend and trying to hug her. We took care of that one too and she seemed okay for the rest of the year, this year in 4th she is doing it again, I have tried to find out if it has something to do with another boy but she says no. She freaked out because someone threw up in class, she starts shaking and crying whenever someone is sick and says that she is scared she will get sick and throw up too, she hates throwing up and has a fear that she will catch whatever they have. I think that is what started it this year again, I'm at my wits end with her I don't know what to do, I've tried teaching her calming techniques and positive programming mints for her upset belly, writing I've tried everything I can think of. I had issues when I was little, I thought that my parents were going to die in a car accident so I would chase them down the street and get butterflies everytime they left me at school and it would make me feel sick I would cry and have to be pushed into the school everyday until I was in 5th grade. Then I guess I just grew out of it, I still worry about my parents but I have learned to tell myself that everything is okay. My daughter is getting so bad that it is affecting her eating habits, she barely eats and when she does she says it makes her belly hurt like she is going to throw up. On days off of school she is fine, even after school until after dinner she is fine and will play w/ friends. No tears no complaints until she is in for the night and has to get ready for bed. Sorry this is so long but I wanted you to know all the facts. What can I do? I'm ready to take her to see a therapist, which she did do in 2nd grade at school. It helped a little I guess, but then just turned into a time to get out of class. Maybe it is because she has lost a lot of friends through the years due to the economy and divorces. Advice please....I'm keeping her home from school today because she woke me up at 5A.M saying that she couldn't sleep because she was having nightmares that people were stuck to our celling throwing up on her and then our family got sick. Whew!!! :( BTW she is very popular in school and gets straight A's and has had a girl come up to her and say she is popular and ask if she is her friend. She is not being picked on or ridiculed.

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What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Have you considered homeschooling her for a year or two until she learns to deal with her anxiety a little better? I understand homeschooling can be a huge commitment and isn't for everyone, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.


More Answers

I too recommend finding a child psychologist for your daughter to go see. Obviously she is struggling with anxiety issues and helping to get to the root of some of those will benefit her for the rest of her life. There are also some books out there that might help like :

Freeing Your Child From Anxiety
Tamar E. Chansky,Ph.D.
Price: $14.00

Exploring Feelings: Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to Manage Anxiety
Dr. Tony Attwood
Price: $19.95

Overcoming School Anxiety
How to Help Your Child Deal with Separation, Tests, Homework, Bullies, Math Phobia, and Other Worries
Diane Peters Mayer
Price: $16.00

I Bet..I Won`t Fret!
A Workbook That Helps Kids Beat the Worries
Stress and Anxiety
Timothy A. Sisemore
Paperback, 137 pp.

all these can be found at http://www.selfesteemshop.com which is located in Royal Oak but they also have an online store.

Hope that helps! I'll add your daughter to my prayer list!

1 mom found this helpful

Therapy is fun. Look around and see if there is a Catholic service program or psychology department in a college, unless u have your own private ones u like. You and she could benefit from a Friday night in a hotel together and shopping the next day. I'm not sure if the two of u r having enough fun together. 1 fun activity a day would be great.

I wanted you to know you are not alone. My 6 year old also has a HUGE fear of throwing up, which she has always called the "spit sicks". Hates it, and if she even gets a sore throat or thinks she is going to throw up, she gets so upset with crying and shaking. So upset that she then throws up just becuase she is upset. I have taught her calming and breathing techniques. They help, but usually only after an incident. She is learning that the more upset she gets, she is bringing on the throwing up, so she tries to calm herself down. She will not be around anyone, including me, husband, or little sister when whe even have a slight cough. She has never had a sever illness or been hospitalized so I have no idea where she came up with this fear of being sick. With the current flu craze going on, I am very careful of what she hears, on TV news or at school because it will only make her fears worse.
You are lucky if she is still very social. Do you think she is telling you the truth about her popularity, or is she smart enough to say it to calm your fears? Just a question. My daughter is extremely shy, has lots of friends but even at her own group parties, sticks to one playmate at a time. She has always done this.
Sorry I don't have any anwsers or miracle cure, but know you are not alone. Keep asking her questions, being her advocate, and calming her fears and hopefully she will grow out of it as you did.
Good Luck! S.

I'm so sorry she is having such a hard time. My 15 year old started having stomach problems in highschool. At first I noticed she kept running to the bathroom in the middle of meals. Then I saw her kind of bend over alot. When I asked her she always said her stomach hurt. She started to eat less and lose weight. Stress definitely made it worse or brought it on. I felt terrible a couple of months ago because I didn't take her seriously when she told me it had gotten worse and found out she had a serious bacterial infection that required hospitalization and an ovarian cyst that was causing some of the pain. After 4 days in the hospital on antibiotics and hormones to shrink the cyst she is much better but will always be susceptible to stomach pain, particularly brought on by nerves. So we have her on an acid reducer which has helped a lot. I don't want to scare you because it could just be nerves but it would be worth a visit to a pediatric GI doctor to be sure.

I had a similar fear when I was young. I was so afraid of people throwing up that I didn't want to go to school. In second grade I actually snuck away from the bus stop with a plan to hang out in the woods all day (we lived in northern Michigan). My mom saw me and went and got me. I also freaked out when a kid threw up in class - I still remember it! It was in first grade.

I saw the school psychologist and played games. I never did tell her about my fear.

As an adult I continued to be very afraid - didn't want to go on a plane because someone near me might get motion sick and throw up, etc., etc..

Through counselling and EMDR (a de-sensitization process) we found that it stemmed from an incident when I was 2 years old. I had been home alone with my dad at night. He got the flu and threw up really loud. I was able to reprogram my memory, basically, so that my fear is WAAAAAAY less!

So, it may not be anxiety - it may be a phobia. It does sound like it all stems around the one fear vs. a general unease about everything.

I don't know whether they can do EMDR on someone her age but you can check. Do a google search to read about it and find a counsellor or psychologist who is certified in it.

Good luck!

Hi, you are a great mom. It sounds like my daughter who we found out had 2 things, #1 worms she was totally full all the time, she was afraid all the time and got worse around a full moon. (when the eggs hatch)We used Dr. Natura products for kids. #2 She was severely B vitamin deficient( the worms get most of the food and messes up your chemistry many ADD kids are miss diagnosed). Our Naturopath Dr. Tent gave her a huge amount of B's for 2 weeks, like filing up a gas tank, then I give her extra b's with her vitamins. She is in 5th grade and does great. Good luck

It's like you were talking about me when I was a kid! I was a highly anxious kid, getting physically ill before school or going out in public in general. I think talking to her pediatrician or a therapist would be a great idea. That way she can learn how to deal with her anxiety and be happier when she does go to school. I never had that opportunity when I was younger, I honestly just think my parents thought I was weird, or that it was just a phase, and didn't know what to do with me!
I was told when I was 19 after having heart palpitations and blacking out that I had anxiety, but my doctor (If you can even call her that) at the time offered me nothing to help me. She just gave it a name. Then, a few years ago I went to a new doctor and she did diagnose me with anxiety and explained that in most cases anxiety and depression go hand in hand, that a person dealing with anxiety is a combination of the two, and that a person with depression usually has some form of anxiety, too. She did prescribe me Paxil (took a small dose for about 10 months). I was really apprehensive about taking a pill, but she explained that depression/anxiety kind of come in waves. You may not always feel bad, but when you aren't feeling yourself medication can help, and that in some cases if you don't treat it, then future episodes can be worse (longer lasting or affect your life more) that the previous ones if you just ignore it. Like hills and valleys. I believe that because I honestly think I suffered from it from the time I was a kid. I also had a few things happen to me that I think triggered the anxiety, which then lead to depression. One of the signs of depression is a change in eating habits. I think for your daughters sake, and for your peace of mind, too, you should talk to her doc to see what he/she thinks and maybe they can refer you to a therapist who is good with kids.
Best wishes! I hope your daughter feels better soon!

(sorry this got to be so long!)

Take this child to a psychologist - maybe therapy will help her.. she may need medications to help her. My duaghter is very anxious at 3 and I worry that your reality may be my future.

She is not faking thiese things they are real. she has probably been labeled by the kids at school as the victim so all the kids know she is weak and if they pick on her she will react. So every year there will be kids that pick on her. Even popular kids can be picked on by the unpopular kids. or it could be that her perception is that she isbeing picked on and the reality is notlike that at all. I know of a child that if he gets bumped by a child at school he thinks he has suffered a serious injury and acts out like he is in great pain. This child is on medication for his issues..

I dont know if it is possible but maybe there is a smaller charter or private shcool that might be a better fit for her personality..

She needs to see a child psychologist, and possible a child psychiatrist ASAP.

My 7yr old has extreme anxiety...his stems from Aspergers syndrome (not that your daughter has that :-D just explaining where my son's comes from) we had to put him an an anti-anxiety medication in January of this year (at the age of 6) because the anxiety was preventing him from participating in class, he had to be physically removed from the classroom a few times because he was freaking out. Now that he is on the anti-anxiety medication he is functioning much better in school and at home. He can still become paralyzed with fear/anxiety but instead of taking hours or days to work through it he only needs a few minutes to calm himself down.

Oh and he too is extremely bright...he's a 2nd grader reading at a 4th grade level and doing 3rd grade math.

Wow. Sounds like your baby is carrying some pretty big baggage around with her. Her stomach probably does hurt. Stress will do that. I think you should seek professional help for her. While she probably will grow out of it, what if she doesn't? The time is now, I think. Just my two cents. Hang in there.

PS: If she needs digestive support, I can help.


If I was in your situation I would take her to a therapist. Try to get appointments after school. This sounds like a really hard situation to live with. How are you and her Father handling this? Remember to take care of yourself too!
Blessings, K.

Have you considered taking her to a pyschologist or pyschiatrist? Sounds like she has GAD or Generalized Anxiety Disorder. It sounds like you have tried everything and the next step would be professional help at this point. I am pretty sure you could find one that she could go to after school, since I think they are at least available until 5pm. It also seems as though you struggled with the same symptoms and still do...in this case she either learned it from you or, like some disorders, it was inherited. Maybe you should both get help to overcome all these irrational fears. Good luck :)

Does your daughter want to see a therapist? If she's all for it, then I would take her again. She definetly sounds like she has anxiety issues. Does she relize how much YOU worry about things? Our children pick up on everything even if you don't know that she notices. Why is she so scared of throwing up? I mean nobody likes it, but ask her why and then explain that away....because it's gross-we can clean it up, because it hurts-it gets rid of the bad germs,etc. Does she like to play outside, get dirty, go hiking? I would immerse her in nature and animals. Dealing with the real natural world can eliminate some phobias of her world and some of her anxiety. Let her play in the mud, pet a dirty dog. By you letting her stay home from school, you are just reinforcing her behavior and beliefs. Why let her stay home? Did something bad actually happen to her? She thinks so, I know, but by you playing into it, you will make her think that these feelings are correct and they are not. When my kids, 5 and 7, have bad dreams I comfort and console them, then that's it, it was just a dream. If you make room for this behavior, it will continue. My 5 yr old girl had a dream the other night that she heard music that told her to pull her eyes out! Come to find out it was from a silly Halloween mask she had seen. Kids have wild imaginations and it is our job to put them in perpective for them.

call your ped and ask them about giving her valerian root. its a supplement you can get at gnc or even meijer. its used for anxiety and sleeping issues.

Hi K.,

First off, you need to relax and give off a sense of what is bothering her is not really that bad. If you get worked up about it she will sense it and feed into it. She probably got this from you unfortunately. We have a family history of anxiety and depression and I've seen it go from generation to generation for at least 4 generations now. It's nothing to be ashamed of or beat yourself up over. That's just how it works. I would suggest you get her into therapy OUTSIDE of school so she isn't missing any class time. She may need to be on some anti-anxiety medication for awhile till she learns to cope. If you let this go too long then eventually she will work herself up for so long that she will have actual physical issues stemming from it (maybe ulcers, ibs, migrane headaches, etc.). Aggressively take care if it now and she will benifit in the long run. You'll benifit, too, knowing you are doing everything you can to help her. All three of my boys and I are on meds for anxiety and depression, so is my sis and my Mom was when she was alive, too.

Good luck - This will get better -


Have you considered homeschooling her for a year or two until she learns to deal with her anxiety a little better? I understand homeschooling can be a huge commitment and isn't for everyone, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.


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