Anxiety and Depression in Young Children: How to Treat?

Posted by grandmaR @grandmar, Wed, Jul 3 6:14pm

I have a beautiful, smart, funny and creative granddaughter who is 8 years old. From early on, we realized that something was not quite right.

My daughter took her daughter for therapy. Once therapist actually asked her not to come back because my granddaughter would not cooperate. She finally did find someone and she continues to work with her. There is no doubt that my granddaughter likes to do her own thing, in her own time, in her own way, as well as being the ‘boss’.

My daughter has been concerned that her daughter might have anxiety and depression. She is an only child so she is right out there! To my surprise and pride, she made an appointment to my granddaughter to get evaluated. I have an (adopted) nephew who showed many of the same symptoms as a young boy. His mother was told that she should have him evaluated, but she didn’t. By the time he became a teen, his behaviors escalated and has been hospitalized a couple of times. He is now in his mid-20s and lives at home, cannot work a full time job and suffers from severe anxiety. In addition, he is on the spectrum. Seeing all this play out has worried my daughter into action.

This week was the first appointment with the psychiatrist. She isn’t putting it down officially yet, but she thinks my granddaughter suffers from anxiety and depression. You should know that my father, me, my son, my daughter and her husband (the father), all suffer from anxiety and depression. Given the strong family history, the doctor suggest that medication, along with therapy would be beneficial. The suggested med is Zoloft.

I’ve done my research and everything she is recommending sounds right. Here is my concern regarding medication…as I stated, she is VERY smart, creative and funny. I worry she will lose these fantastic traits. I am a former educator who has seen children on meds for ADD, ADHD, on the spectrum along with anxiety and/or depression. Many of these children become bland.

Does anyone have experience with this medication? If so, have you seen changes in the child?

Thank you,
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

Liked by johnhans

@grandmar I believe the question here is does the child want to be depressed and anxious or to be more even in disposition. Of course the doctor prescribing the medication will take this into consideration.

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@grandmar, I can see this is worrisome. We always want to do things right, especially for children. Like @johnhans, I think it is important to ask the physician about the goals of treatment. Medication doesn't have to be forever, but it might be a way to get to the goal. I would also ask about how long the anticipated use of medication might be? What is withdrawal like? How does one know if it is the right time to discontinue, etc.

You might want to listen to these Video Q&As with Mayo experts Dr. Angela Mattke, pediatrician, Dr. Rachel Lynch and Dr. Jarrod Leffler, child and adolescent psychologist. They discuss treatments. This might help formulate the questions to ask.
– Video Q&A about Recognizing and Treating Depression in Children and Teens https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/video-qa-about-recognizing-and-treating-depression-in-children-and-teens/
– #AsktheMayoMom about Anxiety and Depression in Children https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/may-18-2017-askthemayomom-about-anxiety-and-depression-in-children/

Liked by johnhans, grandmaR

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@colleenyoung

@grandmar, I can see this is worrisome. We always want to do things right, especially for children. Like @johnhans, I think it is important to ask the physician about the goals of treatment. Medication doesn't have to be forever, but it might be a way to get to the goal. I would also ask about how long the anticipated use of medication might be? What is withdrawal like? How does one know if it is the right time to discontinue, etc.

You might want to listen to these Video Q&As with Mayo experts Dr. Angela Mattke, pediatrician, Dr. Rachel Lynch and Dr. Jarrod Leffler, child and adolescent psychologist. They discuss treatments. This might help formulate the questions to ask.
– Video Q&A about Recognizing and Treating Depression in Children and Teens https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/video-qa-about-recognizing-and-treating-depression-in-children-and-teens/
– #AsktheMayoMom about Anxiety and Depression in Children https://connect.mayoclinic.org/webinar/may-18-2017-askthemayomom-about-anxiety-and-depression-in-children/

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Good morning and thank you very much!
I will watch these videos!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

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My daughter is an only child but she's never alone – not since cell phones were invented ! I've heard many complaints about cell phones but they are wonderful for 'only' children. My daughter is also very bright, but she started having some problems at age 9. I had her evaluated, she's a genius with ADD, they prescribed Adderall – her academic problems vanished overnight. She also has a cluster of odd behaviors, including defiance, that are being called "borderline personality disorder" by psychiatrists who are trying to help them. It is written that girls tend to grow out of it in their 30's. I hope so as there is no medicine for that. She is succeeding in her career any way and she married a very nice boy who is crazy about her and doesn't compete with her. It will be interesting to read the replies to your post and get an over-view of the traits that we possibly pass on to our descendants. Peggy

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@pfbacon

My daughter is an only child but she's never alone – not since cell phones were invented ! I've heard many complaints about cell phones but they are wonderful for 'only' children. My daughter is also very bright, but she started having some problems at age 9. I had her evaluated, she's a genius with ADD, they prescribed Adderall – her academic problems vanished overnight. She also has a cluster of odd behaviors, including defiance, that are being called "borderline personality disorder" by psychiatrists who are trying to help them. It is written that girls tend to grow out of it in their 30's. I hope so as there is no medicine for that. She is succeeding in her career any way and she married a very nice boy who is crazy about her and doesn't compete with her. It will be interesting to read the replies to your post and get an over-view of the traits that we possibly pass on to our descendants. Peggy

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@pfbacon
Good morning,
Thank you very much for your reply. It is great to see how wonderful your daughter is doing both in her personal and professional life!
My daughter (the mother), also had behavior issues when she was a child. When my son was born, she would hug and kiss him, but would also try to 'hurt' him. She'd do things like push him when he was a baby or throw things at him. She was 3. She also became defiant towards me, but not so much towards her dad. It's been over 40 years so I can't remember everything she did. Guess I blocked it out. Anyway, I quickly took her to see a doctor because I was afraid she'd really hurt the baby.

Long story short. She was in and out of therapy for years and years while living with me. She also had some issues early in her marriage and she went to therapy for that. She does suffer from mild depression but she has grown into a fantastic, caring adult. She is a social worker and her passion was working in the field of hospice. Although she no longer works in that field of hospice, a social worker by definition helps others. She has found her way. Right now, she needs help parenting.

We had our granddaughter yesterday. We in the car and had the following conversation.
S: Grandma, have I been good today?
Me: You have been wonderful!
S: I haven't been bad?
Me: No, you are never bad. Sometimes you just make the wrong decisions.
S: I'm always good with you and Grandpa!
Me: Who do you think you are 'bad' with?
S: Mommy and Daddy.
Me: Why?
S: No answer.

Funny, I could have had the same conversation 40 years ago with her mother! LOL!
What is the saying?
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

Have a great weekend!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

Liked by thankful, pfbacon

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Hello! My son showed symptoms of severe anxiety from a young age. Untreated anxiety can lead to depression, and that happened. We tried therapy before we went on to Prozac about a year-and-a-half ago now. He is 10 now. I had many of the same concerns, he is also an only child and extremely bright and outgoing. I'm happy to say in our case, medication that allowed him to manage his anxiety and depression better allowed the better parts of his personality to come out much more. The medication has helped a lot. It has not been a complete cure. Therapy has been challenging for us because my son's anxiety is related to his Tourette Syndrome, a neurological problem. We've had extreme success with Tourette Syndrome therapy that was specific to neurological disorders, but that's a framework that is more temporary in nature and not an ongoing thing, it does not involve things like talk therapy, but learning how to advocate for oneself and make alternative words and gestures than tics. Before we got the proper Tourette Syndrome diagnosis, we also had a therapist tell us not to come back because he was too challenging to work with. Sometimes I wish I could find him a therapist that combined neurological and mental health stuff but that is really hard to find. Good luck and it sounds like you guys are on the right course!

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@indreni77

Hello! My son showed symptoms of severe anxiety from a young age. Untreated anxiety can lead to depression, and that happened. We tried therapy before we went on to Prozac about a year-and-a-half ago now. He is 10 now. I had many of the same concerns, he is also an only child and extremely bright and outgoing. I'm happy to say in our case, medication that allowed him to manage his anxiety and depression better allowed the better parts of his personality to come out much more. The medication has helped a lot. It has not been a complete cure. Therapy has been challenging for us because my son's anxiety is related to his Tourette Syndrome, a neurological problem. We've had extreme success with Tourette Syndrome therapy that was specific to neurological disorders, but that's a framework that is more temporary in nature and not an ongoing thing, it does not involve things like talk therapy, but learning how to advocate for oneself and make alternative words and gestures than tics. Before we got the proper Tourette Syndrome diagnosis, we also had a therapist tell us not to come back because he was too challenging to work with. Sometimes I wish I could find him a therapist that combined neurological and mental health stuff but that is really hard to find. Good luck and it sounds like you guys are on the right course!

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@indreni77
Good Morning!
Thank you for sharing. It is comforting to know that there is good help out there for young children.
Your son sounds very much like my granddaughter.
My daughter is also looking into the possibility of Tourette Syndrome.
I have noticed my grand has tics, "stretches" her eyes (as she puts it) and lots of what sounds like throat clearing.
The psychiatrist does not know if it might be part of the anxiety?

Have a terrific Monday!
Ronnie (GRANDMAr)

Liked by indreni77

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It could be, because anxiety is comorbid with a Tourette Syndrome diagnosis. If your daughter can record your granddaughter doing some of those repetitive things, probably best without your granddaughter knowing it, it can be very helpful in diagnosing Tourette syndrome. A Pediatric neurologist can often diagnose Tourette Syndrome very quickly whereas psychiatrists and psychologists and other areas of medical professions usually are not skilled in diagnosing it.

Liked by grandmaR

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@indreni77

It could be, because anxiety is comorbid with a Tourette Syndrome diagnosis. If your daughter can record your granddaughter doing some of those repetitive things, probably best without your granddaughter knowing it, it can be very helpful in diagnosing Tourette syndrome. A Pediatric neurologist can often diagnose Tourette Syndrome very quickly whereas psychiatrists and psychologists and other areas of medical professions usually are not skilled in diagnosing it.

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@indreni77
Hello Again!
Thanks for the suggestion.
That is exactly what I did.
We were on vaca with her and I video taped her while we were out.
I sent it to my daughter and she did show it to the psychiatrist.
My daughter hadn't seen the motions before and still had a difficult time seeing the tics.
I ADORE my grand and I sometimes worry I am over-stepping.
I know my daughter feels inadequate when I point things out and she hadn't seen what I have.
I try to reassure her that as a mother, grandmother and former educator, Child Study Team Supervisor (testing unit for possible special ed services) and 504 Coordinator (not special ed, creating a plan to help child access curriculum) I've been exposed to so many children with a variety of issues.
These experiences have made me very sensitive to differences in children.
Anyway, thanks again!
Ronnie

Liked by indreni77

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Hello! padesco of anxiety and depressions since my 26 years, it is a very difficult situation to try to control the mind. Since 2006 I see the same psychiatrist and she is very good, I live in PR, at the moment these are directed to use medical Cannabis with medical supervision, since I can not take it anymore that my anxiety and adrenaline continue to affect me to such an extent that I am waiting for the results of my sixth autoimmune condition. In PR it is legal to use medical cannabis and although I have been licensed for 8 months I had not wanted to try it but I am already sure of it because I have been using prescription drugs for 13 years and I have not achieved anything.

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