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Sally44

What medication could be prescribed for Anxiety and OCD behaviour

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Sally44   

I'm not particularly happy to be at this stage, but we are finally going to try some kind of medication to see if it helps reduce his anxiety and OCD type behaviour.

 

We have already been given Alimemazine to give him every night to help him get to sleep and stay asleep.

 

And the Paediatrician said she thought that a two pronged attack of both therapy and medication was sensible.

 

He has general high levels of anxiety, especially around transitions and particularly about leaving the house to go out or go to school.

 

He also has OCD behaviour, fear of germs and contamination, repeated handwashing. His hands are now permanently red and sore regardless of antihistamine medicine for the hives [which is almost permanent now].

 

Eventhough we have used social stories, and talked and explained about how germs and your immune system works etc. He still has the obsessive thoughts that do not go away until he has washed his hands.

 

So I am wondering what medication anyone else may have been prescribed for these problems. And how effective were they.

 

My son will be 11 soon. I really don't like the thought of him being on medication at his age. But he needs something, at least for the forseeable 6+ months, to reduce his anxiety and give any therapy a chance.

 

If his symptoms did disappear, I would try to gradually reduce his medication to see what happened.

 

Any of your experiences would be helpful.

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As you know we're not at this stage yet although its been mentioned i know how you feel......there must be some more natural drug out there to help with anxieties you know like the ones we can buy in health shops.........i hate drugs the side effects might be worse..........our dr at CAMHSsaid i was to ask my son what he specifically wanted to happen........looks like a long talk to find out........do these people really know how hard it is........

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Sally44   

I have talked with my son about it, as simply as I could.

He says that he would like something to help him get to sleep because he struggles with that, it makes him worry more, and it makes him less able to cope the next day when he is tired.

I also asked him if I were right in thinking that although he understands about germs and how your body fights them, that he still has to do the hand washing and other rituals because his brain keeps telling him to do it, and does not stop telling him until he has completed the ritual. My son said that yes, that is what it is like. I asked him if there was a medicine that would stop your brain telling you to do this stuff would you want to take it. And he said yes.

I also asked him about his worries and asked him if he can control them or make himself feel better. He said he could not control it and it made him feel very bad. I again asked him if there was a medicine that would make your worries smaller, would you want to take it, and he said he would.

So, it kind of sounds like he is prepared to take medicine if it makes him feel better.

 

I personally, would be happy for something to reduce his anxiety, OCD and help with sleep at least until he is in school full time, and has been full time for at least 6 months and his anxiety and OCD behaviour has reduced or gone until we think of reducing it. I think that you have to be on these medications for some time before you can start to reduce it.

 

It would be wonderful not to have to even consider any of it. But I feel we are now out of options and I can see that as he is attending longer in school his anxiety and OCD behaviour is increasing. Alot of it seems to worrying about stuff before it happens. Because when he is in school, and when he comes home, he appears okay, and in general he says the day went okay.

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Tally   

Hi Sally,

 

As you have discovered, OCD is not rational. Not all people with OCD relate the action (such as hand-washing) to something specific (such as fear of germs), some just have a sense that "something bad" will happen, but don't even know what it is.

 

The most often prescribed medications for anxiety are the SSRI antidepressants such as Prozac. Not all of them are suitable for use in children, but the doctor will know what is suitable for your son. Sometimes they can cause increased anxiety for the first 2 weeks, but this is actually a sign that the medication is working as it should and will eventually work well. So try not to panic too much if this does happen.

 

Medication on its own can reduce symptoms, but won't resolve the root causes of the anxiety and OCD, so it's really positive that they are suggesting therapy alongside it.

 

Some medication cause side effects or simply don't help everyone. Don't be too disheartened if the first medication doesn't work out, as there are many others your son could try.

 

You're right about not stopping the medication too quickly. People often come off medications too early because they feel better, only to find they actually are still unwell and the medication was keeping things under control. So you're right to see it as a long-term strategy until he seems consistently well. Be guided by what the doctors advise, as they are the experts in these medications.

 

It's great you can identify that he worries about school, but later can tell you it turned out OK. This might be something you can reinforce when he is worried, by reminding him that it was OK last time. This is the kind of strategy used in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which encourages you to identify the thoughts that make you anxious, and replace them with realistic ones.

 

I'm glad your son is open to trying medication. I do hope it will work well!

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I have talked with my son about it, as simply as I could.

He says that he would like something to help him get to sleep because he struggles with that, it makes him worry more, and it makes him less able to cope the next day when he is tired.

I also asked him if I were right in thinking that although he understands about germs and how your body fights them, that he still has to do the hand washing and other rituals because his brain keeps telling him to do it, and does not stop telling him until he has completed the ritual. My son said that yes, that is what it is like. I asked him if there was a medicine that would stop your brain telling you to do this stuff would you want to take it. And he said yes.

I also asked him about his worries and asked him if he can control them or make himself feel better. He said he could not control it and it made him feel very bad. I again asked him if there was a medicine that would make your worries smaller, would you want to take it, and he said he would.

So, it kind of sounds like he is prepared to take medicine if it makes him feel better.

 

I personally, would be happy for something to reduce his anxiety, OCD and help with sleep at least until he is in school full time, and has been full time for at least 6 months and his anxiety and OCD behaviour has reduced or gone until we think of reducing it. I think that you have to be on these medications for some time before you can start to reduce it.

 

It would be wonderful not to have to even consider any of it. But I feel we are now out of options and I can see that as he is attending longer in school his anxiety and OCD behaviour is increasing. Alot of it seems to worrying about stuff before it happens. Because when he is in school, and when he comes home, he appears okay, and in general he says the day went okay.

Our son finds it hard to get to sleep said it better id he waited till he was really sleepy.......he worries before things happen and it can lead to meltdowns which stops him doing anything......

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Sally44   

The Paediatrician did mention that Prozac was an option.

 

It just sounds wrong for an 11 year old to be on Prozac. But I can see that he needs something.

 

It must be such a struggle for him. And I know that a new school, although the right one, is still another change and there is alot of anxiety around that too.

 

I do do as you suggest ie. if he says he is getting very nervous about school I will remind him that he actually says it was okay when he comes home. Sometimes he says "I just said that to stop you talking", but will then later admit that actually it was okay.

 

And he does definately worry before he does things, and that does often stop him doing things. He has talked about the clubs he went to previously. And he does get very tearful and say "mum, I know you tried really hard to get me to those clubs", and he does ask me that "if" he ever wanted to go back to them would it be possible. And I've reassured him that he could return if he wanted to. But he always says that he does not want to return now.

 

He finds it very hard to come to terms with things finishing, or not doing them again, even if he has not particularly enjoyed it. For example, eventhough he was too ill to even attend his old school, he does still talk about it and say he misses it. I suppose there must have been aspects of it that he did like and will miss. But he was too ill for over 10 months to even step over the threshhold.

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Kathryn   

Still very early days, as you say, he's had a lot of change to cope with recently. My daughter developed severe OCD symptoms when she was out of school and we had no idea what was going to happen in the future. She was on several different meds, the last one she was prescribed was risperidone which seemed to be the most helpful, it's difficult to say whether the symptoms would have gone away on their own anyway as tha was around the time her education was sorted out.

 

I hope you find the right combination of meds and other support for him soon.

 

K x

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The Paediatrician did mention that Prozac was an option.

 

It just sounds wrong for an 11 year old to be on Prozac. But I can see that he needs something.

 

It must be such a struggle for him. And I know that a new school, although the right one, is still another change and there is alot of anxiety around that too.

 

I do do as you suggest ie. if he says he is getting very nervous about school I will remind him that he actually says it was okay when he comes home. Sometimes he says "I just said that to stop you talking", but will then later admit that actually it was okay.

 

And he does definately worry before he does things, and that does often stop him doing things. He has talked about the clubs he went to previously. And he does get very tearful and say "mum, I know you tried really hard to get me to those clubs", and he does ask me that "if" he ever wanted to go back to them would it be possible. And I've reassured him that he could return if he wanted to. But he always says that he does not want to return now.

 

He finds it very hard to come to terms with things finishing, or not doing them again, even if he has not particularly enjoyed it. For example, eventhough he was too ill to even attend his old school, he does still talk about it and say he misses it. I suppose there must have been aspects of it that he did like and will miss. But he was too ill for over 10 months to even step over the threshhold.

Hi,I can understand everything your saying my son changes his mind then said after nurture unit visit i dont really want to go but i have to.....doing it for me.......i have been trying to explain to anyone who listens its ups and downs.......i feel now icant allow myself to get overly happy if good things happen and live in hope things will get better...............its an ongoing battle every day they dont like changes .....i was the same as i grew up i cried alot when i ahd to change school college etc....so wehn something ends its stress because they ahve to move on to something new......does that make sense ..........i worry that he wont want to go nurture unit on tuesday wont know until the day comes..........

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Andy   

Hi sally,

 

Re the sleep issue; have you tired Melatonin? DS is 7 and would be bathed and in Bed by 7, but would still be chatting up until 10.30 at night. We were recommended Melatonin, by parents at an ASD group meeting. Pead. was hesistant, and would not pescribe at the moment, but we decided to go ahead as his lack of sleep seemed to be fuelling his anxiety the next day. We bought from a forum recommended supplier.

 

We went for 3mg at 7pm and DS has been asleep by 8.30-9pm each night. So far we are really pleased with the results which worked from day one.

Edited by Andy

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Sally44   

The Paediatrician said that Melatonin is controlled by the amount of light ie. when you give the child melatonin they have to be in a dark environment for it to work.

 

My son keeps the light on due to fears and anxieties. She said melatonin would not work with the light on.

 

We have been precribed Alimemazine. It is getting him to sleep, but he is still very tired in the morning. So I am gradually giving it to him earlier each day. Tonight I'll give it to him at 7.30pm and see how he is in the morning. This medicine is also prescribed for hives, which he also has.

 

He does seem less anxious in general. But his OCD behaviour is the same.

 

It maybe that when he has some medication for the OCD or anxiety that that in itself may help him get off to sleep and the Alimemazine may no longer be needed????

 

We tried to cut his nails last night - because they now resemble talons. We managed to do three. He was screaming and crying and thrashing about due to fears that we would hurt him. And I don't just mean anxious. I mean me and my husband had to restrain him to cut three nails. Ridiculous. We will try and cut another 3 tonight.

Edited by Sally44

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kirky   

I wonder if all doctors study the same stuff? My paediatrician told me yesterday that she would continue to prescribe Melatonin because he sleeps with the light on. She said... Melatonin is produced naturally in the brain and kicks in when it gets dark to tell us its time to sleep. If he can't have the light off then a medical Melatonin will do it instead!

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Sally44   

We were told he could NOT have melatonin because he had the TV on, which is a light source.

 

The Alimemazine [mild sedative] seems to be doing the job. He is only taking 5ml. I give it to him at 7.00pm and by 10.30pm he is asleep. Without it he is still awake at midnight.

 

We've just started Prozac this week. Had some headaches and nausea, but he already seems much more alert, both at home and in school. Previously he was always tired and like a zombie. This seems to have woken him up a bit!

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smileyK   

i am constantly checking my bag for my house/work keys ( luckly my work keys have lots of key rings on it so heavy weighted) so can feel easily that still there always panicking anxious that lost property of mine like bank card ( as lost them so often) get wace orried scared until i've checked obsessive thought 'hants' me makes me feel nausea shaking heart race have to keep going back after locking back door if don't again thought overtakes my head swirls around all day question worry senseless over it! doubt myself over whether i have or haven't .... just lately have line up shoes , and table mats straight or bothers me makes me anxious and put sofa cushions straight instead of wonky! as stresses me out too!!!

 

XKLX

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smileyK   

anti-D's had opposite effect on me to your son i know effect everyone differently everyone has different side effects etc but lot Anti-d's i been on tried have made me feel physically worse e.g. ) mirtazapine made feel zombified foggy headed drowsy not nice feeling groggy etc but made me feel rough with nausea prozac did all time wishy washy stomach had eat something before took it in mornings normally took biscuit before take it this ease the feeling of nausea not stop it completely though!

 

XKLX

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Sally44   

He's been on the Prozac a couple of weeks now and he's not mentioned feeling sick for a while now.

 

So next time the Psychiatrist phones, I think she'll recommend upping the dose.

 

He does seem less tense, and happier in general.

 

We've increased his time in school to two full days and three half days, next week three full days and two half days.

 

But I want Clinical Psychology to give us some sessions!! So back to applying some light pressure on them via the school.

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JeanneA   

How is the prozac going Sally is it still working out for your son? Was the dose increased? glen used to be on this about 2 years ago it seemed to help him for a while made him brighter in himself but unfortunately in Glen's case seemed to have stopped working after a few months. hope its better for your son as time goes on.

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i beleieve you shouldn't give out meds like sweets i think to many people are giving kids meds out like sweets i think you should start them off on a very low doze if they really needs them i think to give a kid a high doze of meds can be very bad for them.

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