My 8 year old - who has always been a bit nervous and shy is throwing up EVERY SCHOOL DAY
Her whole life - my daughter - has been nervous, shy and clingy. All this was fine because it did not affect her daily life - until this year. She's eight now and in 3rd grade. I even work at her school, but every day she is throwing up before the bell rings for her to go to her class. Then her teachers say she's fine all day in class. I was shy as a child too. I was also overly emotional and nervous... My husband was also very shy and worried as a child... I think together we made a VERY VERY overly worried little girl! She throws up every school day - never on the weekends. She blames it on PE - but then she'll also get sick on days she has art and music - then she'll say it is that she has to eat lunch at school, but then she'll do it on half days when she gets to go home for lunch. None of her 'excuses' for why she is feeling/getting sick are practical or consistent. We talk about all the reasons she can come up with, and I assure her that they are all imaginary - but her "WHAT IF" questions never stop. Then the bell rings, she grabs her backpack and out she goes. At the end of the day I'll say "How was your day?" and she'll say "Good" - get a snack and act like nothing in the world is bothering her. It is frustrating to see her "act" so normal later on, yet start her day so "NOT normal"! WHAT CAN I TRY?
Your daughter is suffering from anxiety - I suspect GAD (generalized anxiety disorder). This disorder tends to "rear its ugly head" around the eighth birthday - which seems to co-incide with your daughter's age. If anxiety is the issue, I suspect your daughter will not be able to manage her fears without professional help. She will not know "why" she feels this way as anxiety is usually an inherited trait and not the result of life experience.
I might suggest you contact your family doctor; if he/she is unable to help you, then ask for a referral to a medical mental health specialist with experience in anxiety disorders. Treatment does not need to include medication so do not let this prospect prevent you from seeking help. There should be lots of reading on the internet re this issue - "anxiety and school" or "GAD and children" or "anxiety behaviors in children" or similar words/phrases. By the way, if anxiety is the issue (and I suspect strongly it is), then your daughter will not outgrow it nor will it go away but - anxiety is highly treatable, especially in children. I wish you the best ....
I suffered from anxiety in 2nd grade, and I had stomach aches which was psychosomatic. My mom would give me antacids and I was even taken to the doctor to get checked out. Everything was fine. As I grew up, that all went away. I became more confident and less "afraid" or less anxious. I believe that everyone has anxiety but the levels when you get older are not as high as when you were 8 years old. Therefore, I believe that one can outgrow this type of anxiety and while it doesn't all go away, it can diminish in time.
But now, my son, who is 8 suffers from this type of anxiety as well and am trying to find ways to be able to help him.
Self-help books are one of my go-to solutions, and they have plenty of advice that might help. I find Amazon books to be convenient and if you have Kindle, it's much easier to just download the books that way.
example of a self-help book: Helping Your Anxious Child: A Step-by-Step Guide for Parents by Rapee, Ronald, Wignall, Ann, Spence, Susan and Lyneham, Heidi (Dec 3, 2008)
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