Our gal Callie has endured anxiety probably since she was about 4 or 5. We first started noticing her hands flying to her ears when walking through a parking lot and a car would start it's engine. Pretty soon she would just automatically have her hands on her ears when we walked through a parking lot. Then she would just have her hands on her ears whenever we were anyplace she viewed as unpredictable.
It was suggested we try a therapy where she would wear headphones which would play varying sounds and the idea was she would become desensitized. Seemed like a good idea - a $100 headphone idea by the way. However, the first time it played a sound she didn't like - headphones flew across the room and that was the end of that therapy.
It became so bad sometimes that she became adept at opening things or picking things up with her elbows as he hands were covering her ears. Someone suggested putting headphones with music on, but that was a no go as well.
Somewhere along the line we'd also tried various supplements and dietary changes. All which seemed to help, but not to the extent that was needed.
One day all the kids went outside to play as did she, but the wind was blowing and she immediately flew into the house sobbing. She wanted to play outside so much, but just couldn't handle the noise. She slams all the windows open whenever she's inside - just in case there is a noise, any noise she can't handle. Mark suggested she try his ear protector headphones and I thought no way will she wear those they'll just bug her. She stuck them on and flew happily outside to play.
Needless to say we were thrilled and before long we didn't go anywhere without the earphones. Then her sensitivity or anxiety to sounds started troubling her even with the earphones. Among other things it added to an anxiety level that caused meltdowns as I've written about a few weeks ago.
Finally, it seemed time to look at medication as an aid to control the anxiety. As I discussed the different med possibilities the medical provider said, "oh you probably know all about these." No, I assured her, this was the first time that we have had to look to meds to help with a behavior or non-medical issue. She seemed quite surprised. In a way, that made me feel better as I knew for sure that we had tried many other ways to help Callie without resorting to pharmaceuticals.
She started on the med just last week and we saw immediate results in her sleep pattern. She was a frequent middle of the night awakener - dancing away in her room, playing with her dolls etc. Thankfully once her sister was able to move out and into her own room she would keep it down to a volume that we could sleep, or should I say doze, to. We have had nearly a week of nights without those wake up calls and that alone seems a miracle to me.
Last night I decided to give it one more try at Special Olympics. If she couldn't make it last night she would be done for the season for sure as the area meet is this Sat. I was all over her and we repeated our SO mantra, if you will, of I will stay cool, calm and collected and for crying out loud she sure did. Only one time did I notice her pooking out her lower lip which can be a "tell" that she is about to blow, but she pulled it out. By the way, it was because someone passed her on the track. She is a bit competitive - believe me she didn't get that from us.