I'm pretty convinced that my 11 year-old daughter's PSC flare-ups are significantly impacted by stress. She has autoimmune / psc overlap and her immune systems seems to be very sensitive to stress. I'm thinking about anxiety meds, hoping that they may reduce her stress and, therefore, positively effect her progress. Anyone else tried this? Would love any thoughts or feedback. Thanks!
(daughter Ava - 11 diagnosed in June 2013)
I too believe stress does impact on the illnesses. My daughter has UC/PSC and Kidney Disease. I am a bit hesitant to give my daughter more medication, but someone did suggest yoga, dancing and meditation. That coupled with a change of diet did wonders for my daughter. Unfortunately, she caught a virus at the first week of school and everything went out the window and I missed the enrolment deadlines. Try and do as much research as you can.
Dear Cat Flower,
Thank you for that recommendation. I was looking at the link. It seems interesting. It is times like this I wish I drove. I live in Toronto and there is only one centre available. Do you have any other recommendations?
I was diagnosed with UC when I was 9 (PSC/AIH diagnosis was much later). As part of my UC treatment I was put on prozac for a couple of years to reduce my anxiety and stress. I was a very anxious child.
Looking back at the experience, I personally wouldn't recommend it. I have the sense of those years as being kind of hazy and disconnected. I feel that I wasn't really present for some of the key socialization that goes on during those years.
Of course there were many factors for me, the prozac being only one of them. Just coping with the UC itself also left me feeling on the outside. But, if your daughter is experiencing serious medical issues, she'll probably have some of that outsider feeling too, even without an anti-anxiety med on board.
Like PrincessD I'd suggest starting with more basic stress reducers -- finding things your daughter loves to do and finds some calm in -- art? dancing? music? walking in the woods? And mindfulness meditation is a key part of that for me, a walk in the woods can be spent ruminating on anxious thoughts, too. Only later in life did I discover the value in seeking those calming activities that I find necessary having a problem immune system like we've all got. If your daughter can get a head start in building that habit, I think it'll serve her well.
Finally, again speaking from my experience being seriously ill as a child, the one thing that she needs most is intensive support and understanding from those around her. The medical procedures are physically unpleasant, the symptoms are unpleasant, and probably the most anxiety-relieving thing you could do is to make sure she's surrounded with loving support and people who can help her to come to peace with this as a part of her life.
Thank you for sharing. I often wonder what it must be like for my seven year old (She started displaying signs that something was wrong when she was two and a half, but was not diagnosed until she was three and a half). I often have tried talking to her, but she comes across as a happy energetic child and I do wonder what lies beneath.
Your words of wisdom (from the point of view of a child that experienced it) mean alot.
Dear Cat Flower,
Thank you very much for taking the time to put this all together for us. My daughter fell asleep while listening to the meditation, but I listened to the end.