Zoloft for social anxiety?

Amy - posted on 06/04/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My daughter is 5 and the doctor wants to try her on Zoloft this summer to see if we can get her to open up to people more. Her speech is delayed but she will talk a lot more at home than at school. She would hardly talk to her prek teacher even toward the end of the school year.

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Vicki - posted on 06/06/2011

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I'm not sure if there is a question in there, but if it is, Should You try it... then Yes. My daughter has been on it since she was 2 a super low dose at first and now her dose is .5ml =10mg which is still very small. She was speech delayed and had panic attacks. She was very outgoing before, but had a lot of anxiety in certain situations due to sensory overload. The Zoloft helped her focus and concentrate improved her speech and reduced the anxiety. Of the variety of SSRI's its not that bad and you can ween off of it in about 3 weeks. I would start with a low dose and too much can have an adverse affect, like more panic or aggression and slowly go up till you hit the sweet spot. I would give it at least 6 weeks but you might see results after 2-3. If after 6 weeks there is nothing negative but its not positive either you could up the dose per the doc's orders to be sure. Another thing however, How social are you. How often does she go on play dates and have opportunities to play with kids, will she have these opportunities over the summer? She might be more socail if you are with her and then after she becomes used to the environment and the people, so be sure that if you are trying it in the summer you have opportunities to compare and measure improvements, like maybe a dance or music or tumbling class. Good Luck

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Doreen - posted on 06/28/2011

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A I don't know if this is horrible advice but I don't think a pill is what she needs. Security in your environment is not something that is easy for some people. I apparently didn't talk unless I was spoken to - today I can be a real box. We all develop at our own pace... socially, intellectually, physcially etc. Rather try and identify a child she likes or doesn't mind and take just the two of them out to the park or a play over and facilitate it so that you create an atmosphere where is more relaxed to talk. That way become more confident and use to hearing herself express herself :) Hope this helps - helped me

Cindy - posted on 06/12/2011

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I see you have already started the Zoloft. Normally, I am pro meds. However, I looked into putting my 4 yr old on Prozac as part of a protocol developed for Down Syndrome. I spoke with 2 child psychiatrists that are among the best in their field. Both of them said they would not put a child under 7 on an SSRI (Prozac & Zoloft are both SSRIs) unless there was a very extreme need. This is because these meds build up over time and there has been no research of the effect of this on a developing brain. Also, putting a child who has a genetic predisposition to Bipolar disorder on an SSRI can actually cause the bipolar to surface when it might not have without the meds. I would really recommend you speak to a child psychiatrist (an MD) asap to determine if the benefits outweigh the risks at this stage of the game.

Amy - posted on 06/10/2011

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Thank you all for your comments. We started the Zoloft on Tuesday and have not had any side effects so far. She is only taking half of a 25 mg pill. After two weeks we are supposed to increase to the whole pill. We'll see how she does. And yes, I hope to get her into some situations where she is around others without me to see if there is any progress. Like you said, around me, she is very social and talks much more to me, her father, and her sister. Thanks again.

Donise - posted on 06/08/2011

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my son has autism and he is on it and i have seen a difference in his mood swings and other areas he was having problems in so yes i would try it. I was like you really hesitate about it because of the side affects that i have seen on the medication but so far it has worked really good for my son.

Staci - posted on 06/08/2011

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They put my son on zoloft when he was 7 and had a VERY bad reaction to it. He actually had to be detoxed off of it. The doctor said he could become suicidal and needed to be watched very carefully. 50 miles from where we live a 13 year old child killed his grandparents and was on zoloft. It was not proven that the drug made him do it but it did contribute to the suicidal/homicidal thoughts that he had. I feel that it may work well for some children but not all. Watch your child carefully.

Terri - posted on 06/07/2011

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Hi, Before I would start a child on an anti-depressant, I would check out several things. Anxiety is often an adrenal issue. Having a saliva Adrenal Stress Index (ASI) is an easy way to check. Saliva is collected 4 times in a 24 hour period. Very easy to do. Also having a full iron panel plus ferritin (storage iron), Free T3, Free T4 and TSH, CMP, (electrolites), Aldosterone in standing position after fasting salt for 24 hours and getting up at 6 am.... blood tests will help to see if there is an imbalance going on and what stage if any the adrenal issues are at. Just a thought. Are there any other symptoms such as energy level, mood change when hungry? It is better to ferrit out the cause of the anxiety rather than bandaiding it. It does take time though. One cannot get accurate results if the child/person is on anything such as adaptogens the saliva tests will not be accurrate. I have experienced this first hand and am in the process of getting better. A naturapath or osteopath is often your best resource for this. I hope this helps.

Fern - posted on 06/07/2011

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I don't agree with using anti-depressants for very young children unless its for a very severe problem. There are just too many side effects and risks, including suicidal thoughts and actions. Social anxiety needs to be addressed with behavioral therapy and if that doesn't work, then possibly some medication that is not as dangerous such as BuSpar, which is much safer. I know this sounds strange, but I would also recommend getting a pet for your daughter. My little sister had terrible social anxiety and the BuSpar and getting a small dog for her, really helped her.

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as a psychologist, I'm a little uncomfortable with giving a significant med such as Zoloft to a 5 yr old, unless there are severe issues. I'd highly recommend considering behavioral interventions with a therapist first. If this is a pediatrician, I strongly recommend seeing a child psychiatrist before making any decisions - peds are much less experienced with psych meds.

Michelle - posted on 06/07/2011

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hi. my daughter was on zoloft after they took her off abilify because it complicated her diabetes. but went back on abilify after it didnt help her. she was 9. both of my kids have many different anxiety disorders so we use clonazapam for their anxiety disorders and mood disorders. my daughter is on celexa now because the abilify stopped working. good luck with u and your daughter.

Angela - posted on 06/07/2011

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My son was very similar before he started school. I literally called him my wall flower. If he was uncomfortable, he would disappear. The kindergarden teachers make it an important thing for him to be the leader, to start the class iwth the pledge of the allegience (even though he can't speak). He was VERY uncomfortable in that roll, but his teacher made it sound like he was the only one that could do it and she needed his help (which he loves to do). By the end of the year, he wasn't 100% out in front, but he was much more comfortable. Now? He's totally comfortable in the classroom setting and with his peers. He literally freaks out if there is a huge change. Egs: The 1st grade has a play about heros. The kids went through the whole thing for other classrooms in the school. When the parents came, you could see the terror in his eyes and he had to be brought up to the microphone (which he sang into earlier) and he refused to say anything, and ran back to his chair as soon as he was let go. It's never been suggested to use zoloft for anxiety, I'll have to ask for that. If ever a need arises that he would have that type of issue.

Shannon - posted on 06/07/2011

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my son has been on zoloft for a number of years and seems to have had no adverse reactions to it. He wasn't quite that young when he started, though. I think he was 8. (He was a foster child and we adopted so my timelines aren't perfect). I am usually against medicating children if at all possible, but sometimes it is necessary and zoloft seems to be pretty gentle with few side effects.

Erin - posted on 06/06/2011

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Zoloft should be fine. It seems to be the most mild in that realm of medicine. I would give it a shot if she seems to be having social anxiety.

Jen - posted on 06/05/2011

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I have tried anti-depressants for my daughter with autism. They have helped, and I have never seen any side effects. I would go for the Zoloft. It most likely can't hurt. They'll start her on a very, very small dose, and work their way up. They won't continue it if there are problems/side effects, etc. Best of luck! momofzoe.com

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