performance anxiety issues!!
Your daughter definitely has performance anxiety which I can completely relate to. I am 55 years old and experienced those exact feelings when I was her age. My younger daughter who is 26 now has experienced these symptoms too. Where as your daughter is a distance runner, my daughter was a performer at a very young age. Exams of any type were difficult for both of us. The reason your daughter feels the pressure in her gut is the same reason she throws up before running. She has anxiety. At that age, it is such a tough call putting her on medication and I understand your situation more than you could ever know. Just admitting that she has this problem for all of you is extremely difficult...BUT, If she were my daughter, I would be trying other methods to take her mind off the anticipation of the race. My daughter used to listen to an IPod before performing, you see lots of athletes doing this before games. We used to distract her when she was a little girl of 8 with playing board games before going on. Some people chew gum and that helps with the stress. Try any kind of CBT you can...relaxation tapes, yoga, sea sickness bands... It's funny, the throwing up used to make me and for that matter, my daughter feel better and we could, in my daughter's case perform better and in my case, run like the wind. There is another option, I know that often doctors prescribe a beta blocker for those people with performance anxiety or depending on the case, a benzo, but a short acting one that they would only use before an exam just to calm her down. The short acting benzos like lorazepam are to be used ONLY occasionally for special situations like this. I'm not sure it would be a great idea before a race because it might slow her down, but if it were taken earlier in the day of the race, it might not be a problem. That is another consideration that you might discuss with your doctor. I really feel for your situation but please know that my daughter had a career in dance, went on to university, and now is successful in a career in marketing...all her own decisions. Use incentives for your daughter. My daughter said that it really helped her even as a teenager, that if we gave her incentives especially regarding exams, she was more inclined to focus on the incentive rather than on throwing up. It's got to be something she really wants, mind you, or it won't work.
I am really interested in how this plays out. Please keep me informed as to what you decide to do.
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