my childs anxiety

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my childs anxiety

Postby boogsmom » January 17th, 2014, 5:07 am

Hi everyone! I've been concerned about my 10 yr old for a little while now, but his anxiety seemed to be at a level that was able to be dealt with. He worries about everything, which is sad to see your child do. He worries about getting his homework done on time, the sooner the better, he worries about having to use the restroom in stores. New store, first thought...where's the restroom? He doesn't want to go to a new store unless he knows specifically where the public restroom is. He goes to a Catholic school, he worries about what will happen if he has to go to the restroom during mass. The restroom issue is new as of this school year.

Then there is school itself. He will be home at night with his dad, I'm at work. He will call our text me 8 times in 4 hours to make sure he had everything in his backpack, that I signed what I had to sign, etc. Don't forget this, check that, make sure this...
Well, it was all manageable, until the other night. He called me at work after his basketball game, getting ready for bed. We had already gone thru our standard texts and calls. His last call was..."I'm worried that I'm forgetting something that I'm supposed to be worried about." So it's gotten to the point that he is worried about not worrying enough. Uuugh...worry on top of worry.

Anyway, that was when I realized that maybe I should look into getting him help, for real. I've thought about it before, but now I think he might need counseling beyond what I can do. Has anyone else had this type of issue? How can I help him? I hate to see my child like this, makes me sad and then I worry about his worrying. It's a sick little cycle. Anyone have suggestions? He is a normal child otherwise, plays sports, has friends, funny, just had so much worry in his head. :(
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Re: my childs anxiety

Postby Data » January 18th, 2014, 1:11 pm

I do not have any children of my own, but I was a child with an anxiety disorder. I wasn't going to post at first since I'm not a parent I can't imagine what it would feel like to see a child struggling with an anxiety disorder. However, your sons anxiety about bathrooms hits home with me. I used to be obsessed with restrooms as a child. I also worried about things like being on time. Not being able to find things was the worst as it would immediately throw me into a panic. I still had friends and was active like most other kids, but the internal dialogue was a constant stream of worry which later on developed into self destructive thinking. I also began to struggle in class because I was so anxious it was hard to pay attention. I still made Bs and As but class was a living nightmare internally.

My parents got a divorce when I was eleven, and my mother took me to see a counselor. It was the best thing that I think she could have done. I had already begun to build up feelings of guilt over my anxiety and I felt certain that a lot of the problems going on around me were because of something I had or had not done properly. Having a therapist let me talk about my anxiety which was helpful. We also talked about a lot of things not relating to my anxiety, like friends and class and different ways you could learn new things. It was like every other week was my time to be focused on; I could say whatever I wanted and not feel like a burden to others. The only thing I regretted was that when the divorce was over my Mom stopped taking me to the counselor. I really could have used her for another two years after that. I can't say my anxiety was cured, but what it did teach me was that therapists are an important source of help and support. My anxiety faded to a dull hum throughout my adolescence, coming out in small bursts of anger. During my first year in college it returned in the form of full blown Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I realized that I was in trouble and sought help with a therapist at my college. It was here in college that I was able to really start towards facing my anxiety, something I'm not sure is really possible as a child. However, I think if I hadn't seen a therapist as a kid I would have been reluctant to seek one as an adult and probably would have gone years and gotten a lot worse before I got help. Honestly without Thomas (my awesome adult therapist) I think I would have worried my way right out of college. It was a life saver.

I can't tell you for sure that your kid should see a counselor, but I know it worked for me when I was around his age. If you have any more questions about what it was like to see a therapist as a kid let me know. I hope this is of some help.
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