4 thoughts on “When Your Child is Struggling With Anxiety

  • December 14, 2017 at 2:09 am

    Hi Monique,
    Another great article and topic!
    I have a niece and two nephews that have shown signs of anxiety at different times.
    My (half) brother and his ex girlfriend have one child, a four and a half year old little boy. I have worried about this little one since before he was even born because both parents have addiction issues (the mother was addicted to drugs at one time and alcohol at time of conception but quit during pregnancy, the father is an alcoholic). Also, both parents have anger issues and the little guy’s mom used to hit my brother in front of the child. She was arrested and they ultimately separated. She has their son and claims to be sober now. He gets visitation on weekends and is NOT sober! Neither of them have ever directed their anger at the child but he has seen way too much! I see signs of anxiety in him when he is around any loud sudden noises. He puts his hands up to his ears, stops his playing and either freezes or if I happen to be there will run to me for comfort. It is heartbreaking and what complicates things is that he has developmental delays so it’s hard to know what he remembers, what he is thinking etc.
    My sister’s two kids are now young adults. My niece is 23 and a mom herself now. My oldest nephew is soon to be 19, married for nearly a year and he and his wife had a baby girl in August.
    My niece was in a bad car accident in the summer of 2014. She suffered from injuries severe enough to need surgery and subsequently was diagnosed with P.T.S.D. about a year ago. She has anxiety when a passenger in a car and sometimes even when she is the one driving.
    My oldest nephew I can’t figure out what triggers his anxiety but thankfully, his seems to happen infrequently. Actually, thinking about it again just now, one thing that triggers him is physical illness or injury. He envisions the “worst case scenario” which of course only makes him feel worse.
    I have anxiety myself but oddly enough, mine did not develop until well into adulthood. It’s no fun, that’s for sure!

    • December 14, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Subhanallah (something we say recognizing God, almost a replacement for “WOW, OMG, WILL OF GOD”) I was just thinking last night of writing a piece about children of addiction, as I have personal family experience with this as well so it is a topic I can truly empathize with.

      I am not a Doctor so please understand whatever I say, take it with a grain of salt. I may have studied this field, but again I am not a doctor. These loud noises are triggers that send his little brain back into emotions related to his trauma memories, ie all of the fighting and violence he has seen. You probably don’t know all of what he has experienced, most addicts hide a lot of what happens. He may not remember details as you say, perhaps that would be a mercy if so.

      She should do therapy , this is treatable and doesn’t need to plague her life. Perhaps they would do some form of CBT , perhaps exposure therapy etc. They may offer her PRNs to help take the edge off as she progresses, I would exercise caution with anxiety medications. With the family history of addiction, anxiety meds are often abused and sold on the streets.

      He can argue with himself (I know how that sounds lol) when he has those thoughts, someone can prompt him to recognize how irrational it is, and debate his own thoughts by identifying more logical statements like “what is really most likely to happen with this, it is treatable” etc.

  • December 15, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Thank you for your thoughtful and kind response! I do understand that you aren’t a doctor but what you say makes a lot of sense. I too wonder sometimes just how much the little one has seen and what he might remember.
    At one point I became so concerned for his wellbeing (emotional especially) that I tried to talk to the parents with no success and so I then made a report to the Department of Human Services Child and Family Services Unit. They went to the home to investigate and called first, so of course my brother and his girlfriend had time to get rid of all the beer bottles, clean the house etc. In the end, the agency did nothing but recommend counselling but the parents were so angry that they banned me from my nephew’s life for 21 months. I missed his first birthday, Easter and a Thanksgiving and Christmas season among other things. I will do whatever it takes to protect a child but it certainly was a painful separation and it bothered me that my brother and his girlfriend didn’t tell them the truth and accept some help!

    • December 15, 2017 at 9:04 am

      DSS does not always protect the welfare as much as we might hope, a lot of red tape they have to navigate . Not necessarily their fault as it is the rules that govern what they are allowed to do and not do. Often times in the hospital parents seem baffled at how their child got to the point they needed inpatient mental health treatment, despite the clear fact that the child had suffered trauma and not been given any type of therapy. I am not saying all trauma events require professional help afterwards, some people are able to effectively cope on their own but that is often alongside the support of family. When the family is the source of the trauma, that presents an issue.


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