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My Child’s Anxiety Is Real. Please Stop Questioning It.

It happened again to my son last month. We were at an appointment with a pediatric specialist, following up on his severe gastrointestinal issues. When the specialist saw his anxiety disorder diagnosis, she was quick to blame the anxiety for his abdominal issues. She’s not wrong. They are certainly connected, although we are struggling to find a way to help. “Well, it could just be that he is anxious and that is what’s causing the constant diarrhea.” (Ask me later about how much I hate the word “just” in that sentence.) Having been here so […]

Anxiety Complicates My Child’s Learning Everyday

When I was in the sixth grade, I ran for student council president. One of the requirements was getting up on stage, in front of the entire school, and giving a speech about why you should be elected. I bombed. For reals. I couldn’t remember the lines I had prepared. I stuttered and started sweating. I ran off the stage as fast as I could and burst into tears. It was pretty awful. But what I remember most about that day is what happened next. I went back to class. I remember trying to take […]

Why Art Is So Helpful For Children With Anxiety

Why art is so helpful for children with anxiety and creating art therapy at home. Several years ago, my youngest son began experiencing significant anxiety. Sleep issues, separation anxiety and even panic attacks became part of our every day. We saw a therapist. We saw a psychiatrist. Both encouraged me that they would be able to help him. Both said they had just the thing to help.  “Medication and cognitive behavioral therapy together is exactly what he needs, ” I was told. Six months later, neither really worked.  Moreover, the longer we continued with this […]

Homeschooling A Child With Anxiety

Homeschooling a child with anxiety presents unique challenges. This is our story.  One of my very first memories of motherhood involves a judge-y nurse and a ton of mommy guilt induced anxiety. It’s a long story, but basically, she warned me that I was spoiling my baby by holding him so much about four hours after he was born. And so it began… Anxiety has been a part of my life with my boys for as long as I can remember. That’s the bad news. The good news is, finding ways to combat anxiety has also been […]

We Need To Stop Blaming Moms For Their Children’s Anxiety

Blaming moms for their children’s anxiety helps no one. This is our story. Just over a year and a half ago, the psychiatrist said out loud what I knew he had been thinking for months. “You are too wrapped up in his anxiety and psychosomatic symptoms. You are making it worse. I suspect you are just feeding off each other’s emotions.” He then proceeded to recommend a day program or residential treatment to separate us, so that my son could heal without me. Me, the only person on this planet he trusts and communicates with […]

When Your Child Has Both ADHD and Anxiety

My child has both ADHD and anxiety. It is more common than you think. “He has an ADHD diagnosis and struggles with anxiety.” “We are in the process of evaluation right now. We know she has anxiety disorder and an ADHD diagnosis is likely.” “He always displayed the signs of ADHD but now he is experiencing anxiety all the time.” Over the past month or so, I have been extremely busy helping families with back to school, non-traditional learning plans. At least 80% of them have included information from parents just like the quotes above. […]

Autism and Anxiety: Making The Decision To Medicate

Autism and anxiety often overlap in our children. This is our experience.  “It’s probably time to think about a prescription for something to help ease his anxiety,” the doctor said carefully. She looked me straight in the eyes and said, “If he is being buried in overwhelming anxiety attacks, he won’t be able to learn what he needs to learn to help his body function.” Part of me was relieved. Most of me was ashamed. I am committed to being as open and honest as possible here about the reality of our lives. It’s what […]