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Helping Your Child who Suffers From Anxiety

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A personal account of how children can suffer from anxiety
This is a personal description of a young woman who has suffered from anxiety her whole life. I am hopefully others who read this will understand that anxiety is real and sometime even unmanageable as well as embarrassing. Many hours and money was spent going from one Doctor to the next and finally found a therapist that would work with her using play therapy. At the time she was only two years old and as she got older she transitioned into talk therapy. It seemed that the professionals always wanted to blame the parents and while sometimes that is true her parents were doing everything they knew to do.

From the time she was two years old we noticed that she would avoid men at all costs except for her daddy. For a year or so we just thought it was the terrible two’s and maybe had some separation anxiety. If a man even came into the room where was she would literally climb up her mom or me.

Was she abused?
When we realized this was much more than a phase we got really concerned that maybe someone has tried to abuse her. We thought it may be time to get her back into therapy but after several sessions the therapist working with her concluded that she hadn’t been abused but for some reason even at two years old she was suffering from anxiety and we may never know why. She explained that Sarah was not harmed and the therapist said she could have observed something that was totally normal but she may have perceived it as danger. We tried the suggestions the therapist gave us but nothing was working.

From the day she started school we were still dealing with her anxiety accept then she really started to struggle in school. She would study for tests but would fail all of them. We finally figured out that her anxiety was really taking its toll on her. All through High School she tried to deal with it but it was so consuming and overwhelming she couldn’t even take tests. The doctor started her on medication but she didn’t feel like it was helping very much.

Every day she would throwing up when she got overwhelmed and at this point she had a 504 plan in place with so many accommodations to help her but she just couldn’t handle school. Finally the teachers began giving her tests to her verbally and she passed them with no problems.

Fight for your child
Each year her mom would have to go up to the school and once again fight to get her accommodations followed such as giving her tests verbally. Some thought she was using this and felt she was making up some of her anxiety symptoms. Her mom had to really push them to understand she truly had anxiety.

Finally she graduated and everyone was so relieved to say the least. Today, she is managing her anxiety with medication and is working full time and is doing great. She has some anxiety sometimes but she is learning to cope with it. My hope is that if you come across a child with anxiety you take it seriously. Children really need the support we can all give.

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