Age of Anxiety — Anxiety Treatments for Children

I watched this episode on TV and have lots to say on this topic.  My magazine, The Anxious Child is about anxiety treatments for children that do not need medication.       This article comes from the heart and may seem blunt but I feel passionate about this topic. I want to share how anxiety felt for me as a child.  Read my post http://anxietyandschool.org/2011/06/08/childhood-anxiety-and-understanding-it-better/. This article saddened me.  Here people were prescribed medication without trying other techniques and now that more people can be classed as anxious, more people will take anxiety medication. I have a genetic form of anxiety and know that it runs in my family.  We all have similar symptoms and my children have it as well.  Ask yourself does anyone else in my family have a genetic link to anxiety?  If so then, I would say you maybe have what they now class as a mental illness which may need anxiety medication.  Note I say may need anxiety medication.  The purpose of this article is to help you decide if it is necessary for meds or can you control  anxiety through cognitive means?  I have never taken anxiety medication and hopefully never will.  I will tell you I have taken Gravol when my anxiety is out of control so I do not loose weight while waiting for anxiety to pass.  There is a time period that anxiety will last for a period that is very high and there is a trigger that will cause it to do so - such as  a new job, a death in the family, moving, or changing schools.  You may need to sit down with a psychologist to identify that trigger.  I changed jobs and had very high anxiety for 3 weeks until I adjusted to that new environment.  Sure it isn't easy going through a transition either personally or helping your child but remember this, the brain will desensitize to the new environment or change.  You have to give it time.  Ask yourself, "Do I want to take or give my child anxiety medication for life with side effects?"  From my understanding these meds are additive and hard to get off of. I was under pressure to medicate my daughter from her school and I was told to get a psychiatrist.  I followed through - I went to meet with the psychiatrist and listened and was told to put her on a dropper form of Prozac.  I walked away asking myself - Is it my right to decide for her to put her on medication?  Is it not her right to decide that when she is an adult?  I know from other moms that it is hard to take their children off of these meds.  Would I be stepping over boundaries that are not mine to decide?  Am I considering this to make my life easier and the teacher's life easier?  Is that fair to my daughter?  I decided to do the hard work now!!!  Use Systematic Desensitization, use CBT, use progressive muscle relaxation.  All these techniques are anxiety treatments for children that are medication free.  It took years!!   It has been worth it!  I have my little girl back - we told anxiety to take a hike and won!  So can you! I have a three part series The Anxious Child a digital magazine for parents with children with anxiety. I discuss anxiety treatments for children that I know work.  Read my magazine and contact me on my website at http://anxietyandschool.org/contact/.  Ask me questions! Anxiety Treaments for ChildrenView my magazine at  http://anxietyandschool.org/sample-page/systematic-desensitization/    

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Anxiety Treatments for Children

The Anxious Child, a magazine filled with anxiety treatments for child & tips on how to parent the anxious child from professionals in the field.   The three magazines cover the steps I used to help my daughter recover from anxiety and know that they work from experience.  Learn techniques such as Cognitive Behavioural Technique and Systematic Desensitization.  My daughter is living a normal childhood filled with play dates, birthday parties and joining groups.  I owe all my success to Able Clinic and highly recommend them. It has been a journey and one well worth taking.   I now welcome you to subscribe to The Anxious Child. 

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Does Separation Anxiety Increase as School Comes to an End?

Yes, it does.  I wanted to touch on that as many parents maybe feeling confused on the sudden increase with separation anxiety or general anxiety as the school year is coming to an end.  One will wonder how can that be when it is almost over?  One would think it would be opposite.  Well, anxious children are smart and they start to think about the next school year well in advance.  They worry about who their new teacher will be?  Will their friends be in their class? It is important over the summer to keep in touch with friends, go to groups, play on the school playground and keep up a bit of homework.  Keeping up a bit of routine is key to a successful start to the next school year! This also happens around Christmas and Spring break!  Try and keep a bit of routine around these holidays as well and of course socialize your kids by ice skating, going to the mall, hang with friends and any other holiday event like parks and rec.   [joomag width=700 height=500 title=Theanxiouschild_talkingbacktoworries magazineId=0734182001308852262 backgroundColor=transparent ]

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OCD Tips — Excessive Compulsive Disorder

I would like to share some OCD Tips and resource materials that I have found very useful.  Let's look at some of the symptoms of OCD.
  • Checking things are done
  • Having to count or say something over and over again
  • Washing hands extensively
  • Stuck thoughts like, "What if I touch this pencil? Will something bad happen?
  • Another sign is rituals like having to do things perfectly or be very neat.  Boy, that towel better hang evenly on the rack!
An observer or parent may start to think, "Wow this is starting to look more and more like a serious mental illness".  I know because I felt panicked that anxiety was taking over my daughter and it was becoming more clear.  It's OK to feel those feelings and actually quite normal at first until you have the tools to help your child.    Once you have the tools and start to use them, you will feel more in control! Below I have recommended two books. Let's go over why I like them. A Workbook for Teens with Excessive Compulsive Disorder OCD Tips The first book Free From OCD: A workbook for Teens with Excessive Compulsive Disorder, goes into how to recognize stuck thoughts and rituals, tracking your OCD, recognizing your triggers and the one I love - identifying your irrational thoughts. It helps to know when your OCD is more triggered. If it is before school and at bedtime because you are thinking about school, then you can investigate what is going on at school that is triggering your OCD. It could be that the work load is too much and talking to teachers about modifying the work load might help. It could be peer pressure, changing schools, lack of friends. Knowing the thoughts before a ritual begins helps to realize what you are truly worried about so you can take action to end your worries and rituals. This book goes into depth with exercises. Even if your child is not a teenager, you can help them with the exercises and begin to put an end to OCD. OCD TipsThe second book "What To Do When Your Brain Gets Stuck" explains OCD to your child and gives tools to use with exercises. The book is easy to read. I recommend to start with this book and use the other one for a more in depth approach. Both theories are based on CBT,  Cognitive Behavioural Technique.  I have a magazine The Anxious Child discussing that very topic and how to use it.  The link to the magazine The Anxious Child is http://anxietyandschool.org/sample-page/.  To buy the CBT edition go to the magazine at the bottom of the blog.  Also meet Dr. Shure and learn about her I can problem solve technique. Please leave your comments of what you think of my article.  You can contact me directly on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Anxietyandschool if you have any questions or my opinion on techniques to try. The first three editions of The Anxious Child are the techniques that I that used to help my daughter and I know they work.  It is a three step program and only costs just under $10.  Find my magazines at http://anxietyandschool.org/sample-page/.    

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Homeschooling and anxiety is it a good idea?

  Mom home schooling Homeschooling and anxiety is it a good idea is a question that I have gone over in my head many a time! With a child that is anxious and unable to leave your side, it only seems logical to send them to school to foster some independence. But what if you can't get an aid in the classroom? What if you have to declare your child as having a chronic mental health illness to get enough aid hours? With homeschooling are you sheltering your child too much and they will not survive to the fast pace world as an adult? What if something happens to you and you become ill? What if you work full-time and homeschooling is a possibility but things would be tight? Lots of questions to think about. Let's look at anxiety first. We need to remember to take baby steps. If going to school is too much, break it down into a more gradual entry then just one week. We are trying to make going to school a doable thing for a child with a hidden disability. If just going for 10 minutes is a good place to start, slowly increase the time. If it takes a month, don't rush it! Rushing may cause a set back and you will lose most of what you did accomplished.
  • Some schools offer a home school program but your child can go twice a week to school. This is a nice gentle way of breaking into the school system and requires less aid time.
What are the advantages to homeschooling?
  • More time to pursue social activities like art class, Karate, or music class.
  • More one on one attention than being in a classroom with thirty other children.
  • A more customized education tailored to your child's strengths.
  • Your child can learn at their own pace.
  • Less money spent on gas and lunches.
  • Learning in the comfort of your home.
A link for more information on homeschooling is http://www.momswhothink.com/homeschool/advantages-of-homeschooling.html You might be asking me what did I do?  Well, I declared my child as having a chronic mental health illness for more aid time and sent my child into the public school system.  Why did I do that .... my child had a fear of large groups of people and the best thing for her was to send her on a daily basis to face that fear.  You may ask me why on a daily basis?  Let's say you have a fear of driving in rush hour traffic.  Say you don't drive in rush hour for months or even years and then have to drive in rush hour.  You will have to get used to being in rush hour all over again.  You will desensitize to it and each time you do, you will find it easier and easier to drive in rush hour, but you will have to drive and face that fear often not just once in a while.  The same with being in a large crowd.  It is better for my daughter to face her fear and learn to handle social situations a bit everyday than just at a social event like skating or music lessons twice a week. I hope I have given you new insight into your decision and new hope by letting you know that facing that fear everyday will speed up your child's recovering from anxiety and will have success.  For more detailed information on how to parent your anxious child check out The Anxious Child digital magazaine below! [joomag width=700 height=500 title=Theanxiouschild_talkingbacktoworries magazineId=0734182001308852262 backgroundColor=transparent ]

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Preparing for school with an anxious child!

I have published three editions of  The Anxious Child.  You may  wonder what is in The Anxious Child.  Well after you read some of the comments left by other readers of my blog, you will know that my magazine is very informative.  My magazines will help you to understand anxiety and how to parent an anxious child from advice from professionals.  In every edition, I interview and feature a professional as well.  My magazines are for all ages and are a valuable resource. Join the membership for Parenting with Empathy for just $1.99 a year and have access to all the magazines and other resources!  

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Relaxation tips for anxiety

One way of controlling anxiety is through relaxation.   Anxiety will increase at bed time and this is the time to help your child learn relaxation techniques while things are still calm.  There are so many cds out there on the internet today.  I have listed my favorites. Relaxation tips for anxiety         The chanting on this cd is very calming. Teaching your child to blow up balloons while listening is a great start to learning to relax.     relaxation tips for anxiety This cd is just classical music and has nothing to do with babies on the cd.  You can have your child relax while listening by tightening up each body part and then relaxing.  Eg.  tighten up your arms and relax and then your stomach.         relaxation tips for anxiety This cd is a story about a little girl named Judy. As Judy travels along a sparkling path she meets Duchess Dove and give her worries away. This cd teaches children to relax and release their worries.   relaxation tips for anxietyThis cd is for ten and up. It is a hypnosis cd and helps your child to relax and release their worries by a waters edge. This cd creates a deep relaxation and are for bedtime. You can download the cd to your computer and burn your own cd from Brain Playground. Click on cd for link.

I have several digital magazines dealing with relaxation. I do not publish a magazine monthly but special editions that cover specific topics. My articles have beenwritten my myself and other professionals. I feature a product in each magazine that are related to the topic of the magazine. All information comes from years of experience, a psychologist and other professionals. The links are below. If you like my post click my twitter and Facebook buttons.

For just $1.99 a copy you can find more information on relaxation tips for anxiety from my magazine The Anxious Child.  Magazine

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My Anxious Child will not fully toilet train

Toilet training can be difficult at the best of times but toilet training an anxious child can be very frustrating and at times one can find oneself not understanding why or what is happening. I have selected a video on how to potty train so that you are starting off on the right foot and then give you tips for training the anxious child.

httpv://youtu.be/1bAKUxFtoWY

Another link is http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/behavior/toilet_teaching.html

In most cases, children with anxiety toilet train for going number one but for a bowel movement they would rather wear a diaper.  They feel they are losing a part of themselves when their bowl movement is flushed away or they are afraid to let go of this last stage of being small.  I experienced this and felt under pressure to train my daughter before Kindergarten to no avail.  I informed the school and chose to not send my daughter to school in a pull up for the 2 ½ hours my daughter would attend.  It turned out that my daughter was so stressed with going to school she would have a bowl movement before going. My psychologist suggested that I cut a hole in my daughter’s diaper so the bowl movement would fall through.  We started with a small hole where we would increase the hole over time.  My daughter was very aware of the hole size to start and monitored the size for a while.  This slowed down the process but over time I could increase the size.  When cutting the hole make sure it is far enough back as I had started cutting the hole too far forward.  You will have to adjust as you go and see where to cut with experience. My daughter liked to do her bowl movement in her bedroom closet so we had to talk to her about standing in the bathroom with the door closed for privacy.  Slowly we put her on the toilet with her diaper on and then started cutting the hole.  All this take patience and time but it is worth it when considering some parents are struggling with this with their children when they are ten.  I finally had a hole large enough for the bowl movement to fall through.  The first time my daughter was very distraught and her reaction caused me to back off for a while.  Expect a strong reaction the first time the bowl movement falls through.  It can take a lot of strength to get through this beginning stage for both child and parent.  I have talked to some moms who say they are not going to put their child through this because they become physically distraught.  I felt the sooner my daughter and I got past this stage the better.  This is where systematic desensitization comes into play.  Systematic desensitization is a behavioural therapy where you put the child in a situation where they are uncomfortable for short periods of time and then increase the time.  For the situation of the bathroom think about the first time you do something that you are unsure or nervous about doing.  Over time, the routine of doing that activity becomes second nature.  The same goes for going to the bathroom.  The more the bowl movement fell into the toilet the less of a reaction was observed from my daughter until it was normal to sit on the toilet with a large hole cut in her diaper to go to the bathroom. We had to wait for my daughter to decide that she did not need the diaper with the hole cut in it anymore and we were well on our way with no more diapers! Of course at school, my daughter would not use the bathroom at all.  Over time with encouragement she would use the bathroom for urination.  It took some time before she would do a bowl movement at school and still feels she would rather not but if she has to she does. If hope this article gives you hope to try this and push your child a little at a time. Remember one day at a time and one step at a time. For more information regarding anxity join Parenting with Empathy Membership page for just $1.99 a year.  You will have access to The Anxious Child a digital magazine with advice from other professionals.   Membership

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Does Omega3 help with anxiety?

 httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64D2jyNdkR4

Research now shows that taking Omega3 Fatty Acids can decrease anxiety and depression. I did notice an improvement in my children's anxiety when I gave them the pills. Unfortunately, more reports came out stating that if you are not using a pure form of fish oil pill, it can be unhealthy for children and adults. I have found a website that addresses all these questions and have the link for you.

http://www.fish-oil-advice.com/fish-oil-benefits/fish-oil-for-children/

Another interesting site explains how Omega3 fatty acids work for anxiety and depression and the link is:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/390161-how-does-omega-3-help-with-anxiety//

I like to get my Omega3 Fatty Acids naturally and have researched which foods have them.
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts
  • Salmon
  • Sardines
  • Soybeans-cooked
  • Halibut
  • Shrimp
  • Tofu
  • Snapper
  • Scallops

For a list of which foods rank highest go to

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=84

There are also omega3 eggs and a complete list of omega 3 cereals:
  • Uncle Sams Cereal
  • Natures's Path Optimum
  • KELLOGG'S, SPECIAL K Low Carb Lifestyle Protein Plus

For more information of cereals visit

 http://nutritiondata.self.com/foods-008140000000000000000-w.html?maxCount=11

I hope I have answered everyone's questions on Omega3 Fatty Acids.  For more information on anxiety check out The Anxious Child a digital magazine filled with advice from other professionals.

The Anxious Child

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Separation Anxiety in Children — Treatments

Separation Anxiety in Children

Separation Anxiety in children, also known as SAD  is very common and comes in various degrees of severity.  Let's look at the symptoms of separation anxiety.
  • Excessive worry or fear of separating from a family member who the child is more attached.
  • Excessive crying when separating from parent.
  • Cling to parent during separation.
  • Feelings of feeling sick and possible vomiting
  • School refusal  for more information on symptoms go to http://psychcentral.com/disorders/sx78.htm

Treatments of Separation Anxiety

For young children going to preschool or Kindergarten I recommend Systematic Desensitization.  Systematic Desensitization is when you slowly get use to your environment. We all get use the barking dog next door over time and don't hear it as much as when the neighbors first brought the dog home. Children desensitize to their environments as well. The difference is instead of sending the child to school full-time rate off the bat, you can send the child in the class for only 10 minutes if that is all the child can handle to start. Slowly increasing the time in the class from 10 minutes to 20 minutes will make sure the child will not become overwhelmed. The child will or may not desensitize to his environment when his anxiety is very high but will if desensitized slowly over time. You are providing a tailored program for your child and may need the help of a psychologist to provide a program for you and talk to the school. You will need a letter from a psychologist stating a diagnosis for your child to receive an aid. Starting  in advance with professional help will cut your stress in the long run. Now let's talk about tricks for the child! I am the author of the children's book, "A Child's Story - Going to School with Anxiety". It is a sensitive story dealing with the inner worries of a little girl coming to terms with her anxiety about going to school. You can sit down and read the book to your child and help your child express his or her fears of going to school. The book explains in easy terms what anxiety is and gives easy counseling techniques to help overcome anxiety. The techniques in this book are all clinical based approaches and were taken from a registered psychologist. All these techniques were used to help my daughter enter kindergarten. A Child's Story - Going to School with Anxiety is also available as an Interactive digital app for just $1.99

Now let's talk about techniques you can do outside of the home!

  • Depending on how anxious your child is, going to drop-ins or groups is another tool you can use.  The more your little one experience the noise and sitting in circle time, the more your child will desensitize to being with other children in a school setting.   Going to library story time is another place to experience noise and sitting still in a group.
  • Also have fun at parks and places like Go Bananas.  Slowly stand further and further from your child but always within sight of one another.
  • It helps to walk in the halls and see the classroom to desensitize your child to his or her environment.
  • Have the school supply you with photos of the school so you can create a book to read to your child often .  Even pictures of the bathroom are important.
  • Visiting the playground regularly over the summer and walking around the school will help your child to familiarize him or herself with the school and possibly meet new friends.
  • Leave your child with a family member or friend for short period and slowly increase the time so you child will have some experience of being separated from you.
A last note:  Many children with anxiety disorder have troubles toilet training especially bowl movements.  It is best to be up front with the school if your child has problems in this area.  Wearing a pull up to school is an option.  When leaving your child always be clear in saying good-bye and not sneak away it only makes things worse in the long run! separation anxiety in childrenFor more information on parenting anxious children check out The Anxious Child a digital magazine for parenting anxious children http://anxietyandschool.org/sample-page/systematic-desensitization/ .

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