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#1 bakesgirls

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:07 PM

Let me preface this by saying, this is being asked out of genuine curiosity.

I see here on EB, parents saying their child has anxiety. Do you think this is a new thing, or is it just being noticed now as opposed to not being recognised before? What I mean is do you think previous generations didn't know it existed, or it was just swept under the rug?

Before reading about this on EB, I honestly had no idea that so many kids had anxiety issues.

For the parents of kids with anxiety, was it a formal diagnosis, or was it something that you observed in your child over time? How did you know, what led you to believe that there was an issue in the first place?

As I said, I'm genuinely curious so was wondering about it so I don't seem so ignorant about it in discussions original.gif

#2 Bob-the-skull

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:15 PM

anxiety can be an easy thing to see... but also easy to misdiagnose.

I thought DS1 had anxiety for several years, turns out he has autism. A lot of his behaviour i interprited as anxiety were actually things that were his way of dealing with being on the spectrum and not coping.

But yes a lot of these things are more diagnosed now than they used to be.

anxiety can be an easy thing to see... but also easy to misdiagnose.

I thought DS1 had anxiety for several years, turns out he has autism. A lot of his behaviour i interprited as anxiety were actually things that were his way of dealing with being on the spectrum and not coping.

But yes a lot of these things are more diagnosed now than they used to be.

#3 Oriental lily

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

My eldest dd has anxiety. I also have generalized anxiety disorder.

With DD we were told by her speech therapist to get it checked out due to her behavior making therapy very difficult. From there  it was a visit to a paed and then psychologist.

She is just like me however at her age I did not have the anxiety she has.

I think many things are diagnosed these days than previously. I think mental health is taken more seriously these days as a whole.

#4 Ymarferol angel

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:17 PM

I think it's more recognised now.  As an adult I've been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, and when I look back, it was definitely there as a kid; but it wasn't understood as such and people just thought I was shy or weird or whatever.

#5 mini mac

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

Maybe because this is a forum where people feel they can ask questions, be supported, vent and talk freely about whatever issue is bothering them without the judgement of people in the real world.

But I have to wonder too, these issues seem to be getting more common... Or maybe we are just picking them up more and managing them better... Or maybe society in general is causing it??

Too many books/websites telling us what/how/why/when etc about everything. I read somewhere more people are having trouble parenting now because they don't trust their instincts and are worried about judgement for their choice of discipline, smack or don't smack, sport, routine or lack thereof, or schooling, or religion the list goes on. Social networking will bring on a whole new set of anxiety dramas in the years to come, I'm sure!

#6 mini mac

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

QUOTE (Oriental lily @ 23/01/2013, 12:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think many things are diagnosed these days than previously. I think mental health is taken more seriously these days as a whole.



This

Edited by Mini Mac, 23 January 2013 - 02:21 PM.


#7 EsmeLennox

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

It is more recognised and more prevalent I think.

#8 bakesgirls

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:22 PM

If I may ask, what sort of things did you notice in your child that pointed to anxiety? Was it apparent shyness, poor social skills? I'm just trying to get a better undertanding of it.



#9 ShamelesslyPooks

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:23 PM

My partner had anxiety as a child, undiagnosed but his parents accommodated him a lot because he was "sensitive", but they never did a thing otherwise to help him with it.

Mum and a couple of her sisters had anxiety as children, one was so terrified of going to school she would freeze and not move, talk, respond... Just sit there like a rock. They took her out of school at 13 and put her to work in a factory. It definitely existed, people definitely understood that there were things going on. My impression is that these sorts of things were usually accepted and accommodated as much as possible by the family, sort of like the uncle who drank to much being "ah yes that's Bill for you, gets a bit full sometimes", and the cousin who was generally "a bit slow on the uptake" but whose uncle got him a job so he would be ok. I don't think people thought about things that we do now as an illness or condition, just as "the way things were" and either tolerated and accommodated it, or tried (with varying levels of success) to smack it out of them.

Dad had a very sensitive younger brother, one of 9 otherwise boisterous and rough boys, and they tried to smack it out of him. Finally they decided he was a "bit funny", possibly gay, and let him be except for routinely showing him lady mags to turn him right. He and I have talked about it and he thinks that these days he might have been diagnosed with some kind of social anxiety disorder, but he somehow managed to function well enough into adulthood, got some therapy and is doing well.

#10 noi'mnot

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:26 PM

My sister had a lot of trouble coping with all sorts of things as a child - change, new people, challenges, failures, etc. She was very very shy, an ultra perfectionist, and would easily make herself sick (literally) with worry. Most people just thought she was pretty odd, and a "high achiever".

She was diagnosed with generalised anxiety disorder in her 30s. After discussions with her GP and counsellor about GAD, things just started to make sense for her. She had been dealing with symptoms of anxiety her whole life, and had just been told that this was how she is.

Now that she has been treated and learned some different strategies for dealing with her illness, she's quite a new person. No longer so oversensitive, a lot more self aware, not so highly strung, etc. She is just so much happier now.

I'd say that when she was a kid nobody thought about anxiety disorders really, particularly in the little country town where we were from. Then her behaviours developed into something that was "normal" for her, she internalised those messages that "this is who I am", and it wasn't until it started having effects on her physical health that things were investigated and hindsight told her (and others!) that she has anxiety.

#11 elizabethany

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

I don't have a child with anxiety problems, but I don't think it is a new thing, I think it is just being more accurately labeled, instead of shy, socially awkward, loner or unsociable as they used to be called.

#12 Oriental lily

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

With my dd it basically started when she was born. She never wanted to be alone or not held. Her sleep deteriorated so that she was to scared to fall asleep incase I left her. She would wake up after a cat nap and instantly scream hysterically when she noticed I was not holding her.
So in the younger years it was mainly  sleep and separation anxiety.

Made worse by me doing control crying.

As she got older it become more about 'what will happen'

For example you would take her to a park and she would be hysterical about not wanting to go home. 1 minute after arriving!

She could not enjoy the now because she stressed and worried about the future.

Then it was performance anxiety and fear of failure ( like her speech therapy) she was to scared and stressed about saying something wrong that she refused to do it all.

This is a big concern now because she does not work to her best ability due to being scared of of not being right. Which is making schooling especially assessment and testing hard.

She also at the now age of 9 has more adult fears that she overly thinks about. We might casually mention
A friend or relatives health not being great and she will stew on it. And mention days later and you Realise she has been thinking about and worried about it the whole time.

Also if for example the dog runs out the front door she will have a massive reaction of fear, TERRIFIED he will run on the road and be hit.

A genuine fear? Yes but not to the level of her reaction.

These are just some examples. She is also immature, naive and extremely emotional. Which seems to emphasise it all.

I have gone through years of therapy myself for my own anxiety with mixed success. I try on pass what I have learned to her but it will be something we need to work with.

It's horrible to live with. And makes me sad that she can not have a carefree childhood sad.gif

#13 BadCat

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

QUOTE (bakesgirls @ 23/01/2013, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I may ask, what sort of things did you notice in your child that pointed to anxiety? Was it apparent shyness, poor social skills? I'm just trying to get a better undertanding of it.


Undiagnosed in our house but both my kids and myself have anxiety issues.

They are mostly apparent in:

Perfectionist tendencies  - fear of the embarrassment of making a mistake

Socially awkward - none of us are comfortable with ordinary social scripts, we know the words to say in standard social situations but feel ridiculous saying them

Worry - I used to worry about war and my parents divorcing (they didn't), DS worries about apocalypse, DD worries about not having everything arranged (it is common for her to dither for 10 minutes before bed listing all the things she needs for tomorrow and making sure she has them sorted)

There are other ways that it shows but they are the main ones for us.

#14 bakesgirls

Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:51 PM

Thanks everyone for the great responses. It certainly has helped me to gain a better understanding original.gif

#15 neelia

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:39 PM

DD has been formally diagonsed with Anxiety with reluctance to talk. It first showed with symptoms much like selective mutism, she would only talk to her immediate family and barely spoke outside the house. It took approx 1.5yrs to get her final diagnosis, she was video taped in various situations with family present and with strangers to see how she would react and these tapes were analised by a various medical professionals.

Upon further investigation her anxiety was traced back to a situation she found traumatic (I kicked myself for a long time that I didn't speak up at the time) but she may have developed it anyway as DP has anxiety and an OCD which started when he was quite young but wasn't diagonsed until he was approx 14.

Her partical anxiety makes schooling very hard for her for example when she started school she would rather wet her pants than ask the teacher to go to the toilet, non verbal methods did not help as she would not approach the teacher in case she had to talk. Over the year she came along way and with a lot of encouragment and practice at home she would even do show and tell but I would pay for it after school with her behaviour. She will be year 1 next year and I hope we don't have to start the whole process from scratch again but it is a distinct possibilty.

I think anxiety is one of those things that presents slightly different for everyone and for people that do not know my DD well they just think she is shy.

Edited by neelia, 23 January 2013 - 03:43 PM.


#16 steppy

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

My stepson was diagnosed with aspergers but I think he suffered from high anxiety. He had perfectionist tendencies, was socially awkward and worried about everything and we had to handle him by telling him EVERYTHING and being prepared to answer a million questions and giving him lots of warning about things happening so he'd freak out less.

The reason I think it was anxiety and not aspergers is because as soon as he moved to live with us permanently most of it went away. He had problems living with his mother because she was loud, changed her mind at the drop of a hat and had no consideration for his needs in this regard, always had friends over with no notice or went out the night and left the kids with anybody who would take them. She made major decisions that affected the kids without telling them and did nothing consistently. One kid loved it, but he did not. The moment he was removed from that atmosphere, he suffered less anxiety and leaped ahead socially and academically.

#17 Guest_~Karla~_*

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:56 PM

My eldest has Aspergers and Anxiety. I myself was diagnosed with Anxiety last year but have suffered from it my whole life. My older brother was diagnosed with Anxiety years ago but he has suffered from it since childhood too.

I think it's always been there, it just wasn't recognised as such.

#18 Cyaira

Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:57 PM

This is interesting. I have GAD but it manifested after a traumatic abusive event as a teenager - definitely didn't have it as a kid.

I'd say 95% of people would have no idea unless I told them.

I am not a perfectionist but I constantly mull over 'what ifs' and get anxious if I'm not performing up to my own standard (which is not 'perfect').

Is anxiety easier to recognize in kids or harder than in adults? I' guess they'd be less self aware but also have comparatively under developed coping mechanisms.

#19 item

Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

DS has an ASD dx, now sub-clinical, but he does have social anxiety (diagnosed) which we treat with weekly CBT.  Clever little guy can already change worried thoughts into happy thoughts :-). We're hoping that by starting treatment so young (he was 3 when he started CBT) and a bit of careful management, he will grow up with inbuilt tools that he can use without trying.

For me, anxiety stems from my Aspergers dx.  I do CBT and sometimes have short or long term medication to treat the anxiety. DH and I are quite conscious that DS's anxiety and my own can feed off each other, we have strategies at home (eg mothers help/nanny) to help distract him and give me downtime.

Also, in case your curiosity was piqued by another post of mine, the incident/s at preschool really were a big deal and that's one of the reasons the director took the action she did original.gif

ETA we realised DS had anxiety when we were treating his ASD behaviourally (which worked beautifully on everything else) but there were some issues around greetings and also large groups where we knew he had age-appropriate skills but couldn't use them for some reason. The more we tried to expose/desensitise him to some situations, the worse the problems became. It was clearly time for plan B and we found a great psych willing to try and help such a young child.

Edited by item, 23 January 2013 - 04:33 PM.


#20 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:15 PM

My daughter has been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, though it is unclear to what degree and we're following up with a paed in Feb after seeing a psychologist for several months (her recommendation to get her evaluated again). For my daughter it is obvious, she gets significant tics (possible tourettes), in small group and 1-1 situations that she is unsure about particularly at school or with those she doesn't know, she completely closes off. It isn't just being shy - she literally has trouble communicating and looking people in the eye, and participating. She closes off from the world. She also gets nervous and OCD like behaviour, fiddles and fidgets and can't sit still. If she has something significant happening everything gets a lot worse, and she thinks and can't settle her mind. We are moving next week and she has a really bad tic at the moment which I suspect is due to all that is happening around her.

Oh and ETA and she also worries and overthinks everything.

Edited by Katakacpk, 23 January 2013 - 04:16 PM.


#21 KatakaGeoGirl

Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:20 PM

I want to add in response to the OP question, I think I was a lot like my daughter all the way through childhood and teenagehood, and to some degree now. But nothing was ever done about it; not by the teachers or by parents - no-one really followed up on my issues so they were just part of me. No-one helped or coached me how to do things. In fact apart from seeing a psychologist for my daughter, I otherwise haven't been to one counselling, psychologist or any other appointment; no-one ever intervened. So yes I definitely think it is because people are more aware and more active to do something about it. It took me 35 years to get beyond all this and be happy with the person I am, and not to worry so much. And even then...

#22 baddmammajamma

Posted 23 January 2013 - 04:29 PM

Every "label" my daughter has -- ASD, anxiety, ADHD, and giftedness -- is backed up by a formal assessment and diagnosis. As others have mentioned, anxiety is a very common issue in people wth ASD, as well as people with ADHD.

My strong belief is that if a child (or adult) is suffering from "something" that impairs their daily functioning, the best thing they can do is get a proper assessment and support from a really good specialist. I can't imagine trying to wade through all of my daughter's "stuff" without good professionals and therapy on our side. I would be afraid that I might be missing some key information.

For anxiety, she has just completed the "Cool Kids Program," which is Macquarie Uni's heralded program for helping anxious kids (based on principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy "CBT"):

http://centreforemotionalhealth.com.au/pag...ds-program.aspx

Prior to CBT, she would get paralyzed with worry over very choices and things over which she didn't have total control. The therapy has made a noticeable difference in her ability to manage her emotions and reactions to various challenges. What has also made a big difference for my daughter is the medication she is taking for her ADHD -- we've noticed a dramatic drop in her anxiety levels over the past 3 months of drug trialing (though not every person experienes that benefit).

Edited by baddmammajamma, 23 January 2013 - 04:30 PM.


#23 *-*

Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:26 PM

QUOTE (bakesgirls @ 23/01/2013, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If I may ask, what sort of things did you notice in your child that pointed to anxiety? Was it apparent shyness, poor social skills? I'm just trying to get a better undertanding of it.


For us, it was seeing our daughter curled up in a ball, shaking, crying, fear in her eyes, unable to speak or move.  It was a full blown panic attack.  She had shyness, and poor social skills - but the panic attack was what gave it away.


#24 item

Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

Me and mini me, it sounds like you guys have had a really bumpy ride :-(


QUOTE (*~Katrina~* @ 23/01/2013, 05:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For us, it was seeing our daughter curled up in a ball, shaking, crying, fear in her eyes, unable to speak or move.  It was a full blown panic attack.  She had shyness, and poor social skills - but the panic attack was what gave it away.


Just wanted to add - this!  DS totally shut down when a lady at Bupa said "hi" to him. Eyes shut, head down, shaking with fear for TWO HOURS.  Also, he taught himself relaxation breathing and I could see him using it just prior to situations where he would shut down/act out (although never as badly as that day). It's awful to watch.


#25 ACO

Posted 23 January 2013 - 05:52 PM

My DS (6 years old) was diagnosed with anxiety.

One of the biggest predictors is family history. My DH, his sister, my FIL, his mother, all had or have anxiety.

Fortunately for my other two kids, they don't seem to have it and cope at an expected level quite well.

But my DS freaks out if I am in another room of the house. Suddenly he will yell out to find out where I am. He does not allow me to go outside to take the bins out or get mail. Things like that.

He's got a lot of anxiety about school.

We were working with a psychologist who was trained in the same programme that is used at Macquarie University "Cool Kids" as he was too young for their criteria. I might try to get him in after he turns 7.




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