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My six year old has bad anxiety problems. BAD. BAD. BAD. We know some of the underlying causes and we are working on treating them but my question is, has anyone been here? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to help a young child cope with crippling anxiety? I just want her to be happy and to be able to access her environment. She seems to miss out on so much because she's crippling herself with fear, it's really upsetting.

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Asked by ashleyaction at 9:36 AM on May. 6, 2013 in Health

Level 16 (2,543 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • What are some of the causes? With that information, it would be easier to make some suggestions.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 9:43 AM on May. 6, 2013



    following this elimination diet can not hurt, and it may help

    my 5 year old shows signs of anxiety (spectrum, not trauma) this diet is just taking out chemicals that can exasperate the anxiety


    Answer by fiatpax at 9:43 AM on May. 6, 2013

  • Wendy- we have a blended family and in the other home she goes to there has been an immense amount of inconsistency and she's been through quite a bit of emotional trauma including abandonment and severe hypochondria - borderline Munchausen syndrome. She sees a therapist weekly, the school social support staff, the pediatrician and many other specialists look her up down and inside out every few days and she still suffers major emotional and physical symptoms. I have tried diet modification, exercise, sensory therapy, breathing techniques, the "conscious discipline plan", art therapy... I am just grasping for straws here.

    Comment by ashleyaction (original poster) at 10:02 AM on May. 6, 2013

  • Have you tried asking her what she thinks might help her? I'm not trying to make it sound overly simplified here, but I'm thinking (based on what you say here) that some of her anxiety might be based on having no control. If she can determine what she thinks will help, even if it doesn't seem logical that it would, maybe it will help - kind of a placebo effect.

    Also - the other home. Does she still go there? Does she HAVE to still go there? It sounds as though it's been pretty horrible for her, and if she still goes there, maybe not going anymore would do more than anything else to help her.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 10:15 AM on May. 6, 2013

  • Thank you, unfortunately we do ask her what will help :-( Sometimes it's really unreasonable, but mostly she can't articulate what she wants so we try to work through it step by step with her per her therapists suggestions (we have been seeing her for 3 years). School seems to be causing her a great deal of trouble though and I will be homeschooling next year so hopefully that will help. I try not to enable her fears by caving to her irrational crutches, we try to give her healthy alternatives for coping, but we also try to integrate usage of the things she believes will help her if we can so that she can begin to work towards healthier alternatives. The only issue is, she doesn't even know what she thinks will help her most of the time. Unfortunately she does still have to go to her other house. For the mean time the situation is somewhat better over there and she only goes on weekends, but the scars remain and stir up somuch

    Comment by ashleyaction (original poster) at 10:29 AM on May. 6, 2013

  • you sound like a great mom, you have tried everything i could ever think of, just keep trying new tactics like you do
    she will make it through with a caring mom like you... and time

    Answer by fiatpax at 10:43 AM on May. 6, 2013

  • You're so sweet. Thank you. I'm just trying to think outside of my own box here. It's hard because if you over-treat you can create problems that don't exist but she refuses to do things she loves, she melts down regularly, and she makes herself physically sick. :-( I have two children without anxiety problems and it's absolutely heartbreaking to watch the vise grip tighten around her when she's obviously warring with what should be simple choices. We recently tried yoga for relaxation but she became easily frustrated and we haven't been able to make it a relaxing or therapeutic experience yet. The whole family tried, even the younger (and less physically capable) children, but she gets upset super easily and she doesn't seem to enjoy it. I was thinking maybe some other mom out there has an idea I haven't thought of. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COMMENTS :-) :-)

    Comment by ashleyaction (original poster) at 11:03 AM on May. 6, 2013

  • Not trying to sound ignorant but if she was abandoned at this other house, why does she still have to go there?

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:55 AM on May. 6, 2013

  • That's not ignorant at all, lol, I didn't say much on the topic because I was trying to skim past it. My focus was on the anxiety portion and how to help her cope. At any rate she wasn't abused and the state has not found the other household legally responsible for neglect. However lots of things have happened that have engrained a fear of being abandoned. Member of the "other family" have left her life before for long periods of time and reappeared later just to be in and out again, she is constantly reprioritized and displaced by other people or priorities. The other family moves a lot, multiple marriages, divorces, moves, pets, pregnancies, the shifting inconsistency doesn't leave much room for my daughters needs and sometimes she is ignored completely for long periods of time. The since of abandonment comes from having been left in the dust every time she's not a convenience. It's really sad but all I can do right now

    Comment by ashleyaction (original poster) at 12:44 PM on May. 6, 2013

  • is try to focus on how to help her cope and live a normal happy life. She's a mess right now. :-( She's way to young to be this tightly wound. :-(

    Comment by ashleyaction (original poster) at 12:44 PM on May. 6, 2013

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