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Childhood Anxiety & A Parent w/Anxiety

My DH has anxiety issues and ADHD, I am BiPolar type 2. My 4yo also has anxiety issues. He cries sometimes for hours for no reason and doesn't sleep. He also has anxiety attacks when he faces new things and/or thinks things have been changed.

My DH has never learned to deal with his issues and I am doing my best to get mine under control, but I don't know how to even start dealing with his. I don't want him medicated, and that's all the doctors want to do.

Is anyone else dealing with this? How to I help a 4yo with an anxiety issue I don't understand?

Answer Question

Asked by SabrinaMBowen at 11:16 AM on Jun. 20, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 40 (122,988 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • Can you find support groups in your area?

    Answer by MamaSpurg at 11:19 AM on Jun. 20, 2010

  • Ha, I live in SW-PA. Mental disorders and treatment centers tend to get tucked away in the little corners like they are STDs or something. We don't really even have doctors for this stuff here... I have to go up in to the city just to find a psychiatrist and even then, they know nothing about kids. Groups are just non-existent, because frankly that would require people to admit they or their kids have issues, which no one here would do...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:22 AM on Jun. 20, 2010

  • I was like your 4 y/o! I was then diagnosed as bipolar at 15. ADHD at 19 and GAD somewhere inbetween. I got pregnant at 22, found out my l/o has A LOT of food allergies when she was born, and I went on a gluten/dairy (and a lot of other things) free diet. Suddenly my anxiety and "bipolar" is gone. Seriously, for 2 years so far. My therapist and psychiatrist don't believe I was ever bipolar. We all really think it was a mis diagnosis, due to teenage hormones and me eating dairy. If I slip up and eat dairy, even a little bit, I get AWFUL anxiety for days after. It's really bad. I wont sleep. I just want out of my skin!

    My point to all this, is stay calm. Try to have him talk about what he's feeling(although I vividly remember being 5 and my mom asking me what was wrong and I couldn't tell her. I was just sobbing and feeling really anxious). And try cutting out dairy and gluten before medication.

    Answer by Arisce at 11:24 AM on Jun. 20, 2010

  • I understand where you are coming from. My granddaughter is 5. She started kindergarten last year after a very rough year, even losing her father. It was a very rough year for all of us, but this all took it's toll. As soon as she started school she was immediately labeled as a bad kid and it was recommended we have her tested for ADHD. Which given the circumstances, it was understandable. It was recommended to take her to a "Play Therapist". It's a child counselor in so many words. We took her there for most of the year. It helped her learn to cope somewhat, but I found the best therapy was simply letting her have time with grandma in my home alone where she could relax. I think it was tough with her mom feeling overwhelmed, a baby sister, and of course everything that went on.

    I know that might not be the answer you are looking for, but it takes patience and understanding to keep them off meds.

    Answer by m-avi at 11:24 AM on Jun. 20, 2010

  • It wont hurt anything, and may help him. Good luck!

    Answer by Arisce at 11:24 AM on Jun. 20, 2010

  • My son has anxiety issues too. He will be 3 next month. He also has developmental delays, so he attends various therapies to help throughout the week. Does you son go to any therapy at all? My son's therapy is working on his anxiety to prepare him for pre-school. Hope this helps a bit.

    Best Wishes!

    Answer by mommy2joeynabby at 11:40 AM on Jun. 20, 2010

  • My son stopped talking when he was 16 months old, I had his brother when he was 14 months old. Shortly after he started speech therapy. I talked to his ST and she said she knows nothing about anxiety and isn't sure what to do to help him. She ONLY does speech and there isn't anyone in the practice that works with anxiety in kids. His speech is not the issue, again, it was the anxiety. He is now speaking at a 3rd grade level and his therapy is being cut out because of it.

    I have also looked in to the dietary changes, but I'm lost. My DH won't let me change how HE eats. And I don't know anything about nutrition or cooking. Just the idea of being in the kitchen makes me want to cry. It's one of my many anxieties... So when people start talking about things like cutting out gluten, I have no idea where to even start...

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 11:46 AM on Jun. 20, 2010

  • You can start by eliminating dairy. It's not as hard as it sounds. You can email me if you want to and I can try and help you find ways to cut it out. Your husband needs to suck it up and be a man. He needs to take care of his son and if that means helping you, his wife, cut dairy out of his child's diet so be it.

    Answer by Arisce at 12:04 PM on Jun. 20, 2010

  • Sabrina - it so brave of your to put your self out here like this! The only suggestion that I have is a wonderful book called No More Panic by Claire Weeks; you should be able to find it your local library. There is a lot of controversy around dietary changes; I would try putting your family on a macrobiotic diet for a couple of months, and see if you notice any improvements. I love Jessica Porter's approach


    Answer by rkoloms at 1:15 PM on Jun. 20, 2010

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