I learned over the years that there are many sides to anxiety. I, myself, was diagnosed with anxiety a couple of years ago, but have always dealt with it prior to the official diagnosis. I knew it was time to get help when my anxiety would cause panic and fear that would impact my daily life as a wife and mother to four children. For me that was taking prescribed medicine to help with it, talking with others (family), and making sure I knew what to do when I felt this panic or extreme fear.
Over the past two years all four of my children were diagnosed with some type of anxiety. My oldest son was diagnosed at the beginning of 11th grade school year. He was having problems sleeping, knowing how to interact with his peers, and understanding social cues. I knew it was serious when he came to me and told me that he was having problems sleeping. He was not the kind of kid that would admit to have a problem.
Fortunately I was able to get him to see a therapist and a psychiatrist where he was diagnosed with social anxiety. He started by taking medication for anxiety and seeing his therapist once to twice a week. He now has the tools on what to do and how to handle different situations. My oldest son is no longer on medication nor visiting his therapist, but the door is always open.
My youngest son was diagnosed with anxiety through a pediatric psychologist when a full evaluation was done. I was shocked when I heard this diagnosis. I never thought of him being anxious due to his negative behaviors. From a young age he would throw and break things, kick and hit others, and just become very angry. I never thought of anxiety being shown through extrinsic behaviors.
I always thought that the person would become quiet, seclude him/herself from others, etc., but never through hitting, kicking, yelling, etc. This new knowledge opened up my eyes. He is currently seeing a therapist once a week, and is still struggling. I am hoping that the therapist will teach him different tools to use when he becomes anxious.
My daughters were diagnosed with anxiety last spring. My oldest daughter was diagnosed with social, test, and general anxieties whereas my youngest was diagnosed with general anxiety. Both girls exhibit their anxiety by retreating to their bedroom. My oldest daughter’s therapist said that this is a safe place for her and to let her go there when she feels the need to. She has learned many tools to help her work through her anxiety.
My oldest daughter has also been challenged this past year with starting a new part-time job, having a major surgery, being harassed by a peer at school, and going on a band trip with our local high school. Both of my daughters feel comfortable in telling me how they are feeling. My oldest daughter started with anxiety medicine, but she exhibited negative side effects with it. Since last spring she has been seeing her therapist. Her visits started out as weekly and now she goes every other week. My youngest daughter is very good about verbalizing when she is anxious.
So over the past two years, I have learned that anxiety has many sides to it. It can be handled in a variety of ways. Individuals with anxiety can go see a psychologist, psychiatrist, and/or therapist. Sometimes this is done along with taking prescribed medication. It is important to remember that anxiety can show up through an individual through intrinsic (seclude his/her self from others, become very quiet, etc.) and extrinsic behaviors (yelling, throwing things, hitting objects and/or others, etc.). Everyone is different and therefore the treatment for each individual is different as well. My four children have taught me this well.