Parenting Magazine

Mrs. P: Childhood Anxiety.

By Hpranitis @_thisandthat_
Mrs. P:  Childhood Anxiety.
HELP-ME!!! It was the only phrase I knew for so long.
Watching your child struggle through each and every minute of every day is not only exhausting it is heart-wrenching. I could see symptoms in L1 from the young age of just 2. She worried like a forty year old adult. Now, I understand that two year old children have tantrums, love the word no, and refuse to eat if the food of the day is not to their liking.
She was my first child and I made all the mistakes. I let her sleep in my bed, she ate what she wanted, I never made her try new foods, and it all just got worse as she got older. When her father was deployed (we are now divorced) I let her sleep with me. I thought why not? it kept her from screaming all night long and I was able to get some restful sleep. This soon became a problem. Her father and I were on the verge of divorce and sometimes I think I just felt comfortable with having her next to me. I never thought I would get married again so I never thought twice about it.
When I met The Husband she had just begun the transition room my bed to hers. I have to tell you that this was a complete nightmare. She would cry and cry and cry and I was EXHAUSTED. I had to sit on her bed and read books until she fell asleep. If I got up before she was asleep she would come running into our room screaming mommy, mommy, mommy! I would have to get up, go back to her room, lay with her and sing lullabies until she was sound asleep. We went from sitting on her bed to sitting on the floor. This behavior went on for an entire year. We scheduled appointment after appointment at Phoenix Children's Hospital in the behavior unit to figure out why she would not sleep. She would scream out in the night (night terrors), wet the bed, and cry until she woke herself up. It was unimaginable pain: for her and me. I started doing research. Lots of research. I did the research because I was completely exhausted to the point of breaking down and I felt like no one was listening or helping. I focused on Autism, sensory processing disorders, sleep disorders, anxiety, and anything else that I thought may be a contributor to her sleepless anxiety-ridden defiant behavior. I found a psychiatrist and a play-therapist.
Now she is 4 1/2 and sleeping in her own bed. She is on anxiety medication and sleep medication. The anxiety medication is a small dose. It has made a significant difference. The sleep medication does not make her sleep longer, but it makes her sleep through the night so she is rested. She still does not sleep like a "normal" child, but at least she is sleeping. I am sleeping. She attends play therapy and sees her psychiatrist regularly. I am now researching the benefits of EMDR and anxiety. Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing has been used with children who experience trauma such as bombings and other disasters. I am excited about this new therapy and its possibilities. I would like to see more therapies and less medications.
Parents...please know that you are not alone. There will always be someone who is sharing your experiences. I am here. I know your pain. I have listed other symptoms below (courtesy of the Childhood Anxiety link) that contribute and are also consequences of anxiety...of course it's not all inclusive.

Mrs. P:  Childhood Anxiety.
If ever you would like to know more or would like to post your stories on my blog for other parents please feel free to email me.
My Best,
Mrs. P

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