One in five children will suffer from depression before their 18th birthday. Suicide rates are unacceptably high amongst our youth today, the saddest part being the motives behind these suicides, and the reasons that drive these severe onsets of depression. Anxiety is not a ‘small issue.’ If your child is an excessive worrier, suffering from the stress and anxiety associated with unnecessary worry, you need to pay attention. If left untreated, the propensity to worry can become a life threatening disease. A mental health disorder that effects every aspect of their lives, often following them into college, social gatherings, job interviews, and seeping into their other important relationships.
You can help. If your child is an excessive worrier, there are steps you can take to teach them the social and emotional skills needed to overcome anxiety. Let’s first take a closer look at what worry is.
What is worry?
Worry was built into our bodies to protect us from danger; it is our body’s system of protection.
Millions of years ago, cave people used to go out to hunt and gather food for their family. Hunting for food was dangerous, but worrying helped cave people look out for danger, like saber-toothed cats hiding in the bush! When the cave person sensed danger, an alarm would go off in their brain sending a signal to his body to react quickly. When the worry alarm goes off, the body gets a burst of energy and immediately becomes stronger in order to either fight off the danger or run away really fast. For cave people, a little bit of worry went a long way towards helping them survive.
Worry = protection.
Nowadays, the worry alarm system can go off in situations that aren’t “dangerous” but that make you nervous. When your worry alarm system goes a little haywire, life can become a scary place to live.
Unnecessary worry (the older part of the brain that is overanxious in some individuals, or more active then is comfortable) can cause ‘worry-aches’ and other unpleasant, or painful, physical symptoms. Some of these symptoms include tummy aches, racing heart, shortness of breath, body shakes, sweating and temporary thought paralyse. These ‘worry aches’ can sometimes be experienced as trauma in a young child.
A child who regularly experiences excessive worry may be consumed with anticipating danger. The tension and stress is chronic and debilitating, affecting multiple areas of the child’s life. Just getting through the day can be a struggle.
The science to effectively treat childhood anxiety, panic attacks and worry is only starting to now gain mainstream attention. In fact, Anxiety Awareness Week is coming up May 5-11th 2013. More importantly, treating childhood anxiety, giving kids the skills to effectively deal with their worry is now at hand. If your child suffers from anxiety, there is a way to help them, outside of traditional therapy. Most kids don’t want to ‘go to therapy’, because the environments can be cold and sterile. We all want learning to feel like playtime.
Signs your child may be suffering from excessive worry or anxiety:
- Asking many ‘WHAT IF’ questions over and over again. “What if you’re late to pick me up?” “What if I fail my exam?” “What if I don’t have the same toy as Sarah?” “What if it rains?” etc.
- Refusing to partake in selected activities, or excessive avoidance of selected people, places, events, etc.
- Difficulty sleeping alone
- Restless and difficulty concentrating
- Irritability, edginess, muscle tension, fatigue, difficulty swallowing
- Startling easy and seeming unable to relax
- Irrational phobias
- Loneliness and isolation
Gozen! is a social and emotional learning program created specifically for children, and parents with children, who are prone to excessive worry, anxiety and panic attacks. By using interactive story-lines, world-class animations and combining both with the latest psychological research we are able to effectively help children overcome the crippling effects of living with anxiety. We’re also able to help you, the parent, better cope with helping your child who is prone to excessive worry.
“Hello, humanoids, I’m Neutrino! I’m here to work with youthlings to teach you how to make your worry alarm function a little better. To do this, the first thing we need to do is travel inside the brain and meet Til & Widdle! I’ll explain what that means soon enough.
I’m preparing a Kindle book for you. Inside this book you will find lots of pictures and stories that will teach you how to turn your worry alarm off when it’s not needed.
I am in charge of intergalactic well-being, and I see that humanoids need my help!
Writing a book can take time. That’s why I’m giving you a few tips each week that will immediately help you fight worry away. Be sure to check back next week to learn more about Til and Widdle!”
The book contains interactive GoPractice quizzes you can do with your kids, interactive animations and video links.