DS overcoming irrational fears !

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
DS overcoming irrational fears !
3
Tue, 08-24-2010 - 2:18pm

My 8 yo suffers from anxiety :(
He fears getting hurt, choking & dying. He's had dreams of drowning.

But this month something has happened with him & these fears seem to be melting away. I just need a place to celebrate. It's been a long journey with him.

First tried an occupational therapist. She was basically stealing our money so after 3 months I took him out & put him into talk/play therapy. At the initial consult he saw dad has mental illnesses & locked onto ADHD and decided, before talking to my DS & knowing we were there for anxiety, he must have ADHD. Ummm, anxiety may appear to be ADHD, but it's not ADHD. So after 3 months of no diagnosis & not a lot of help I took him out & decided to do what I could for him on my own.

The first week of August he started to ride his bike. He even rode his bike into blackberry bushes & came out scraped & cut from head to toe. Normally, that would be it for him, but he did quit for a couple of hours and then went right back out & drove down the same path to teach the bushes he was the winner!

He tried new foods at a restaurant. Normally he won't because he will sometimes start to gag & will even spit up a bit of food when he gets too scared of a new food. We didn't even ask him to try the food! Every single dish that came out he tried at least one bite! Happy Birthday Dad !!!

Then he got his finger slammed in the car door. It was a bad gash. He actually settled down quite well for an 8 year old who's really never seen his own blood (except from bloody noses which usually put him into hysterics) and there was a great deal of blood. He's been so grown up about it.

Water has been horrible with my son. Even the feeling of his own tears & running nose will put him into histerics. Won't go anywhere near anything that would get his face wet. But I decided last October he was going to learn how to swim enough to be slightly safe around water. There have been times we both felt like I was punishing him. Every other physical class he's been in he's quit, but I told him he's not going to quit swim & we have continued on, not missing a single lesson for nearly a whole year.

On August 1st he was still unable to put his face into the water without sheer panic settling in.

But today....

He is now swimming 1/2 the width of the pool on his own! His instructor is moving him up to the next level.

What a month August 2010 has been for my son. I see now it only take a little confidence to positively push a person in so many directions.

Keep celebrating your small successes, as each one builds the path for the next !!!

Thanks for letting me share :)




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-11-2004
Wed, 08-25-2010 - 11:04am
That's great news, Bonnie! Your son is facing his fears & overcoming them. However, YOU have done an awesome job, too! Not only have you gotten him to the help that he needs, you have been supportive.
When I was an anxious kid, my parents thought I was *odd.* Whenever I shared my fears, which were irrational but REAL TO ME, they wouldn't acknowledge them. I learned early to keep quiet & internalize the fear. It has resulted in a painful life w/more fears than you can shake a stick @. Not to mention, illness. If my parents had been like you, I wouldn't be the person I am today. I don't get angry @ my parents, because anxiety in children wasn't recognized back then & there was no treatment. They did the best they could.
Anyhoo, GOOD FOR YOU! GL & GBU! (((hugs))) jan
 

 


 



Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Wed, 08-25-2010 - 1:20pm

I tell him it is okay to be scared, no matter what it is. What is not okay is to let his fear control him.

I've come to a point when the 'what if's' just keep getting more outrageous I recognize his fear, 'I understand this comes from your fear of death,' & then tell him I won't feed the anxiety monster and therefore will not answer these questions.

We're still working on it, but I've been contemplating why I liked this swim instructor so much. I'm not sure if the instructor was instrumental to him swimming, or if he just happened to be the teacher at the time my DS is moving forward - but none the less, I really liked this guy.

It finally hit me last night. He did not have persuasive confidence in my DS, but instead simply had confidence. If that makes sense. He didn't really need to push my son, he somehow gave the feeling he expected no less in the most gentle of forms. When my son didn't perform he was able to giggle with him in such a way it was like he was laughing with him, not at him. He was the instructor who didn't just tell my son to dunk his head under the water, but instead the one who went down under with him (let's do it together).

I need to remember all the stuff I learned from this swim instructor, I think he has a special knack & I'm sad tomorrow is our last day with him. You cannot request instructors with the Parks & Rec ... in fact they don't even let the instructors know which class they are taking until 1 minute before class starts and the manager directs them to their class.

What a great way to start 3rd grade :)




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng



"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng
Community Leader
Registered: 10-22-2001
Wed, 08-25-2010 - 7:31pm
Awesome Post!
My ds is twenty now and has "Anxiety" but has himself come a long way.
<3
Nightangel
Nightangel