My son has an issue with anxiety. My belief is that it ultimately stems from his abandonment by his birth parents. The problem is that it affects his life daily and even minute by minute. He has trouble focusing, becomes more argumentative and agitated.
One of the “techniques” (I say that loosely because I have no idea where this came from except God and a culmination of tons of reading) I am using is to identify the anxiety and follow through to a “worst thing that can happen” scenario.
Example: I have a dermatology appointment today to just have my moles and any skin abnormalities checked. No concern from me, just preventative medicine. Usually I don’t tell my kids much about doctor visits because I know they get anxious. Today, I used my visit as an example to my son.
What is the worst thing that could happen?
What is the likelihood of that happening?
If this did happen what would become of you?
Specifics: what is the worst thing that could come of my doctor visit? I could find out I was very sick and eventually die from skin cancer.
What is the likelihood of that happening? Miniscule. This is just a preventative measure so that I stay healthy.
If I did get sick and die what would become of you? At this point my son was a mushy mess, although he tried to hide it as is typical. I asked him if he would be alone? He shook his head around in a circle and couldn’t answer. His heart’s belief? Yes, he would be alone. The truth? Absolutely not. He has a father who would do everything he could to continue loving and raising his children. He has siblings that are adults that could be active participants in his life. He has my niece and family (his cousins) that we are extremely close to.
My son’s belief? He would be all alone, convinced once again that no one loves him and he can trust no one. This is the core negative belief that we must tackle and overcome with positive reinforcement and lots of prayer.
I believe that identifying the reason behind his anxiety and working on it day in and day out will help him learn to function better and release many of those paralyzing fears. One step at a time.
How many of you struggle with anxiety in some form? I know I have, mostly with situations beyond my control (my parents’ getting sick and going into a nursing home, false allegations with B, financial concerns). Do they keep you from being present in your life? Could asking these questions in your life situation help you?