World Mental Health Day 2022
When she was 4, her preschool teachers told us they couldn't put their finger on it but something was different with this one.
They said she had a self-confidence issue. I almost laughed out loud. My crazy hilarious 4-year-old had self-confidence issues? Then we started to see it, complete meltdowns at any time there was a new activity, stomach aches, what we learned were panic attacks, and then an anxiety diagnosis at 5 years old.
As working moms do, I took work calls from the car, teams chats by mobile in the OT waiting room, and reviewed emails and spreadsheets while she had appointments, although her therapy appointments were more for me than her some days. Meetings with the school during my 'lunch break' all while trying to look past those who told me she was fine, she would grow out of it, or she was throwing fits to manipulate me. I learned all I could to help her while trying not to skip a beat at the office, although I'm sure I did.
She's one of the lucky ones, we had access to therapy and school counselors. Support at school on all levels and unbelievable teachers. She taught her 2nd-grade class about anxiety and how to do the 'tapping' technique to calm down so she wouldn't feel weird if she had to do it. The girl with a fear of getting sick made it through a pandemic, the start of middle school, and has tried so many new activities. Her anxiety is constant and steady, she has good and bad days...even weeks. But she is strong and so brave.
There is hope. There is help. You don't have to do it alone. Whether it's for you or your child, trust your gut.