a month ago
a month ago
My daughter suffered from anxiety from about 12 which mainly manifest as school refusal. This happened for about 2 years and it was hell.
She is 15 now. She still suffers from anxiety but she largely has it under control and almost never misses school.
Things that worked for us;
1) Medication - This reduced her axiety at night so she could at least sleep
2) Outside activity - She went to dance classes that, at the time, were her life. It always (and still does) make her happy. I think she identified school as the source of her problems so having something else in her life was great.
3) Accepting that failure is OK. If she didnt go to school then so what. We were originally told that the most important thing was getting her to school. Our insistance seamed to make it worse. When we stopped making a big deal it took a lot of pressure of her - and us. This applies to parents as well. Try not to blame yourself.
4) Not making my daughter feel like she was broken. She was taken to so many medical people she felt she was the problem. She saw her parents in anguish over her problems and blamed herself. We started to consider her anxiety as something that happened to her and not part of her. We changed our language to say say we were treating her anxiety, not herself. She saw the worst of all situations but we would say her anxiety was making her do this - not herself.
5) We normalised anxiety. We pointed out that it is a common thing. We talked about our own anxiety (I have always had similar feelings to my daughter but hey never took hold like they did to her), but not in a way to diminish how her anxiety affect her. We found examples of succesful women who live with anxiety.
6) Even though we have always loved her, she doubted this. We made a conscious decision to regurlarly tell her we loved her.
I hope you find something that works for you. It is hard on your daughter and it is hard on you. Look after yourself.
4 weeks ago
Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us, its so great to hear about what you've tried and what has worked for your daughter and your family.
I think it's wonderful you've taken such a holistic approach to your daughters wellbeing, supporting her from lots of different angles - lots of great ideas in there for other parents to try!
Your daughter is lucky she's got you looking out for her Letting her know about successful women who live with anxiety is such an awesome idea - feel free to share some of them with us if you would like to!
Thanks again for sharing @LIALIA