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    #246757 - 02/10/20 09:03 AM Handling Anxiety
    Kish Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/09/17
    Posts: 24
    DD6 has been having frequent bouts of anxiety of late. She has always been an anxious kid, but this newfound bouts of anxiety seems to have started suddenly over the past 2-3 weeks.

    During the past 2-3 weeks, her anxiety suddenly seems to have interspersed into her everyday routines - from repeatedly thinking of recurrent thoughts to over-analyzing all the infinite permutations of everyday tasks to existential concerns. She tells me "My brain keeps telling me that people are stupid."

    During this time she also opened up saying "I don't like school. I like going to school, but I don't like it after classes start." When gently prodded she explained "I want to do math, I don't want to just watch the teacher do stuff on the board. The work I do is boring."

    Also, during this same time, another kid in her 1st Grade class used the F word while with DD. This went up to the teacher who has spoken to that kid's parent to ensure this never repeats. But now DD is exposed to the word and has realized that it's a word not to be thought about or spoken aloud. Now she has become obsessed with it saying "My brain keeps thinking about the word. I cannot take it out of my mind. I'm feeling bad for no reason."

    She seems worried about it and is overthinking on why she's unable to remove that word from her mind. We told her "It's ok if the word remains in your mind. It may not be possible to just remove it from your thoughts. And that's perfectly normal. But just ensure you don't use the word while talking to anyone, that's it. Just having the word in your mind is perfectly ok". That seemed to have calmed her a bit, knowing that she doesn't need to necessarily "erase" that word from her thoughts. But she still appears to be more worried than usual.

    Any inputs on how we can help her calm her thoughts down?

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    #246769 - 02/10/20 01:35 PM Re: Handling Anxiety [Re: Kish]
    LynneV Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 11/17/14
    Posts: 10
    The overthinking of the F word reminds me of a chapter in L.M. Montgomery's Anne of Avonlea, which was published in 1909! In that case, Anne encourages young Davey to say the bad word out loud, and then he's able to let go of it. I don't know if that would help in this case, or maybe reading that part of the book with your DD would help to let her know that she's not the first to feel this way and won't be the last.

    Otherwise, I would suggest encouraging her to deliberately turn her thoughts away from the overthinking to something she enjoys, preferably something calming, like the plot of a favourite book or movie, or her pet, etc.

    Good luck!

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    #246770 - 02/10/20 02:19 PM Re: Handling Anxiety [Re: Kish]
    ashley Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 638
    When my son was 4, he had anxiety due to existential concerns and his realization that death is a part of everyone's lives, including someday, his parents. What we did, due to a good pediatrician we had was to step up the rigor of his structured physical activities so that he had enough exercise to tire him out, give him endorphins and give him goals to focus on. This was in the form of Junior Swim Team, Martial Arts and basketball with a coach. I suggest that in addition to all the play that your daughter is getting, to add in a structured and routine physical activity that will make her tire out physically. That helps a lot with anxiety management.

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    #246773 - 02/10/20 04:22 PM Re: Handling Anxiety [Re: Kish]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1567
    Loc: Australia
    If this started suddenly then I strongly suggest looking into PANS/PANDAS.

    My daughter has a fairly recent dx of OCD (which is not at all what I thought it was, especially how she presents with it). We had no idea this was going on until her most recent ED Psych/IQ assessment. We thought she had "a bit of anxiety sometimes".

    After a random moment in a conversation yesterday it occurred to me that these problems set in quite suddenly in early primary school and have come and gone. And I wonder now about PANDAS/PANS. But it is going to be a tough road to figure out if that is what it is she has, when the initial episode was put down to other issues.

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    #246774 - 02/10/20 08:58 PM Re: Handling Anxiety [Re: Kish]
    pinewood1 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 01/25/19
    Posts: 26
    Yeah, being unable to stop thinking of taboo words (or in very religious people, thoughts that are blasphemous to the person's religion) is a possible manifestation of OCD. In the religious context, it's called scrupulosity.

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    #246833 - 02/18/20 07:42 AM Re: Handling Anxiety [Re: Kish]
    readermom123 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/22/14
    Posts: 71
    My son sometimes has this sort of anxiety at bedtime. He'll lay in bed for 15 minutes but be convinced he's been up half the night and now he'll be too tired to go to school the next day, etc etc. I mostly just try to give him scenarios to try to think about instead, like designing a fun toy in his head, or counting to a high number in his head. Something to distract him.

    We've also had conversations about how it's hard to get rid of a thought by using the whole 'don't think about pink elephants' example. As soon as you try 'not to' think about something it'll loom large in your mind, so you have to think of an alternative instead.

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