If you told me that my firstborn son would excel in sports, piano, cello, guitar, art, and could do card tricks as well, I would be ready to accept my Dad DNA Gene Pool Parent of the Year Award. If you also told me that this same son would be so stricken with anxiety over south Florida storms, he would fake sickness, injury, interest in everything he excelled in, I would have said, impossible. And yet it happened.
As many as one in six U.S. children between the ages of 6 and 17 has a treatable mental health disorder such as depression, anxiety problems or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. - JAMA Pediatrics
Like so many, my son struggled with anxiety from the ages of 9 years old to 13ish. None of my other children did, and so it was new to our family, and truthfully we didn't recognize the early signs when was struggling because, in every area of his life, he excelled.
Some of you reading this are in the middle of it, wondering if there is hope. I want to help you as much as I can. Let me start by saying I wish we would've done some things different.
Here are a few steps in the journey we missed and wished we hadn't about fear and anxiety:
Listen Better: What may seem minor to adults is massive to a children.
Take its Serious: It's not always their big overactive imagination again.
Find a Pro: You are not a therapist. Find the right Pro to guide you.
Ancestry Dot Com It: You can't always outrun DNA. Check family history.
Make Faith Work: Pray, trust God and then take action.
Which of these steps have you skipped? Don't lose hope. Find a great counselor or therapist and get started. My son is doing great by the way. Feel free to contact me and let me know your story.