Day 22 (of 183) Anxiety Night Live!
A series of thoughts based on the Oct 8 Youth & Anxiety Presentation at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre
Psychiatrist Perspective – Dr Russell G Williams
Worried about time but aware his amygdala may make him run off stage (I like him already) frequent shoutout to UofW as well! (likely the reason the Huskies upset USC tonight – go dawgs!)
Normal anxieties: afraid of the dark, storms, separation, peers thoughts
Prevention (names after jazz musicians and female tennis players seem pretty good)
There are physical connections (headaches to be the start)
There is a genetic contribution – risk factors:
Separation (impacts youngest) – #1 in 12 year olds and younger (sustained & causing disruptions)
Social Anxiety Disorder – more chronic and resistant to treatment.
(Both best – placebos sucked)
Family involvement very good
Samantha – parent with living anxiety
Some days really hard
“Behaviours” can look like shut-downs. Disinterest. Defiance.
“Sometimes you have to ride the storm out…..With them.”
Everyone had opinions…for the parent…
“It’s like a war zone in my head”
Lisa L (school counsellor perspective – 4 in Vernon school district)
Common symptoms of anxiety in elementary school:
Physical: stomach aches / headaches ; fidgety/shaky/sweaty; sleep pattern/difficulty; lack of appetite; panic attacks
Cognitive: negative self talk; Unwanted thoughts/obsessive thinking; fearful thoughts; perfectionist in tendencies; inflexible (stuck) thinking
Fight: aggression (physically and verbally aggressive; aggressive play; self harming (hair pulling, head banging, finger biting)
Flight: Avoidance (school refusal, leaving school, avoiding specific people, clinging, crying, dependent on parent/adult) confirmed: once permission to leave school is given it can be very hard to get them back in
Freeze: non participation; crying
Inability to focus or complete task
“Behavioural problems” (but behavioural modifications don’t work…)
Michelle (secondary perspective)
Normal level of anxiety exists. It’s okay. But….
Can be “seen” in many ways:
Out of context emotions
Skipping (no ropes) classes
Entire day absences
Walking around school / going to bathroom
Irritability/non-compliant in school
Confrontation and angry
Disengaged and indifferent (in appearance)
Paediatricians office (Lia)
Hmmmm guess what comes into her office (fake examples)
Emma: fear of weight gain, compulsive exercise, fatigue (due to lack of nutrition)
eating order and needs Multi team approach
Liam: eczema in hands. Washes 40 times a day
Sophia: focusing in school problem. Failing. Never happened before. Worrying about sister her friends etc.
Ava: Classic migraines. Started competitive dance class…..
Clinician Perspective (children youth mental health)
As parents – it is a complex issue. Sometimes too much information is available. It can be confusing and overwhelming. Parents have huge role in knowing your kid
To be alive is to have anxiety. Survival of the skittish!
Managing Anxiety – some techniques
Crying. Really. Honest. Would you go for years without going to the bathroom??
Cultivating positive relationships
Chores. Really. Routines can be good.
Breath work/yard work
Self talk – anxiety provoking
Pet. Horse or dog. Touch is important.
Connectivity. Technology – a factor in recent anxieties. Book: alone together.
Screen time – built up energy; brain “on”; less sleep
(Personal note – I know tech can be frequently ‘blamed/connected’ but I see a LOT of characteristics that were talked about tonight in the students I went to school with….until they stopped coming to school…)
We are in our heads so often – top heavy – it can be hard to get out of your heads. Be present. Be mindful but not fully in your mind.
A good night confirming a lot of information. Still more work to do – especially looking at “Now you k ow – what next?!”
As a reminder – my recent ignite share on anxiety: http://www.sor.sd83.bc.ca/Ian%20at%20Ignite35.mp4
My “rant” on anxiety: https://technolandy.wordpress.com/2015/05/01/day-150-of-188-my-anxiety-rant-edited-continued-blog4mh-anxiety/
How my son said “it feels” (courtesy of Warner Bros) http://www.sor.sd83.bc.ca/man%20of%20steel%20anxiety%20clip.mov
And when ‘a dark barks’ here is the amount of possibility my sons brain is trying to process: