We deal with anxiety over here.

I might step outside ten feet to put things into recycling bins. Joseph, upstairs, will hear the door open. He’ll call out,

“Mom?”

“Mom???”

“MOM!!!! YOU’VE LEFT ME!!!!” (This last one is to be read in a panic-stricken, terrified voice.)

How many times has this scenario repeated itself? Hundreds. Maybe thousands.

Sometimes it happens if Joseph is downstairs and I go upstairs. Then it changes its tune just a little:

“Mom?”

“Mom???”

“MOM!!!! I MISS YOU!!!!!!” (This one also to be read in a panic-stricken, terrified voice.)

Recently we took a little vacation to Southern California. We stopped at a hotel halfway down that first night. Joseph slept in a rollaway cot right next to Blue Eye’s and my bed. He woke up at 4am and never went back to sleep.

Why? He was afraid we were going to leave without him.

From that night on, he had to sleep with Blue Eyes, staying in contact with some part of his body through the night so that he could be sure he wasn’t going to be abandoned. We were house sitting. They slept in the master bedroom. I took the 14 y.o.’s room. How romantic!

On the bright side, he does sleep alone, in his own room, when we’re not on vacation.

Blue Eyes and I have been on the path of yoga for decades, so naturally we’ve coached Joseph on taking deep breaths and simply observing the mind when it says things that aren’t true. And it’s helped — but just a little.

We’ve worked some with herbs and homeopathy. I approached one of my best friends, a senior teacher at an ayurvedic college, about the anxiety situation. She confessed that she was going through a similar thing with her neurotypical son, and that she hadn’t been able to help him, either.

IMG_1109Anxiety in the extreme is crippling! I have a friend whose husband can’t work, who has trouble leaving the house, due to his. I see how it stops Joseph in so many ways, and I wonder: What kind of a person could he be without it? I would so love to see him strong and confident, stepping out in his full potential.

We know there are drugs that treat anxiety. They sit on the back shelf of our minds. Sometimes we take them down, turn them over wonderingly, and put them back. It feels like a big decision. I’ve struggled for years with the need for sleeping pills, and I would hate to create a dependency on drugs when there didn’t need to be one.

But when do you say, We’ve tried hard enough; now it’s time to try drugs. Or do you?

I think it comes down to this: Right now the anxiety is somewhat manageable, somewhat influence-able. If or when it gets too strong in the other direction, we will look seriously at medication.

I would be very interested to hear from any of you on this topic. Do you struggle with anxiety in your child/ren, and, if so, how do you deal with it?

Thanks.

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