My 10 year old girl has begun to develope what seems to be extreme anxiety or fear over things that in the past have not been a problem for her. For example when she was to have her allergy testing repeated after 3 years (simple scratch test) she literally climbed the walls, screamed and begged us not to do the test. She also threw a fit (screaming calls us names) when she didn't want to try water-skiing. She has seemed to adjust to our divorce but I think that an impending new baby (dad's) plus the beginning of school (afraid of past social situations), and emerging puberty are all contributing to this mounting anxiety. We are thinking that maybe she needs to re-visit some therapy with her counselor but we do not want to make the anxiety any worse by making a big deal about it. We have told her that her behavior is not acceptable for her age (the dr. visit) but we want to be sure that we are handling the situation correctly. Is this normal behavior and what suggestions do you have to help her over come this anxiety?
Yes, you are on the right track by thinking that your daughter's therapy should be resumed. This will not be making the situation worse; it will be tackling it and thereby help your daughter. All the reasons you cited may well be contributing to the situation. Now all you have to do is follow up on your good understanding by getting her the help that is reuired.
From your description, it does appear that your child is suffering from extreme anxiety. If you read one of my posts above, you would note that I believe that anxiety is an inherited trait (and the recent research in this area supports this view). Puberty can exacerbate anxiety issues. Perhaps it is time to see your family physician - you may require a referral to a specialist in anxiety disorders who treats children. The treatment may consist of intervention, therapy and/or medication. If your child truly suffers from anxiety (which I like to define as "intense distress which can reach toxic levels"), you will not be able to handle this disorder without help. By the way, anxiety disorders are highly treatable. I wish you the best ...
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