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Avatar universal

anxiety and being a mom

When I have panic attacks or excessive anxiety , any advice on what to tell my kids ages 4 and 8 they get freaked out and worry about me. I am constantly saying to them, moms just not feeling well. I think I am creating anxiety in them esp. my oldest. Does any one have any ideas on how to help my kids cope with the ups and downs. I have been doing really well for a while, My oldest is always asking if I',m alright still.
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Avatar universal
I think whats most important in this instance is to reassure your kids that you dont feel good right now but that you'll be alright.Im sure you understand that they are just worried that your not going to be okay, which can yes increase worry and fear in them.

When I was going through chemo, my poor children came to realize Mommy was human and could die. They never became accepting that this would be the outcome, but Im sure the experince frightened them badly, I know it did me. But during that perioud I looked both of my girls in the face and told them that I was sick on purpose so that I could get better, and they accepted that. I think they were relieved to know this wasnt an emergency, and I was doing this to get better.

Mabey just reasure them that your going through a thing right now, but that your trying to figure it out and you'll get better.. if you believe that yourself that is. I mean,, if its all just anxiety, it should get better once you figure out whats causing it emotional of physical. Who needs a mystery,, try everything.. Im working on spiritual and herbal stuff myself right now trying to 'figure it out' .. doctors dont have all the answers, but YOU do kinda stuff. Iv had so many x-rays and chemicals put in me... I am so all natural now my doctors are getting tired of me saying "I dont think I need that".

*I hope for you and your kids that you find healing*

Jennifer

Mabey anxiety attacks serve a purpose,, mabey they make us stronger people with more open hearts in the end.. more sensative and compassionate individuals. When you have an anxiety attach the first thing, everyone always says, I would NEVER wish this on my worst enemy...
Avatar universal
Thanks for the reality check, i do have to learn to work through it. When I hear a story like that it makes me stronger and put things in perspective thanks.
370181 tn?1428180348
I know exactly where you're at with this question. When my kids were little, I didn't know what to tell them either. I knew they got scared when I'd have a panic attack because Mommy just "went away." I, too, worried that I was creating anxiety in them and I worried constantly about having an attack in front of them. It was hard enough raising two rowdy boys, but living with this fear just drained me. Sometimes I would give them a popcicle when the attack hit and hope that would focus their attention away from me. When my oldest was around 7 or 8, I had a talk with him about my "funny little fits." I don't remember exactly what I told him now, it was so many years ago. One thing I do know is that I reassured him that I would always be OK, that Mommy just needed a bit of a time out and that I'd appreciate it if he'd take care of his brother for a few minutes, maybe turn the TV on, which was a real treat, that I needed him to be a big boy and be in charge. It didn't always work. I know there were times they were really scared. Trying to act normal when you're in the midst of a panic attack just makes it a hundred times worse. Sometimes I'd tell him to watch his brother and I'd go into the bathroom so they wouldn't see me freaking out. I'd run cold water on my wrists and take deep breaths and worry what would happen to them when I was dead on the floor..........
And many times I WOULD just try and act like nothing was happening, which was so incredibly difficult, especially if I was driving. But I did it..........somehow.
When they got older, young teenagers, I sat them down and told them about panic disorder and that I had it. I did my best to explain it to them, what it felt like, what I needed them to do for me when it happened. The "why do you have them" question was much more difficult to address. I lied to them, telling them it was a problem some women get. At that age, they didn't want to hear any more about "woman stuff" as they had just started learning in health class about certain things and having mom talk to them about it was gross. I hated to lie, but I had a big bullet to dodge. They couldn't have handled the truth. Not then and I feel, even now, as grown up men, they don't need to know.
I think I'm getting way off base here as regards your question. I know now that if I should ever have a panic attack around my boys, they will gently touch my shoulder and whisper "I'll be in the kitchen." I guess I must have done something right in explaining it to them. Neither of them has ever experienced any sort of anxiety problem. I wish I had had the sense to talk to my pediatrician about it way back then, and I think that might be a good idea for you. I think this post is not very helpful and wonder if I should just delete it, but I don't think I will. I hope someone else will have better advice for you.
Someone should write a book about this. I sure as hell could have used it all those years ago!
I wish you well.
Greenlydia  
        

Avatar universal
This is a big worry for me. My oldest (11) understands the word anxiety and what it means to me, although she doesn't understand what is going on, I have been very vocal about it and tell them it is something going on with me, the way that I handle stress and I try every opportunity to let teach them about taking time for themselves,not worrying about what others think, etc.. this has beena learning experience for me and for my kids. I noticed my middle child (8) has had a few minor panic attacks where she is scared for no reason and feels weird, usually when she is embarrased or something so I am helping her now to learn how to deal with it so it hopefully doesn't get to where mine got. My mom had anxiety bad when I was a kid and she never addressed it, even when me and my brother developed it. She just pretended it didn't exist, even with us. I am trying something new with my daughter in hopes that she will accept and not fear these feelings now so it won't spiral out of control later in life, don't know if this is the right stance to take but I think so. I never tell her she has anxiety, just to accept her feelings and go with them, it works, she feels better instantly. Anyway, don't be afraid to let your kids know what is going on. The first trip to the ER was scary for my kids, what's wrong with mommy, now they understand anxiety is not a bad word, they just know I need a moment and they are okay with that. I guess what I am trying to say is make it not so scary and secretative and they will just go with it.
By the way, greenlydia, I started a book about 4 months ago about my journey in hopes that at the end of all this, I can publish it for all those out there, hopefully to help them from someone who has suffered. We will see...
God bless and take care all!
Avatar universal
I would be completely honest w/ your kids and tell them that you have an anxiety disorder, what that means, and what the consequences of that are.  

i)This should help alleviate the nervousness they feel when they see mommy not feeling well . Kids are going to think the worst if they dont have an "acceptable reason" for what they are observing (despite the fact you reassure them you will be fine). E.g. having a name for your condition may help them cope better (rather than them thinking you have cancer, for instance, and you are just "brushing them off").

ii) Anxiety disorders have been shown to have a hereditary component.  If your kids ever start to have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, they will know what is going on and more likely to turn to you for help (rather than keep it secret and so many childern do).
Avatar universal
I don't think that you should tell them that you have anxiety i told my 10 year old daughter and she developed a fear that i am going to die and she worries all the time that i am going to die from anxiety no matter all the times i tell her i will not die from it, so she has developed her own anxiety over  death so she keeps crying thinking i am going to die, and her grandma will die she can't get over it. I feel bad for her know because she worries all the time
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