Why is it important for children to overcome an anxiety condition early in life, and what is the best way to do it? We asked the experts from Linden Tree Education for their insight
All people deserve a fulfilling and well life experience, and whilst anxiety conditions are genetically predetermined, it does not mean that suffering from them is inevitable. Anxiety, phobias, obsessions, compulsions and low mood are preventable and the earlier the predisposition or the onset of suffering is recognised, the faster we can address and arrest the development of the condition or future suffering.
What anxiety conditions do children suffer from?
Childhood anxiety can affect a child in many ways but the most common manifestations of anxiety in young people are experienced as phobic reaction such as agoraphobia, monophobia (fear of being alone), didaskaleinophobia (school phobia), thanatophobia (fear of dying) but also panic attacks, compulsions, rituals and health anxiety.
Eating disorders and self-harm are also quite common in children and can often be diagnosed as depression related, however, they are also deeply embedded responses within an anxiety condition and unrelated to clinical depression.
Is it true that anxiety and depression are related?
Although many people are diagnosed with anxiety and depression and are often prescribed antidepressants for the treatment of anxiety, clinical depression and anxiety cannot be present in comorbidity (at the same time).
It is common for anxiety sufferers to feel low, fed up and frustrated, but this must not be confused with clinical depression which is an entirely separate illness characterised by an entirely different experience at the opposite end of the emotional spectrum.
Depression renders the sufferer entirely incapable of producing positive emotional responses at any time; whilst anxiety sufferers often feel unmotivated and frustrated, they can and do experience positive emotional responses, even when these manifest as fear.
Because fear is perceived to be a negative emotional response, its purpose is to identify and respond to threat in order to keep a per-son safe; which is, despite how it may feel, an entirely positive emotional response. By removing the anxiety condition correctly, mood and wellness returns to normal by default.
Do mindfulness and relaxation work?
Whilst mindfulness and relaxation are becoming increasingly widely used as a treatment for anxiety conditions, they can and often do, increase anxiety. There have been well documented cases of the activation of anxiety and also mental illness through meditation.
The anxious mind is in the state we commonly refer to as ‘fight or flight’ which activates a brain state called hyper-vigilance. In hyper-vigilance, the senses and mind are proactively seeking out anything which could present as risk; in anxiety conditions, these anxious focuses then become the core disorder.
An example of this might be a child that be-comes anxious about death or dying, becoming fixated on their heart, fainting or their breathing for example; relaxation and meditation, which forces them to be still, silent and focusing on their ‘self’ increases their anxious focus and exacerbates the fear response. The use of relaxation and mindfulness has dramatically increased anxious suffering and the activation of anxiety conditions in millions of people.
Should children take ant-anxiolytic medication?
No parent would want to medicate their child unnecessarily and it is our overwhelming experience since 1997 that it is entirely unnecessary to medicate anyone suffering from an anxiety condition.
Medications are often prescribed as a way of helping a sufferer to sleep, to control heart rate or to suppress the higher level manifestations of anxiety. Anxiety conditions are so simply addressed by understanding the science and implementing tac-tics dictated by that science. Since 1997, we have demonstrated that correct intervention of science based recovery instruction works quickly, targeting the source of the condition and preventing future suffering.
Why do some parents blame themselves for their child’s anxiety?
It’s so easy to blame life circumstances or uncomfortable or distressing events for the activation of a child’s anxiety condition but rest assured that, whilst an event could activate a child’s condition, it is certainly not the cause.
Many parents who also suffer with anxiety, feel that they might have ‘infected’ their child with anxiety, or that their own life circumstances might have impacted on their child’s stress levels. A child that is born with the predisposition to suffering from an anxiety condition could activate the condition at any time; the catalyst for that is irrelevant and is often unknown. It is vital for parents to recognise this but to also seek out appropriate assistance from those who understand the disorder and have the knowledge and resources to provide fast and permanent relief.
What is the solution?
Since 1997, we have been using the science of emotional control to perfect the provision of instruction, resources and support delivered by our qualified recovery psychology practitioners through our online, workshop and residential programs. Our recovery outcomes are unmatched internationally and our reputation for creating fast and life-long relief is equally unique.
Director, Linden Tree Education
Call our team on +44 (0)1562 702720