Children and Anxiety
There's a lot in the news about children dealing with more stress in their lives. What or who is to blame?
Is it social media, school expectations, exam and/or homework stress or is it closer to home? Moving house away from friends and familiarity, family illness, bereavement or a breakdown of the family – perhaps parents have separated or are divorced?
It could be one of these, a combination or something completely different. It can affect the young person at any time including infants and primary into secondary school and beyond.
Growing up can be a challenging time. At it's worse anxiety can lead to panic attacks. Also self-harming can seem like a release of the pressure a young person is trying to cope with.
So who do young people talk to? They don't all have an intimate group of friends where their private worries are safely shared. Perhaps there are only one or two close friends... or none.
Parents? Yes, but as the young person gets older then this is their natural time to start distancing away from the parents to try out their own ideas and often parents aren't what is always needed or wanted. A tough time for everyone – finding the 'new normals' of their roles within family life.
School? Yes and there is a lot of good support in school, some have their own counsellors but there may be waiting lists and perhaps the young person doesn't want anyone else in school to know that they are accessing extra help and support.
How can counselling help?
How can I help?
In my experience young people are resilient but sometimes both they and their families need help. Life can be difficult and stressful and a safe place to share and unravel those thoughts and feelings can make a huge difference. It needs to be their decision to come to see me even if its for an initial half an hour just to see who I am and what I'm like.