As a mother of a child with childhood anxiety, I’ve come to learn a few things along the way.
Childhood anxiety is not obvious when your child is very little.
I spent my daughter’s early years applauding her for being so much more mature than her peers. Everyone noticed and complimented her being advanced for her years. I never thought it was a symptom of childhood anxiety. Never in a million years did I see it coming. I was so proud of her.
She was so much more mature than her peers. She wasn’t disruptive. She always listened to rules. I never thought it was because she didn’t want that attention.
I didn’t realize that what I thought was a virtue, was actually a sign that she was behind her peer in normal social development.
Learning this fact really struck a chord with me. My daughter was suffering and I didn’t know.
It was only years later, when her learning disabilities became apparent and she was able to better express herself that it became clear that she was suffering from anxiety. She admitted that even thought she went to bed at a reasonable hour, she wasn’t sleeping or having constant nightmares.
Mental health is not that simple. It’s not easy to diagnosed and it’s not easy to live with. If mental illnesses were that simple we wouldn’t be struggling in the first place.