My oldest daughter, has an anxiety disorder (Conversion Disorder) and last summer it was at an all time high and we were really struggling (happy to report she is doing much better)! Last year when we learned about it, SHE came up with this idea to create a “Panic Bag”! We included all the different ways to help reduce her anxiety (stress ball, puddy, iPod for music, etc.) some anxiety reducing techniques (such as breathing exercises) she learned from her counselor, and her school schedule (schedules are VERY helpful for her, she likes to know what to expect next) . We put it in her backpack, but moved it around to other bags if needed. I also put a smaller version in our car.
This was a great idea and worked very well for her (and I give her kudos for thinking of it). But I Thought I’d share something that worked for us 🙂 But trust me, there were a lot of things that didn’t work so well either.
I think the key is – anxiety can be very different for everyone and you have to figure out your triggers and what will work for you and/or your family and friends. Anxiety is an increasing mental health disorder, that we continue to learn and read more about. One thing with children, they can have a hard time expressing themselves. For my daughter, she just DIDN’T express herself at all and the anxiety built and built until your body had to figure out a way to express the anxiety she was feeling and this is when she was diagnosed with Conversion Disorder (Conversion disorder is a rare condition in which your brain converts mental stress into physical symptoms).
I wish you all well and please if you have any questions for me, as a parent with a child with anxiety, I would love to help!
Trust me – you are NOT alone! Once we shared what was going on with our daughter, more and more people shared others they knew that were going through the same thing. It is something we need to start and keep talking about!