Anxiety is far too often an unwelcome visitor to our house. I have suffered from it since childhood. It got so much worse after the world changed. Never ending road. Virtual all the worries now focused on our son. Not sure I am that bothered about myself these days….

This morning I woke to that unwelcome guest again. So many voices in my head. All saying the same thing … son is due a anxiety meltdown. Unfortunately that was the truth.

Anxiety and Depression are real inhibiting factors for so many in our society. Research clearly indicates that the risk of suffering from these awful conditions are increased for those living in the world of autism. At least a two fold increase is often reported. Yet from personal experience this was never identified in any of the briefings or guides we received during our journey. It is just not addressed appropriately by society. This can and does have catastrophic results. In our case it took several years of pushy parenting before our son started to get some help.

It’s so difficult to unpick the anxiety for our son. Is it Aspergers related, is it Dyslexia related, is it bereavement related, is it human life anxiety, is it all four….

With our son we have a frequently returning swirling mix of worries and demons. They recede then they blast back. On really bad days they all materialise at the same time. He has many repeating spectres.

  • Dyslexia and it’s unwanted consequences.
  • Friendships and social interaction.
  • Not understanding this strange, alien world.
  • Fear of death (his, mine, his pets, his remaining family, the people he cares for).
  • Related to the fear of death is his fear of illness. Everything is catchable. Everything can be a risk. Every sneeze, every ache, every speck of dirt is a potential harbinger of a health disaster.
  • School. Homework, rules, punishments, no support, cold and scary environments.
  • Feeling different, feeling inferior, fearing the finger pointing, fearing being laughed at.
  • Running out of money, going broke, losing everything.
  • The climate, wrecking the natural world, world politics, Brexit. World is going wrong.
  • Being alone.
  • Having to fit into large social groupings.
  • Fear of being long term depressed.

This is someone so young.

Today it is the return to school and fear of illness. The anxiety vortex is building strength. The bag of tricks we try only helps take the edge off but doesn’t fix today. All we can do is just be busy. Constant activity. Try to stop the mind thinking. These apply to both of us. My world is full of anxiety today as well….

81 thoughts on “Anxiety

  1. I too suffer from this. I feel unable to breathe and depression sometimes settle in. So I understand. At those times prayer is the answer for me. I hope you find the answer for you and yours. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Oh I feel for you and how awful it is to see kids so young tearing themselves inside out with things they should never even think when they’re that age. You both have gone through enough to last more than a lifetime and have very different but equally devastating grief and feelings to work through as best you can.

    The world will one day seem less frightening, the silver lining right there and you’ll look back and wonder how the hell you ever did it but you’ll do it. All of you ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Our society tends to sweep those things we can’t easily understand, under the rug. It’s easier than trying to find ways to deal, to help. Your son has a quadruple dose of problems without the experience of age, of life lived, to help him deal with it. Luckily for him, he has a great dad who cares enough to find the answers and to help him work through the angst & anxiety. I just wish his dad had some help, for I fear you are going to burn out before the job is done. Find some ways to give yourself a break, be it music, books, or mindless cartoons on television. Hugs to you both, my friend.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. If one or two of those things on the list were all you had to deal with you’d probably say: “Ok, it’s tough but I/We can handle it – we”l get through somehow.”

    But it’s not just one or two and piled up like that it could easily look and feel like it is insurmountable. I’d certainly start to feel anxious if i had more than 3 of them…

    Actually, i do! Hmmmmm…?

    I think EVERYONE feels or can relate to ALL of those things you’ve listed, it’s just a matter of the degree to which they interfere with you living the life you are leading and, if possible, enjoying. To get through it we have to balance the negatives by diminishing our worry about them and increase our awareness of the positives, those little moments that make us smile or laugh or just feel good, however brief the feeling is.

    Write another list (i think you did already!) of the things you are grateful for in your life and either add to it as often as you can or read it daily to increase your personal awareness of what you can counter the negative list with – both of you. Whenever one of those items starts filling your mind try to catch it as soon as you realise and put one of the positive thoughts in it’s place. Use replacement therapy.

    Life’s about getting the balance right between the crap and the Great. Try and donate more of your energy to the Great in life. The fear can go look after itself.

    If you get a chance, take one item from the negative list and see what you can do to cut it out, or at least it’s affect on you down to the point where it is no longer a fear.

    I know it’s not much, but it’s all i got on short notice. ๐Ÿ™‚

    You’ve got support here in blogland! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Since you mentioned it… Dyslexia – I’ve been thinking… could you ask your son to help you do what he does that comes under the term ‘dyslexia’? To try and teach you to be him in this regard? See if he can explain what he does and how he does it and how it differs to what the other kids at school do to the point where you can do the same thing the same way he does.

    The point being: the more he can look at it from a different perspective the better he might be able to understand it and find ways to do things differently? The more you understand what he does and how and why the better chance you may be able to offer viable alternatives? His brain has ‘learned’ one way, it can always learn another.

    An alternative would be to own his dyslexia, celebrate of it as one point of difference that is part of the person he is, makes him the unique individual he is. Far too many of us try to fit in with the rest (Stuff ’em!) rather than standing out, perhaps for reasons that are obvious but not all that great. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Its so much harder on your own too as you cannot share it all with a supportive partner. I personally feel everything is being made harder, stricter, more rules, less openness. Its not conducive to relaxing but all to anxiety, doubt, fear and stress, its so sad as I feel special souls like your son would have more to give in a less restrictive environment. Losing your Mum at that age is so very very hard too…

    One good thing I am glad you get so much support on line. You are highly valued in this community and much cared about. I hope you find some narrow chinks of release somewhere through the day. I also think prayer helps. Just asking a higher power or something to take the anxiety or fear or help you hold it for today. Its worth a try.. Hugs and love โค

    Liked by 3 people

  6. You said this – “Not sure I am that bothered about myself these daysโ€ฆ.” – if you’re not bothered about yourself your son will have picked up on that.

    Is he worried about getting ill because if he gets ill then he won’t be able to look after you? Is he worried about what will happen to you if he can’t be there for you?

    My apologies if this is inappropriate, please feel free to delete and ignore.

    Btw, I have dyslexia. I recommend reading The Gift of Dyslexia by Ron Davis and The Dyslexic Advantage by Brock Eide. Dyslexia isn’t a problem which needs fixing, what needs fixing is the attitude towards it which those books do really well, they’re a good read for both dyslexics and non-dylexics. They both have websites you can browse.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Having suffered panic attacks as a teenager (still get them occasionally) and depression in my 20s and 30s, I feel for your son, and you too. There is no magic solution other than learning to recognise the signs and divert them. You have some good tactics for doing this, and that is extremely positive. At the depths of my depression in 1987, I had an excellent GP who told me to concentrate on something about myself I liked and build from there. Music was my salvation. I find it amazing your son has such a wonderful memory, that he is confident with animals of all descriptions (how are the gerbils by the way) and he has such a practical and logical approach to so many things. It seems so unfair that he has to face such anxieties too. You’re doing a grand job, and nobody can deny that.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Whilst attending church today, a girl had a breakdown. Screaming, crying, trying to run into things. She was visiting someone in our area, so most likely ’twas an overload. I always wish I can help the parents in those cases, but they’ve enough on their plates already…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You kinda get used to it. I remember a similar thing happening 5 minutes into Hotel Translyvania at the cinema. You are one of the good ones, your understanding really helps. It the parents or people who tut or wave their fingers who donโ€™t help in anyway, just make you feel like you have the plague.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely tried to not draw attention to the situation and direct my children the same. -I know that reaction can feel alienating to a parent as well but one just can’t focus on anything else besides one’s child in the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I hope that both you and your son can pull through the bad days with the unwelcome visitor.

    I don’t have a child but I can understand how difficult it is dealing with anxiety while still trying to be the rock for the family that is grieving a loss. I wish you both well.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. I can 100% relate as i had very bad anxiety about 4-5 years ago but i knew the source of it, which helped me to overcome it in time.

    You mention that you have had anxiety from childhood, you may not want to hear this but I think its your anxiety that is affecting your son. A child is born into this world with 2 fears, loud noises and the fear of falling. Both to help with survival. All other fears are learnt from our environment.

    My advice is to work on your own fears and anxiety and that will in turn help your son.

    Nowadays there is so much support available.

    ETF tapping worked for me, but everyone is different. If you have had it from childhood then you will probably have to trace back to that time to find out what caused it which in turn will help you to overcome it.

    As i have said you may not want to face this but im writing this reply to help you in the right direction. I will keep you in my prayers.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. I feel you.. My son expressed so many worries to my mother the other evening. Bed time is his over thinking time.

    I agree with keeping busy.

    I’m not worried about why he’s worried, seems like a never ending cycle of worry and anxiety but it won’t be forever.

    Bad days do let us appreciate the better ones xx

    Liked by 3 people

  12. I feel for you and your son. My daughter suffers from severe anxiety and PTSD as do I. Most my life I never knew what those feelings were.

    Anxiety is almost like a blanket that comes over me, affecting everything right down to my breathing. But with coping skills that I’ve learned over the years I manage.

    BUT seeing you’re child go through it is so much harder. I know in your situation you have so many other factors.

    I’m new to your blog. I can tell that there is LOVE in there. Hold on to the good times, and get through the bad one breath at a time.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. thank you so much for this. i had to share it, because the complex issue of neurodiveristy is so important in our society and world culture. i am so glad you found my blog, because otherwise i would not have known about YOURS. the personal experiences of all of us on the front lines is so valuable. bless you for all you have done, are doing, and will continue to do. and give both yourself and your son a big reward. all that brain work needs a reward. whatever is appropriate, hand out rewards. do you need extra pickles on your sandwich? give yourself those extra pickles. does he need five extra minutes on a walk? give him those five extra minutes. rewards for making it through a rough patch are infinitely diverse.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Spend more time in Nature. In her you and your son will find the solace and tranquility you cant find anywhere else. Hope you sail successfully accross this choppy ocean of challenges. Good luck!

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Anxiety is a knife turned on us. The only way for me to escape its blade was to turn it away from me. I did that by focusing on others – husband, kids, work mates – genuine issues. When I sensed it coming on, I cleaned harder, cooked more.

    Lately, when times have been hard, I’ve been hearing a voice (spiritually) telling me, Go home to your family. I’m not away from them or anything. It means I have to deepen my care of them. Put my husband’s needs first, be more patient, not sweat the small stuff. Deepen my care can be different things on different days for different kids.

    Each time, I’ve found the cloud eases off, even if it doesn’t go away completely.
    Some days, that’s good enough.

    Liked by 1 person

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