Living with anxiety is the real deal for so many people and kids.

DAD, DAD I am getting really anxious, sorry its the middle of the night”

Anxiety seems inexplicably linked with Autism. We are so used to these panic attacks. They can happen at any stage.

This one is a daft one. A really daft one. But I am panicking”

Son there are no daft ones. Whatever the cause – panic attacks are awful. We call it the anxiety vortex. When they take hold they just keep gaining strength – making rational thought almost impossible.

It sillier than the school history one”

At school the teacher was talking about the Middle Ages. The Black Death came up. The whole thing unsettled our son. Given what he has been through Death haunts his soul. When he did some research he found that the cause is still not agreed upon but it could be bubonic plague. Bubonic plague still kills today. The anxiety vortex took hold. It took a couple of days of hard work to bring it under control. We are still trying to extinguish that one…

“Dad when I went to the York Dungeons. Well it was fun and kinda scary. Well one room scared me. It was the vikings. The models looked awful as if they had the plague, the room smelled of death. All I can think about is Ghost Vikings. Ghost Vikings coming to get us. I know it sounds daft but it’s starting to unleash a lot of other vortexes.”

So during the night we talked about Ghost Vikings. We talked about a lot of things. Stuff like that today football is super popular in Scandinavia – if Viking ghosts did come back they are more likely to want to play football than go on a violent pillage. Stuff like given the astronomical price of Alcohol in Norway the ghosts would just be heading straight for our pubs and our village doesn’t have a bar….

This one was a relatively easy vortex to tame. Yes we could easily debunk it. But Anxiety and fears are so very real. Many cannot be tamed. Many more are still to be unearthed. If you are suffering I send you my love. It is so so tough.

63 thoughts on “Those pesky Vikings

      1. It came off last Thursday, as it had cracked. Now an anklet and crape bandage and lot of cautious. I am hoping to be rid of this encumbrance in another 10 days.

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  1. We’re on rattlesnakes now. Just passed spiders, but haven’t successfully debunked that one, yet. :/ Ghost Vikings sound cool, but only in stories.

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      1. Yeah…. I’m thinking I ought to just embrace it.

        His brothers, meanwhile, keep making hissing sounds around him. Guess that’s what family’s for.

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  2. Oh Gary. I so feel for your son. And for you too. Not easy to dealvwith all this, but you are such a good Dad. I can totally understand yoyr son’s reaction to the Black Death. So difficult. Lots of hugs Gary.

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  3. You summed up beautifully the irrationality and the genuine distress that living with anxiety and panic disorder involves for so many including our daughter from a very young age. Your ability to employ your sense of humour and imagination are two very important tools in your management toolbox!

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  4. A good imagination (memory too) can be a great blessing – and also a great curse.

    You do a wonderful job being there for him and using rationality and humour along with a certain sense of the absurd (good technique for destroying negative thought/feelings!) to ease the concern.

    I’m still trying to better understand the ‘how’ of our brains but i feel that anxiety in part comes from focusing our attention too much on things ‘outside’ of ourselves (over which we have little control) and could be reduced by bringing our attention/awareness back to our ‘inner’ self, where monsters and uncertainty are less likely to exist to be concerned about. Meditation, ‘centring’ ourselves and focussing on our own body, internal sensations, etc. brings a sense of peace and well-being. Develop a habit of meditating for 15-30 minutes a day and see if the attacks lessen any?

    Just a thought. 🙂

    Failing that remind him that Thor is a Viking God and he’s a good guy who’s on our side. 😉

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  5. I suffer with anxiety also. I have for years. Did not know what it was as I lived in the 50s and only realized it when I became a nurse. I took medication and still do, mild but helps me cope. Ty. 🙂

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      1. It was and still is but even tougher for children. I react with confusion, but with the understanding you are giving your son, soon he will understand also and know how to handle it. Love in our Christ.:)

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  6. Ah, but what an imagination! Does he write? Get him to release his anxiety onto the paper. Sometimes when you delve unto the minute details of things the larger worry dissipates. Kind of like The Tibetan Book of the Dead. If you visualize your own death enough times eventually it’s no longer scary. Good luck over there!😘

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  7. Could there be something in his diet that is contributing? I know some kids don’t process sugar well. Some have trouble with food coloring. Some have trouble with high fructose corn syrup in drinks & other processed foods (GMO corn). Food additives?

    Just brainstorming…🤔😬🤯

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      1. Our food supply has been poisoned. GMOs, pesticides, MSG, artificial sweeteners, hormones, antibiotics… The list is long and growing.

        I can give you a personal case history. My mom put me on birth control when I was 16…not because I was “active” (hardly) but, because I had awful periods. BC pills did clear it up (and my face) but, what the medical establishment refused to acknowledge or report was that synthetic hormones can cause depression. Seven years later, right in the MIDDLE of my honeymoon, I slid into an unbelievable, debilitating depressive episode. I put myself into a private institution for help. THEY put me on an antidepressant. They didn’t think to ask me about the BC pills I was still on. For three months, the two combined and nearly made me psychotic. The BC prescription ended and I didn’t bother to get another one but, it took my body a while to get the synthetic drugs out. My marriage was destroyed within six months.

        I stayed on the antidepressant for 21 years thinking I needed it…thinking I was somehow “broken”. When I found out about the BC pills and what they could do, I began a slow journey of weaning myself off of the antidepressants (you know, those pills that they claim are not addictive). That was eight years ago.

        My point in all of that is, each body is unique and they all react differently to environmental poisons. I was prone to panic attacks while on the BC pills. That went off the charts with the antidepressant combo. I also couldn’t eat. I dropped 41 lbs in those three months.

        I have been the healthiest on an organic, non-gmo, non-dairy (except goat cheeses), pescetarian diet. I’m not suggesting that for you or your son but, reading labels and being conscious of what you eat might help him. There is also allergy testing.

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  8. I think what your son (and you) are going through is part of being on the spectrum. I’m autistic and I remember learning about things and then suddenly being terrified of them. Sometimes I was aware they were ridiculous but I couldn’t stop the fear. E.g. I read a book about volcanoes and got terrified that one had appeared on the mini roundabout near our house and the lava was coming to destroy everything. I equated the yellow glow of the sodium streetlights with lava putting yellow light into the sky. My son now wakes me, usually at 1am, with fears that he has.

    There were two things my parents did that helped me and I now use them with my son.

    1. Facts E.g. the UK is not on an active plate boundary – therefore no volcanoes.
    2. My parents not being afraid, at all, of what was scaring me and telling me “that’s never going to happen”. Their relaxation helped me realign the associations in my mind.

    P.S My son is now 17 and his anxiety is bringing him to me a lot less often now and with lower level feelings. As a 10 yr old he had screaming night terrors and anxiety meltdowns regularly where he absolutely couldn’t cope . It was hard to help him and I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing because it just kept happening. But facts and a calm adult very gradually put it right.

    Hope this helps. Please ignore anything that’s not helpful.
    Jo

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  9. Poor kid. It must be stressful for him. Thankfully he has you and you are doing a wonderful job. I do hope he overcomes the anxiety as he grows or he is able to rationalize and fight those fear pangs. God Bless you both.

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  10. I had a panic attack the other week; the protagonist of ‘Beast’ is a thinly disguised version of me; fortunately I survived 🙂 My heart goes out to your son. I know what it’s like. The next one? Just around the corner

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