My son is 7 years old and has been struggling with anxiety. He has made improvements but still has a long way to go. School is definitely hard for him, his teacher has been great and gives him a free pass when he isn't comfortable doing something or answering a question. He has some good friends who are very patient with him (though I fear as they get older they are going to get tired of the high maintenance he requires). They know he hates to lose so they always let him win (which I don't entirely agree with, but its sweet they don't like to see him upset.) He is a perfectionist and unless he can do something perfectly the first time he doesn't want to try. Once in awhile he still has a day where he has to be carried into school. Recently they had poetry day at school and he curled up in a ball and covered his head for the whole thing. After it was over I had to carry him out of the room and he was grunting and wouldn't talk for a good 1/2 hour after the event. Its like his whole body just shuts down. Other parents keep telling me they felt so bad for him, and I start crying every time its brought up. He loves playing sports but most of the time the anxiety gets in the way. We finally found a sport he can do and loves (after signing him up for and dropping out of several) but has a hard time getting through a practice. If they ask him to try something new he gets upset. If he makes a mistake, he gets upset. If someone else cheats (like they don't skate around the cone) he gets upset. When he gets upset he will often either fall to the ground and cover his head or skate off to the side and won't participate. He has always done well with games though, and loves it. Today he is starting a clinic and he is really nervous about it and both my husband and myself are dreading it. Its a clinic that is only games, no practices, so he should love it but he has worked it up so much in his head that i'm not sure how its going to go. Its so hard to see him so upset and we have no idea what to do.
A few other things that have happened recently: I brought him to a birthday party and there was a dunk tank. He really wanted to go into it, though I had my concerns. He got halfway up the ladder and started shutting down. He got mostly onto the seat but he started grunting and wasn't able to talk. The other kids were great, giving him time and encouraging him but i finally had to pull him off. He gets so upset b/c he wants to do these things but can't. He was also supposed to go to a banquet last weekend to get a trophy. He really wanted to go and then right before we were supposed to go he changed his mind and shut down. He was also supposed to start a new sport that he really wanted to do but at the first two practices he shut down and left the field so I ended up pulling him from the program. I am so sad that he is missing out on stuff he loves b/c of this.
He recently started seeing a therapist, but that will take awhile for us to notice any difference. He seems open to it working, going as far as to tell me "I need to see my therapist more b/c it isn't working yet." If anything I think its made him more aware that he is different and thats upsetting him as well. My husband has anxiety and depression and its so hard. I feel like it might be time to medicate him, my husband is afraid of the side effects. I just worry he is not completely happy and is missing out on things. Every event I go to that has kids participating and having fun and my child is curled up in a ball on the floor it gets harder and harder for me to handle.
Anyway, if you made it through this jumble of thoughts and emotions, thank you! Does anyone have any advice? Any kids who have been through this? Its just heart wrenching bc you can see the struggle in him when he wants to do something but just can't.