Parent's Anxiety Disorders And Children's Adjustment

The Need for Psychotherapy:

The answer to the question in #4 is absolutely NOT. No person chooses to suffer from panic, anxiety, phobic reactions or some type of personality disorder. I hear you asking the question of what purpose there is of pointing at the mother? The question is good and the answer is important. Here it is:

Being a parent is a difficult job even for those who do not experience a psychiatric problem. The fact is that people need help in raising children and in getting help for their emotional problems for those who have them. It was pointed out in a recent posting that it is far easier for people to get full treatment for physical illnesses than for emotional ones.

Mothers and fathers who experience any of the psychiatric problems discussed here: anxiety disorders, depression and personality disorders are deserving of treatment, especially when their children are young, so that they can do their parenting with a minimum of their problems interfering with the healthy development of their sons and daughters.

There are many types of therapy and medications to help people overcome their anxieties and live happy lives. Among these are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Modeling Therapy, EMDR, and so on. Medications reduce anxious reactions and help make the therapy work more successfully in many cases.

Therefore, the purpose is not to blame people but to let them know that there is help. It is also important to remind the reader that going for help for your self does not guarantee that the child will avoid the anxiety disorders. It is important to remember that there is always that genetic influence in the background or foreground.

5. A Personal Note:

My mother suffered from an anxiety disorder as did her mother. Certainly, in a day when not much was known about these things, she did not go for help but lived a fairly limited life. Did she communicate her fears to me? Yes, she did but not deliberately. Later, as a young adult and someone entering the field of mental health practice, it was necessary for me to get help for my fears and inhibitions. I did so and was and am able to live a normal life and that includes writing for Mental Help Net.

Your comments and experiences are welcome.

  • sandy

    i am a44 yr old mother of two who suffers from panic/anxiety disorder since my early 20's i do recieve psch care time is limited i have no health ins. but here's the sinker i have a 9 yr old son who began struggling with panic/anxiety disorder at age 8. he recieves treatment,but school is fearful for him he also does not attend a full day he dismisses an hour earlier than the other kids(publicschool) is there anyone who can tell me if he can recieve academic help at home as well as school. i will be open to any parents advice or tips to help me when he becomes nervous night before school. we live in conn. are there any other people, methods, besides meds for my child. my message to congress children require a physical exam from time to time well haven't we had enogh of school violence by now, what about mental health exams!!!

  • Kate

    Hello, husband experienced trauma as a teen (witnessed mother hit by car). Worried his anxiety will be passed on to children (be careful, you're going to fall, severe reaction to not holding child's hand on dock, even for a second). I started to say, "you are ok" to them, despite his comments. Will this be enough to anxiety proof them now and for the future? I'd like to identify what's going on: "Daddy is worried but you are ok". What do you think. Recommended reading? He has accepted a bit of counselling on this but not a lot. Not sure it helped.

    Thank you!

  • Janet

    I have a 4 1/2 yr old and 6 month old daughter and my husband suffers from anxiety. Has tried medication but side effects were very limiting. Doesn't want to try therapy. Seems to be way he is hard wired, as was his grandfather. Try to keep him out of anxiety provoking situations which is hard and explain to daughter that Daddy worries about her safety. He over reacts to perceived dangers. Only happens occasionally as I am primary caregiver and older daughter is careful, but not always a good listener.

  • Anonymous-1

    I am an anxious mother who comes from a highly anxious father. I would like to protect my children, especially my first born son from this but am not sure how. My primary care dr just prescribed Zoloft (that I had to push for) that I just began taking but not sure if that will be a magic pill or not. I tend to over react to unsafe or mean(ie.-sibling injustices) behaviors and I yell often. Sometimes in public I will squeeze their hand/wrist extra tight to get them to behave but end up with them crying, which in turn, adds to my anxiety! I also tend to perseverate on issues & lecture to them often. I love them to pieces and often have guilt about my parenting which keeps me up at night. My son is almost 8 and is very reserved and acts like me towards his sister. :(

    :( Any insight would be much appreciated.

  • Nat

    I turn 40 next year, and have circled around and around to try and figure out why I feel the way I do. My mum has a mixture of phobias, agoraphobia and social anxiety. I haven't wanted to admit to myself that growing up with an anxious mum - fearful of so many things - has had an impact on me. I haven't wanted to admit it, because I don't want to 'blame' my mum for how I've struggled with confusion of who I am (& still do). I love her dearly. I carry a lot of sadness with me still, about how limited she has been in life in being able to do things, go places. She has refused getting help consistently.

    So, yes it has affected me. I find it hard to do the things i want - more so as i get older. In my youth angst got me through, but this is waning off now! I have recognised how I used to have symptoms of panic when I left the house, and have worked hard to stop them. I still feel i have a way to go until i feel happier with myself, and am not analysing myself and what i'm doing or not doing so much.

    I know acceptance is the first step. Yes - my poor mum's mental health has affected me. Big time. It's time for me to stop feeling guilty about this, and feeling like I'm weak or pathetic for getting affected. I need to start approaching it with tenderness instead. Let go of negative thoughts, and try and let go of the sadness i carry around for her.

    New year. It has to be a new start. Accept yourself.

  • Hannah

    I am a 23 year old mother of 2 children. I expeirnced severe depression as a teen and as a young child due much to my parents traumatic divorce and a host of other events. When i was a teen, i would also abuse pills and engage is self mutilation. Both of my parents have mental disorders including anxiety, BPD, BD, OCD, and depression. Many of these issues are present in other areas of my family as well.

    I had my first child when I was only 17 years old, and I began having OCD issues myself as well as auditory hallucinations. I was put on medication that only made it worse- so i stopped. My anxiety became worse. As my child grew, everything got a little better. This childs father and I was divorced 3 years later and i moved back home with my child.

    I later met another man, became pregnant and didnt want to keep the child- the man insisted and so i did. My anxiety SKY rocketed- My OCD became the worst it was ever been in my life. I have rituals and checking that I must go through daily with my children watching. I cannot get help, because I dont have any insurance or money as my fiance lost his job. But i feel like I am sinking.

    And to make it worse, my 6 year old was diagnosed with AS, ODD and is now showing severe signs of OCD and extreme anxiety- i believe this is due to me. SHe went to live with her GPs after my son was born for 2 years- because I simply couldnt handle 2 children. Now shes back with us and her issues have made my issues worse because she is a full time special needs child. I am depressed- though not suicidal. But i do think about leaving my children with their GPs very often. I dont think i am mentally fit to be a mother right now, and it hurts me to see that I am passing this on to my daughter, and possibly my son.

    I need to get help very soon. I feel that I have OCD (severe), BD, BPD and extreme anxiety. I cant even drive for fear of wrecking, and im 23 years old. I have panic attacks that have been getting worse when i leave the house. I feel extreme anxiety when I am around new or many people and I cant focus on anything. My children are suffering because of me. We feed off of one another.

    I need help right away. I feel therapy would help very much so. I feel so many negative emotions and many days they are just too much. When the GPs pick the children up on the weekends, i sometimes sob with relief.

    This is tourture.