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A POINTER TO CHILDHOOD ANXIETY

childhood anxiety image 1

Everyone experiences feelings of worry and anxiety from time to time. These feelings can range from a little sense of uneasiness to full-blown panic (or somewhere in between), but it however depends on the person and the situation. It is only natural for unfamiliar or challenging situations to trigger feelings of anxiety or nervousness in anyone. You may feel it when you have a competition to participate in, for example, or when addressing an audience, etc.

As much as adult experience feelings of anxiety, it is one of the most common emotional issues faced by children — being singled out to face other students in class to answer a question, participating in a competition, when facing an important test or switching schools, for example. Children with anxiety problems may not be aware of what is causing the emotions, worries, and sensations they have. These experiences can trigger anxiety, thus making them to focus on the “what if’s”: What if I mess up? What if people laugh at me or make jest of me? What if things don’t go as I planned? What if I fail?

child anxiety 2

There is great beauty in going through life without anxiety or fear. Half our fears are baseless, and the other half discreditable. – Christian Nestell Bovee


Anxiety can be
experienced in diverse ways — physically, emotionally, and in the way people view the world around them. Anxiety mainly relates to intense worry about what might happen, i.e. worrying about things going wrong or feeling like you are in some kind of danger.


CAUSES

There are several factors that could cause anxiety in an individual, particularly children. These factors can range from genetic factor, environmental factor (learned behavior), past traumatic event, stressful life situations, etc.

  • Genetic factor: A child can be predisposed to developing an anxiety disorder as a result of having a family member who suffers from it. However, it is also important to note that not everyone with a family member who has an anxiety disorder will develop problems with anxiety.
  • Past traumatic event: events that occur in a child’s life can cause anxiety disorders in childhood or later in life. The loss of a loved one or parents’ divorce and major life transitions (like moving to a new town or new school, etc.) are common triggers. Children who have experienced abuse are also vulnerable to anxiety.
  • Environmental factor: Growing up in a family or in an environment where people are fearful, constantly worried or anxious also can “teach” a child to view the world as a dangerous place. Likewise, a child who grows up in an environment that is actually dangerous (if there is violence in the child’s family or environment, for example) may learn to be fearful, worried or expect the worst.
Girls standing apart from others in school

There’s just so much going on in my mind, sometimes I can’t keep up with what’s going on around me. – Amanda Jade Briska

 

Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions. There are different types of anxiety disorders, each with its unique causes and symptoms. But they all have something peculiar in common — prolonged, intense, overwhelming, unrealistic, excessive worry that is out of proportion to the present situation and affects a person’s daily life and happiness. Symptoms of an anxiety disorder can occur suddenly or can grow little by little and eventually become full blown.

TYPES OF ANXIETY DISORDERS AND THEIR SYMPTOMS

  • Social Anxiety Disorder: this is characterized by an intense fear of social and performance situations and activities such as being called on in class or starting a conversation with a peer. This can significantly impair your child’s school performance and attendance, as well as his or her ability to socialize with peers and develop and maintain relationships.
  • Panic Disorder: Panic disorder is diagnosed if your child suffers at least two unexpected panic or anxiety attacks, which means they come on suddenly and for no reason. This is followed by at least one month of concern over having another attack, losing control, or “going crazy.”
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): If your child has generalized anxiety disorder, he or she will worry excessively about a variety of things such as grades, family issues, relationships with peers and performance in sports. Children with GAD tend to be very hard on themselves and strive for perfection. They may also seek constant approval or reassurance from others.
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder: This disorder is most common in children between ages seven to nine. However, older children can also suffer from this disorder too. When separation anxiety disorder occurs, a child experiences excessive anxiety away from home or when separated from parents or caregivers. Extreme homesickness and feelings of misery at not being with loved ones are common. Other symptoms include refusing to go to school, camp, or a sleepover, and demanding that someone stay with them at bedtime. Children with separation anxiety commonly worry about bad things happening to their parents or caregivers or may have a vague sense of something terrible occurring while they are apart.
  • Selective Mutism: this is characterized by refusal to speak in situations where talking is expected or necessary, to the extent that the refusal interferes with school and making friends. Children suffering from selective mutism may stand motionless and expressionless, turn their heads, chew or twirl hair, avoid eye contact, or withdraw into a corner to avoid talking. These children can be very communicative, expressive and display normal behaviors at home or in another place where they feel comfortable.

childhood anxiety image 4


Other Symptoms include;

  • Inability to relax
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Irregular breathing (rapid pulse or pounding, skipping, racing heart)
  • Nausea, chest pain or pressure
  • Feeling a “lump in the throat” or dry mouth
  • Feelings of dread, apprehension or losing control
  • Trembling or shaking, sweating or chills
  • Fainting or dizziness


EFFECTS

Some amount of anxiety is normal and can even be motivating. It helps us stay alert, focused, and ready to do our best. But when it becomes intense, or happens a lot, it can become overwhelming. It can interfere with a child’s self-confidence, self-esteem, sense of self-worth, social skills, relationship management skills, ability to get things done and, in severe cases, can start taking over the good and enjoyable parts of their life.

TREATMENT

  • Support: ranging from discussing practical solutions and contributing stresses, to educating family members.
  • Psychotherapy: also referred to as talking therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy.
  • Biofeedback Therapy
  • Audio-Visual Entrainment Therapy
  • Mindfulness Meditation Therapy

If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.

– Amit Ray

For more information on the therapy procedures visit our website on http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org and remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh on twitter.


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Understanding ADHD: Facts and Myths

 

ADHD (1)

Over the years, so much has been said concerning ADHD which are merely misconceptions about the disorder. Some have thought of it as a result of bad upbringing, while others have thought about it as the individual’s fault; they believe those with ADHD behave in certain ways to purposely annoy or to avoid school work and  other given tasks. Also, some feel those with ADHD should be given harsh discipline in order to overcome such condition.

 As parents, care givers, teachers, siblings of individuals with ADHD and also those with ADHD , it is important that we have adequate knowledge about the disorder and be able to distinguish between mere myths and true facts about ADHD.

Highlighted below are some of the common misconceptions or myths on ADHD and the facts that refute them.

#1

Myth: Children with ADHD are just lazy

Fact: They are not lazy. They work as hard as other kids and may even work twice as hard but their results may be hindered by their condition.  

#2

Myth: ADHD isn’t a real disorder.

Fact: It is a brain based disorder which often results in some learning and behavioural difficulties. It is also one of the most common childhood disorders.

#3

Myth: ADHD is Gender-specific. Only boys have it.Girl with ADHD

Fact: It is not a gender-specific disorder as it affects both boys and girls.

#4

Myth: Sugar causes ADHD

Fact: Sugar increases energy levels and can induce hyperactivity in individuals with ADHD but it is not the cause of ADHD.

#5

Myth: ADHD results from bad parenting practices.

Fact: Though the symptoms of ADHD can be improved or worsened by parenting practices, ADHD is not caused by bad parenting.

#6

Myth: ADHD is prevalent among hyperactive children.

Fact: Although, hyperactivity is a common symptom experienced by individuals with ADHD, individuals that are less hyperactive can have the Inattentive subtype of ADHD.

#7

Myth: A person with ADHD isn’t vulnerable to any other conditions.

 Fact: A person with ADHD is actually predisposed to other conditions such as conduct disorder and anxiety disorders.

#8

Myth: Children with ADHD don’t become successful adults.

Fact: ADHD isn’t a hindrance to success in life. Actually, many successful and popular icons were diagnosed with ADHD such as Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln.

Adhd brain smWhen next someone tells you one of the above mentioned myths, you sure will have the right facts to debunk them. Kindly follow me @DrMorayoJimoh for more interesting updates on #LetstalkaboutADHD and share other myths you’ve heard as well.


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What’s Your Style?

“We may not be able to prepare the future for our children,

but we can at least prepare our children for the future”. – Franklin D. Roosevelt

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If you are you a parent or plan to become one someday, you will definitely want the best for your child. The question is, how much are you willing to invest in order to see your child become the “best”? – Take a moment to think deeply about this.

A lot of people believe that their parents were strict with them while growing up and vowed to treat their own children better but may be shocked to realize that they may do same or worse in raising their own children. Some others, on the other hand, are thankful to their parents for the parenting style that was adopted in raising them.

Parenting is a huge responsibility which should also be seen as an adventure.

Here are 4 different parenting styles: The first three was classified by Diana Baumrind (1967) while the fourth style was by Maccoby and Martin (1983).

Authoritarian Parenting Style:

Authoritarian_parenting2Refers to an extremely harsh or strict method of parenting where the children don’t have a say in the home and cannot express themselves but are rather expected to follow the stated rules and regulations. A loving parent-child relationship is non-existent here. This style of parenting will in turn produce children with: low self-esteem, anger problems, anxiety, depression, they may tend to be socially withdrawn, they may conform easily and be fearful.

 Authoritative Parenting Style: 

authoritativeThis is a more balanced method of parenting with proper parent-child relationship. The parents are firm with the children in a loving and understanding manner as they seek to build a sense of responsibility and independence in their children. Children from such parents will become independent individuals, disciplined, social, they will tend to have good interpersonal relationship skills and are usually emotionally stable.

 

Permissive Parenting Style: 

permissiveHere, anything goes as the parents “allow” any behaviour the children may exhibit as long as the children are happy because they genuinely care about the children but are somewhat excessively non-restrictive or relaxed about controlling the behaviour of the children. In this method, parents may have to bribe or give special treats to their children before they can get them to do what is expected of them. Children with such upbringing will eventually become demanding, spoilt, aggressive, always wanting to get their way and lack self-discipline/ self-control.

 Uninvolved Parenting Style:

univolvedIn this style, the parent neglects the child and is often detached from the child emotionally and in some cases otherwise. Love and affection is not being expressed to the child by the parent as it ought to be. The parent sees his/her sole responsibility as providing only basic needs such as food and shelter for the child and expects the child to take care him/herself afterwards. This style of parenting will produce children that will tend to feel lonely, have low self-esteem/self worth, may become drug/alcohol addicts and antisocial.

 

Which of these styles do you think best describes your parents’ method of raising you?

Could it be the authoritarian, authoritative, permissive or the uninvolved parenting style?

What influence do you think their style of parenting has had or is having on you as an adult?

 

 

Comment below on your experience. Kindly follow @DrMorayoJimoh for more mind blowing updates on parenting and child development throughout the month of March.

 

“If a child lives with criticism, he learns to condemn.

If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.

If a child lives with ridicule, he learns to be shy.

If a child lives with shame, he learns to feel guilty.

If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.

If a child lives with encouragement he learns confidence.

If a child lives with praise, he learns to appreciate.

If a child lives with fairness, he learns justice.

If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith.

If a child lives with approval, he learns to like himself.

If a child lives with acceptance and friendship, he learns to find love in the world”.

– Dorothy Law Neite


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Stress Management: Signs and Symptoms

stresssIn the first part of these series, we shared information about what stress is, how it affects us and some common stressors, in this second part, we are looking into the warning signs and symptoms of stress. You will benefit immensely from this article not just by reading it but by also looking through your lifestyle and having a self-analysis as regards each of the signs and symptoms as it applies to you because the more aware you are about stress, the easier it is to keep it at bay. Try to make it more practical by writing down one or more of these signs and symptoms that you have experienced persistently in this year and how it has affected an aspect of your life.

Here are some common signs and symptoms of stress:

  • Frequent headaches:stress_1521948c_1752604c if you experience persistent headaches such that you have to constantly be on medications, it is as a result of unchecked stress.
  • Tiredness and weakness: a lowered energy level is a sign of stress, if for instance you suddenly easily get tired and weak consistently, you may need to consider it as a warning sign.
  • Unwanted/unplanned weight gain/loss: stress can led you to eat more thanscale-weight-loss-600x450-TS-160476214 required (especially unhealthy foods) or make you loss appetite  completely thereby causing unhealthy weight gain or weight loss which you have not bargained for.

 

 

  • Tremors/ fidgeting: have you ever wondered why some people seem to have tremors or fidgets like hand tremors? well, that is something that could be as a result of stress. so if you ever find yourself experiencing tremors or fidgeting, then, stress may be the reason.
  • Decreased work efficiency/productivity: used to be highly productive?, used to be very efficient?, what happened along the way? stress happened! stress can lower your productivity by starting in subtle ways and ending with damaging results if not checked.
  • Nervousness: the more your stress levels, the more nervous you can become.
  • Reduced sexual desire/libido:  because stress affects the reproductive system as well, it can result in serious complications such as  a low sex drive or loss of libido and this will in turn cause problems in the relationship between couples. 

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  • Racing thoughts: having rapid thought patterns can be as a result of stress.
  • Difficulties with concentration/attention: finding it difficult to concentrate on a task or having struggles with attention could be as a result of stress.
  • Insomnia: this is a sleep disorder often characterized with difficulties sleeping (falling asleep and staying asleep) in the absence other health conditions, it could be as a result of stress.
  • Mood swings: this is a noticeable change in a person’s mood or emotional state that is a very common sign of stress. If you have noticed changes in your moods or you are experiencing unstable moods, it is is probably due to stress.
  • african-american-woman-stressedAnxiety: is an unpleasant state associated with nervous behaviour, worrying, apprehension and fear and can interfere with a person’s functioning.
  • Forgetfulness: the tendency to forget things is more likely to happen when stress is involved.

 

Having listed these signs and symptoms, it is important to know how to properly manage stress. Practical ways to manage stress will be the topic of discussion in the next article. 

Remember to follow @DrMorayoJimoh  for more interesting updates on stress management

 


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Stress Management: The Effects of Stress on your health

In this month, we are sharing information about stress management with very interesting topics and useful information to help you manage stress properly, we will be shedding light on what stress is, its effects on health, causes of stress, signs and symptoms of stress, ways to manage stress, clinical interventions and more eye opening information. This is the best information to get you going as the year wraps up and as you plan for the new year.

stressladysmallLife is full of ups and downs, challenges here and there, deadlines, frustrations, disappointments and expectations. As a result of this, many have taken up stressful living as a life style.  Stress is the psychological and physical reaction to the challenges of everyday life. It originates from the body’s response to a perceived threat or danger, this response is known as the “flight or fight response which helps the body deal with unexpected situations by releasing some stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol and  prepares the body for action resulting in an “emergency state”.  In this state, there is an increase in heart beat and blood pressure, breathing becomes faster, there is also more stamina and speed. However, when an individual is constantly operating on this “emergency state”, It often results in serious health consequences.

stress_responseStress affects certain parts of the body such as the brain and nerves, muscles and joints, pancreas, intestine, stomach, heart, respiratory system and reproductive system. Therefore, problems associated with these parts of the body are common when an individual is going through a lot of stress.

Stress has been linked to various physical and emotional problems some of which include;

  • Hypertension
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Relationship problems
  • Burnoutblack_man_stress2
  • Heart problems
  • Insomnia
  • Migraine
  • Memory problems
  • Aches and pains

It also increases the body’s susceptibility to infections by weakening the immune system.

 

Anything that can cause stress is known as a stressor, which can be negative events or positive ones. Here are some common stressors:

  • Financial problems
  • Excessive job demands
  • Family problemsgeneral-stressors-banner20130829-28277-1g37to3-0_540x245
  • Fear
  • Worrying
  • Death of a loved one
  • Threatening life events such as accidents and disasters
  • Marriage
  • Getting a new job
  • Divorce
  • Unemployment

 

Keep in mind that negative things will happen in life but it is how you are able to handle these negative situations that determines how much you can cope with stress. The warning signs of stress and more information will be discussed in the next article.

kindly visit www.mobilehealth consult.org also, follow @Drmorayojimoh for more interesting update on stress management.

 

 

 

 

 


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Bringing Out the Best in Children

Preschoolers can be difficult to manage… The same may apply to all children. They have so much energy to throw around and getting them to sit still is much like a herculean task to not just parents but teachers as well. Children, especially the younger ones, use play as a medium to release tension  and ease as such when they feel anxious or uncomfortable, they try to engage in one form of playful activity or the other. However, you don’t want your child or pupils running about when you need their full attention.

So how can you get their attention?

How can you get them to sit still and learn?

How can you get them to be calm?

How can you help them regulate their emotions?

MINDFULNESS is the SOLUTION! 

child-meditation Mindfulness is being fully aware of this present moment, fully accepting it without judgment. It is paying full attention to your thoughts, feelings and emotions HERE and NOW. It involves deep breathing and calming techniques. These days, mindfulness has proved to be the answer to many questions. Enormous research has shown how mindfulness can help adults improve their brain function, reduce stress and enjoy better relationships. In recent times, researchers and practitioners have begun to focus on how this practice can be beneficial to children and adolescents in primary and secondary schools, children with cancer, learning disabilities, autism, etc. mindful childA number of schools in the United States are incorporating Mindfulness Programs into their school program- Mindful Program at Maryland High Schools. A recent research by University of Florida shows that stressful events in the environment can take a negative toll on a child’s mental and physical health which includes the onset of learning difficulties. As such mindfulness aims at reducing the effects of stress. Other benefits of Mindfulness include:

  • Building resiliencehappy child
  • Strengthening character development
  • Increasing focus and concentration
  • Improving  brain function
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Reducing stress levels and improving  coping ability
  • Inducing calmness and relaxation
  • Self regulation and control
  • Increasing their capacity for empathy and compassion

Mostly the same benefits that accrue to adults can be experienced by children ages 3 and above.

Mobile Health Consult is offering a Mindfulness program for students tagged “SMART MIND”. For more enquiries, consultation and procedure for enrollment, kindly log on to http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/smartmind/

The only way to know what mindfulness is, is to experience it! Sign up for a FREE Training now on: 

http://www.mobilehealthconsult.org/values/therapy/mindfulness/

SPREAD the word! Be MINDFUL


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Improve Your Thinking

Mental-health-007-300x180Our greatest friend and also our most devious enemy could easily be our own thoughts. It is the most sheltered part of our being and is who we really are. Both good and bad experiences shape our thought processes which in turn shape our perception of other people and the world around us. A majority of good experiences usually initiates more positive thoughts but bad experiences or stress could really adversely affect one’s thoughts and damage one’s view of life. More importantly, we find that our actions are usually extensions of our thoughts. Negative thoughts usually elicits negative actions. Therefore it is important that we monitor and pay attention to our thoughts.

Thought patterns

These are created when we have the same type of thoughts again and again, creating a habit of thinking in that particular
way. The battle we have withing ourselves have to do with these thought patterns because they determine how happy, confident and active we are each day. How ready we are to take on lifes challenges and hope for the future. This is when our thought patterns are in tune with our desires. As we know, sometimes our thoughts conflict with our desires. For example, someone who has a pessimistic view to life believes he or she is more likely to fail at a certain task at hand. However they are aware of how much joy they’d feel if they completed the task, but even this joy is usually not enough to eradicate their negative thoughts of failure. At the end of the day, if they let their negative thought pattern prevail, they end up quitting the task.No-Negativity-Stop-Negative-Thoughts-Coral-Springs-Counseling-Center

We all have the inner negative thoughts we have to battle when we set out minds to do something. Those thoughts that remind you of when you tried something similar in the past and you failed or reminds you of how you never get anything right or complete any tasks. These Automatic Negative Thoughts (ANTS), as neuropsychologist author Daniel Amen calls them, invade our minds usually when we are concerned about the outcome of an event to make us anxious by exaggerating the negative outcomes that could possibly happen and undermining our ability to deal with them. Negative thinking makes us focus on the negative things in life and magnify them while we filter out the brighter side. These negative thought patterns are especially difficult to get rid of because they are formed over time.But do not give up hope, they can be “killed” if we pay attention to our thoughts and realize that because we think something bad will happen does not make it true.

Thinking healthily

First realize that your mind is supposed to be your safe haven and your thoughts your best friend. It should be filled with positivity, encouragement and hope. We cannot control alot of external factors in our everyday lives, but we have, or should have, full control of our own thoughts.The quickest way to begin thinking healthily is to remove ‘absolutes’ from our thinking. Words such as ‘always’ and ‘never’ can be very harmful by causing you to give up and despair. “I always make the same mistake” “I can never do this” “I will be forever alone” Such thoughts encourage self pity, anxiety andpositive-people depression. Instead, though we realize our shortcomings, we should also acknowledge that we can indeed improve on them and be better. “I can never do this” should then become “This is very difficult, but since i have to do it i’m going to keep trying”. “I always make the same mistake” becomes “I make this same mistake a lot and i don’t like that, i’m going to try my best not to do so again”. This way you remind yourself that you can control the outcome and that you’re not powerless against the circumstances.

You also have to pay attention to your thoughts. Ask yourself what you think about the most each day and why. Trace the genesis of your most common thoughts and begin to break negative thought chains. This is a daily practice as thought patterns were also formed over time and are hard-wired in our minds. Each day as soon as we are conscious of a negative thought pattern we must redirect our thoughts in order not to further solidify such patterns. You’ll figure that there would be more room for innovative thoughts and ideas and a wider perspective in situations. Maintaining control over your thought patterns and having positive thoughts as much as you can is the basis of thinking healthily. 

Forgive yourself for your mistakes. Be satisfied with things you genuinely cannot change. Pay attention to your thoughts and stay positive.