Would therapy help my 5 year old DS's fears?(5 Posts)
My son started being very frightened at about 2.5. It has got worse and then slightly better but is currently very bad and has always been there.
His fears are not really specific - monsters, anything that might 'get him' etc. He doesn't watch scary films or read books with monsters. When it first started we got him a monster blaster but really nothing seems to help.
It has got to the point now where he is very stressed. He is unable to be out of my sight in the house - he becomes hysterical if there is a loud noise. He was pressed against the shower cubicle sobbing this morning whilst I was in the shower as he was scared.
We have always been very strict about bedtime and this is not an issue. He won't go in his room alone but once we have put him in bed he is OK. He doesn't want a night light as he finds it hard to sleep with one. When he gets up in the morning he runs like lightning to our room and dives in bed with us. He often says he is tired though and says he was scared in the night.
I feel out of my depth with this and like I can't help him. He is not happy and I think it is causing him a lot of stress. His younger brother is starting to copy his behaviour and becoming more and more frightened too.
Has anyone had any experience with therapy for issues like this? I am happy to go private - I just want him to be happy.
I would definitely seek some kind of external help, maybe start with GP?
My DD2(11) has AS and CAMHS are working with her to address these kinds of fears. She told me yesterday that she had been awake most of the night feeling thirsty but was too scared to reach out of the bed to get her drink or call out for me.
No progress as yet but I'm hoping they will find a way to help her.
Definitely go to your GP, and also make an appointment with his school to see if he's having problems there as well.
In my case the GP referred him to a community paediatrician and the school arranged for a specialised school nurse who helps kids with anxiety to have weekly sessions with him. We also read Dawn Huebner books 'what to do when your worries grow too big' and 'what to do when you dread your bed'. These are aimed at younger children using CBT based activities to help them understand and confront their fears, you can get them from Amazon.
As an aside, my DS was eventually diagnosed with ASD. I'm not suggesting whatsoever this would be the case for your boy, but many children with neurodevelopmental issues suffer from anxiety.
I had this as a child quite badly.
Have you asked him WHAT it is he's exactly afraid of? What does this monster look like? Is it possible he is having nightmares and thinking they are real? What is afraid will happen if he is left alone? I used to see a man in my room when I was little. I drove my mum insane by crying, refusing to be on my own anywhere in the house, refusing to go to bed in case the man would get me..... the list goes on. It stopped after a few years, I stopped seeing this man, whether it was my over active imagination or something else I don't know... but anyway here is a list of things that helped my mum with me:
. Having a night light (I know he doesn't want one but maybe insist for a while to see if it helps)
. Having a bible under my pillow at night (even if you are not religious the idea of a mystical being (God) that protects you has surely got to be good thing?)
. When I was good and went to bed alone etc, my mum would praise me and tell me how wonderful I was.
. Ask your son where the monster is. Ask him to show you it. If he points to thin air, grab the thin air and throw it out the window and tell him you've thrown it out and it isn't coming back!
Sounds mad but the above defiantly helped my mum...
Hope you can get it sorted x
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