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can anyone give me advice about how to not pass my anxiety on to DC?

(4 Posts)
signedsealeddelivered Mon 04-Jul-16 22:53:58

My DM was extremely anxious and fearful to a point that she is now highly medicated and unable to leave the house. This transferred to me as a child and throughout my life I have had cognitive behavioural therapy, psychotherapy, massive avoidance of anything I deem even vaguely anxiety inducing (therefore quite a limited life) and tried various anti-depressants.

Before I had DC I reached a point where my anxiety was mostly under control and not at all medicated. But since DC I have become an anxious, fearful mess again, experiencing panic attacks when even just the potential of something triggering rears its head.

My big issues are: health anxiety, safety anxiety, abandonment and agoraphobia.

I can already see that my anxious nature is rubbing off on the DC (18 mo and 3 years.) I have tried very hard to conceal it and to look calm. I have never had a panic attack in front of them, nor broken down nor anything my DM did in front of me. I want to be a better Mum than her. But I feel that I must radiate fear.

I already project a lot of things on to them in my thoughts that aren't really happening. One example of millions is this evening is while DD was playing, she paused and looked thoughtful. To me this was foreboding and I was expecting something terrible to happen. It ranged from thinking she was about to have diarrhoea to thinking that she had seen an intruder in the house that I hadn't. Basically the entire gamut of my fears and potential events ran through my head.

Anyway this OP is not really about me, or describing how my fear or anxiety works, what I really want to know it how to stop it transferring to them. I am trying very hard to look and be calm all the time, but I can still see signs that they are becoming anxious too. Or maybe I am reading into that as well. I don't know. Basically, I'm all over the place with it and can't tell what's me and what's them.

Idontknowwhoiam Mon 04-Jul-16 23:03:58

I've become conscious of things I say.
I'm forever telling them to be careful, watch this, do that...
I notice other parents don't fret and call out as much as me. I'm worried that it has affected them.
I think maybe given your explanation, the effect you think you're having may not be as bad as you think. As is everything when you suffer with anxiety sad

netflix Mon 04-Jul-16 23:56:51

I try and use the word "concentrate" every time I catch myself wanting to shriek "careful"

Essentially it means the same thing but without the anxious tone to it

I also tell my DC it's ok to be scared/sad/nervous etc (whatever the emotion is) however it's not ok to allow that feeling to stop you doing things you want to do - so it's okay to be scared of the insect on the slide (for example) but it's not okay to run out of the park screaming because you wanted to play in the park and we can deal with the bug (that kind of thing)

I own up to my small DC too, if I'm worrying about something I might not say what it is in detail but I will be honest and say "I'm worrying about X, it's going to be okay but i just need to think about X" I think they pick up on things and not labelling it can lead to more confusion for them

Or if they see me say I don't think I can do something or chicken out of talking to someone or going somewhere I might say "I wasn't feeling brave enough today, I'll try again another day though"

Anxiety is just too ingrained and part of me to hide it and I'm not sure that's helpful to do anyhow so I like to give it context that they can understand

I don't know if it's my technique that works or just randomly occurred but I have the most self assured, confident child

corythatwas Tue 05-Jul-16 08:58:12

I think Netflix is absolutely spot on about explaining what is going on. Anxiety can be genetic, there is no doubt about that, but one advantage we have as parents is that we've lived with the demon and learnt some of the tricks: that is something we can pass on to our dc as well.

I don't actually have bad anxiety, but a lot of what I've seen from my mum I can use to help dd. She is in a much better position than my mum ever was because she is used to being able to speak openly about the anxiety as a problem she can overcome. (in their case, it is social anxiety and performance anxiety rather than health and safety)

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