Taming The Wild Things

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Helping Anxious Kids and Their Parents

By Lynn Lyons

In this age of helicopter parents and protective child professionals, we can often recreate a potent anxiety- reinforcing system around children that not only rewards anxiety, but encourages it to grow and take over even more of the child’s life.

Despite huge gains in knowledge about the neurophysiological and psychological roots of anxiety, as well as the billions spent each year on psychotropic medications meant to assuage anxiety, Americans are more anxious than ever. Anxiety disorders—OCD, phobias, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, panic disorder, separation anxiety—are by far the most commonly diagnosed disorders in America, especially among the young. More than 30 percent of children up to age 18 receive one of these diagnoses at some point, and anxiety symptoms are the primary reason parents seek out a mental health professional for their child.

Why are our children so anxious and getting more so? (Click on the picture to finish reading this article!)

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