Talkspace’s Wendy Wisner explains that therapy given to parents can help their children, in turn, to deal with issues concerning mental health such as stress and anxiety.
The blog post begins to tell the story of a mother who’s son is experiencing severe anxiety. When the young boy was little, anxious thoughts would flood his brain during the night especially when his birthday was just around the corner. This specific type of anxiety disorder is known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).
His mother was completely unable to shake the anxiety or fear he was having no matter what she tried to say. Intense nightmares became a common occurrence and her son began to experience them several times on a weekly basis causing him to leave his bedroom and go sleep in his parents’ bed. When confronted to explain what the nightmares were all about, the young boy had no answer for his parents. The only thing he could say was that they scared him and were the reason he was awake. These are very common signs of anxiety in children and many a time the child is not able to express themselves effectively as is the case of this mother and her son.
The next section was the discovery of the connection or link between her own mental health and that of her sons. She admitted that she had a prior anxiety disorder that was stable and dealt with but issues arising all around her began to slowly trigger her. Her husband began suffering panic attacks at his workplace which was something he personally had never experienced before. These attacks were caused by the anxiety he felt at work and that job instability was causing a negative effect on his wife’s mental state. It was safe to say the family was going through quite a lot and was kind of a mess. The connection between the parents’ mental health woes and that of their son was not an obvious observation made by them at the time. This can be explained simply by recognizing the fact that sometimes when individuals are facing their own problems and hardships, it is hard for them to recognize the hardships other people are facing.
At the time, the boy’s mother thought that what her son was going through was simply just a phase young kids tend to go through. It wasn’t until she decided to take part in online therapy through Talkspace that the connection between her son’s mental health and that of her own became clear to her. She began to see how having stressed-out parents were taking its toll on their son and neither she nor her husband could see it due to them facing their own problems. As she began to feel much better, she quickly convinced her husband to try therapy as well and this helped him deal with his anxiety and he no longer faced panic attacks in his workplace. But what surprised her the most was that as they began to cope with their own problems, their son’s anxiety began to slowly disappear along with the nightmares he was previously having. The young boy’s mother was happily surprised to see that once their home became a harmonious place to live in, her son no longer needed a therapist to help him deal with his anxiety.