October Scaries: Sleep Avoidance, Sleep Phobia, and Nightmares for Kids

October Scaries: Sleep Avoidance, Sleep Phobia, and Nightmares for Kids

Sleeping is crucial to our wellbeing.

When we get a full night’s rest, we’re better able to handle the challenges of our day. Our bodies are rested, our brains are active, and we’re more able to utilize our pre-frontal cortex to think through the pros and cons of how we’re interacting to the world around us.

A lack of sleep impacts everything.

We’re grumpy, we’re less focused, and we’re more stressed out. Our brains produce more stress hormones on less sleep. And a lack of sleep builds and builds - one day vs. seven days has a huge difference.

In fact, kids who don’t get enough consistent sleep can be misdiagnosed with ADHD.

They’re more prone to hyperactivity, impulsivity, and poor reasoning.

So when your child can’t sleep, or won’t sleep, you know it’s a big deal. How can you help?

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October Scaries: Perfectionism and the Anxiety Spiral

October Scaries: Perfectionism and the Anxiety Spiral

Perfectionist kids, teens, and college students have trouble ignoring their perfectionistic tendencies and focusing on the challenge at hand.

Our brains prevent us from fully engaging because they get so worried about what a poor grade, poor score, or poor performance means about us. Many times, the kids and teens I work with will engage in an anxious spiral. It usually looks something like:

  • If I get less than an A on this test, that means I have a bad grade

  • If I have a bad grade, that means I’m doing poorly in this class

  • I might even fail this class

  • And other classes

  • And I’ll barely graduate highschool

  • And I won’t get into the college I want

  • And I won’t be able to go to medical school

  • Which means I’ll never be a doctor

  • My life will be ruined

But when we take a step back, we can see that the anxiety spiral is little bit out of control.

There’s no way, when we use logic, that getting less than an A on your test means that you’re life is ruined. Our anxious minds just tell us this because they want us to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

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October Scaries: Social Anxiety and Social Phobia

October Scaries: Social Anxiety and Social Phobia

Social anxiety! Almost everyone has it.

I'm sure the majority of us, at one point or another, has experienced anxiety about socializing with somebody. That little bit of trepidation before you walk into your first day of work, that hiccup of anxiety as you enter a party, or that discomfort when the person sitting next to you on a plane just keeps asking you questions.

But, those small social anxieties are very different from social phobia.

Rather than experiencing a small amount of anxiety that we can easily push through, having a social phobia means that anxiety is debilitating. You're too anxious about that party, so you never go in in the first place. Rather than going to work on your first day, you call in sick or make up an excuse. 

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The Aftermath: Helping a Friend After Sexual Assault or Abuse

The Aftermath: Helping a Friend After Sexual Assault or Abuse

After sexual assault, rape, or abuse, it’s important to offer support tailored to the survivor.

Some may want to walk through all the details, and others won’t want to talk about it at all. It’s also important to recognize that you can help by getting the survivor to a trained professional - a doctor if there’s been any kind of physical trauma, the police to file a report, and a counselor or psychologist to help with the mental aftermath.

Not everyone who experiences sexual assault will have trauma or ptsd afterward.

But it’s important to look out for the signs, like nightmares, flashbacks, angry outbursts, feeling jumpy, or feeling “out of control.” …

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Stop and Think: Impulse Control and Anxiety Management For Kids

Stop and Think: Impulse Control and Anxiety Management For Kids

I specialize in both anxiety and anger management for a reason.

Anxiety and anger have a lot in common. If you've ever experienced feelings of anxiety before, consider those physical cues - racing heart, shortness of breath, dilated eyes, inability to focus or concentrate, muscles tensed and ready for action. 

Now, think about the last time you were angry. How your face felt hot and your fists tensed up. How your heart started to beat faster because you were ready for a fight. Your brain focused only on the thing that made you feel this way.

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