Anxiety is a painful experience. The heightened feeling of stress, worry, nervousness and fear can be relentless and overwhelming. Although each child or adult has a unique experience of anxiety, there are some commonalities. For young people, school is often a source of anxiety. The beginning of a new school year or a transition, such as from home to elementary school, from elementary school to junior high school, from junior high school to senior high school or from senior high school to post-secondary school, typically are points of increased stress.
Stress can and does cause medical symptoms with no disease present. In fact, it has been estimated by medical practitioners that up to 75 per cent of the patients they treat have real symptoms, but these symptoms are caused by stress alone, not by a disease.
I really love the holiday season and when I wake up on New Year's Day, I feel a little sad. The post-holidays makes me think about snowy weather...when the snow first falls, it is sparkling, clean, and evokes bright-eyed, smiling faces. But, by the next day it is dirty and we are all fed up with it! The post-holidays are just like the day-old snow. Overnight, the twinkling lights are gone from homes and stores; the parties are over; grumpy people are returning unwanted gifts; and it's back to school and work.
The suicide of famed pastor Rick Warren’s son sent waves of unease through our homes, creating new awareness for children and mental illness. In a letter to his church, Warren wrote that his son Matthew, 27, committed suicide in a “momentary wave of despair” after a lifelong struggle with depression and mental illness. An autopsy revealed that Warren’s son died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Mental illness is real. It shows up in the form of anxiety disorders, depression, ADHD, conduct disorder, bipolar disorder and a host of other diagnoses.
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