Beyond Genetics: Understanding the Perfect Storm of Childhood Anxiety
Is your child’s anxiety holding them back from experiencing their absolute best life? As a parent, you want nothing more than for your child to be happy, healthy, and confident, especially as they navigate grade school and teenage years. However, the reality is that there is a growing mental health crisis of anxiety in our schools and families, which was further exacerbated by the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the CDC, about 10% of US kids are currently struggling with anxiety, but various sites and studies suggest even higher rates, particularly among teenagers. What’s even more alarming is that we are witnessing anxiety affecting children younger than ever. In the past, anxiety was commonly seen in high school, but now we encounter preschoolers and kindergartners grappling with anxiety and sensory issues so severe that it hinders their daily functioning.
If you are a parent whose child is struggling with anxiety, and more importantly, if you are seeking drug-free options and solutions that target the root causes of your child’s anxiety, this is for you. We understand your desire to see your child thrive, so we are here to empower you with knowledge and resources to address your child’s anxiety head-on.
The Science Behind Anxiety
Anxiety is an intense feeling of worry or fear about the future. While it’s normal for your child to experience anxiety in specific situations, such as before a test or an important event, persistent anxiety that affects their daily activities is a cause for concern.
You may have noticed signs of anxiety in your child, such as nervousness, restlessness, increased heart rate, trouble concentrating, difficulty sleeping, and gastrointestinal problems, often referred to as a “nervous stomach.” These challenges are heartbreaking to watch and can be difficult to navigate when you only want to take these anxious feelings away but have no idea how to help them.
Something else you should be aware of is that anxiety often coexists with other neurological conditions in children, such as sensory processing disorder, autism, and ADHD. Understanding these connections can help you develop a comprehensive approach to managing your child’s anxiety.
Root Causes of Anxiety and the Neurological Approach
Based on clinical experience and the latest scientific research, we believe anxiety is not solely caused by genetics or chemical imbalances. Instead, it is triggered by continual exposure to stress and toxins in your child’s environment, especially during pregnancy, labor and delivery, and early childhood. This “Perfect Storm” creates a cycle of stress and anxiety that becomes deeply ingrained in your child’s nervous system.
One often overlooked aspect of anxiety is the role that birth interventions and birth trauma play. Common interventions like C-Sections, forceps, vacuum extraction, and inductions can trigger a fight-or-flight response within your child’s nervous system from an early age, leading to long-term dysregulation.
Our drug-free approach to care involves using cutting-edge neurological examination using tools like INSiGHT scans and Heart Rate Variability (HRV) to assess the degree of sympathetic nervous system activation and the functionality of the vagus nerve (often called the “rest and digest” nerve).
Our Neurologically-Focused Chiropractors at First Steps Chiropractic aim to improve the quality of life for your child and any individuals struggling with anxiety. Instead of treating symptoms or attempting to cure anxiety, our focus lies in stimulating and activating the vagus nerve to restore a calmer and more regulated state to your child’s autonomic nervous system.
Remember, you’re not alone in this journey. By sharing this message with other parents who could benefit, you contribute to a community of support and empowerment. Together, we can help our children overcome anxiety and thrive.