Finding Success to Overcome Fears & Anxiety Disorders
Anxiety disorder is a tricky. It can be paralyzing, reducing the desire to engage, to try new things, and to expand one horizon’s. The level of anxiety can literally inhibit proper brain functioning and physical acumen, leading to further anxiety when attempting something new.
Often, one’s anxiety disorder is based on previous failures, whether real or imagined. Sometimes this anxiety is a reflection of other challenges – poor self-esteem, sadness, lack of social skills.
Knowing the impact anxiety can have and recognizing how it is intertwined with other challenges is part of the value of the Seven Stars community.
Relieving Anxiety Disorder Through Positivity
Many of our students struggle with some form of anxiety disorder. Our intention is to help each student build, block by block, from a place of fear to a place of accomplishment. The overriding principle of “focusing on the positives” helps in this creating this foundation for success. The supportive staff and like-minded peers helps build on this foundation. Finally, our therapeutic-phased approach forms the basis by which we challenge and overcome the students’ fears.
Like Riding a Bike
Many families have commented to Dr. Day over the years, “My child has a routine that he likes to stick to; any deviation from that routine can lead to discontent and often anger.” We have found much of this schedule rigidity can be related back to a child’s anxiety disorder, and the reasons this anxiety exists in the first place.
At Seven Stars, this is part of the reason we have outdoor recreation programming. We know it is a scary proposition for some of our community, but it is an invaluable part of the learning and growth possible in a student’s time with us.
Take mountain bike riding, for instance, something that we’ll occasionally do in order to get outdoors and get active. Some students struggle to ride a bike, let alone ride over bumpy terrain. Our intention is not to place a child on top of a challenging mountain biking trek on Day One of our mountain biking adventure. Rather, we’ll start by ensuring they have confidence in riding a bike on flat surfaces: using the pedals, steering and braking. Then we’ll move to greater challenges like riding over bumpy surfaces or down steeper terrain.
Helping our students overcome anxiety is based on more than just soft-skills. Our medical assessment can help us see if medication might be useful. Our therapeutic approach includes psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy, depending on the need.