Sunday, March 25, 2018

Part 4: Getting Help

When Tzviel was 5, he had so much trouble with his fears and frustrations. They just felt too much for him. His parents talked to their family doctor about concerns they had with behaviors they were seeing and the things that Tzviel was explaining to them. Art therapy was recommended as a source of an appropriate emotional support. Tzviel would cut out pictures of animals from magazines, draw their habitat around them and then draw a very firm and thick box around them. His deep seeded need for security was clear from every piece of artwork he made with his therapist. Through Tzviel's art, his overwhelming fear received a proper term "Separation Anxiety".

When his baby sister was hospitalized, his artwork transformed to bird's nests being held up by a string, tied to a pole that could never support itself. His thoughts and fears were clear: Tzviel was frightened by the instability of his home. Tzviel learned to express his anxiety more and more. His parents learned to be more tuned in: to understand this wasn't just a 5 year old acting out (as so many people offered in their brilliant opinions) and to learn how to respond better.

His parents slowly began to understand that his sleepless nights were linked to his fear that something would happen to his family in middle of the night and the uncertainty of what he would wake up to. They began to understand that his refusal to get ready in the morning was really his inability to prepare to leave the safety of his home.

As time went on, Tzviel's anxiety grew and grew. Bedtime became unbearable and only with the help of melatonin, would Tzviel eventually fall asleep. Morning routines changed drastically, as Tzviel needed constant support. He had also developed some chronic stomach problems because of his anxiety.

(To be continued)


  1. Poor little man! Really heart wrenching to think about how he was affected by it all.

  2. I wish I could hug him and let him know that it will be ok. I know it hard not to be scared. You see all that is happening all over.