Sunday, April 8, 2018

Part 6: Frozen in Anxiety

Second grade started in September for Tzviel and he got a new wonderful homeroom teacher. She was kind and greeted the kids with a smile. He liked her very much and was able to warm up to her. There were many other teachers introduced. Some were nice and warm. Others walked into the classroom, slamming books and talking sternly. Tzviel started to feel very on edge with each subject change.

Two weeks into the school year, Tzviel's incredible homeroom teacher asked to speak with Tzviel's mother. The year had only just begun, and she had seen little windows into Tzviel's wonderful personality, but she had concerns. Tzviel seemed to sit frozen in class, with his hands tight in fists. After a long conversation explaining Tzviel's anxiety, his mother consulted with his CBT therapist, who provided the teacher with a list of techniques that could help "ground" Tzviel when she noticed his anxiety. They stuffed his pockets with stress balls to squeeze, lined the bottom of his desk with velcro for him to touch, made up code words so he could go to the hallway and do some jumping jacks and a bunch of other things.

Tzviel appreciated that his teacher understood him and knew how to help him. With her, he was able to relax a little bit. But all other teachers made him feel uneasy. Tzviel would come home from school exhausted from trying to keep his anxiety under control all day. Each morning was again a battle to go to school, not wanting to have to endure another day. His stomach problems came back even worse and were now causing daily problems.

His parents worked closely with his CBT therapist, utilizing every technique they could. But Tzviel's anxiety kept climbing. When Parent Teacher meetings came around, Tzviel's mother sat down with his homeroom teacher. She said:

"Tzviel is such a bright, sweet boy. You need to know that he is extremely intelligent and has tested into the national gifted project. He is also such a sweet, kind, good heart-ed kid. I've been speaking with all of his other teachers. We all see him completely frozen with his anxiety. As smart as he is, at this point, he isn't learning and we can't teach him."

(To be continued.)


  1. Just one day at a time. Sometime just need to take life a small bite at a time.



  2. Poor Tzviel. His life went from a loving, calm family to one of constant anxiety -- with Tehilla possibly not surviving difficult surgeries and one night time trip to the emergency room after another. Aside from worrying about his sister, he suddenly doesn't see much of his mother or father and there is no such thing as normalcy. . .

    Even though Tzviel is very bright I wonder if he might also have a learning disability? That might add to anxiety -- it could be as simple as an eye (vision) problem or something more complex. . .

    You are doing all the right things, but Tzviel is waiting for the next disaster. . . time and support will help (and you might want to have your older daughter evaluated "just in case"). . .

    So many times I have prayed for Tehilla. I am now praying for Tzviel, too.

  3. I am so sorry he is in this place. I know what anxiety for an adult feels like and what it feels like when its in the panic disorder level. It sucks so bad. Its a nightmare. Thank G-d there is help. It took lots of things to get me better. I too had mine come on in its extreme form from of trauma, the loss of my dad. I have always had a generalized anxiety even as a child. The biggest help and treatment for me was TMS Transcranial Magnetic stimulation. I have no idea if children can use it. Tms changed my life! I am sooooooooo thankful to HaShem! I pray HaShem shows yall a cure too! Amain!


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