My sweet, adorable daughter Lainie just celebrated her 4th birthday. We did what alot of families do for a 4th birthday party- had a party, ate some cake, and spent way too much money going entirely too far overboard. And like most American families with adequate health care, we also celebrated with a 4 year old check up. I voiced some concerns that I had regarding baby girls sleeping habits lately, her reaction of sheer panic over the most simple of things, and her overall behavior in certain, unavoidable situations- and her Pediatritian, whom I love and admire greatly, says she feels confident that Lainie is suffering from severe anxiety. She told me that I should seek counseling for her to get a proper diagnosis and care. I was crushed. Anxiety runs rampant throughout my family- my Mother, at least 2 of my 3 sisters, and myself all suffer from varying levels of anxiety. My Mother so badly that throughout my teen years, she was hospitalized several times after suffering debilitating panic attacks. After talking to my Husband about the situation, we have decided not to seek counseling for her, but to work with her more proactively now, as opposed to reactively. Before, not knowing what I was dealing with in regards her actions, I would simply put her in the corner, or drag her unwillingly into situations that she just was not prepared to deal with (ie- social functions where most in attendance are adults who love to point her out for her flowing blonde curls.). So I’ve put a plan into motion that includes alot more explaining what exactly is going to happen before we do anything social, alot more comforting and showing her that the mama bear in me will protect her in any and every situation. Sometimes I feel that I have to over explain situations to her, but whatever makes her feel more at peace and knowing what to expect, helps her immensely. We are at the beginning of a very long road, but I am confident that by holding her hand a little tighter, and helping her feel a little stronger, she’s going to be just fine.