So glad we talked to our daughter! It turns out that she’s been experiencing anxiety and some other emotions. She’s been looking back through her childhood and recognizing that she’s always had anxiety, it just manifested itself quietly and she thought it was normal at the time.
It took some work to draw things out, but she did let us in. Now we can go forward together, looking for solutions which will work for her.
Please, parents, pay attention to your kids and encourage communication. We only saw signs of anxiety in this child at one small point in time. She was afraid of walking down the stairs for a short while at the age of four.
We’ve got a long road to travel. Our philosophy is to go through the hard work of therapy first (through many different approaches, not just a counselor). Medication, for us, is an option which only comes in if therapy isn’t enough or a situation is severe enough to need immediate results.
Time to get to work.