Each shift of the seasons - with fluctuations in temperature, hours of daylight, and the moving forward or backwards of the clock - can bring turmoil and relapse for kids with Fear of Harm. But the autumn, in particular, brings with it a special obstacle: Halloween.
Many people love the spooky and scary themes of Halloween. But for kids and adults with Fear of Harm haunted houses, frightening decorations, and gruesome costumes can be truly terrifying.
Increased fear sensitization is one of the cardinal symptoms of Fear of Harm. Kids experience horrific recurring nightmares, involuntary intrusive thoughts and images, and they are on high alert - looking for, and finding, danger everywhere. Fear is already a part of their daily life, and it's not fun.
Everyone Can Enjoy Halloween
Despite these challenges, there are still ways to make Halloween a fun time for those with Fear of Harm. Families have great success by emphasizing fall themed decorations and activities and coming up with creative homemade costumes, helping those with Fear of Harm to feel safe during the Halloween season.
Fun ideas are endless, but for starters try some of these activities that have been suggested by JBRF Families:
- Bob for apples
- Decorate with pumpkin themes and bright lights
- Create a scavenger hunt with silly clues & candy prizes
- Craft Projects:
- Paint pumpkins (instead of carving them)
- Make Halloween wreaths w/ orange & black construction paper & googly eyes
- Dye eggs in Halloween colors
- Kid friendly cooking:
- Bake pumpkin bread or muffins
- Bake and decorate Halloween sugar cookies
- Make orange Rice Krispies Treats with chocolate chips and edible googly eyes
- Read non-scary books, like:
- The Legend of Spookly the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano
- Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson
- EEK! Halloween! by Sandra Boynton
- Make a tradition of non-scary movies, like:
- It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
- Happy Halloween Scooby-Doo!
- The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About Halloween
- Create non-scary costumes, like:
- Be a stop light
- Dress as favorite TV or book character
- Become a walking rainbow
The possibilities are endless for making Halloween a fun time for everyone!
Remember, even if you don't live with someone with Fear of Harm, you can make a real difference for the hundreds of thousands of kids and millions of adults with Fear of Harm if you are considerate with your own Halloween decorations.
Have a Happy Halloween!
JBRF's Year End Fundraising Campaign begins soon!
This year Giving Tuesday falls on Tuesday the 30th of November. We hope you'll consider making a gift to JBRF on Giving Tuesday for our Year End Campaign.
All of us at JBRF are grateful for the generosity of our donors. Your gifts support cutting edge research, essential outreach & education, and tenacious advocacy.
Increase the impact of your support and consider making your gift a recurring monthly contribution.
October's Featured Product:
Philips SmartSleep Sunrise Sunset Lamp
Are you looking ahead to the changing of the clocks with dread? Does it seem as though with Fear of Harm that single hour difference sends everything spiraling out of control? Well, with the Philips SmartSleep Sunrise Sunset Lamp you can get control over the body's circadian rhythms. This light therapy lamp helps you fall asleep and wake up with the natural sunlight colored light emitted from this clock/lamp.
A JBRF Dad shares why he loves this lamp:
"Despite high levels of stability, getting our son up in the morning for school was still unnecessarily hard. But after a few months, it's like this lamp has reset his body clock, and he is able to get up when we wake him in the morning. He's alert, able to get out of bed, and even has been making his own breakfast! It also helps with going to sleep. When the sunset goes on we know he'll be asleep by the time it's finished no matter what."
JBRF supports children and families suffering from bipolar disorder and
Fear of Harm through research, education, and outreach.