Children and Anxiety
Everyone has worries; things that nag at us and keep us up at night. Thankfully, for the majority of the population worries and anxiety are not constant. But what about children? They have worries, things that scare them and make it difficult to sleep and sometimes even function well during the day. As with most adults, these worries pass with time. But what if it doesn’t pass for your child?
Anxiety disorders in children happen when worrying takes over their lives, affects their attitude and can change a once happy child into a withdrawn child full of unsubstantiated fears. Anxiety disorders are just as real for children as they are for adults. However, because children are generally more fearful than adults, an anxiety disorder can easily go undiagnosed.
Anxiety in children has a similar appearance to adult anxiety with excessive worrying, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, headaches, sleeplessness and fatigue. However, symptoms like tantrums and extreme irritability, which are also signs of anxiety, can be mistaken for child behavior issues.
There are several types of anxiety displayed by children such as:
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: a general worry or fear of anything unknown
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): anxiety taking the form of obsession (excessively preoccupying thoughts) or compulsive behavior
Social Anxiety Disorder: anxiety triggered by social situations or settings
Panic Attacks: episodes of anxiety that occur for no apparent reason and cause an unwelcome physical response such as a pounding heart or shortness of breath
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): a type of anxiety that results from traumatic past experiences.
Not every child who worries will develop an anxiety disorder. In fact, the normal act of worrying is incredibly common for all children and will fade with time. For kids who are stuck in the constant cycle of anxiety disorders there is help. By finding a center for anxiety treatment, resources can be used to treat your child’s condition. There are many helpful treatments available for anxiety in children, including cognitive-behavior therapy, neurofeedback, nutrition supports, and family counseling. Anxiety therapy can help children learn coping skills to handle their fears.
Anxiety is tough on children who might not have the language or experience to express their problems. Remember to listen, be patient, and let your child know that they can get through this. With proper help and understanding, life will get better for your child.
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