Sadly, children are not exempted from anxiety disorders. In fact, failure to treat this condition can make the young ones suffer from mental illness in the long term
To date, child anxiety is becoming more and more rampant. The Mental Health America stated that one in 10 children are affected by mental health disorders that are related to anxiety, phobia and panic. It is also believed that millions of our children, probably ranging from 7.7 million up to 12.8 million, are suffering from mental health issues without their parents’ knowledge.
Child anxiety symptoms are likely to manifest witin kids whose parents are patients of anxiety disorders. What makes this condition harder for the young ones is their incapacity to express their discomforts and convey their thoughts. Parents and guardians of children with anxiety disorder should immediately seek guidance from mental illness professionals. If not given due attention at an earlier time, this can absolutely ruin the child’s chances for a good future.
Children normally go through anxiety. It’s actually a part of growing up that is essential for them to develop psychologically. It’s usual for kids to experience fear. In fact, very few are not afraid of strangers, darkness, lightning, etc. Most children are afraid to be separated from their parents and to be left out alone. It is not very easy to determine if one is having child anxiety symptoms. Therefore, parents need to thoroughly assess what their kids are going through and how they are behaving before jumping into the conclusion that the child needs to be seen by anxiety professionals.
When dealing with child anxiety symptoms, it is important to fully understand what this condition really is. Anxiety disorder is not as simple as feeling anxious. The National Institute of Mental Health wants parents to understand the different types of anxiety disorder in children. These include Social Anxiety Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Panic Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Child Anxiety Symptoms – Common Signs
Primarily, it depends on the type of anxiety disorder that one is suffering from. But here are the common signs that parents should keep an eye on.
- Too much worrying and anxiety.
- Uncontrolled fear and worry.
- Inability to concentrate.
- Muscle tension.
- Sleeping disorder.
To further help parents determine which specific type of anxiety disorder their son or daughter may be suffering from, the following signs should be looked out for.
Social Anxiety Disorder
The child anxiety symptoms that indicate it is Social Anxiety Disorder that the child is going through are social event scare, having tantrums and not speaking when faced with the crowd.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Excessive worrying about certain things characterizes this type of anxiety disorder. The child suffering from it may experience difficulty in concentrating, sleeping disorder, restlessness, fatigue and frequent stomach ache, muscle pain and headache.
Recurring undesirable thoughts are the usual child anxiety symptoms associated with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. The child suffering from it usually carries out rituals to relieve tension. Repeatedly performing things such as washing his hands and putting his/her stuff in order can signify Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.
A child who frequently shows extreme fright possibly has Panic Disorder. The symptoms are somewhat similar with that of Panic Disorder in adults. Trembling, too much fear and anxiety are also symptoms.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Children who have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are not fond of people. There are places they avoid and they refuse to join social activities. They tend to be extremely emotional and irritable.
If the child is exhibiting any of the child anxiety symptoms mentioned above, parents have to be open for medication and therapies available for the little one’s early recovery.
Parents have to keep in mind that when giving medication to children, the guidance of the doctor is of extreme importance. It is advised to always ensure that the medication to be used for children is approved by the FDA. Off-label pharmaceutical products should never be an option. Meanwhile, the therapy that the parents should opt for must be the one fitting to the type of anxiety disorder manifested by the child anxiety symptoms observed.
If you as a parent would like to use other natural remedies, please always consult your medical practitioner first, as what will help an adult may not be safe or effective for a child.
Support from the family, especially from parents, is much-needed when the child is diagnosed with anxiety disorder. The family has to be there to ensure the child that he is safe and protected. It will also help to praise the child whenever he accomplishes something. It is also advised to demonstrate calmness at all times.