Dealing With Anxiety Disorders In Children
All humans experience anxiety from time to time. But when the anxiety begins to occur more frequently and begins to affect everyday life, then it is a disorder. It can be accompanied by feelings of uneasiness and the person suffering from it is always tensed or distracted. This can be hard on anyone. But for children and their parents it can be doubly hard.
Different types of anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorders can be of many different types depending on the symptoms.
Generalized anxiety disorder is when people worry excessively about anything and everything. It could be as simple as going to school to something grand like worrying about the future. This is often accompanied with physical symptoms like headaches, chest pains, fatigue, stomach aches etc.
Phobias are fears about anything; things that are not even harmful.
Social anxiety is fear of facing social situations or crowds.
Obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD) are when sufferers attempt to ease their anxieties or obsessions (constantly occurring thoughts), through a series of actions or compulsions.
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) result from a traumatic event in the past. For children, the trigger for PTSD can be a stressful family situation also.
Dealing with anxiety disorders in children
It is unlikely that children would come to their parents or caretakers and talk about the symptoms they are experiencing as a result of any anxiety disorder. Even adults who suffer from anxiety disorders often keep the conditions to themselves. Therefore it is up to the parents to notice any unusual behavior in their children that could signal a bigger problem.
For parents, it might be helpful to know that children or teens are unlikely to share about their anxieties the first time they are asked about it. So patience is important here. Even if your kids are not opening up about their anxiety, let them gently know that they can come to you any time and talk about it. It is really important to make your kids feel safe about coming to you with their problems especially when it is something that they might not understand themselves.
Make your home environment happy and stress-free for kids. Spend time with them, but respect their boundaries when they feel the heat of the symptoms and want to be alone.
Have your kids talk to a therapist to begin their treatment. A professional can correctly diagnose the type of anxiety disorder and formulate a treatment plan to help treat their anxiety.
Need more help?
The therapists at Agor Behavioral Health Services specialize in evaluating and treating children and adults with anxiety disorders! Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free 20 minute consultation to discuss your situation. Schedule an appointment by calling 630-621-5824 or send us a message.