Anxiety disorders cause extreme fear and worry, and changes in a child’s behavior, sleep, eating, or mood. The most common forms of anxiety in children are the following:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Social Phobia ( social anxiety)
- Separation anxiety Disorder ( SAD)
- Selective Mutism
- Specific phobia
Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety in Children:
Sometimes a parent or teacher may see that a child or teen is anxious. For example, a child might cling, miss school, or cry. They may even act scared or upset, or refuse to talk or do things. Kids and teens with anxiety also feel symptoms that others cant see. It makes them feel afraid, worried, or nervous.
It can affect their bodies as well to include: feeling shaky, jittery, or experience shortness of breath. They feel “butterflies” in their stomachs, a hot face, clamming hands, or a racing heart. The symptoms are known as the “fight or flight” response which is the body’s normal response to danger.
Treatment for Anxiety
Most often, anxiety disorders are treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This is a type of talk therapy that helps families, kids, and teens learn to manage worry, fear, and anxiety.
CBT teaches kids that what they think and do affects how they feel. In CBT, kids learn that when they avoid what they fear, the fear stays strong. They learn that when they face a fear, the fear gets weak and goes away.
- Parents learn how to best respond when a child is anxious. They learn how to help kids face fears.
- Kids learn coping skills so they can face fear and worry less.
The therapist helps kids practice, and gives support and praise as they try. Over time, kids learn to face fears and feel better. They learn to get used to situations they’re afraid of. They feel proud of what they’ve learned. And without so many worries, they can focus on other things — like school, activities, and fun. Sometimes, medicines are also used to help treat anxiety.
If your child suffers from anxiety, please give us a call today for a free consultation to help you and your child combat and manage anxiety related symptoms.