When is anxiety a concern for your child? Or if they’re just a normal part of growing up? The origins, symptoms, and treatment choices for childhood anxiety disorders can all be found by doing a little research on your own.
Whether it’s a dread of the dark, the start of a new school year, or the dog down the street, every kid has them. It’s not uncommon for people to lament over their issues and then move on. Some 7 percent of children aged 3 to 17 suffer from an anxiety disorder, and even seemingly innocuous acts can be detrimental for them, according to the CDC.
In fact, for youngsters with anxiety, their anxieties tend to get worse rather than better with time. Regardless of how many times you tell an anxious child that everything is fine, she will not believe you.
Anxious children may become so distressed that they cease breathing, eating, sleeping, or attending school. In any case, their erratic behavior sets them out from their peers, especially at a time when it’s critical for them to blend in.
Is there a known cause of childhood anxiety disorders like separation anxiety or social anxiety?
Anxiety in your child is simply a result of hereditary predisposition. As soon as your brain senses danger, it activates your fight-or-flight reaction, which is triggered by a smoke detector in your skull. Anxious children’s smoke detectors are set to a far higher degree of sensitivity, and their reactions are also more dramatic.
However, research shows that variances in stress response can be found as early as six weeks, indicating that nature and nurture are at least as important when it comes to anxiety.
Kids who have an anxious parent are up to seven times more likely to suffer from an anxiety condition than those whose parents are not worried, according to new research. In both biological and behavioral terms, there is a correlation. There is a genetic component to anxiety, but parents who are overprotective or show their own anxieties through their behavior increase the likelihood of their child developing anxiety.
Anxiety Symptoms in Children
Even the happiest youngsters worry more when they reach the age of 7 or 8 because they realize that so much of the world is out of their control. Worries about real-life events, such as a natural disaster or failing to make the baseball team, take the place of childhood fears of monsters lurking under the bed.
There is a big difference between a mild case of anxiety and a full-blown anxiety disorder. Worries that a youngster has are often unfounded or overblown, yet they can be expressed in a child’s behavior. Anxiety about the safety of a parent might make it difficult or impossible for him to relax and sleep. Worrying about getting sick might lead to behaviors such as seeking continual reassurance or performing excessive hand washing regiments.
Anxious children tend to avoid situations that could cause them distress. Serious anxiety may be the cause of youngsters who refuse to participate in activities others love, scream and yell before every dental or doctor’s appointment, feel sick on Sunday nights, or spend an excessive amount of time in the school nurse’s office.
Children who suffer from anxiety may also experience undiagnosed headaches or stomachaches, difficulty sleeping, and outbursts. There is also the possibility that your youngster will ask more and more fear-based inquiries over time.
At-Home Anxiety Therapy
Start at home if you see your youngster is anxious, but it isn’t interfering with his normal activities. The following are a few ideas.
Encourage your youngster to confront their fears and anxiety. To keep their children safe, all parents naturally strive to keep them away from dogs, such as when your child screams at the sight of one. In the short term, this may make things simpler, but in the long term, it only feeds his anxiety. In order to overcome his fear, he must face it head-on and concentrate on improving his ability to deal with it.
Petting a puppy on a leash and watching dogs from a distance are two simple ways you may help your youngster learn about canines. Celebrate your child’s bravery with a little incentive after each success, such as an extra ten minutes on the video game console.
Learn what is generating the anxiety and address it. First, find out what your youngster is worried about before reassuring him or her. An apprehensive child starting school in a new city is an example. ‘Don’t worry,’ you may think. Because of this, he reassured himself that no one would be unpleasant to him in school. Because of what you’ve done, he now has a new source of anxiety.
Ask, “What do you believe is going to happen?” to get to the heart of his anxiety. You and your partner can then brainstorm a list of things you can do in preparation that will soothe him.
Set a bedtime schedule. Create a relaxing nighttime routine. In lieu of television or other devices, encourage your child to relax by having him read a soothing book or do breathing techniques.
Self-soothing is a skill that should be taught to him. Deep breathing, counting backwards, or envisioning what he wants to happen are all examples of self-soothing techniques your child can use when his tummy is in knots.
Take a look at how you’re feeling on the inside. Your youngster may be affected by your anxiety. You can train him to be terrified of bugs by screaming at the sight of one in your room, for example. Because of this, it may be the perfect time to get therapy for your own anxiety-inducing habit.
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