Anxiety in Children and Adolescents
Anxiety; it’s something we all feel. In fact, it’s normal to feel anxious. It’s our body’s way of letting us know that something is unsafe or harmful. It’s our body’s way of revving up our energy supply so that we can run or hide or think quickly on our feet. But what happens when that anxiety is something that you feel often, like every day? And it can sometimes, or all the time, get in the way of what you or your children want to do? Then, it’s a problem.
Anxiety in adults and in children can look different. Children who suffer from anxiety may exhibit:
- Inattention, poor focus
- Somatic symptoms – headaches,
Children who are anxious don’t always know that they feel anxious. They just know that they don’t like how they feel, they don’t know how to make it stop, and so they let you know how children know how to by:
- Refusing to go to school
- Meltdowns before school about clothing, hair, shoes, socks
- Meltdowns after school about homework
- Difficulties with transitions within school, and between school and an activity/sport
- Difficulty settling down for bed
- High expectations for school work, homework and sports performance
It’s very easy as a parent to think that your child has a behavioral problem, an Oppositional Defiance Disorder even. However, look closer. There’s a strong likelihood that your child is anxious, very anxious.
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