How to Tell If Your Child Is Struggling with Anxiety

How to Tell If Your Child Is Struggling with Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling that we all experience, and one which children can often feel, especially when faced with the unknown. However, there is a point at which feelings of anxiety may become a problem for your child. If anxious feelings and behaviors are beginning to affect your child’s daily life, it may be time to consider whether anxiety has become more of a significant issue for them or that they might have an anxiety disorder.

Identifying signs of a problem with anxiety in your child isn’t always easy. Many children can display anxious behaviors, particularly if they are shy or find it hard to deal with new situations. Anxiety might not become apparent until it starts to interfere more regularly with daily life. If your child is feeling irritable for no reason, for example, it could be due to a variety of reasons, but it may be nothing to worry about.

There are some signs of anxiety that parents can watch out for to determine whether their child might be struggling with anxiety. There are both physical symptoms and emotional symptoms that you might observe, which could indicate that your child is struggling with anxiety.

Physical Symptoms of Anxiety

Anxiety can cause various physical symptoms, which you might not realize are caused by how your child is feeling emotionally.

Some of the physical symptoms that you might notice include:

  • Stomach aches or headaches with no medical reason
  • Being restless, distracted or fidgety
  • Shaking or sweating
  • Tense muscles
  • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep

Emotional Signs Your Child Is Experiencing Anxiety

There are emotional signs and symptoms of anxiety that you might notice too. These include:

  • Crying a lot
  • Being very sensitive
  • Being angry, grumpy or grouchy with no clear reason
  • Panic attacks
  • Worrying about the future
  • Worrying about loved ones
  • Nightmares

Behavioral signs of anxiety can also be observed in children. An anxious child might often ask “what if” questions about disasters or the future in general. They might avoid other people or isolate themselves, and they can refuse to go to school. Children feeling anxious might seek reassurance from adults and authority figures, as well as from friends. They might say that they can’t do things or refuse to try new things for fear of getting it wrong.

Next Steps If You Think Your Child Is Struggling with Anxiety

If you think that your child might be struggling with anxiety, it can be useful to keep track of their feelings and behaviors. This can help you to determine whether they are experiencing anxiety on a regular basis and how it is affecting them day-to-day. You can then use this information to inform your child’s doctor or you may consult with the school counselor.

Seeking the help of a therapist could be the next step if you think that your child is struggling with anxiety. Regular therapy sessions can help your child to examine and recognize their feelings, as well as develop coping methods that help them to deal with their anxiety.

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