It’s common for a child to occasionally feel anxious every once in a while. Going to a new school, meeting new kids, dealing with a bully are just a few instances in which it’s natural to get nervous. But some kids are plagued by anxiety more than usual, so much so that it takes control over their lives. Drawing the line between everyday anxiety and when to see a specialist can be difficult. The following are some telltale signs that your little one may be suffering from a disorder.
1. Worrying excessively
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is considered by health experts to be the broadest type of anxiety. One of the primary characteristics exhibited by children with this disorder is worrying too much, even about unimportant things and life events. The anxious thoughts may be so persistent that they linger in their mind most days of the week. This may be accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue. Experts say that when emotions begin to cause dysfunction, it can be characterized as a disorder which must be addressed immediately.
2. Difficulty falling and staying asleep
This can be a huge indicator of anxiety disorder. Sleeping difficulties can be associated with different health issues. It’s also common to toss and turn in bed the night before some homework is due or an important test. But if you find that they are chronically deprived of sleep, it might be a sign that they’re suffering from anxiety.
3. Muscle tension
Dealing with tense muscles all the time is one common physical symptom of anxiety. This may be in the form of jaw clenching or flexing muscles. They may be battling against muscle tension for a long time that it might become unnoticeable after a while. One solution to this is regular exercise. Yes, even kids need to exercise. And sitting in front of the TV or playing a video game doesn’t count. Sorry. However, it’s essential to maintain an exercise schedule. Otherwise, it’s possible to experience flare ups and suffer from muscle tension again.
4. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Healthcare professionals say that the gut can be extremely sensitive to psychological stress. IBS is sometimes described as experiencing anxiety in the digestive tract. Your child might suffer from bloating, cramping, constipation and diarrhea. The pain and discomfort caused by IBS may also make them feel more anxious, which is why it’s recommended to find relief immediately.
Contrary to popular belief, social anxiety doesn’t necessarily involve speaking or performing in a big crowd. In fact, this type of anxiety is often caused by ordinary situations such as talking with a new student or teacher or eating with a new group of kids. If you’re suffering from social anxiety, your child might feel like everyone’s watching their every move. It’s common to blush, sweat and tremble. This can severely affect your social life and your ability to maintain relationships.
These are just of the most common signs of anxiety disorder you should watch out for. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, be sure to visit your doctor immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.