If your child is showing signs of child anxiety, he or she may be shy and uncomfortable around other people. He or she may also exhibit uncontrollable crying, extreme fearfulness, physical twitching or even biting or chewing of his or her nails. Of course, this behavior is normal in any age. However, if your child is not socializing with other children as much as he or she should, then there could be a problem. It is important to determine what is causing your child’s anxiety and treat it before the behavior escalates into anxiety disorders and panic attacks as adults.
The primary cause of child anxiety may be that your child has an underlying health concern, such as allergies, physical deficiencies or an undiagnosed medical condition. If there are other health concerns in your child’s family, you should notify your pediatrician immediately. Other causes of child anxiety may include separation from you, a new baby or even a change in your child’s family dynamics. Once you have determined what may be causing your child’s anxiety, it is time to work on his or her treatment.
Many children with child anxiety respond well to a combination of behavioral and psychotherapy techniques. This may include deep breathing, relaxation techniques and exercise, among others. You may also want to consider trying the use of self-help books, videos or relaxation techniques. These can be a great way to help your child relax and overcome the overwhelming feeling that they are losing control. This can be especially true if there is a new baby in the family.
Many children with child anxiety may develop generalized anxiety disorder. This is when they feel too worried and too afraid to go out in public. Others may develop specific phobias, like fear of clowns or water. In more severe cases, these disorders may involve insomnia, chronic fear and panic attacks.
Your doctor will be able to run tests to determine what type of anxiety your child is experiencing. He may refer you to a child therapist. In many cases, medications will be prescribed for your child. Your child anxiety may be so bad that these treatments may be all that is needed to help them feel better. It may be necessary to try several different medications until armed with little side effects is found.
If you think there may be a problem, be sure to discuss it with your child’s doctor as soon as possible. This can help you both find effective methods to treat child anxiety. Remember, if your child is having problems at home, he may be overwhelmed at school as well. Get help as soon as possible.