Many children are affected by child anxiety disorders and this is because children are not always as open about their feelings as adults. Children, for the most part, do not feel comfortable sharing their fears, concerns and even complaints with an adult that cannot understand them. It is essential that a child be able to communicate with the caretaker in order to find a solution to the fear situation, but it can become overwhelming for them if they are unable to express their fear or concern.
If a child is afraid of certain situations, they may develop their own version of the anxiety disorder. They may worry excessively or worry for seemingly no reason at all. Children with child anxiety disorder usually exhibit high levels of worry, which is often in tandem with physical symptoms such as chest pains, headaches, stomachaches or nervous twitches. If your child’s worry lasts for more than a few minutes, you should take note of the fact that they could have developing mental health issues. It is important to get your child medical help because worrying for too long could seriously affect their physical health as well as their mental health.
Child anxiety disorder symptoms will include persistent state of fear or panic, daytime sleepiness, frequent urination, restlessness and being easily startled. Children that exhibit normal anxiety will typically have symptoms such as excessive worry, fear of impending doom or disaster, restlessness or the inability to remain calm when overwhelmed. Children with normal anxiety will experience exaggerated reactions to things that would normally be considered normal. For example, if a child sees a dark object or sounds of danger, they will likely have a heightened level of activity. If a normal child is scared of dogs, they will likely growl or howl and become very quiet when that same child sees or hears other dogs behave in a threatening manner.
Child anxiety disorders can be difficult to diagnose as there are so many other potential sources of anxiety that can be a contributing factor. It is essential that you get a medical evaluation if you think your child may have this disorder. Lebowitz has created an excellent website where she offers free tips on dealing with anxious or fearful situations. The website contains a ton of articles that address common anxieties and child behavioral problems that can lead to more serious issues if not properly addressed. This website also addresses specific situations that you should not allow your child to participate in.
Reading her list of “what not to do” in regards to anxious or fearful situations will help parents and caregivers effectively deal with children who exhibit normal or appropriate anxiousness. The following is a list of some of the “what not to do” that says alvord. The list includes:
I know it seems extreme to talk about some of these things but it is important that parents and other caregivers do whatever they can to help their child manage their anxiety disorder. One thing is for sure, these techniques work! Anxiety disorders are very real and can be managed. We need to take a closer look at how children deal with their abnormal fears. Did you ever wonder what it might feel like to be so anxious that you could not even enjoy basic activities? Now you can find out and help your child get back to enjoying normal anxiety levels.