It can be normal for an individual to have fears, nervousness, or worries throughout life.
But if you notice that your child experiences fears, nervousness, worry, or anxiety that seems to be excessive and/or interfering with other aspects of their life including school, home, friendships and leisure times, you may want to reach out to a mental health professional to learn more about anxiety and how it could be impacting your child or teen.
Anxiety can happen at any age, to anyone, and is more than the typical fears, nerves and worries in daily life. Anxiety is when a child or teen has excessive worries or fears that feel overwhelming, hard to manage or control, and that interfere with their ability to function in daily life.
Anxiety ranges on a spectrum from mild to intense nd there are many different types of anxiety, including:
- Generalized Anxiety: Anxiety takes on the form of general fears and worries about various aspects of life
- Obsessions and Compulsions: Anxiety takes on the form of ruminating thoughts and actions that attempt to alleviate those thoughts
- Phobias: Anxiety takes on the form of a fear of a specific object or experience
- Social Anxiety: Anxiety takes on the form of fears related to social interaction and a desire to avoid scenarios that require social interaction
- Panic Attacks: Anxiety becomes severe enough that it results in the individual having difficulty breathing, a racing heart, dizziness or other somatic (physical) symptoms
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: Anxiety surrounds a traumatic experience and reminders of the traumatic experience
A mental health professional can help you to better understand the different types of anxiety one may experience.
SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY THAT MAY BE COMMON IN CHILDREN AND TEENS MAY INCLUDE, AND ARE NOT LIMITED TO:
- Recurring Fears and Worries
- Unexplained Shifts in Moods
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Isolating from Family and Friends
- Changes in Eating Habits
- Sleeping Too Much
- Difficulty Staying Asleep
- Panic Attacks
- Fear of Going Places
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT YOUR CHILD OR TEEN’S ANXIETY
Anxiety is a treatable mental health disorder. If you are concerned about your child or teen having anxiety, consult with a mental health professional.
Treatments that are beneficial for children and teens with anxiety include therapy, medication, or a combination of the two. Consult with a doctor to learn more about how medication management can help. Therapy can help to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and increase your child’s skills to improve their daily functioning and lead to a more fulfilling life.
OTHER TIPS TO HELP YOUR CHILD OR TEEN MANAGE THEIR STYMPOMS OF ANXIETY
- Breaking large tasks into small manageable steps
- Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule
- Maintaining a consistent eating schedule with balanced meals
- Create a support network including spending time with friends and family
- Monitor your child’s social media use
- Model use of healthy coping skills
- Talk with your child about anxious thoughts
- Visit our therapist page to learn more about how our therapist can help your child or teen experiencing anxiety
If you are ready to get your child or teen started in therapy, call our office at (605) 275-0009 to setup an appointment.