Children, Adolescents, and Anxiety

When our children are upset, we are upset.  The pain of witnessing our child struggle is heart and soul breaking.  Managing a child or adolescent with anxiety can be excruciating, time consuming, and distressing.

If you are a parent of an anxious child you are not alone.  Anxiety is a common mental health problem for children and adolescents, as well as adults.  Usually we see this upset in our child as worry or fear about some thing, or many things.

Some indicators that your child is suffering from anxiety can be:

  • distress and agitation that seems excessive and not in proportion to a situation
  • excessive worry and “what if” thinking and questioning
  • constant seeking of reassurance marked by repetitive questions that when answered does not seem to help
  • excessive time spent by you on reassuring, consoling, coaxing, and formulating plans and ideas to avoid upset and worry
  • avoidance of places, situations, and things and /or refusal to go places or do things
  • excessive worries about what others think and with pleasing others, worrying if others are angry
  • excessive fear of a specific thing or situation
  • repetitive checking, ordering, or doing things “just so”
  • difficulty falling or staying asleep, difficulty with sleeping alone, nightmares
  • excessive physical symptoms like headache, stomach ache, digestive issues
  • panic, including rapid heartbeat, sweating, feeling of impending doom

All of these indicators can disrupt daily life and necessary activities like going to school, upholding commitments, and engaging socially.

According to The National Institute of Mental Health, the Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study (CAMS), in addition to other studies on treating childhood anxiety disorders, found that high-quality cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), given with or without medication, can effectively treat anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.

By learning to manage symptoms your child’s distress can be significantly reduced.

If your have these concerns about your son or daughter please feel free to call me and discuss your situation.  There can be relief in knowing there is effective help and support for you and your child.