What is child anxiety? How to help and manage anxious children? Currently anxiety symptoms may be present in our children from an early age and may be associated with other psychological disorders such as childhood depression.
As mothers it is important that we have the knowledge about anxiety in children and its consequences in order to be able to identify symptoms in time and be able to provide help.
Between 9 and 21% of children have child anxiety
During childhood there can be various anxiety disorders such as phobias, panic, generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, among other anxiety disorders.
In general, anxiety in children is confused with hyperactivity, so it tends to normalize and the truth is that if not detected in time these symptoms can be exacerbated and merit medication.
Let’s see what child anxiety is, because anxious children occur and how we can learn to help manage it with books that in addition to providing information about these symptoms, gives you tools to recognize them in your children.
What is anxiety in children?
Anxiety in children is a mental state where they experience restlessness, doubts one after another, associated with physical symptoms such as sweating, motor agitation, palpitations, hyperventilations and more.
Anxiety is usually lived with a lot of discomfort and discomfort mainly in children because they do not understand what happens to them. Around 9 and 21% of children have an anxiety disorder, a worrying figure.
Child anxiety is a mental state where children experience a great restlessness that generates a great physical and psychological exhaustion in the child.
Because the symptoms of anxiety generate great physical and psychological exhaustion in the child, affecting his neurological development.
In addition, it is important to know that anxiety disorders are among the most common child psychiatric disorders in children. Anxiety often appears as a response to a danger or threat, and is a response that all human beings experience to this situation.
Causes of Anxiety in Children
Anxiety in children can be presented by several factors that intervene in a particular way in the functioning of the child in any of the environments where it develops, whether at school, in the family or with friends.
While it is normal for children to feel distress, anxious children cannot enjoy more normal, everyday activities.
The most common causes that trigger anxious symptoms in children are:
- Rejection at school by other children or teachers.
- Fear of being abandoned by mom or any other significant figure for the child.
- Little tolerance for frustration.
- Low self-esteem.
- Social phobia: Shy children, or for example with difficulty making friends, speaking aloud in class, etc.
- Bullying or mistreatment victim
- Poor affective bonding with the mother.
- Arrival of a new brother.
- Shy children.
- Excess of responsibilities
- Excessive demands (e.g. feeling you have to be perfect or doing everything right)
- Excessive competition
- Constant comparison
- Family problems
- Lack of emotional security
- Victim of psychological or physical abuse
At what age does anxiety appear in children?
There are estimates of the starting ages for some anxiety disorders in children that can serve as a guide when identifying symptoms and mainly to help them through the books for anxious children that we will show you later.
Separation anxiety disorder usually occurs between the ages of 7 and 8, while generalized anxiety disorder occurs between the ages of 10 and 12. However, phobias, especially of animals, usually occur between 6 and 7 years of age.
It is important to keep in mind that the ages mentioned above may vary according to each child.
Symptoms and Signs of Anxiety in Children
How do you recognize if your child has an anxiety disorder?
Let’s look at the most common symptoms and signs of anxiety to identify if your child is an anxious child.
- You may become restless, hyperactive, nervous, or distracted (even if you don’t have ADHD).
- Has difficulty falling or staying asleep.
- He has obsessive thoughts.
- Is in a bad mood all the time
- Performs compulsive behaviors (such as tapping fingers, washing hands, etc.).
- She cries often.
- He gets angry for no apparent reason.
- Just use the bathroom in the house.
- Begins to shake or sweat in intimidating situations.
- Tightens muscles constantly.
- It acts with extreme sensitivity.
- Are afraid to make mistakes (even small and silly)
- He complains of headaches.
- You have tantrums or sensory crises.
- You need the approval of your teachers, family or friends constantly.
- You have panic attacks (or fear panic attacks).
- Frequently complains of stomach (even if there is no medical reason)
- Refuses to have a snack or lunch at daycare or school.
- Avoid participating in group activities or other classroom activities.
- He refuses to go to school.
- He’s constantly infatuated for no apparent reason.
- Avoid social situations with classmates after school (after-school activities, birthday parties, outings).
- He doesn’t want to go out or be alone.
- The tests make him too anxious.
- Remains silent when she has to do activities with other children.
- He doesn’t talk to his classmates.
- He constantly asks, “What if?” “What if” (“What if Dad dies?”).
- You suffer from phobias (animals, darkness, etc.) or exaggerated fears (things like natural disasters, etc.).
- He’s afraid people will find out about him.
- Worries excessively about things in the distant future (e.g., starting school).
- He experiences nightmares in which a loved one abandons him.
- Often his worries and fears distract him from playing.
- Becomes sensitive or angry when separated from family or loved ones.
- He says, “I can’t do it!” for no real reason.
- Cannot relax in social situations
Stories and books for anxious children are a wonderful tool for dealing with these anxious symptoms that are so annoying and uncomfortable for children, not to mention the physical, neurological and psychological wear that implies.
Books for anxious children allow the subject to be worked on in a lighter but equally meaningful way without the need to resort to early medication.
Anxious Child: When should you consult a professional?
It is normal for children to experience and be distressed from time to time, especially when faced with a specific situation.
However, if you notice that your child’s anxiety is constant, intensifies and begins to interfere in different areas of his life, such as his school development or relationships with friends and family, it is best to consult a professional help.
It is also advisable to consult a traumatic event, such as a violent accident or the death of a close loved one.
If you have any doubt, consult a professional about your child’s particular case.