Like adults, children may develop fears and worries from time to time. For instance, most kids might feel nervous when left alone or with strangers. While this is normal, persistent worries and fears could also be caused by anxiety. In such a case, you may want to find effective ways to help your child cope or overcome this challenge.
This article has all you need to know about anxiety in children. You’ll learn what anxiety is and what signs to look out for to determine whether your child is suffering from anxiety. In addition, you’ll also be given tips on how to find a reliable anxiety treatment center for your child. Read on to be enlightened.
What Is Anxiety In Children?
Anxiety is a mental disorder that causes excessive worry, fear, and nervousness in children. In other words, it is a feeling of restlessness that doesn’t go away but may worsen with time. This will affect how your child performs in their daily activities or how they relate to others. If your child is old enough to be going to school, anxiety could cause them to perform poorly in class.
That being said, there are various types of anxiety disorders in children. Some of these include generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, and social anxiety disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder is when a child gets worried about general activities, like playing or participating in events with other children. On the other hand, separation anxiety disorder causes a child to worry when they’re away from their parents or siblings. While these two situations are normal for young children as they grow up, you should be worried if this lasts for several months and shows no signs of decreasing in intensity.
Social anxiety disorder causes children to be overly worried of what others think about them. For that reason, they become too shy to talk in front of other kids or adults.
All these types of anxiety disorders are treatable. In addition to your support and encouragement, your child will need anxiety counseling San Diego to better cope with the disorder. It’s important to get them professional help as soon as you notice the signs, so you can prevent their anxiety from getting worse and affecting their formative years.
How Can You Spot Anxiety In Your Child?
Unlike other ailments, when struggling with anxiety, most young children can’t explain what they feel. However, there are some signs you can spot that will help you conclude whether your child might be suffering from anxiety. These include the following.
Having Difficulty Sleeping
Sleep is an integral part of young children’s lifestyle. It enables their body and mind to relax and recover. Children participate in various activities during the day, such as playing and running around, which consumes much of their energy. Because of that, it’s important that they get good sleep to help restore the energy they used up. When they wake up the next day, they’ll have enough energy to get them through their daily activities once again.
Good-quality sleep is necessary for your child to boost both their physical and cognitive well-being. That’s why you should ensure that your child is able to sleep well at night. If you notice that they’re having a difficult time sleeping and this persists for several nights in a row, they might be suffering from anxiety.
One of the major known causes of lack of sleep for children is anxiety. As mentioned earlier, when a child is anxious, they may have a restless mind that prevents them from relaxing and going to sleep. Your child may be having a difficult time resting properly because they’re being kept up by anxious thoughts. If that’s the case, it would be a good idea to take the time to ask them about their worries and to offer reassurance when you can.
Avoiding Social Interaction
Avoiding social interaction is another sign that shows your child might be suffering from anxiety. As mentioned earlier, there are various types of anxiety disorders in children. One of them is social anxiety disorder.
Social anxiety disorder causes children to avoid interacting with other people, whether it’s children in their age group or adults. In such a case, a kid with anxiety can often be found spending most of their time alone and in isolated places. They don’t like to accompany other children to playgrounds or participate in other activities that children would usually enjoy.
If you notice that your child is becoming too shy to meet or play with other people, they might be having anxiety. This means that even minor interactions might seem daunting to them because they’re worried that they might do the wrong thing or that their actions could negatively affect how others see them.
Though it might be tempting to have them interact with more people to reduce this shyness and anxiety, you should refrain from doing that, as it might make the situation worse. If you want to encourage them to feel comfortable with interaction, it would be best to start with small groups and with people they feel safe with. If they respond to these interactions positively, you can slowly encourage them to interact with more people by going to birthday parties or volunteering for school activities with a lot of socializing involved.
However, if even small groups don’t seem to help and their anxiety remains consistent, it would be best to take your child to a professional physician.
Becoming Extremely Fearful
You may have reason to suspect that your child has anxiety if they start fearing things that they never had a problem with before. For instance, they might have suddenly developed a fear of heights, or they might now be nervous around bugs even though they’ve managed to hold one before. They might panic now at the thought of having to do something they once used to do with ease, such as swimming in the deep end of a pool or riding a roller coaster. Any of these newfound fears could be a sign of a developing phobia or extreme anxiety.
Loss Of Concentration
Is your child having more trouble than usual concentrating when doing homework or other important activities? If your answer is yes, then your child might be suffering from anxiety.
When a child has an anxiety disorder, it affects their brain’s functionality. In other words, their mind is constantly in a tense state, thus causing them to lose focus. For this reason, children with anxiety usually don’t do very well in class.
Loss Of Appetite
In some instances, extreme nervousness can cause an upset stomach. This may lead to a child losing their appetite or eating too little food. Some children are able to hide this very well, but there are certain signs that could clue you in, such as weight loss, hair loss, skin problems, and a constant feeling of being cold.
If you notice these signs, you have reason to be alarmed, as these symptoms could lead to worse health issues. You can try to encourage your child to eat more by serving their favorite foods more often, but a better long-term solution would be to determine the cause of their anxiety.
If you notice that your child is easily fatigued and has lower energy levels than usual, this could also be a sign of anxiety. You have even more reason to suspect this if your child gets tired often even when they haven’t been doing anything or if they get many hours of sleep but still wake up tired.
In such a case, you should first eliminate other factors that may be causing them to feel this way. Make sure they’re eating well and getting enough sleep, and give them vitamins to boost their immune system and help their body convert food into energy better. If these things still don’t help, there might be a major underlying problem.
How Can You Find The Best Anxiety Treatment Center For Your Child?
Although there are certain things you could do to help your child cope with their anxiety better, it would still be best to seek the assistance of a professional. This is especially important if you don’t see any signs of improvement or if your child’s anxiety seems to be getting worse.
Since your child’s health is at stake, you will want to ensure that you choose the best clinic for them. Professional help is better than none at all, but it’s important to remember that not all hospitals provide the same treatment. You should choose a hospital that best suits your child’s needs so that you’re sure they’re getting the best possible care.
That being said, here are important factors to consider when looking for an anxiety treatment center for your child.
Nowadays, with more information available, anxiety in children is easier to identify, and so more and more parents are able to seek treatment for their children. With that in mind, you could start looking for a good treatment center by asking for referrals.
This involves asking for recommendations from other parents whose children may also have anxiety. They can guide you by suggesting the best hospital they found or by steering you away from hospitals they might have had bad experiences with. Remember to ask these parents not just for a hospital name but also for details of their experience with the hospital in question and its staff. In doing so, you can have a better grasp of the institution they recommend.
It’s advisable not to settle on the first hospital recommended to you. Make a list of potential hospitals first, and when you feel you have enough options to choose from, pick the best one that suits the needs of your child.
As with any other health condition, anxiety emergencies could happen at unexpected times. That’s why you should consider the location of your preferred hospital. To ensure that your child is able to receive treatment immediately following an emergency, you should select a hospital near you. Not only will this enable you to take the least time possible to get there and have your child treated, but it also allows you to save on travel costs.
Doctor’s Qualifications And Experience
If you’d like to find the best services for your child, you should consider the qualifications of the doctors in your chosen health facility. Specifically, you should consider the qualifications of the psychiatrists.
Psychiatrists are medical personnel who hold practicing certificates to help and treat people with mental disorders. You want to ensure that your child is being treated by someone who has the relevant knowledge and training to be able to handle them well.
Additionally, you should consider the experience of the doctor. The more years of working experience they have, the better. You should also ask fellow parents who have had their children treated by that doctor if they had a good experience with them. It would set your mind at ease to know that other people can attest to the doctor’s skills and treatment.
Cost is another important factor to consider when selecting a treatment facility for your child. Although various hospitals may provide similar services, their fees may differ significantly. If you already have a list of options to choose from, you should compare the charges of these hospitals. After all, you would want to choose one that charges fairly for the services they offer.
This means opting for a hospital that allows you to get the best value for your money. This is important because the price attached to a service isn’t always proportional to its quality. For instance, some hospitals might attach a high price to their anxiety treatment, but they end up providing low-quality services. You should choose a hospital that’s able to deliver quality services that match up to their price.
Anxiety is a common health issue that affects children in all parts of the world. This condition can develop in children of any age. Most parents may not be aware of this problem, which means that their children could be suffering in silence, without a healthy way to cope and without treatment. For this reason, it’s important for parents to be aware of the various signs that could clue them in on their children’s condition.
If you have a child, it’s important to keep the information above in mind so you know what to look out for. If these signs appear and you have reason to suspect anxiety, let your child get professional help as soon as possible and provide them with the support they need.