No parent wants to be faced with the prospect that their child might have anxiety. It can be made more difficult when a lot of symptoms of anxiety manifest as what could be perceived as ‘bad behavior,’ leading you to potentially scold your child instead of supporting them through a difficult mental illness.
That’s why it’s crucial to know what you are looking for in terms of spotting anxiety for what it is, to then be able to help your child through it properly.
Signs of anxiety in your child
Anxiety can be experienced on a variety of levels, from mild to severe. With this in mind, signs and symptoms may be loud and clear, or else very subtle, so it’s important to tune in to all behaviors of your child, including ones which could easily be missed.
The main signs include:
- Irritability – If your child appears to be on edge constantly or quick to anger, you should question it, especially if it’s out of character
- Mood swings – Most children are victim to mood swings now and again as part of growing up, but it’s important to assess the rationality and regularity of them
- Angry outbursts – If your child is prone to outbursts, determine the cause rather than disciplining them, even if they are acting angrily towards you
- Trouble sleeping – Pay attention to your child’s sleeping pattern and how tired they are
- Avoidance of activities – Your child could suddenly be uninterested in hobbies they once enjoyed
- Avoidance of social situations – If your child is suddenly avoiding spending time with friends or family, this could be a sign
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Other symptoms of anxiety in your child
It’s important to note that symptoms of anxiety won’t always be easily visible or even expressed externally.
Your child may be experiencing many symptoms of anxiety without you knowing.
This is why you should ensure to always ask your child for a verbal explanation regarding how they are feeling in order to better understand potential symptoms. Communication is always key.
Other symptoms include:
- Constant headaches
- Feeling unwell
- Increased heart rate
- Tight chest pain
- Feeling of hopelessness
How you can help your child with anxiety
If you’ve determined that your child is indeed suffering from anxiety, the next step is to get help.
You should speak to your child openly and honestly about how they are feeling, and assure them that they have your support.
It’s important for your child to know that they haven’t done anything wrong. Anxiety can easily steep into more serious disorders such as panic attacks, and you don’t want to encourage that by being critical.
You should seek treatment for your child from professionals, who will be able to offer therapy and treatment methods suited for your child. This could be in the form of counseling or tailored coping mechanisms while trying to find the root cause of your child’s anxiety.