Anxiety in children/teens can be very common and treatable, all children/teens will experience some level of anxiety, this is completely normal at specific times during development. Little ones may show distress during times of separation from their parents, most children have short-lived fears of some sort. Think about all the new experiences they are having, they may the dark, storms, strangers, animals, changes in routine, transitioning from one grade to another, or increasing levels of responsibilities and independence.
As a parent, we need to be mindful and aware of the signs of anxiety to ensure we can intervene, when needed to help prevent longer complications as they grow up; early treatment can help prevent future difficulties such as loss of friends, low self-esteem or not reaching their social or academic potential.
There are different types of anxiety in children/teens, separation anxiety, social anxiety and specific phobias. Symptoms can include (but are not limited to):
• Thoughts and fears about the safety of their parents
• Refusal to go to school, complaining of stomach aches or other physical ailments
• Being overly clingy or tantrums at time of separation from their parents
• Trouble sleeping or recurring nightmares
• Avoidance of social situations or talking to new people
• Constant worrying about activities, friends, family, etc.
• Extreme fears about a specific thing or situation (needles/doctors, insects, dogs, etc.)
• Your child/teen says they feel overwhelmed or stressed
The fears can cause a child significant distress and interfere with every activities and routines. They can also cause your child to lack self-confidence or have low self-esteem.
Treatments for anxiety can include:
• Individual psychotherapy
• Behavioral modification treatments
If you are noticing any of the above symptoms or have any concerns you should consider seeking an evaluation by a qualified licensed adolescent counselor. At CPC, we will help guide you and your child in the right direction for your child’s needs and your families’ unique situation.
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