A boy cries on the staircase.

How to Recognize Anxiety in Children

Anxiety disorders are recognized and diagnosed at a rate today that is higher than they’ve ever been. Children are no exception to this fact. Children who suffer from anxiety can have their academic performance suffer and struggle with other health problems. As such, it is incredibly important to get anxiety diagnosed early on. To do this, you first need to recognize when your child is struggling with some of the signs of an anxiety disorder…

Frequent physical problems

While anxiety is a mental disorder, it can be an underlying cause of a multitude of physical problems. For example, children with anxiety disorders are far more apt to get headaches, or to have digestive issues without any other underlying physical cause. As such, children with anxiety disorders are more likely to develop other illnesses. If your child continuously suffers from these physical symptoms, it might be worth seeing if there is a mental disorder at the root of these problems.

Social ineptitude

Anxiety disorders bleed into every aspect of a child’s life, including their social skills. Children suffering from anxiety will frequently demonstrate difficulties with social interactions, and may opt to remain isolated from their peers. This is notably different from a child who is just shy. Children with anxiety disorders may shut down during social interactions.

Irrational emotional negativity

When a person suffers from an anxiety disorder, there are chemical imbalances that can affect their emotional reactions. As such, it casts a cloud over the spectrum of emotion of what is a reasonable response to a situation. This is where it gets difficult to parse out if a child is having anxiety, since children are often exploring their own emotions, and can overreact to situations that aren’t that big or important. However, if there are other signs with it, children who display needless irritability, anger, or sadness for practically no reason at all.

Inability to get excited

Symptoms of childhood depression can sometimes overlap with those of anxiety disorders. For example, children who suffer from anxiety disorders frequently display a difficulty to get excited about things, particularly things that they regularly love and enjoy.

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