Every child has anxiety every once in a while. However, chronic anxiety is not good. About 25% of children, mostly between the ages of 13 and 18, have an anxiety disorder. If it is not treated, this can have a profound effect on peer relationships, academic success, and home life.
If you are wondering if your child has an abnormal level of anxiety, there are certain symptoms and signs to be aware of. If your child does have anxiety, do not worry. Along with over the counter medicine for anxiety and stress, there are other things you can do to help.
What to Look For
There are different types of anxiety disorders, and they often appear around age six. There is simple phobia as well as separation anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. The symptoms of anxiety can be seen at home, at school, and in all areas of life, and common signs include:
- Excessive worrying
- Trouble sleeping
- Inability to control worrisome thoughts and fears
- Difficulty concentrating
- Muscle tension and restlessness
- Issues with transitions
- Somatic symptoms such as stomach aches
- High expectations for sports performance or school work
Anxiety commonly occurs with at least one other mental disorder. Depression often accompanies anxiety, so look out for that as well. If your child is diagnosed with anxiety, there is child anxiety treatment at home, such as with herbs such as chamomile and lavender.
Ways You Can Help
It is possible to treat anxiety, and there are better results if treatment starts early. There is anxiety medication for kids, and typical prescriptions are antidepressants and sedatives. Common brand-named ones are Valium, Zoloft, and Prozac. However, the concern of many parents about using these drugs are the nasty side effects. For example, one of the listed side effects for antidepressants is suicide.
Fortunately, there are safer alternatives, which is even more important when treating young children. There are homeopathic remedies that work with the body naturally to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. These focus on the body as a whole to treat not only physical symptoms, but also mental ones.
Along with medication, experts highly recommend therapy for children who have anxiety disorders. Both cognitive and behavioral approaches have been shown to help. These therapies may include visualizing, identifying negative self-talk and changing it to the positive, relaxation techniques, and challenging illogical thoughts and beliefs.
Additional things you can do as a parent are:
- Balancing your child’s anxiety with a calm demeanor
- Promoting self-confidence
- Providing a reliable routine and safe home life
- Praising accomplishments
- Teaching positive ways to cope with anxious thoughts
The more you learn about anxiety disorders, the more you will be able to help your child manage the symptoms and live a less anxious life. There are numerous resources you can tap into, and many of them are online. There are also support groups for parents, as dealing with the disorder can be exhausting. Do not be afraid to reach out for help when you need it so you can better help your child.