Hasn’t your child been acting like himself lately? Are you frustrated because you know something is wrong, but can’t point it out? They don’t look sick, but they act abnormally.
Children do not come with a manual to help them detect their various moods, ailments, or problems in life. A good parent must use their detective skills because what appears to be a problem may have a different root cause. One of such medical condition is anxiety in children.
Anxiety is the great suitor. It can make even a child think and feel things that are not normal. In adults, this condition manifests itself in ways that are not always the same for a child.
Children cannot always express what they feel as adults, so they will misbehave to let you know that they are hurting. It is up to you to use these “Morse Code” type symptoms that they display to dictate what is happening.
Ten Common Signs of Anxiety in Children (Parents Miss Them!)
If you know something is not right with your child, you can quickly assume that they are being bullied, have an underlying medical problem, or are going through puberty-related issues. However, anxiety in children often manifests itself in mysterious ways. These are the ten most common signs of an underlying anxiety disorder in children.
When a child is hyperactive and misbehaving, they will probably assume that they have eaten too much junk food. However, if the problem of hyperactivity continues, you may consider a diagnosis such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. According to the National Institute of Mental HealthThings like genetics, environmental toxins, brain injury, and low birth weight can all lead to this neurological condition.
However, just because it appears to be a thing does not mean that is what is happening; it may be different. Anxiety can simulate hyperactivity. The child who is overly anxious may be very hyperactive because the distress he is feeling will not allow him to relax.
Unfortunately, tantrum It might seem normal to the group of young children, but even teenagers can have nervous breakdowns and tantrums when they don’t get their way. Another sign of anxiety is outbursts. These outbursts happen when someone can’t regulate their emotions or moods, and anxiety can certainly put them in a bad mood.
When your child is feeling horrible and doesn’t know how to put things into words for you, his actions can say a lot. Having frequent seizures in children that generally do not act this way is cause for alarm.
3. Conversion symptoms like stomach aches Other bodily pains
One of the most common signs of anxiety in children has a lot to do with conversion or somatoform symptoms. The medical condition of Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder means that the body converts mental distress into physical symptoms. If your child frequently complains of headaches and stomachaches, it may be due to anxiety.
When a child has a stomachache, it would be easy to assume they have a virus. However, when stomach pain continues to occur days or weeks later, further evaluation is needed.
4. Agitation is a symptom of anxiety in children.
Anger is one of the easiest emotions to display, and it seems to be the “panacea” for whatever someone is feeling. How many times have you been angry in the last week? If someone rubs you the wrong way, anger comes to the surface easily, as it is a powerful emotion.
Your child may show signs of agitation and aggression that were not a usual part of his personality. These signs can be worrisome as they can lead to problems at school and at home. Agitation is a common sign of anxiety in children.
Have you ever heard the saying that someone acts like a cat on a hot tin roof? Well, the metal on the ceiling would burn their feet, so the cats would dance until they could get out of this situation. You can use this term to refer to your child at times.
Does your child walk on the floor, seem worried, have a hard time concentrating on playtime, or refuse to eat? Restlessness is a sign of inner turmoil. Think about the times you have felt restless and walked on the floor, as well as general malaise.
Words often can’t express those feelings, which may be why your child can’t tell you what’s wrong.
6. Refusing to go to bed
Anxiety is always worse at night, and if your child refuses to go to bed, it can be a problem. panic indicator. They may fear the dark, the house being eerily quiet, and the general isolation that comes with the night season.
Depending on the age of the child, they may fear monsters, ghosts, or other things that collide at night. If your child suddenly refuses to go to bed at night, or needs ten drinks and two trips to the bathroom before calming down, anxiety could be to blame.
Some children are more emotional than others. Consequently, if a child is cryier than average or starts crying a lot, it is a sign of trouble. You probably won’t guess anxiety as the main cause of a child’s crying, but it can be.
When their emotional load becomes more than they can handle, they may have these outbursts to help them feel better. Crying is a natural way to release pent-up distress, and they may be trying to bring what’s inside out.
8. Refusing to go to school or other activities
Does the once social butterfly now prefer to stay alone in its room? You can expect that as a child grows older, they will enjoy their alone time, especially during adolescence. There are many different types of anxiety, and one type of anxiety you should pay attention to is the social variety.
Social anxiety it can make life so difficult for a person who has to go to school and be active every day. They may fear things like people laughing at them, not being good enough, or falling in love with others. Anxiety can make a person think about all kinds of things that are not true, and social anxiety is a serious mental condition.
If this condition is not treated, it can develop into agoraphobia, which is where the child will be afraid to even leave the house. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, children with agoraphobia feel trapped in situations where escape can be difficult.
9. Worry about the future
Fears about the future are typical when an older child considers his life path. However, when you can’t control these worries and they seem to take over your life, it can be a sign of anxiety. It is advisable not to allow your children to watch the news or any programming with violence.
Even all these crime scenes and detective shows may be too much for their minds. It can cause anxiety in children by allowing them to watch television programs beyond their reach. Monitor the video games they play, the shows they watch, and the websites they visit on the Internet, as these can help fuel the fire of anxiety.
10. Irrational fears
Children often have irrational fears, such as the bogeyman or the monsters that live under their bed. While it is normal to experience some of these problems, it is often easy for these fears to take over your lives. The world excites the paranormal and explores those things, but it might be too much for a child who enters this realm.
As parents, it is essential to address irrational fears on a level that your child can understand. Irrational fears can cause significant anxiety, and it is something that can often be prevented by controlling your intake. However, some children are genetically predisposed to anxiety, so you should be more alert to such problems if it is something hereditary.
Anxiety in children is a complex condition. It affects more than seven percent of children between the ages of 3 to 17, according to a study referenced by the National Alliance on Mental Health. However, it affects approximately 19 percent of the adult population.
Studies show that most people with this mental illness tend to have symptoms before the age of 21. Unfortunately, it can also develop after trauma or a period of serious illness. As parents, you must constantly be on your guard and be aware of your child’s symptoms, complaints about feelings.
What Looks Like a Textbook Case of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder May Be Anxiety-Based? Since there are several branches of anxiety, such as general, obsessive-compulsive, panic, and agoraphobia, it is difficult to identify the type you are dealing with in your child. Getting the help and guidance of a trusted counselor is essential to help address these mental health problems and identify the type.
Living with anxiety is never easy, regardless of your age. Sadly, when you are a child and cannot fully articulate what goes on inside the body, parents must become detectives to figure it out.