Anxiety is becoming more and more prevalent in our culture due to the large amount of stimuli and pressure we experience every day. You may even notice your own child going through it. However, it can be difficult to determine if your child is going through typical growing pains or a disorder. Here are six signs your child should be evaluated for an anxiety disorder, and what you can do to help them to manage their anxiety.
1. Obsessions Related to OCD
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) can be triggered by severe anxiety. You may notice your child experiencing obsessive thoughts. Some of the obsessive thoughts could include an obsession with germs, symmetry, lucky numbers, safety, and religion.
2. Physical signs of stress
Some people manage to contain their stress internally with zero physical symptoms. Children, however, generally lack the self control to do this. The stress will often manifest itself in some physical way. Children demonstrate stress through biting their nails, picking their lip, picking at their skin, or pulling out their hair. If you notice any of these signs, it might be time to get to the bottom of the problem.
3. Inability to sleep
Children should live care-free and fall asleep without any emotional weight. However, some children can’t seem to fall asleep at night due to stress. Look for alternative solutions first. Try eliminating food and caffeinated drinks for at least two hours before bed. You should also not allow any television or tablets in the room during bedtime.
4. Past trauma
Some people suffer with anxiety from birth. Other people start to experience anxiety after a particularly traumatic event, such as war, death, abuse, or an accident. Triggers can bring the victim back into the fear they experienced during that incident, causing irritability and even delusions. If you know your child has gone through something traumatic in nature, you should get them help preemptively to offer the support if needed.
5. Lack of social development
Some children make friends with every single person in the playground. Other children want to be left to themselves. Then, there are other children who tremble at the thought of making new friends. If your children continuously avoids interaction with other children. it could be a sign that they are afraid. It might be time to get to the root of the problem and help your child grow.
6. General Worrying
There are a lot of things to worry about in this world. It can be quite the scary place. However, you can’t live your whole life worrying about the little things. You may miss out on life that way. If your child seems to worry excessively about the littlest things, you need to help them stop worrying and start living. Going to a therapist for anxiety can help you get to the root of the problem and find a solution before it only continues to get worse.
There can be a stigma associated with people who have anxiety or other behavioral disorder, and we have to end that now to get people the help they need. Getting your child examined for an anxiety disorder should be as normal as any other visit to the doctor. Avoid putting your child on medication if possible by trying talk therapy, group therapy, music therapy, and other options first. You may find a solution without any medication involved!