How can you tell if your child is suffering with an anxiety disorder? What help is available? This article will assist you to identify the difference between natural anxiety and anxiety disorders. Provide you with some ideas to assist you to handle your child’s anxiety immediately, and point you in the right direction for further resources.
I lived with childhood anxiety. Unfortunately my disorder was not diagnosed and resulted in serious problems during adult life. Only after going through therapy and researching anxiety did I discover that my issues began during my childhood. I learnt that self-help is a great thing and whilst not always a substitute for professional therapy it can give a helpful running start and even in some cases a complete treatment. I hope this article will be read by a parent who has or knows a child that could be battling anxiety and is not sure what to do next.
When talking about anxiety in children it is important to be aware of the difference between normal anxiety and an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a natural emotion necessary to help us deal with dangerous situations. An anxiety disorder is when anxious thoughts become all consuming, interrupts everyday activities, and is around for a few months. Not recognizing the difference may lead to an approach that is not appropriate in dealing with what may be just temporary nervousness.
There are lots of different types of anxiety disorder such as: Panic Attacks, Social Phobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Separation Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and others.
The symptoms of excessive anxiety are varied but the usual physical signs might be: sweating, restlessness, excessive irritability, uncontrollable trembling, dizziness, stomachache, sleep disturbance, avoidance of school, avoiding social situations, loss of appetite. The physical symptoms are usually connected with bad feelings and actions like: excessively thinking about an event that has happened or might happen, crying, irrational feelings of guilt, obsessively worrying about a family member’s health, being fearful of situations that might be embarrassing, a feeling of going crazy or even of dying. Several of these symptoms are also connected with natural anxiety but it is when these signs are present over a few months you should sit up and take notice.
At least there are many tactics we can put in place right this minute to help both natural anxiety and the onset of an anxiety disorder. Here’s three tips for you:
When your child is experiencing anxiety encourage them to engage in activities they like such as: playing outside, a fun craft activity, playing a game, reading a book, or playing with friends. This is an effective diversionary tactic that helps to take your child’s thoughts off their anxiety.
Try to help your child to express their feelings. Many children find it difficult to express their feelings, particularly if asked directly. Listen carefully and try to catch them when they express themselves and then help your child to recognize and accept their feelings by reflecting them back. Avoid asking questions or trying to provide advice, just listen to what your child is telling you.
Learning relaxation strategies can help kids deal with anxiety. Two methods to pass on to your child are to; encourage slow, deep breathing, and to alternately tense and relax their muscles. Help your child employ their imagination to promote relaxation. For instance you could help your child imagine a relaxing and safe place and to be aware of the relaxed feelings this brings. Or they could try to imagine a big box that they can put their fears into to stop them getting in the way of whatever it is they need to do.
It’s important to seek professional advice if you believe your child needs more assistance with handling excessive anxiety. Sometimes this might not be practical due to money constraints, lack of services in your area, or due to your child being too scared to meet a health professional. Under these circumstances a self-help program may be the solution you and your child need. When looking for self-help methods it is important to confirm the credibility of the course developer. I have uncovered one such strategy that you can investigate on my website. Click the link below for more details.