What is Anxiety?

Children and adolescents, much like healthy adults, will experience feelings of concern and worry when encountering new situations or when faced with a perceived threat. However professional assistance may be required when these feelings persist over an extended period of time, leading to a chronic sense of fear and dread that:

  • Is more intense than other children of the same age
  • Limits their ability to participate in school or social activities
  • Hinders their social or educational progression
  • Is disproportionate to the perceived threat or situation

Signs

Common symptoms of anxiety in children include:

  • A feeling of constant agitation
  • Unfounded or unrealistic fears.
  • Trouble separating from parents.
  • Problems sleeping
  • Obsessive thoughts and/or compulsive behaviours
  • The fear of trying new things
  • An avoidance of school or social situations
  • Trembling, sweating, shortness of breath, stomach aches, headaches, and/or muscle tension or other physical symptoms.

Treatments

An early assessment and establishment of a treatment plan is vital to mitigating the long-term impacts of anxiety disorders on children. Untreated anxiety disorders can strain family relationships, impact school performance and social functioning, and lead to more serious mental and physical health problems as a child transitions into adulthood. To find out more, simply contact us.

Sources:

Beyond Blue: Mental Health Conditions in Children
Cleveland Clinic – Anxiety Disorders in Children & Adolescents 

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