Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal and at times healthy emotion to experience. We all get anxious about things that ultimately keep us safe. Imagine what would happen if we didn’t worry about getting hit by a car when crossing the street… So in small doses, anxiety keeps us alert and tuned into our environment. When anxiety gets the best of us however, it is very difficult to let go of those worries to function in a happy and healthy way.

Children frequently develop anxiety following stressful or painful experiences that they want to avoid again at all cost. Sometimes anxious children can simply see someone else go through a bad experience and then develop worry that it will happen to them, even though the chances of this are very remote.

Common areas of worry for children include:

  • Weather
  • Death of parent
  • Animals/insects
  • Embarrassment
  • Failure
  • Health issues
  • Bad events happening
  • Social Situations

When children refuse to participate in everyday activities like going to school or the doctor because of their fears you may have reason to be concerned. Likewise if you notice your child becoming more preoccupied with avoiding these or other situations action should be taken to help your child cope more effectively with their anxiety. Without intervention, these worries and fears can become debilitating.

For more information on anxiety disorders in children please check these web sites:

http://www.apa.org/topics/topicanxiety.html

http://www.aacap.org/publications/factsfam/anxious.htm

http://www.brightfutures.org/mentalhealth/pdf/families/mc/tips.pdf