Among numerous human emotions and reactions, anxiety is the one that grips not just the mind but also the body. Excessive anxiety can become a mental condition for people, especially children. When a child faces anxiety issues more frequently and more intensely compared to other children of the same age, he might be suffering from anxiety disorder and may need help.
Anxiety disorder symptoms among children can show up as fear, shyness, or nervousness and the child who is suffering from the disorder may show no interest in places, people and activities to mask his nervousness or panic. Whenever pitched against a new situation, the child may find it very difficult to cope with it. When anxiety interferes with a child’s normal activities and development, it needs to be addressed with care and caution.
Anxiety issues that your child may have
This disorder causes the child to be unduly scared of being away from parents or someone very close. The child refuses to go to school or to bed and may complain of feeling sick or having tummy aches or may just keep crying to keep a parent or caregiver near him all the time. This could lead to social issues or school problems.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
In this case, the child has multiple fears. He also needs constant approval for which he tries to do everything perfectly. The child might exhibit physical symptoms like tense muscles, poor concentration, sleeping problems and feeling tired or restless all the time.
A child with social phobia is worried about situations where he might need to interact with a large number of people, even children of same age. For example, when he has been a given a topic to speak about in the class. The child might sweat or blush and show extreme sensitivity to the slightest criticism. To avoid situations he fears, the child might not even stand up for himself and could have very low self-esteem.
This is a slightly severe one among the various anxiety issues. The child may have a feeling that he is not safe anywhere except with his parents or loved ones and may get panic attacks when he needs to leave for school or any other reason. Symptoms may range from labored breathing to pounding heart to feeling dizzy and shaky. The child may even feel that he is about to die.
A child with selective mutism shows anxiety about speaking, but not always. He may speak to his parents or friends confidently but may become extremely uncomfortable with teachers or other adults. He may blush, look down or move away from the place of conversation. Even if he does talk, he might whisper or use gestures to explain himself. Selective mutism is found in most children when they start school as they stay away from home and interact with other adults for the first time. Some children come out of it with time but some live with it for long.