Anxiety In Child: Causes, Effects, and Prevention

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Any behavioral changes in the child may worry the parents. You should pay the attention when your child’s anxiety is affecting their well being. How to cope with the anxiety in your child? This article helps you to deal with the anxiety in your child.

Anxiety is one of the most common emotional outburst in your child. You kid may tend to behave in uncontrolled manner when they are anxious. Anxiety may often affect the thoughts of your child and impact their academic life.

This article discusses the reasons for anxiety in child. It presents the ways that help you to deal with the anxiety in your child.

What is Anxiety in Child?

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It is more common for your child to be experienced by a wide range of emotions from time to time. Anxiety is one among those.

Anxiety is the body’s natural and unconscious response to the stress. It results in the intensive, excessive and extreme fear about the everyday activities. It may result in the fast heart beat, rapid breathing, and sweating.

Types of Anxiety Disorders that can Affect the Child:

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Children and the kids are at the risk of being affected by the wide range of anxiety disorders. Let us look into the types of anxiety disorders.

1. Generalized anxiety disorder: If you child may experience excessive anxiety accompanied by fatigue, irritability, muscle tension, difficulty concentrating or sleep disorders, then they are regarded to be diagnosed with Generalized anxiety disorder.

2. Separation Anxiety Disorder: Younger children may develop this disorder with the fear of being separated from their caregivers. They may refuse to go to school often thinking about the separation from their parents. They encounter frequent episodes of nightmares. These children exhibit the symptoms of nausea, and headache due to anxiety.

3. Social Anxiety Disorder: If your child have fear of participating in social events or interaction with their peers they develop social anxiety disorder. The signs of this disorder includes clinging to adults, freezing up or refusing to speak.

4. Selective Mutism: Children with this type of anxiety disorder refuse to speak in certain social situations even though they are talkative. The children who are diagnosed with this disorder often refuse to speak at the school or avoid eye contact with the others. Children ages 5 years old are known to display this behavior.

5. Specific Phobia: Children who are diagnosed with this phobia are known to display anxiety at particular situations or towards certain things. If this situation lasts for the longer periods it is regarded as the phobia. The most common phobias that the children exhibit include animals, storms, needless, loud sounds, darkness, and enclosed spaces. Children with this phobia often cry, cling to the adults, and freeze up when they are afraid

6. Panic Disorder: Children who often worry about the past and think of the future frequently are at the risk of being attacked by this disorder. The symptoms of this disorder include shortness of breath, chest pain, sensation of choking, nausea, dizziness, chill or heat sensations.

What Causes Anxiety in Child?

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Here are a few reasons that cause anxiety in children:

1. Genetics:

A child who has family member diagnosed with anxiety disorder is likely to be affected by the anxiety.

2. Short Supply of brain chemicals:

Working of the brain chemicals depends on the genes. In case of shortage of certain brain chemicals or their irregular functioning may result in the anxiety.

3. Growing environment:

The environment that your child grow plays a prominent role in their physical and emotional development. If child grows in a environment where the others are anxious or fearful that makes the child to feel anxious too.

What are the signs of anxiety in child?

Here are a few signs and symptoms of anxiety in child:

  • A parent or teacher might notice the child crying frequently over the simple things.
  • They act scared, upset or refuse to talk to others.
  • They might feel worried, afraid, or nervous
  • They exhibit physical and mental abnormalities.
  • They may not attend the school regularly.
  • Difficulty while falling asleep
  • Tend to think negatively
  • Worries about the things in the future
  • Lack of sensory processing
  • Child with nightmares may frequently come across nightmares
  • They may fear to speak in the public or with the strangers.
  • They often exhibit the signs of anger, rage, phobias and lack of self confidence.
  • They have lack of self confidence

Effects of anxiety in children:

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Here are a few consequences of anxiety attack in a child:

1. Muscle Tension:

The feelings of fear, and worry may impact the body by affecting the texture and tone of muscles. This leads to muscle pain. During the times of panic attacks, muscles become tense and creates the feeling of stiffness throughout the body. It can be managed with the help of some relaxation techniques.

2. Red face in social situations:

The feelings of stress or embarrassment can make the people to turn red in the social situations. The symptoms can lead to low self esteem, lack of self confidence, and the feelings of helplessness.

3. Sleep Problems:

Anxiety causes sleeping problems. Lack of sleep and anxiety are interlinked with each other. Studies suggest that anxiety disorder is about 24% to 36% in the people with sleeping disorder. Stress or anxiety often worse the existing sleep problems.

4. Headaches and Migraines:

Children with anxiety are more prone to be affected by the episodes of headache. Children may encounter migraines after the panic attacks. Panic attack is know to have more interconnection with the migraines than other types of anxiety disorders.

5. Digestive disorders:

Anxiety disorders may contribute to a wide range of digestive disorders. The digestive disorders may include bloating, frequent stomachaches, diarrhea, cramping, and constipation. Many studies showed that anxiety disorders are associated with the nausea, diarrhea, constipation and the heartburn.

6. Shortness of breath and excessive sweating:

Extreme situations of the anxiety disorder like panic attacks may make the people difficult to breathe. They may experience the signs of suffocation, and excessive sweat. People with anxiety disorders often experience the fluctuations in the breathing patterns.

7. Frequent Urination:

It is the most common symptom of anxiety disorder. People who encounter the extreme levels of stress and anxiety may experience frequent urination.

Natural remedies to avoid anxiety in child:

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Anxiety is common in the children of all the ages. It shows it’s signs in the children between the age groups of 4 to 6 years. Here are a few natural ways to help a child with anxiety:

1. Help child to manage anxiety:

Kids with anxiety disorders often seem unhappy. Help your kid to overcome the anxiety and function normally. Help them to deal with the triggers that can make them worry.

2. Respect the feelings of your child:

As a parent, you have to respect all the positive and negative feelings of your child. Listen to their feelings and help them to overcome the negative feelings and boost their positive feelings.

3. Enhance the bond of attachment with your child:

Offer love and affection to your child that helps in enhancing the bond of attachment. Strong parent child attachment makes the kids feel more comfortable and assured. The kids who are loved by their parents seem to be less affected by the emotional or mental disorders.

4. Express positive expectations:

Don’t tell your child that their thoughts are unrealistic. Assure your child that they can manage and deal with their fears. Fill you child with confidence and help them with the techniques to reduce the anxiety over the time.

5. Help your child to weaken their fears:

Do not ignore the negative feelings of your child. Often help your child to overcome their fears that are associated with the particular scenario. Make your kid to build strong levels of confidence in yourself.

6. Teach your child some relaxation techniques:

Relaxation techniques are a great way to deal with any kind of psychological disorders. Some of the relaxation techniques like Exercises, and meditation will help in boost the positive thoughts and suppress the negative environment.

A. Exercise: Exercise puts an end to anxious energy. Exercise will help to deal with the stressful situations. It helps in improving the physical appearance.

B. Meditation: Meditation helps to slow down the negative thoughts. It is easier to manage stress and anxiety. Many studies suggested that mindfulness meditation is the best therapy to put an end to anxiety.

7. Help your child to build coping skills:

Help your kid to learn a variety of coping skills. The best thing to do with the anxious child is to equip them with the list of strategies to use at the times of anxiety. Make your child to write down the scenario that made them anxious. Help them with the thoughts and relaxation techniques to overcome stress and anxiety.

8. Boost your child:

Anxious child may often feel overwhelmed by the everyday negative feelings and they may avoid to participate in the joyful moments. Empathize your child and assure them that you are there with them all the time to help them.

9. Teach your child stress management techniques:

As the children easily pick the stress levels from the adults, it is necessary for the entire family to practice stress management techniques. Yoga, music therapy are the best stress management techniques.

10. Encourage your child to play outdoor games:

Keep your child always healthy and stress free by encouraging them to play outdoors with their friends. Outdoor play in the green environment reduces their stress and anxiety level. Outdoor play improves the attention levels of your child.

11. Take care of yourself:

Parenting an anxious child is a typical task and can be stressful sometimes. Make sure to feed your self with the sufficient energy to handle your anxious child with patience.

12. Talk with your child about the effects of anxiety:

Talk to your child that the anxious thoughts can make them to lose control over the situations. Tell your child that anxious thoughts may often make them powerless.

If your child is old enough, you may explain them the effects of anxiety.

13. Help your kid to understand their feelings with the help of books and films:

If your child is anxious as they come across the series of distressing events like loss or separation, make them to read some books or watch films to understand their feelings.

14. Plan Role Play at Home:

Ignoring the anxiety does not really work. The best way to help your child is to bring the worry into the life. Create a worry character for your child. It helps in activating the logical brain of your child. It is the best tool that your child can use at any point of time.

15. Allow your child to detect their thoughts:

Worry is the most common outcome of anxiety. It often worse the ability of the brain to think and judge properly. Teach your child more positive things to calm doen their worries.

16. Allow your child to come along with you for parties:

Encourage your child to come for parties along with you. Allow them to involve in the active social interactions. This increases their levels of self esteem and helps them to build healthy relationships.

17. Help your child to challenge their thoughts:

It is one of the best cognitive behavioral therapy. It assists your child in viewing the thoughts in the object oriented manner. Help your child to deal with the though distortions. Make them to form a debate with themselves which helps in flushing out their thoughts.

18. Set a good example:

Your child may pick up and mimic the behavior of parents. Adopt good behavior in front of your child and be yourself a good role model.

19. Recognize avoidance tactics:

Your child may act out when they don’t want to go to school or don’t participate in the social setting. The avoidance tactics that your child often use are the ways they establish to escape from the situations they feel uncomfortable or fearful.

20. Recognize and praise small accomplishments:

Don’t criticize your child under any circumstances. Whenever you find any good behavior in your child praise them and encourage them to develop that behavior. Praise their efforts irrespective of the results.

21. Art Therapy:

Art therapy can be performed at home or with the therapist at the extreme situation of anxiety.

Art therapy allows the kid to make art of their own or it also allows the therapist to interpret the thoughts, feelings, and emotions of the kid. This art is beneficial for the children who find it difficult to communicate verbally.

22. Teach your child Time management strategies:

Some children may feel if they have too many works to do at a time. Teach your child the art of smart work and teach them the time management skills.

Adopt the fun ways to teach your child the time management skills. Use the kids friendly time management skills to make your kid learn the time management skills.

23. Make your child to spend time with pets:

Pets are known to offer companionship, love, and support. Studies suggested that people who spend time with the pets are rarely affected by the mental health issues.

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Supplements that help child to deal with anxiety:

Anxiety affects the child if left untreated and it causes various mental concerns if left untreated. Conventional treatment for the anxiety disorder includes cognitive behavioral therapy.

Supplements and herbal remedies are the best alternatives for the medication.

1. Magnesium:

Deficiency of magnesium is often associated with the anxiety. It is very easy to increase the magnesium in your child’s diet. Some of the foods that are rich in magnesium are rice, wheat, and oats. Some seeds including pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, or flax can be a rich source of magnesium and can be easily included in your child’s diet.

Note: Talk to your health care provider if your child has any kind of allergy to magnesium salts, kidney disease, heart disease, intestinal disease, or neuromuscular disease.

2. Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

Many studies proved the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids in dealing with the anxiety. Omega 3 fatty acids are effective supplements to deal with anxiety, depression, and anxiety.

3. Vitamin B Complex:

Vitamin B complex supports healthy appetite and is associated with the proper nerve function. The deficiency of vitamin B complex is linked to the nervous problems including anxiety. Vitamin B is safe for children and can be easily included in your child’s diet. The food that are rich in vitamin B are :

  • Pork, berries, legumes, nuts, and soy milk
  • Eggs, vegetables, fish, grains, lean meat, and mushrooms.
  • Citrus juice
  • Tofu

4. Passion Flower:

It is the best dietary supplement for the treatment of anxiety and sleep problems. It is very safe to use with a very few side effects. It is a folk treatment which is used in the generalized treatment of anxiety disorder.

5. Lavender, Lemon Balm, and Chamomile:

These herbs have been used to treat the anxiety disorders ranging from mild to moderate.

Lemon balm, which is a member of the mint family have been used from the olden days in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Lemon balm can also be used in combination with the other soothing herbs to promote relaxation. Herbal teas offer promising standards to deal with the stress and anxiety. Some teas have direct impact on the brain and reduces the anxiety.

6. Cannabidiol Oil:

The cannabidiol oil (CBD) derived from cannabis, or marijuna.

You can easily find the CBD oil at any health care shop without any prescription. The medical marijuna is legal which is prescribed by the doctors. CBD is known to show its calming effects on the central nervous system.

When to Worry about Child Anxiety?

All the children may have fears which come and go occasionally. In some scenarios the anxiety is useful. It helps both adults and children to secure themselves from the dangerous situations.

Here are a few behaviors that require the attention of the parents.

  • Frequent avoidance of certain situations, people or activities.
  • They often tend to worry about the future
  • Trouble sleeping at the night
  • Frequent episodes of stomach ache, headache and migraines.

When to see a doctor for anxiety in a child?

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Children with undiognosed and untreated anxiety disorder are at the risk of engaging in the harmful behaviors like self harm, substance abuse, and bullying. It is time to get the professional help in the following situations:

  • If your child’s condition is not getting better even after your tremendous efforts that help your child to cope with the emotions.
  • If you feel that their behavior has adverse effects on their academics and relationships
  • If the condition becomes more worse

In conclusion, Childhood anxiety offers overwhelming experiences for both the child and parents. Fortunately, it is treatable. Help your child to deal with the negative emotions with the help of some natural techniques and supplements to deal with anxiety.