Anxiety Symptoms – Separation Anxiety Disorder in Children
Children can exhibit a variety of anxiety symptoms. An anxiety disorder in children can be very disabling. The anxiety symptoms in children can mimic those of a child with an adult version of the disorder. Anxiety can manifest itself as worry or fear, but can often make even children angry and irritated. Other anxiety symptoms in children can include difficulty sleeping, headaches, or abdominal pains.
If your worries are unrealistic or out of proportion to the reality you see, this is a sign that your child is suffering from anxiety symptoms. When children worry excessively, they often are not thinking straight. They worry about things that aren’t there, or about things that don’t really exist.
Worrying about things that aren’t there can be just as damaging as worrying about things that do exist. Worrying about something that doesn’t exist can be just as debilitating as worrying about a real problem.
While worry and anger are commonly associated with anxiety, there are other anxiety symptoms that may help you identify if your child is suffering from an anxiety disorder. Children may be overly sensitive or may have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Those with OCD have an obsession with ritualistic behaviors and often keep doing these rituals even when there is no need or reason for doing so.
These behaviors can include counting, building or washing their hands, putting things in or around their mouth, counting something multiple times, keeping their palms or hands in a certain place, counting something in a specific order, counting a number of different items, or keeping an object in their hands over a period of time. All of these behaviors can be dangerous and difficult for children to overcome.
Signs of Anxiety in Children – Parents and Their Infants
Signs of anxiety in children exist in almost every case of anxiety disorder. Anxiety symptoms in kids are part of normal development, but sometimes these feelings tend to come and go on a moment’s notice. Children tend to experience anxiety in various situations – nervousness during school performance, fear of confrontation, worry about what others think of them.
But if anxiety is extreme, not related to danger, or disrupting to a kid’s normal activities, it could be a symptom of an anxiety disorder in kids. If a parent notices that their kid is unusually anxious and/or avoiding certain activities, they should take the child to the pediatrician (Browse therapist here) to rule out anything medically underlying the anxiety.
Children who are afraid of the dark have fearful nights. Children in families with stress are more likely to display anxious or fearful behavior at night and in day-to-day activities. The root cause for this fear could be that the child’s family lives in a high-pitched, busy neighborhood where there are lots of cars whizzing by and a lot of activity going on.
The neighborhood may be filled with noise from a variety of sources (cars, loud music, etc). This causes anxiety about what people are thinking about him or her – and this translates into signs of anxiety in children.
Finding Out Where Does Anxiety Come From
Where does anxiety come from is a question that has baffled humanity for many thousands of years. In the past the prevailing theory has been that anxiety is a result of an overreaction to a normally harmless stimulus such as the sight of a snake in the grass or the sight of a wolf in the forest. This theory still persists even today and is commonly referred to as the ‘snake oil’ theory.
However, scientists have now come to understand that the ‘snake oil’ theory is not quite right and that anxiety disorders are a result of something much deeper and wider. This theory now refers to a condition known as generalized anxiety disorder that can affect many people in many different ways.
Generalized anxiety disorder is caused by a perceived threat which is in fact totally unconnected to any real danger and is therefore very difficult to cope with. The most common symptoms of GAD are exaggerated worry about things that may not cause physical harm, uncontrollable worry and the inability to relax and detach from thought.
People who suffer from this condition will often spend their entire day worrying about having a panic attack or going crazy. This type of anxiety can have very detrimental effects on your health and quality of life. It is therefore vital that you learn how to cope with anxiety and find out what your triggers are so that you can avoid them.
Learning how to cope with anxiety and finding the right techniques to use in order to learn how to cope with anxiety, will not make you a less anxious person but it will enable you to live a fuller and happier life.
Anxiety in kids can also take many forms, sometimes even unaware to the child or to parents. Some children experience anxiety and fear when they are separated from their parents (and are unable to engage in traditional adult activities like hanging out with friends).
Other children feel anxious when they are left alone (as in the case of ADHD children). Still other children experience anxiousness when attending a party where there are adults in the crowd (again, with the potential for alcohol consumption).
Separation anxiety disorder is also called GAD, and the feelings of panic, fear and worry can make children fearful of being left alone by someone. This phobia can lead to more serious issues as the disorder progresses (i.e. suicide).
When confronted with these intense feelings, many children do what feels safe and normal to them. This means that they might cry, whine or become overly irritable. In many cases, however, there are underlying problems that are triggering this extreme response.
It’s not uncommon for anxiety disorders to be connected to deeper emotional issues (such as low self-esteem, social anxiety or the fear of abandonment). The best way to get help for these problems is to go to an anxiety support group. Group therapy can give kids a safe place to share their feelings and get help from others who are experiencing similar feelings.
Signs of anxiety in children that can really help parents understand their children is when the child starts to shy away from normal activities and is excessively clingy. This may mean that there is a problem with the family dynamics. If the children are acting out because they feel insecure about something, then there is a real problem that needs to be dealt with. It’s important that parents deal with these symptoms as soon as possible so that they can prevent long-term issues and fears from forming
Recognizing Your Anxiety Symptoms
One of the more difficult aspects of dealing with anxiety disorders is recognizing and documenting all of the different feelings that one might experience in response to a stressful event or situation. Some individuals will go into a completely detached manner, completely unable to relate to and explain their feelings and fears. Others may feel a sense of impending doom or destruction and feel that they are powerless to stop it. Regardless of how you experience your symptoms, you should document what you’re feeling and be able to discuss them with your doctor.
Medication For Anxiety
There are many medications available to treat anxiety symptoms in children. Your medical doctor will be able to determine if your child needs medication. Medication is often the first treatment option. However, medical conditions often coexist with the anxiety disorder often making it necessary to consider other options before medication is used. For example, if a child has an underlying medical condition like asthma, they may want to first try an inhaler or other medication without taking them into account.
If medical conditions are present, then a child’s behavior may also need to be assessed in order to determine if they are actually causing the anxiety symptoms. Some children experience post traumatic stress disorder, which can be treated with certain drugs. Post traumatic stress can have long term effects on a child’s health and cause anxiety symptoms that can mimic post-traumatic stress disorder.
Anxiety attacks can also be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. This can be the result of a traumatic event or even something as simple as a reaction to a certain situation. Many people believe that these anxiety symptoms are the result of a lack of self confidence or too much peer pressure.
There are many people who believe that there are no causes for these problems and believe that the solution is simply learning to deal with the issues head on. However, there are other people who believe that these are problems that should not be left untreated for any reason.
What Parents Should Consider
If you are a parent, then you need to consider several types of treatment options before deciding on one. Medications are usually the first choice for parents because they are less invasive and do not have the potential side effects that some alternative methods can have. However, there are people who choose to treat their children with natural remedies and even behavioral therapy in order to help the problem. No matter what type of anxiety remedy you choose, make sure that it fits your child’s personality and the symptoms that they are experiencing.
When it comes to anxiety and separation anxiety disorder, the two most common symptoms are fear of leaving home and avoidance of social situations. Children who are experiencing these symptoms have a very real concern regarding being separated from their parents. When this anxiety starts in young children, it can eventually turn into a full-blown disorder.
There are ways to combat this disorder so that the child can function as a normal, happy and healthy adult. It is important to consult a medical professional in order to determine the severity of this disorder so that an appropriate plan can be created for your child.