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HomeExclusiveWhat Can I Give My Child For Anxiety

What Can I Give My Child For Anxiety

Behavioral Techniques You Can Use With Anxious Dogs

3 Instantly Calming CBT Techniques For Anxiety

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, you can train your dogs brain to become less afraid of common stress triggers. Doing so requires incorporating behavioral techniques into their daily life.

Dogs are just like humans when it comes to training their brains. They, too, need to work on their strengths and weaknesses. As a health-conscious parent, you can help your dog rewire its brain to use its natural resources to cope with stress.

How Can I Help My Child

If your child has an anxiety disorder, here are some ways you can help:

  • Find a trained therapist and take your child to all the therapy appointments.
  • Talk often with the therapist, and ask how you can best help your child.
  • Help your child face fears. Ask the therapist how you can help your child practice at home. Praise your child for efforts to cope with fears and worry.
  • Help kids talk about feelings. Listen, and let them know you understand, love, and accept them. A caring relationship with you helps your child build inner strengths.
  • Encourage your child to take small steps forward. Don’t let your child give up or avoid what they’re afraid of. Help them take small positive steps forward.
  • Be patient. It takes a while for therapy to work and for kids to feel better.

Help A Child With Anxiety

Fortunately, anxiety disorders are treatable conditions. If anxiety symptoms are interfering with your childs normal daily activities, talk to your childs pediatrician, a child psychologist, and/or a child psychiatrist. For school-age kids, a school guidance counselor can also offer support, advice, and a referral for further evaluation and treatment.

It is also important to note that just as with adult women, girls experience anxiety at about twice the rate as boys. Because anxiety tends to grow worse if left untreated, experts suggest that all girls age 13 and older should be screened for anxiety during routine health exams.

There are also things that parents can do at home to help children learn how to manage their feelings of anxiety. Tactics that may help:

  • Dont avoid what your child fears. While this may offer short-term relief, using avoidance as a coping mechanism reinforces the anxiety and worsens it over time.
  • Offer comfort and model positive responses. Listen to your childs concerns, but be careful not to reinforce these fears. Instead, help your child practice relaxation techniques while modeling appropriate, non-fearful responses to the source of your childs anxiety.
  • Help your child learn to tolerate their fear. Allowing your child to be gradually exposed to the source of their fear while using relaxation techniques to calm their fear response can help them learn to tolerate distress and eventually learn that there is nothing to fear.

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Q How Is Childhood Anxiety Diagnosed

Childhood anxiety disorders are diagnosed through interviews or surveys with the child and their caregivers. If needed, educators, other caregivers or family members can provide additional insight.

An evaluation can be performed by one of many mental health providers, including child psychologists, pediatric therapists, school counselors, pediatric counselors within a faith community and child psychiatrists. If you arent sure where to start, check with your childs pediatrician.

There are no blood tests or brain scans used to diagnose anxiety. However, health problemssuch as thyroid issues, arrhythmias or asthmamay seem like childhood anxiety. Your pediatrician will be able to guide you through additional testing, if needed.

When Should I Seek Help For My Child’s Anxiety

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If anxiety is having a significant impact on your child’s everyday functioning and preventing them from participating in activities that their peers can comfortably do, this is a sign that you should seek help.

Tamariki may need some extra support when:

  • they feel anxious more than other children of a similar age
  • anxiety stops them participating in activities at school or socially
  • anxiety interferes with their ability to do things that other children their age can do
  • their fears and worries seem out of proportion to the issues in their life

It is important an assessment takes place by a professional who knows about anxiety in children and young people. Physical examinations are also recommended to ensure there is no underlying illness causing the symptoms.

Research has shown a form of psychological therapy is effective in learning ways to overcome or manage anxiety. Your doctor may recommend medicine if the anxiety is very severe or if there are multiple difficulties at the same time . If your doctor does prescribe medicine, then psychological therapy should also be part of the treatment.

Going to your family doctor is the best first step as they will be able to provide guidance about where to get more help. This may involve a referral to a counsellor in the community or to a local child and adolescent mental health service who can provide specialist assessment and interventions for anxiety.

Also Check: How To Get A Job When You Have Social Anxiety

Highlight Why Worrying Is Good

Remember, anxiety is tough enough without a child believing that Something is wrong with me. Many kids even develop anxiety about having anxiety. Teach your kids that worrying does, in fact, have a purpose.

When our ancestors were hunting and gathering food there was danger in the environment, and being worried helped them avoid attacks from the saber-toothed cat lurking in the bush. In modern times, we dont have a need to run from predators, but we are left with an evolutionary imprint that protects us: worry.

Worry is a protection mechanism. Worry rings an alarm in our system and helps us survive danger. Teach your kids that worry is perfectly normal, it can help protect us, and everyone experiences it from time to time. Sometimes our system sets off false alarms, but this type of worry can be put in check with some simple techniques.

I Have An Anxiety Disorder So I Worry A Lotbut Mostly I Worry About Passing My Anxiety Disorder To My Children

When my daughter was around two years of age, we were visiting relatives who lived in a high-rise apartment building. I’ve always been afraid of heights and have no desire to step out onto a balcony no matter how safe. The rational part of my brain reminded me that no one would get a building permit which included balconies prone to falls, so I never gave much thought to someone being in danger. I was aware my fear was irrational. But when my mother-in-law took my baby girl out onto the balcony, my heart rate increased rapidly, and I could hear the thumping. I felt faint and saw spots. I jumped up and demanded my husband grab her back inside.

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Nearly a decade later, I feel the panic of that experience. I have to stop and take a few deep breaths. I know that there was no way she was in any danger: the wall was too high for her to climb, and even if she had crawled up the chairs she still couldn’t have reached it. And there were four competent adults with her. But at the moment, my brain convinced me that in spite of all rational evidence, my child was in imminent danger of plummeting to the pavement below. I was certain of it. I flashed forward to the news stories which would include every expert testifying how this shouldn’t have happened, but it did.

Also Check: What To Do For Anxiety

Your Child Has Dental Anxiety Heres What You Should Do

Is your child afraid of the dentist? Fear not! We know a few crucial tips to get them into the dentists office and ease their dental anxiety.

photo by John Dill via Flickr

Its perfectly normal to have fears, especially for children. Some fears come stem from drastic changes, being separated from their parents, or even the scary monster in the closet. Although many kids will grow out of their fear as they mature, teaching them to cope while theyre young can sometimes be difficult.

One fairly common and difficult fear that some parents face is when their child is terrified of going to the dentist, also called dental phobia or anxiety.

Believe it or not, almost 20% of school age children are afraid of visiting the dentist. Unfortunately, this issue makes things difficult for the parents and technicians trying to help the child. Even worse, the anxiety can be detrimental to the childs oral health when it prevents them from receiving necessary dental care. So what can you do to get them past this anxiety? We have some suggestions that may help you out:

When Should I Seek Help For My Childs Anxiety

Calm your anxiety in 2 minutes!

If anxiety is having a significant impact on your childs everyday functioning and preventing them from participating in activities that their peers can comfortably do, this is a sign that you should seek help.

Tamariki may need some extra support when:

  • they feel anxious more than other children of a similar age
  • anxiety stops them participating in activities at school or socially
  • anxiety interferes with their ability to do things that other children their age can do
  • their fears and worries seem out of proportion to the issues in their life

It is important an assessment takes place by a professional who knows about anxiety in children and young people. Physical examinations are also recommended to ensure there is no underlying illness causing the symptoms.

Research has shown a form of psychological therapy is effective in learning ways to overcome or manage anxiety. Your doctor may recommend medicine if the anxiety is very severe or if there are multiple difficulties at the same time . If your doctor does prescribe medicine, then psychological therapy should also be part of the treatment.

Going to your family doctor is the best first step as they will be able to provide guidance about where to get more help. This may involve a referral to a counsellor in the community or to a local child and adolescent mental health service who can provide specialist assessment and interventions for anxiety.

Also Check: How To Help A Teenager With Anxiety And Depression

Preparing Your Child For New Situations

You may want to prepare your child ahead of time before entering situations or meeting people you know make them anxious.

You can do this by giving them as many details as you can. Encourage them to bring along a favorite toy or security blanket. Give your child time to adjust to new situations, settings, and people, even if that means they spend time on your lap getting used to everything.

The Things Loving Parents Do That Might Unintentionally Feed Anxiety In Children And What To Do Instead

Anxiety is persuasive and determined and its masterful at organising families, days and lives around itself. If you have a child who struggles with anxiety, take heart its very possible to change anxietys heavy hand in your childs life. With guidance, information and strategies, anxiety can be given the place is deserves, which is somewhere well away from centre stage.

Read Also: What Does Anxiety Feel Like Physically

Treating Anxiety In Children

Occasional anxiety is normal. But talk to your pediatrician if anxiety causes your child to limit activities, worry often, or avoid camp or day care. A severe anxiety disorder can delay or derail child development.

Depending on developmental stage and level and type of anxiety, treatment may involve changes you and your child work toward yourselves. Or you might work with child mental health professionals, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker. These experts can help parents and children learn to apply cognitive behavioral therapy , a highly effective treatment that addresses anxious thoughts and behaviors. For example, we might encourage children to practice detective-thinking to catch, check, and change anxious thoughts, says Dr. Potter. We also encourage them to approach, rather than avoid, anxiety-provoking triggers.

Mindfulness techniques and antianxiety or antidepressant medicines also may be discussed. Often a combination of approaches works best.

Signs And Symptoms In Children With Anxiety

Child Anxiety: What to Do and How to Help Smart Kids 101

As much as it is common to have occasional anxiety, it is also common for children to have anxiety disorders. While estimates of the prevalence vary, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 7.1% of children between the ages of 3 and 17 have diagnosable anxiety.

Children with true anxiety symptoms may experience symptoms that include:

  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping

The frequency and appearance of symptoms can vary depending on the nature of the anxiety. Some fears may be triggered by specific situations, objects, or settings. Other types of anxiety, such as generalized anxiety disorder or panic disorder, can lead to symptoms that occur with greater frequency.

Other indicators of concern include symptoms that interfere with a childs ability to learn, interact with peers, sleep at night, or function normally in daily life.

Normal childhood fears that persist beyond the age where they are expected to fade are also a point of concern.

Also Check: How To Help Your Child With Anxiety

What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Anxiety

A parent or teacher may see signs that a child or teen is anxious. For example, a kid might cling, miss school, or cry. They might act scared or upset, or refuse to talk or do things. Kids and teens with anxiety also feel symptoms that others can’t see. It can make them feel afraid, worried, or nervous.

It can affect their body too. They might feel shaky, jittery, or short of breath. They may feel “butterflies” in their stomach, a hot face, clammy hands, dry mouth, or a racing heart.

These symptoms of anxiety are the result of the “fight or flight” response. This is the body’s normal response to danger. It triggers the release of natural chemicals in the body. These chemicals prepare us to deal with a real danger. They affect heart rate, breathing, muscles, nerves, and digestion. This response is meant to protect us from danger. But with anxiety disorders, the “fight or flight” response is overactive. It happens even when there is no real danger.

Feeling Anxious For Most Of The Time For No Apparent Reason

While it’s normal for children to frequently have fears and worries, some anxious children may grow up to develop a long-term condition called generalised anxiety disorder when they become a teenager or young adult.

Generalised anxiety disorder causes you to feel anxious about a wide range of situations and issues, rather than one specific event.

People affected by it feel anxious most days and often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed.

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Children With Anxiety Have A Greater Risk Of Having Psychological Problems As Adults

One of the reasons that it is important to get medical help for your child if they appear to be having unhealthy anxiety is that children with anxiety appear to have a greater risk of developing mental illness as adults. For example, childhood social anxiety disorder predicts adolescent social anxiety disorder. Overanxious disorder is associated with later OAD, panic attacks and depression. Social phobia in childhood is associated with adolescent OAD, social phobia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder .

So it is important to seek help for your child if he or she seems to be overly anxious. If you do, it will help them to avoid having psychological problems in adolescence and adulthood.

Getting Anxious Kids Out Of Their Comfort Zone:

Helping Kids With Anxiety

LG: So how can parents and teachers break that cycle? How can they help kids get used to facing some fears? Or even realizing that screwing up is not the end of the world?

JP: We want parents to really encourage their kids to stretch themselves, to face new situations, to do things that they dont want to do. Kids should experience the full range of emotions. That doesnt mean we want to make our kids anxious or depressed every day. But even in the best of times we all face fears or worries and feelings of sadness. And we NEED to experience these. Better for kids to experience them now when theyre young, so they can learn that these fears dont last forever.

LG: I have to say: That is exactly what our Let Grow Project does. Its a homework assignment students get that says, Go home and do something new, on your own, without your parents. We give a list of about 100 ideas ride your bike, go to the store, make dinner, whatever. Basically we want kids to do something slightly out of their comfort zone, so they get used to exactly what you just said facing some fears and seeing how truly great it feels afterward. Its positive reinforcement instead of negative reinforcement fighting the culture of avoidance.

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Anxiety In Children A Naturopathic Approach

According to Beyond Blue, 1 in 14 kids between 4-17 will experience an anxiety disorder. Many more will experience the feeling of anxiety at some point during childhood. Anxiety tends to occur during times of change. Experiences like going back to school, moving from primary school to high school and travel can lead to symptoms of anxiety. The good news is that there are ways to manage anxiety in children naturally.

If you have a child with anxiety, its important to understand the underlying triggers and contributing factors. Once you know these, you can take steps to help them manage their symptoms.

Watch the video below or keep reading to learn more about natural ways to manage anxiety in children.

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