If you have an anxious child, you are not alone. Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder in children and adolescents, affecting 1 in 8 kids. And while it can be tough to watch your child struggle, there are things you can do to help.
In this article, we’ve addressed some of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to helping children with anxiety – from understanding the condition to finding the right treatment (such as implementing dietary changes or speaking with a naturopath to develop a treatment plan that’s right for your child). By taking action, you can help your child feel better and get back to enjoying life.
What are some of the signs of childhood anxiety?
If you’re wondering whether your child may be anxious, look for these common signs and symptoms:
- Excessive worry or fearfulness
- Avoidance of activities or situations that cause anxiety
- Intrusive thoughts or worries that won’t go away
- Trouble sleeping due to anxiety
- Physical symptoms like headaches or stomachaches caused by anxiety
- Irritability or moodiness
What causes childhood anxiety?
There is no single cause of childhood anxiety, but there are several factors that can play a role. These include:
Genetics: Anxiety can run in families, so children may be more likely to develop it if their parents or other close relatives have an anxiety disorder.
Brain chemistry: Anxiety may be caused by an imbalance of certain chemicals in the brain.
Life experiences: Children who have experienced traumatic or stressful events, such as abuse, neglect, or the death of a loved one, may be more likely to develop anxiety.
Does childhood anxiety go away?
With proper treatment, childhood anxiety does not have to be a lifelong condition. In fact, most children who receive treatment see a significant reduction in their symptoms. And with continued care, some children may even go on to live symptom-free lives.
If you think your child may have anxiety, don’t wait to get help. The sooner you seek treatment, the better the chances are for your child’s recovery.
What are 5 common childhood stresses?
There are a number of things that can cause stress in children. Some of the most common include:
- Family conflict: Children may feel stressed when there is fighting or conflict within their family. This can be caused by things like divorce, financial problems, or illness.
- Moving: A change in school or having to move to a new home can be stressful for children.
- Academic pressure: The pressure to do well in school can lead to stress for some children. This may be especially true if they feel like they’re not meeting their parents’ expectations.
- Peer pressure: Trying to fit in with friends and feeling like you have to live up to their standards can be stressful.
- Media exposure: Children who see violence, crime, or other upsetting images on TV or in the news may become stressed.
What are the treatments for childhood anxiety?
There are several effective treatments for childhood anxiety, including:
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): CBT is a type of talk therapy that can help children learn to manage their anxiety by changing their thoughts and behaviors.
Medication: In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help children manage their anxiety.
Relaxation and breathing exercises: These exercises can help children calm their bodies and minds when they’re feeling anxious.
Parent training: Parent training is a type of therapy that can help parents learn how to better support their anxious child.
If you’re not sure where to start, talk to your child’s doctor or a mental health professional. They can help you find the right treatment for your child’s needs.
Holistic treatments for children
In addition to traditional treatments like cognitive-behavioral therapy and medication, there are also a number of holistic treatments that can be effective for childhood anxiety. These include:
- Diet: A healthy diet is important for all children, but it can be especially helpful for those with anxiety. Some suggested foods include omega-3 rich fish, probiotic-rich yogurt, and magnesium-rich dark chocolate.
- Lifestyle: A healthy lifestyle is also important for children with anxiety. This includes getting enough sleep, exercise, and sunlight exposure.
- Naturopathic treatments: Naturopathic treatments that address underlying causes of anxiety borne from gut health or nutritional issues can also be effective for childhood anxiety.
If you’re interested in exploring holistic treatments for your child’s anxiety, talk to your child’s doctor or a naturopath. They can help you create a plan that is right for your child.
While childhood anxiety can be a daunting condition, there are a number of effective treatments available. With the help of a mental health professional, you can find the right treatment for your child. And with proper care, your child can learn to manage their anxiety and live a symptom-free life.