Did you know that children experience anxiety and stress just as much or even more than adults do?
Recent studies have suggested that the amount of children with anxiety disorders has increased drastically over the past few decades. The United States Department of Health and Human Services has stated that one in every ten children experience some form of anxiety.
So, what are the causes of anxiety and stress related disorders in children? Anxiety is a disorder that arises from both biological and/or environmental factors. That’s right, anxiety can be hereditary! If this disorder runs in your family, it is quite possible that your child may inherit it.
Certain environmental factors can lead children to become stressed. The pressure of getting good grades, fitting in, and excelling in sports are some examples of stress inducing situations. Stressful situations can ultimately lead to anxiety if they occur on a regular basis.
The tricky part, which is also the most detrimental, is noticing the behavioral patterns and characteristics of anxiety. These symptoms are not always clearly detected, as they may easily be missed by your child’s pediatrician.
We have included some signs of anxiety from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Addition (or the DSM5).
Six Signs of Anxiety:
- Restlessness: If your child is feeling and/or behaving “on edge,” or if he or she is not able to relax mentally, physically, and/or emotionally.
- Irritability: If your child gets easily frustrated or if his or her mood/behavior seems to “swing” out of control.
- Disruption or Lack of Concentration: If your child is finding it difficult or almost impossible to focus on most tasks.
- Fatigue: If your child is (more often than not) feeling tired or becoming easily mentally, physically, and/or emotionally “drained.”
- Muscle Tension: If your child can not relax his or her muscles, and if their muscles remain semi contracted in situations where they should not be contracted at all.
- Sleep Disturbance: If your child is experiencing difficulty falling asleep and/or
remaining asleep for the duration of the night.
If you believe that anxiety may be an issue in your home, don’t worry! There is a lot that can be done to monitor and/or salvage your child’s symptoms of anxiety. Stay tuned for some fun and effective ways to help you and your child cope with and manage their anxiety!