Whether in children or adults, anxiety is an overwhelming feeling of fear, hopelessness or dread. As a parent it can be difficult, if not impossible, to figure out if children are just complaining or are suffering from anxiety. Children often act out because they lack the tools to express their anxiety in words. This is very challenging for parents
Here is a list of complaints that signal the parent that your child may be having an suffering from anxiety.
Common manifestations of anxiety in children
- Belly aching, i.e. their belly hurts, usually around the belly button and usually before they have to go somewhere or do something
- Extreme shyness
- ADHD symptoms: poor focus, distractibility, distracting others
- Pulling their hair out
- Nail biting,
- Excessive crying
- Obsessive behaviors
- Temper tantrums
- Stage fright
- Over-eating or undereating
- Bullying others
- Bedwetting beyond the age of 8
- Immature behavior
- Agitated manner
Anxiety can be the result of not having the tools to cope with a situation or challenge, or be caused by a biochemical imbalance – so no matter how capable the child, the anxiety persists. It can also be the result of an MTHFR deficiency – a deficiency in the enzyme that allows the cells to utilize B vitamins efficiently. MTHFR deficiency is a very common condition especially in those populations that value highly dedicated work ethic and being proactive.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a mild form of panic. Anxiety happens when hormones activated by your “fight or flight” instinct, such as adrenalin, stay elevated well beyond the few minutes they are needed to get you out of danger. This may explain why some people will get violent, lose their temper or yell when they are anxious. They feel relief as they express their adrenaline rush physically and are relieved of the burden of holding it in emotionally.
Get help for your child
We offer treatment for anxiety in children and adults. Online appointments are available. Just fill out the contact form and press Send.
The next articles in this series will discuss nutrition, various age related behaviors, and how to deal with them.