Table of Contents
- 1 Anxiety Attacks In Children – The Tips And Info You Need
- 2 Causes Of Anxiety Disorder In Children: Understand Four Causes
- 3 Child Anxiety – The Anxiety Help
- 4 Child Anxiety Attacks
- 5 Children With Social Anxiety – Panic Attack In Children
- 6 Child Abuse Survivors: Can You Hide from Depression?
- 7 Child Depression Treatment
- 8 ADHD Treatments For Children
- 9 Separation Anxiety In Children
Anxiety Attacks In Children – The Tips And Info You Need
Since anxiety attacks are so common, chances are that you’ve already experienced one without knowing it. Many adults fail to realize that their own children can also experience these episodes. Not only will such an event be traumatic for the parent, but also for the child. What follows is information that will keep you up to speed on anxiety attacks in children.
It is vital to know the rudimentary facts on the subject, so you can be prepared in case you need to help a child out that’s having an attack. First off, children do feel the symptoms of an anxiety attack for very different reasons than grownups. Most kids will start to fear that they’ll have attacks when they go to different places – public humiliation is a very debilitating thought to a child.
There are a number of types of anxiety attacks in children that you should recognize. The basic type is what is called a generalized anxiety disorder. This is marked out by excessive worry over past events, present or future events. Some things children fret over: any upcoming events, going to school, some issues with friends and events of the past. Commonly, parents conclude that their kids just can’t control their anxiousness.
A great way to help your kids survive this state is to teach them some techniques or therapy to relax. Get them to try and calm themselves down and even to speak their worries away. If you can’t do that type of training, then you may consider getting professional help. The mental health pro’s can train your kids the art of using positive self-talk instead of negative.
Another type of anxiety attacks in children is called “separation anxiety disorder.” This is typical on the first day of school. When a child gets separated from their safety zone – their family – they can become beset with worry. If they’re placed in a situation where they are uncomfortable, they may become anxious. This can occur if mom and dad leave for an evening, or perhaps if the parents leave on vacation.
To address the condition, simply talk to your kids and reassure them that all will be well. Help your kids to know that you’ll be coming back soon, and that you love them. Though it may be difficult to do at first, training your kids to expect some time with you away is probably a good idea – leave once a week to get them used to it. Anxiety attacks in children happen more often than parents realize, but these tips should help to get them to cope with their fears.
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Causes Of Anxiety Disorder In Children: Understand Four Causes
In this world where more than one third of the population is suffering from anxiety disorder, the painful part of this is that it includes children also. Children are more fragile and more vulnerable to these anxiety disorders compared to adults.
Most of the children who are not emotionally stable tend to suffer from anxiety disorders more predominantly. There are various causes of anxiety disorder in children. Let me brief you with the various causes of anxiety disorder in children.
1. Sudden life style changes are one of the major causes of anxiety disorder in children. It is natural that when a child is being moved from one place to another, he or she tends to miss the old home. But few children take it very deep into the heart and get themselves stressed out resulting in anxiety disorder.
Most of the children would have developed a sense of security to their proximity to friends and family. When this changes suddenly, then the child will get a sudden fear of separation leading to anxiety disorder.
2. School phobia is one of the famous causes of anxiety disorder in children. Few children tend to get feared in going to schools. This is because they don’t want to get themselves separated from their home. Hence many children get scared in going to school and this fear will develop daily and will result in anxiety disorder.
Children who tend to get separated from parents tend to get anxiety disorder. This separation from parents is one of the crucial causes of anxiety disorder in children. Children usually tend to get more close towards parents and when parents move out for work, the child tends to miss the parents a lot even for that small period.
They tend to crave for attention from their parents and when affection is not given, and then they develop anxiety disorder. As a parent, one should be aware of the famous treatment technique used worldwide for children suffering from anxiety disorder.
3. Certain children experience anxiety disorder on hearing the death of their beloved ones. It has been identified that most of the children suffering from anxiety disorder have seen their parents’ death. This sudden separation tends to leave a big uncertainty in the child’s affection leading to anxiety disorder. It could also be the sudden demise of their close friends also which leads to anxiety disorder.
4. Few children experience anxiety disorder due to various stresses they encounter. Most common stress they tend to encounter is the school abuse, discrimination and racial taunts which leads them to anxiety disorder. It could also be the physical and psychological abuse which leads to anxiety disorder.
These are the causes of anxiety disorder in children. Children’s anxiety disorder should not be taken lightly as many of them will not be in a position to express their disorder. It’s the parent’s responsibility to diagnose the anxiety disorder and take appropriate treatments so that the child gets cured soon.
The only way the child can get cured from anxiety disorder is by the affection and care from the parents. Hence, it’s the responsibility of the parents to ensure that the child is provided with the best healing treatment method for anxiety disorder so that the child gets recovered soon.
Child Anxiety – The Anxiety Help
Adolescents as well as children are increasingly getting affected by anxiety disorders today. This has made anxiety one of the primary mental health problems in modern times. It is, therefore, of immense importance that our children possess appropriate set of skills for getting rid of anxiety and other difficult emotions.
There is a wide range of stressors that are associated with growing up. In the following you will find a list of anxiety related disorders that a child can experience.
Most of the anxiety disorders listed below are discussed in details.
At the same time as you go through all of the below descriptions and everything else on this website, you need to always remember the fact that it is crucial that a child be evaluated and treated with the guide of a properly trained therapist.
1. Generalize Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
2. Panic Disorder
3. Separation Anxiety Disorder (SAD)
4. Selective Mutism
5. Social Phobia (social anxiety)
6. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
7. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Panic is the most extreme form of anxiety. When you have a panic attack, you experience a surge of mounting physiological arousal that culminates in peak-intensity anxiety symptoms. If “normal” anxiety is a campfire, panic is an inferno.
Common physical symptoms include heart palpitations, tightening in the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, faintness, sweating, nausea, trembling, shaking, and tingling in the hands and feet. Fears of “going crazy,” having a heart attack, or dying often spring up around these physical sensations. Feelings of unreality and an intense desire to flee are also typical. Panic can occur spontaneously or in response to encountering a phobic situation.
Your very first panic attack can have a traumatic impact, leaving you feeling terrified, helpless, and anxious about the possibility of future episodes. Unfortunately, in some cases, panic does repeatedly recur. Why some people have a panic attack only once-or perhaps once every few years-while others develop a chronic condition with several attacks per week is still not well understood.
The good news is that you can learn to cope with panic attacks so that they will no longer have the power to frighten you. There are both long- and short-term interventions that can help you diminish the intensity and frequency of panic attacks.
Long-term interventions include changes in your lifestyle. Particularly important are regular practice of deep relaxation, maintaining an exercise routine, eliminating caffeine and sugar from your diet, and simplifying your life.
Selective Mutism is characterized by a child’s inability to speak in selected social settings such as schools. These children are able to talk normally once out of those selected social settings.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
OCD is most commonly characterized by a subject’s intrusive thoughts, distressing, obsessive, and related compulsions such as rituals or tasks which attempt to neutralize the obsessions.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
Certain psychological consequences arising from confrontation with or exposure to highly shocking and upsetting experiences are known as post traumatic stress or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Child Anxiety Attacks
Since anxiety attack is a type of anxiety disorder, it is important to know what happens to a child who is suffering from such disorder. To be able to identify it, here are the following symptoms:
Frequent feeling of fear and panic
If you suffer from anxiety, make sure you eat a healthy diet and get plenty of sleep and exercise. The better shape your body is in, the more resistant to stress and other forms of anxiety it will be! Sleep deprivation, hunger and ill-health, will leave you much more vulnerable to the affects of anxiety.
– Bed wetting – Tantrums and excessive crying
Take the initiative to find a support group for anxiety sufferers. With others around who share your fears and doubts, you can begin to relieve your anxiety by sharing your negative feelings and allow room for positive emotions to come into play. Support groups offer you a chance to help others as well, which you can feel good about.
– Fear of making mistakes- Fear of getting embarrassed
You may need to see a doctor because anxiety can be too much to deal with on your own. You may want to consider seeking assistance from a professional. If at all possible, visit a doctor who is already familiar with your medical history. He or she will be better equipped to advise you about what to do next.
– Avoidance of certain activities such as school event and summer camps
Nightmares and night terrors Try to determine the roots of your anxiety by keeping an anxiety journal. Look for triggers, or reasons that you start to feel especially anxious. When you think about what causes your anxiety, you might be able to take steps to combat it before the feelings become too overwhelming for you.
– Compulsive behaviours – Resistance to any change
A great way to help reduce the anxiety that you feel, is to take a ride with your friends to the spa. Soaking your body in a Jacuzzi, or bath is a great way to relax, and put things in perspective. Also, the heat helps to you to sweat, and flush out the extra toxins in your body.
– Low self-esteem, lack of confidence – Overly shy and difficulty making friends
A helpful tip that you should think about in your times of stress is to have some snacks that contain carbohydrates. Eating these types of snacks will help to release serotonin in your brain. This is a natural occurring chemical that will make you feel good once it is released.
Chronic physical symptoms such as stomach aches or headaches without any apparent reason
A child is under an anxiety attack if he shows the following symptoms:
Laughter is one of the very best ways to circumvent anxiety since it changes your focus and lightens your mood. As a tension-breaker it cannot be beat, and the best part is that its effects can be shared with those around you. Try to cultivate an appreciation for the silly and absurd side of life. Embrace the funny and witty people in your life. Bring them closer so their resilience becomes a model for you.
– Gush of overwhelming panic – Hot flashes or chills
Don’t look at yourself in the mirror. This does not help at all when you are suffering a panic attack. It can really be detrimental, and you are trying to keep everything positive. During a panic attack, your vision can distort itself, and this is not helpful to your perception of self-image.
– Trouble breathing or choking sensation – Feeling of losing control or going crazy
Try exercise to offset the complications of impending anxiety. A good workout, strenuous jog or even a quick walk around the block can help release tension that will otherwise keep building until it boils over. Getting rid of stress physically often helps alleviate it psychologically and can help you control your anxiety.
– Feeling and fear of dying- Feeling unreal or detach
When excessive worry and anxiety takes control of your mind, stop, and write down the things that are bothering you. Putting your worries in writing, allows you to see, and evaluate the source of your anxiety. Take action on the things that you can resolve. Release the items that are beyond your control.
– Nausea or stomach cramps- Hyperventilation
If you have an anxiety problem, then you should cut down on sugar and caffeine. Sometimes these things can make you feel even more nervous than usual. If you must have caffeine or sugar, then at least cut back. Your diet plays a crucial role in how you react to anxiety.
– Shaking or trembling – Feeling like passing out
Write two letters directed at the thing that is making you anxious. One should be completely positive; only write down good things. Vent in the other letter; discuss how you want to get past your fear and talk about your anger related to the situation. Getting all your thoughts and emotions out will help you feel better.
– Chest pain or heart palpitation
Different children of different ages or even of the same age may manifest different symptoms. Moreover, some of the symptoms given may be considered as a normal behaviour of a child. Thus, it is a bit tricky to determine if he or she is really having an attack or not.
What should be done is to recognize these symptoms and consider them as a reason of concern, and then help your child deal with these symptoms through the following:
Seek help from health professional
Effectively stopping anxiety attacks begins with recognition and followed by a compete diagnosis from your medical doctor. A full medical examination should be administered in order to rule out any other physical causes unrelated to anxiety.
Doctors usually give prescription medications to help relieve anxiety. If applicable, SSRI antidepressants may be needed for a long term solution. For a more severe case, doctors may refer the child to a psychologist.
Self-help techniques Parents may seek the help of books available for treating child anxiety. This is also very effective in teaching parents strategies for responsible parenting, which improve parent-child relationship and help build child self-confidence and self-esteem.
Children With Social Anxiety – Panic Attack In Children
Two major factors cause children to have social anxiety, and these are the environment as well as genetics.
With genetics, the anxiety disorders are innate (hereditary). Most likely, the child has one or both parents with an anxiety disorder. However, it does not necessarily have to be Social Anxiety Disorder. This inheritance is believed to be partly due to Behavioural Inhibition.
Behavioural Inhibition takes place when a person is likely to react pessimistically to new circumstances or things. There are some babies and children who will become very glad and inquisitive when they are exposed to new things and faces. But, there are about 15 percent of children who tend to become introverted and bad-tempered when they are exposed to this kind of situation, while other children in general are frightened.
These children are often tetchy as babies, and then become timid toddlers, and then become silent, reclusive and guarded during their school age. These types of children are more likely to have biological parents who have anxiety disorders. Later on in their life they tend to acquire Social Anxiety Disorder. That is what makes many believe that Behavioural Inhibition is present at birth.
All other factors beyond genetics can trigger Social Anxiety in children. For example, some of the main characteristics that can lead children to have social anxiety would be the experience of abuse, abandonment, having been raised by anxious adults, having a language or speech problem, a disfiguring physical condition, and having gone through tremendously embarrassing situations such as public failure and vomiting and diarrhoea in public.
More often than not, the combination of both the environmental factors and genetics would lead to children with social anxiety.
How To Help Children With Social Anxiety
There are behavioural methods that can be applied and can greatly aid any natural nutritional or homeopathic plan that a child with social anxiety can benefit from. One way would be to let the child go to a licensed therapist or a guidance counsellor for the child to be treated and helped.
The environment at home needs to be calming and welcoming. Let the child know that you are open to listening to their problems even if they feel uncomfortable telling them to you. Always be conscious about your behaviour towards the child especially during the times when you feel that you might be pressuring him or her.
Child Abuse Survivors: Can You Hide from Depression?
Many adults have many memories of child abuse. They may try to justify the abuse as “the way things were then,” but, because there is more awareness of child abuse, we now know the way some of us were treated was very abusive. However, you think about the seemingly, harsh, and uncaring childhood, you survived. You survived, but you may have wounds that don’t show up on the skin.
It is common for men and women who survived child abuse to be depressed. With some of us, depression might not be the first thing one thinks of, because many of us are not showing the more common symptoms of depression.
In child abuse survivors, depression may manifest itself in substance abuse, or in alcohol abuse. We, who have been physically, sexually, and emotionally abused as children may have coping mechanisms that help us to get through each day without being reminded of our past abuse.
If you were abused as a child, you may have some coping mechanisms that you wouldn’t have if you hadn’t lived through your past abuse. You may suffer from major depression disorder, (MDD). With MDD, you may have changes in mood. It is possible that you have other manifestations of depression that are atypical.
What are some of the coping mechanisms from child abuse? Many children who suffer child abuse of any kind tend to hide. They may hide in a closet, or they may hide within the recesses of their own mind. They may inadvertently invent a “new” self to accept the abuse, so they can escape.
Many of us who were abused as children hide in one way or another. Some people hide or escape in alcoholism and drug abuse. Other people hide by refusing to go outside of their homes; they may even be terrified of leaving their homes. Other people may hide in shyness. Thus, if you are so afraid of being around people that you try not to talk to anyone you don’t know, you might be hiding.
Isolating yourself from people is one very big manifestation of depression. You can isolate yourself within your own mind, even as an adult. An individual can hide within his/her own psyche, in the form of another persona. This persona may not be indicative of a dissociative disorder; it may just be a coping mechanism to face the everyday stresses that you really don’t want to face.
If you put on a new “face,” or a new persona to “live” in your body and face the world from your eyes, the real you can hide away from all those debilitating feelings and emotions that come with the baggage of your past. You can escape reality, and you can escape the pain of depression.
The problem with hiding inside yourself to escape the emotional pain of your past is that you don’t really hide from the pain manifested in your depression symptoms. You might say that you do escape from your symptoms. That’s what your other “face” is for. You can only hide for so long, before reality starts to crash down around you.
You may find yourself getting anxious over something very minor, but not having the skills to problem solve, you become anxious and panic instead. You may also find yourself crying about anything and everything. You may see a scene in a movie that moved you to cry for the character, and then you realize that you are crying for yourself. Your tears have nothing to do with the movie, and everything to do with the pain you are hiding from.
In order to really escape the pain of child abuse is to face it and deal with it as an adult. If you don’t want to talk to family and friends, there are mental health counsellors that can help you learn new coping skills to fight depression and face your past and your present.
Child Depression Treatment
It is important for parents to be equipped with enough knowledge on the causes, symptoms and child depression treatment methods. Treatment itself varies according to the intensity of the condition in children.
Psychotherapy is an effective treatment method for children. This can be administered either on its own or in combination with medications like antidepressants. Child depression treatment is effective with a combination of both.
A positive and healthy outlook towards life can be incorporated into children who suffer from depression with the cognitive behavioural therapy. Anti depressants are effective in children who do not respond well to therapy.
It is essential continuing with treatment even after alleviation of symptoms to ensure depression does not relapse. Depression in children, therefore, as with a person of any age group can be cured completely if diagnosed on time and given treatment promptly.
Children can also be introduced to social support groups, therapies like yoga, meditation, etc which help them become strong from the inside. These therapies, if practiced on a regular basis are sure to strengthen their mind and get rid of unwanted negative thoughts and outlook. A supportive and understanding family is also essential to assist the child with a speedy recovery.
ADHD Treatments For Children
Do you have a child with ADHD? Any parent who has a child with attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder knows that finding ADHD treatments is crucial to the child and the family’s well-being. There are a couple of approaches families choose to take to deal with the disorder. After seeking advice from a doctor, parents can decide what approach will work best for their situation.
Children with ADHD are often difficult to deal with because their behaviour can be impulsive and aggressive. Without warning, these children can suddenly engage in unexpected and extreme behaviours. Parents look to ADHD treatments to deal with the difficult behaviours. Some find psychotherapy to be helpful in identifying and dealing with feelings that can cause aggressive and impulsive reactions.
Many children with this disorder have great difficulty following social rules because they have difficulty understanding many social situations. ADHD treatments should involve some sort of social interaction that requires the person with the disorder to learn the rules of social interaction. The problem lies in the child’s inability to focus long enough to acquire proper social skills.
Basic skills like eye contact and waiting for someone else to finish before speaking have to be deliberately taught to a child who has the disorder. It is also important to communicate that there are consequences for specific actions. If a child talks out of turn there should be consistent ramifications for the behaviour. Otherwise, the interruptions will be repeated.
Many children who have ADHD are not fully capable of fully understanding the concept of past, present and future. These individuals tend to live in the here and now and they tend to quickly forget the past. They also do not think about the future. Since, there is little regard for future events, these children often act without thinking about the consequences of their behaviour.
Cause and effect have to be deliberately taught as well. Behaviour therapy has proved to be one of the most successful interventions that a family can use in collaboration with professionals. These ADHD treatments help the child develop a structure and routine. Behaviour interventions also help the child develop social skills and learn cause and effect cycles of their actions.
It is also important to make some adjustments that will work with the child instead of against him. For example, I worked with a girl who had difficulty sitting still while completing assignments. Her ADHD treatments often revolved around getting her to sit still. However, we found that even though she sat without fidgeting, she was unable to concentrate. If she was allowed to move around she was able to complete assignments with relative ease.
No matter which of the ADHD treatments you choose, it is still important to treat each child as an individual who has unique needs. Any doctor will first sit down to talk and observe the child. This is the first step in any successful treatment plan.
Separation Anxiety In Children
Separation anxiety in children occurs very often in our society and around the world. All social classes, sexes and races experience separation anxiety and the problem is not only limited to children in some cases. Some adults have separation anxiety issues as well.
You can treat separation anxiety in children a variety of different ways from things you can do at home to medications from the store or prescribed by a doctor. Anytime separation anxiety in children becomes a regular thing, it is important to have a doctor rule out any medical causes of the problem.
The cause of separation anxiety in children is usually related to their feeling uncomfortable around people they do not really know or a situation they are new to. Children experience stress in these situations, which can make them uncomfortable and afraid. They can have symptoms like an upset stomach and other physical symptoms if the stress isn’t dealt with.
Separation anxiety in children is usually something that goes away over time and that parents can deal with on their own but some children with severe issues need help from their doctor.
One of the simplest and most common methods of helping children with separation anxiety is to make sure they get comfortable in a social situation and are not thrust into it quickly. If you are leaving your child in a new situation, it can be helpful to stay there with your child for awhile and let him adjust. Also, giving your child specific information about when you will be back and stressing that you will return can help him deal with new situations.
These are easy ways to reduce separation anxiety in children. If you follow these steps on a regular basis from the time your child is young, it is likely that this separation anxiety will go away on its own and you won’t have to deal with it when your child gets older.
Sometimes, the steps described aren’t enough and children need more help dealing with their anxiety. Separation anxiety in children can be treated by giving them a mild over the counter medication that you can find at most local stores in your area. You can find a variety of different medications and brands for children so there should be one that will help your child deal with his separation anxiety.
If your child is still experiencing anxiety, you should consult your child’s doctor. The doctor will be able to help you figure out what else, beyond the things you have tried, can be done for your child.
Separation anxiety in children is sometimes treated with prescription drugs if it is severe enough. It may be that your child has an undiagnosed medical problem that is really causing his anxiety. Often separation anxiety in children will dissipate over time as children grow up. All parents want to help their children, though, and hate to see them suffering from separation anxiety.
Sumanta Mandal is involved in healthcare market research since 2008. He is passionate about herbal health, organic health and alternative medicines. He has written many articles on various health care topics.