Anxiety Kids - Nashville

Understanding Childhood Anxiety: Knowing When it’s Not Normal

Feeling anxious is a natural human emotion and in some cases, it can be good for us. Anxiety causes the fight or flight reaction to produce adrenaline, which can sharpen our senses and help us make quick decisions. But sometimes, anxiety can develop into a disorder that affects more than 3 million American adults. When children have anxiety disorders, they can be particularly detrimental to their health and well-being.

Mild to Severe Anxiety Can Affect Anyone

Anxiety disorder is an illness that can be debilitating. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems among all age groups and can range in severity. Mild anxiety is often bearable, though it tends to be consistent and generally has no apparent cause. Severe anxiety can lead to repeated panic attacks, which are tremendously uncomfortable and can even cause sufferers to become reclusive.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

When children are young, they may not be able to communicate feelings of anxiety clearly. Your child may simply feel worried about grades, social situations, family issues, and other situations. While it’s normal to be concerned about these things, children who excessively worry and seem to be distressed may be suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Panic Disorder

Panic attacks may indicate panic disorder, another type of anxiety. Panic attacks can be truly terrifying to adults and children alike. They tend to come on suddenly and without reason. Panic attacks can severely disrupt your daily life with physical symptoms, including increased heartrate and nausea, and feelings that you’re losing control. Children who have had more than two panic attacks may need to see a doctor to see if they have panic disorder.

Social Anxiety Disorder

Social anxiety is another type of anxiety disorder and is particularly troublesome when seen in children. During childhood and adolescence, children develop their social skills and sense of self. This determines how they will fit into the world as adults. Children with social anxiety may dread going to school, being called on in class, or talking to their peers. While most children experience some shyness at some point in their lives, an intense fear of social activity can damage a child’s academic performance and his or her ability to adapt to social situations.

If your child is exhibiting anxious behavior, speak with your pediatrician today. Anxiety is treatable and curable, but can cause physical health problem if not treated. Contact Green Hills Pediatric Associates today for help.