Tips For Handling Anxiety Disorders In Children

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Tips For Handling Anxiety Disorders In Children

5 May 2016
, Blog

If you have noticed that your child is experience severe anxiety or panic attacks for what seems like no reason, they might have an anxiety disorder. This is not simple anxiety that has an easy cure, but something you need to have treated. Here are some ways you can deal with anxiety disorders in children.

Plan Relaxing Activities

While anxiety and panic attack disorder can appear with no triggers, you should still try to keep your child as relaxed and calm as possible. It helps to first identify their triggers, such as caffeine or watching certain types of cartoons, then eliminate them. After that, plan more relaxing activities to keep them as calm as possible. Depending on their age, they might be interested in sitting quietly and coloring with you, going for a nice walk around the block, or doing some yoga at home. If you participate in these activities with your child, they might feel more calm and relaxed.

Never Deny Your Child's Feelings

It is important that when your child expresses feelings of anxiousness or fear, you don't push it aside or assume they are exaggerating. This will not only make them feel bad about it and possibly increase their anxiety, but it might keep them from opening up to you later on. You want them to feel comfortable and safe enough to talk to you about anything. While you don't necessarily want to give them a reason to continue being anxious, you should also not assume your child is lying or just tell them to "calm down."

Eliminate Other Causes

Some anxiety disorders are related to certain medical conditions in children. It is a good idea to bring them to their pediatrician at the first signs of anxiety and panic attacks. This helps the doctor to rule out other mental or psychological disorders, or physical illness. For example, they might have clinical depression, hyperactivity disorder, or attention-deficit disorder.

Bring Them to a Counselor

After getting medical treatment, your child should be brought to a counselor who works with children with anxiety. The counselor might not prescribe medication, but instead use cognitive behavioral techniques. This helps your child to learn to overcome the fear and live with the anxiety, instead of trying to "cure them of it." The counselor can help to identify the panic or anxiety triggers so you know how to better handle it at home.