Anxiety in Children


Every child feels worried or afraid sometimes. Learning to cope with emotions is a normal part of growth and development. But sometimes, worries and fears don't go away. They can get worse. They can begin to take over your child's life. This is what we call "anxiety."


What are some things that tend to cause anxiety in kids? Sometimes it's something very specific. For example, you may have a child who's afraid of the dark, or who's scared of dogs. Another common worry is separation anxiety. That's when your child doesn't like to be away from you. Some kids have anxiety when they have to interact with others. And some kids worry that bad things will happen in the future. Anxiety may make it hard for kids to go to school, play sports and make friends.


What are the symptoms? A child with anxiety may seem tense, uptight, worried or scared. They may be clingy. They may be irritable or angry. They may have trouble sleeping. And they can have physical problems like fatigue, headaches and stomachaches. And because kids don't like to talk about anxiety, you may not realize what's wrong.


We can treat anxiety with a healthy lifestyle, with different types of therapy and with medications. Teachers and school counselors may play an important role. Your doctor will create a care plan that's right for you.