Anxious Children

One of the common issues with emotionally intense children is anxiety. I find that both The Dervish and The Girl tend to get anxious easily and often times I have difficulty understanding the reasons for their anxiety.

I’ve mentioned before that the girl gets anxious about things like loud noises but they are specific types of loud noises, rumbling noises, like the washer going off balance, thunder, loud motors – but for some reasons, trains don’t seem to be an issue.

The Dervish gets himself worked up over perceived problems. Any kind of conflict will send him into a bit of a tail spin and he misinterprets people’s intentions and reads injustice into everything – that’s when he gets bouncing.

I recently came across Our Kids Are Special and found this information on childhood anxiety… reprinted with permission.

Many children deal with different types of anxiety. These fears and
phobias can be so real and intense that they can immobilize the child.

In part one we will look at the different kinds of anxieties, and
what some of there symptoms are. Part two will discuss ways that
we can help our children deal with these disorders.

I know this list does not cover ever know type of anxiety disorder. It does however touch on seven of the biggest.

  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder – The child experiences an unrealistic worry about almost anything and everything they encounter. The Children’s Hospital Boston explained it as “Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is defined as chronic, excessive worry and fear that seems to have no real cause. Children or adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder often worry a lot about things such as future events, past behaviors, social acceptance, family matters, their personal abilities, and/or school performance.”
  • Separation Anxiety – This is typically found in younger children. They are unwilling or very apprehensive to be separated from significant people in their lives such as parents, grand parents, an older brother/ sister. These children can become very clingy. They may also experience things like depression or being sad.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder – After being part of or witnessing a traumatic event such as sexual abuse, violence or physical abuse, natural disasters like earthquake or hurricane, the child may experience extreme feelings of fear and helplessness. These feeling are re-occurring and can come in the form of thoughts, images, and nightmares.
  • Panic Disorders – This is when a child is continually experiencing recurring panic attacks. These panic attacks come on unexpectedly and are defined as sudden episodes of intense fear and/or discomfort. Symptoms may include rapid heart beat, sweating, shortness of breath, a feeling of choking, feelings of being light-headed or being dizzy, and nausea.
  • Phobias – Child phobias are intense and ongoing fears of certain situations and things. For instance a fear of spiders, thunder and lightning, fear of water or drowning. These intense feeling of fear and dread may seem unreasonable to an onlooker, but to the child experiencing the phobia, they are very real.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) – Is when a child will repeat the same behaviours without being able to control the urge to do so (compulsion). Or think the same thoughts or images even though these thoughts are unwanted, and they try not too (obsession). An example would be checking to make sure the door is locked at night, every night many times over and then some times even getting up again to check.
  • Social Anxiety Disorders – This is an intense fear of coming into contact with certain people or groups of people. It may be certain social interaction and settings that cause these fears. They may try to avoid the situation all together as much as possible.

Even though these fears don’t seem realistic to parents, teachers,friends or anyone, to that child they are very real. These anxieties can be crippling because they are so intense for the child.

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