Anxiety; It is the sign that informs our body that everyone should be ready in dangerous situations. Anxiety disorder; The anxiety that we all have is experienced more intensely than it should be and it disrupts the functionality of the person. Anxiety disorder is one of the most common problems in childhood. The age of onset is before puberty.
What symptoms are seen in children with fear-anxiety?
Physical findings such as headache, stomachache, nausea, heart palpitations
• Some events during the day lead to thoughts that cause extreme anxiety (when lightning strikes, will lightning strike our house?, will a thief break into our house?, will something bad happen to my mother/father/family member? etc.)
Irritability, nervousness, or excessive crying in young children
• Disruption of sleep, toilet and eating habits
• Not wanting to be separated from parents / increased desire to sleep with them
• Inability to maintain attention and concentrate
• Difficulty performing games and daily activities
What can you do if your child is experiencing “fear-anxiety”?
• First, talk to your child about fears. Talking about accurate information about the disease can help reduce anxiety.
• Guiding children about what they can do when they are worried makes them think that they can control their anxiety / fear and helps to reduce their anxiety.
• Listen when your child feels anxious. Talk about the coping skills she uses in these and similar situations. Recall the events she has dealt with before, what she has done to cope. Share how you deal with your own anxiety so they can learn how to cope.
Causes of Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents
Situations that negatively affect the safety of the child and his/her family (natural disasters, abuse, illness, loss of a loved one, etc.) may lead to anxiety disorder.
Children and adolescents who have one or more of the personality traits (stubbornness, irritability, shyness, etc.) that arise depending on the individual structure of the child / adolescent, family attitudes and environmental factors may develop anxiety disorders in connection with the stress they experience.
• It is natural for adolescents to experience conflicts, fussiness, and concerns about their appearance, acceptance by their friends and society, during the period of self-knowledge and forming their values. However, if the duration and severity of this rush and anxiety is excessive, it can cause anxiety disorder.
When should I get help?
If the mental/behavioral problems that occur with anxiety are present most of the day and affect the child’s activities such as games, lessons or social relations, you should seek help.
How Is Anxiety Disorder Treated?
Studies show that; The best therapy school with proven effectiveness in anxiety disorder is cognitive behavioral therapy. In therapy, inappropriate thinking and learning patterns are studied. Using the here and now approach, the symptoms that perpetuate the problem are emphasized. The purpose of therapy; to increase one’s coping skills. In addition to cognitive behavioral therapy, the use of play therapy in younger children also gives positive results.