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Child Anxiety

Early intervention can help reduce childhood anxiety.

Child Anxiety – What’s Normal?

Mild anxiety is a normal human emotion, and most children will experience some anxiety or worry before a sporting event or an exam. It can be hard to help an anxious child, they often become overwhelmed.

For some children, having a little anxiety can help them perform at their best. But if anxiety becomes more intense, starts to cause distress, lasts for a long time, or interferes with daily living, then it’s a problem. Anxiety in children can be disabling and interfere with life. It’s important to get help for child anxiety – early intervention makes a big difference.

For most of us, the physical feelings of anxiety include a faster heart rate, faster breathing, muscle tension, sweating, shaking, and ‘butterflies in the stomach’.

Child anxiety – when it gets too much

For some anxious children, they may be unaware of the link between their body sensations and being worried. Many children complain of feeling “sick” or having a “sore tummy” when they are experiencing anxiety.

For children who experience ‘panic attacks’, anxiety symptoms are very severe, and they can begin to avoid situations.

They may have social anxiety, find it hard to make friends, or to speak up – even to answer a question in class. Or they may be a bit of a worry wort and have lots of fears about the world, often called generalised anxiety. They may be afraid of something specific such as flying, or a fear of dogs – a specific phobia. Or they may find it difficult to separate from a parent. There are many forms of anxiety, and sometimes children have more than one type.

Research indicates that anxiety can be caused by one, or a combination of factors. These include genetic factors, temperament, ongoing stress, family background, physical health issues, or a traumatic event.

Although we can’t prevent the onset of anxiety, we can treat anxiety disorders and equip you and your child with the skills to manage and overcome their worries and fears.

Ready for Change? We offer online courses for parents as well as tailored Clinical Psychology

Cool Kids – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Program,

At Mindworx Psychology, the majority of our Clinical Psychologists trained at Macquarie University – home of the world leading “Cool Kids” treatment program for children with anxiety. Research indicates that most children who complete the Cool Kids programs show significant improvement, and we are delighted to be able to offer this program at Mindworx Psychology – either in a group, or individually with your child.

Following treatment, we see that after getting help with child anxiety there are marked increases in school attendance, academic achievement, confidence, number of friends and involvement in extra-curricular activities and decreases in worry, shyness, fear and family distress.

Signs of anxiety – what’s normal and what’s not?

Anxiety can take many different forms in children – from refusing to go somewhere, to emotional meltdowns. It can include crying, or anger and oppositional behaviour. Some children can experience low mood as well as anxiety. Anxiety can also be present with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ADHD.

Parent’s often ask what’s normal and what’s not. We know that certain types of anxiety are common at certain ages, but when anxiety persists, or when it gets in the way for your child, then early intervention and skill building can make a significant difference.

Getting help for your anxious child can equip them with tools they will use for the rest of their life to manage challenges. Child anxiety is one of the most common things we help families and teenagers with.

Is your child a worrier?

Frequent tantrums?

Sleep problems?

Difficulty making new friends?

Frequently sad or angry?

Attention problems?

Separation anxiety?

Fear of public speaking?

Panic attacks?

Obsessive behaviour?

Phobias?

If you answer YES to any of the above, and have concerns about your child, call us in confidence to discuss how we can help your child with anxiety.

We work extensively in the treatment of anxiety with children of all ages, providing treatment and counselling for a range of concerns in the area of child anxiety. This includes generalised anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, selective mutism, social anxiety, specific phobias, panic disorder, panic attacks, agoraphobia, health anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

About one in every seven Australians will have problems with anxiety.

Half of these children will experience their first symptoms by age 11, and some as young as 4 years old…

Symptoms of anxiety

  • Persistent worrying, being a “worrywort”.
  • Excessive fears.
  • Excessive shyness.
  • Being unable to relax.
  • Avoiding challenging situations.
  • Being socially isolated or withdrawn.
  • Trouble concentrating and paying attention.
  • Poor sleep.
  • Being unable to get off to sleep/waking early.
  • Trying to be perfect.

READY FOR CHANGE?

Contact us on 02 7801 3841 to book an appointment with one of our Child Clinical Psychologists.

We will help you navigate all things related to getting help – that includes matching you and your child to the person on our team who will be the best fit. We take into consideration their age, and what’s going on for them.

All of our Child Psychologists have a special interest in childhood anxiety.

If you are ready for change, we are ready to help.

Live too far away? Access our online services.

To chat to one of our friendly team, contact us on 02 7801 3841 – or use the form below.