It’s a horrible feeling, watching your child struggle with anxiety, isn’t it? Anxiety disorders can affect children of all ages, just like with adults. Even though kids worry about different things than adults, the fear is just as strong. They experience the same physical symptoms, such as dizziness, headaches, nausea, shortness of breath, etc.
The good news is that it’s not difficult to find a childhood anxiety disorder treatment. They can learn how to overcome their fears more easily than adults. Of course, the ease of treatment depends on the type of anxiety disorder your child suffers from. There are many different types of anxiety:
• Separation anxiety
• Panic disorder
• Social anxiety
• Post-traumatic stress disorder
• Generalized anxiety disorder
With most of these, it’s easy to pinpoint the cause of a child’s fears. With a panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder, it’s not so easy. These kids are always on the edge, and almost anything can trigger an attack.
Childhood Anxiety Disorder Treatment
The sooner the disorder is addressed, the easier it will be to help the child. The most common treatment for children with an anxiety disorder is psychotherapy. Older children can be prescribed antidepressants or anti-anxiety drugs, although the medication should only be used for the short-term and not the long-term.
It’s extremely important that parents participate in the treatment process. There needs to be a family component focused on techniques such as communication, contingency management, problem solving, and the various forms of therapy.
Here are some ways you can help your child deal with anxiety and fear:
• Look around and ask yourself, “Does my child live in a comfortable, peaceful environment?” Is there always somebody arguing in your home? Is the TV always on? Have the adults been stressing over financial woes? Is somebody always rushing to make it to work on time? Get rid of all unnecessary stressors in your household.
• Limit caffeine and sugar intake. An unhealthy diet will only make the anxiety worse. Replace unhealthy food with foods high in magnesium, calcium, vitamins, and protein. They should drink at least 8 glasses of water every day to stay hydrated.
• Let them express themselves through drawing, writing, or playing. Children find comfort in expressing themselves through drawing and playing games. Sometimes they tell their own story through drawing or playing. Talk to them about what they’re doing, and encourage them to create a “happy ending”. Play therapy is a very therapeutic experience for kids with anxiety problems.
• Monitor their media viewing. Images of tragedy are frightening to children. Depressing news stories and violent TV shows will give them more anxiety. Stop watching the news yourself if you have to. During news hours, schedule a fun activity such as drawing, story reading, or a family movie.
• Always encourage them to look at the positive side of a bad situation. If they do poorly in school, let them know that you still believe in them. Tell them that you have faith in their ability and that they will do better next time. Be careful not to give harsh responses, because that will give them low self-esteem. With low self-esteem, their anxiety will worsen.
• Get your child to join school activities and clubs. Isolation can cause both anxiety and depression. Try to get him/her to go out with friends regularly. If your kid has social anxiety, try to get him/her to say “hello” to at least one child a day.
These guidelines should help you provide your child with the support he/she needs for dealing with anxiety. No matter which type of childhood anxiety disorder treatment your family decides on, you still need to follow these tips to create the right living environment.
These tips ARE just the beginning. There is still more information for you to discover. Check out the four step technique you can teach your child to shatter their anxiety and fear almost INSTANTLY. If your child struggles with anxiety, you’re about to change their life.
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