Turning fear into freedom: Helping a child to overcome anxiety

Turning fear into freedom: Helping a child to overcome anxiety

The prevalence of the crippling affliction anxiety disorders among children of different age groups tend to cause severe distress. When a child is exposed to traumatic life events, such as death of a pet or a loved one, calamities, sexual assault, etc., he or she may exhibit the symptoms of severe levels of anxiety.

While certain amount of anxiety is considered normal and necessary at times, it can turn into a bitter and disquieting experience when the disorder crops up and affects the child’s normal functioning. Those children afflicted by anxiety tend to display a range of cognitive and behavioral changes, such as hesitance to hang out with friends, reluctance to attend events, etc. When children are anxious, they are likely to exhibit several symptoms, such as:

  • Clinginess
  • Violent temperament
  • Crying or throwing tantrums on separation from parents
  • Constant and excessive worry
  • Restlessness and irritability
  • Poor academic performance and concentration
  • Avoiding situations or places due to fear
  • Frequent complaints of stomach ache or headaches

When a child is grappling with the challenges if anxiety, his or her parents too ride through the same problems. In an effort to diminish their children’s agonies, they may inadvertently increase the young one’s anxiety. In fact, these disorders are predictive of anxiety disorder, major depression and suicide during adulthood.

Some of the measures mentioned below can be used by parents and elders to help children manage their anxiety and escape from the vicious cycle of anguish:

  • Teaching the way to manage anxiety symptoms: The prime goal should be to acquaint children with the skill of identifying the symptoms of anxiety and help them effectively manage them. Children should be educated on how to function in stressful conditions or embrace the challenges standing their way. This way their anxiety will decrease or fall over time and at the same time enhance their stress-coping skills.
  • Avoiding empowerment of their feelings: If a child is frightened to see a doctor, parents should help him or her figure out the root causes of his or her anxiousness instead of threatening or pressurizing them. Moreover, parents need to listen to their children and assure them about their unconditional love and support in all circumstances. This way they will be able to overcome all kinds of fears.
  • Educating about the effectiveness of worrying: Most children develop anxiety disorders by constantly ruminating about their anxiety. However, children should be taught that worrying is the part of life. They should be made aware of the fact that everyone experiences anxiety that acts as a protective mechanism against dangers and extreme conditions.
  • Fighting anxiety strengthens self-esteem: Children may often try to avoid social events, school or situations that trigger anxiety. Under such circumstances, it is normal for parents to cope with their child’s fears by eliminating the stressor or pulling him or her out of such conditions. Such acts further exacerbate the child’s anxiety in the long run. Instead of avoiding the situations and triggers, parents should strive to introduce their children to the stressors. This will help children to conquer their fears by taking small measures that can prove effective.
  • Offering realistic expectations: Parents or elders cannot assure the child that they will not fail a test or people will not laugh at them during a show. However, they can surely ensure them that they will absolutely be fine and can manage their fears. Such steps from parents can builds a child’s confidence. Moreover, it strengthens children’s belief that their parents won’t ask them to do something that they can’t handle.

Build confidence not anxiety of children

Anxiety disorders are one of the common mental health illnesses that affect millions of people every year. These disorders typically surface during early childhood and turn into a chronic and debilitating affliction during adulthood. It is necessary to be aware of the early warning signs to stem away the problem in the early stages itself. Moreover, parents should keep a tab on their child’s behavioral changes to identify the warning signs.

If your child is suffering from anxiety, contact the Anxiety Treatment Centers of California for information on evidence-based anxiety disorders treatment in California. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-972-9459 or chat online to know more about anxiety disorders or PTSD treatment centers in California that offer personalized programs in a serene environment for the patient’s complete recovery.

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