Managing Anxiety in Children – Anxiety can be a debilitating condition for any adult or child, and dealing with its symptoms can quickly take over an individual’s life if they attempt to battle it alone without the help of a therapist or counsellor. Children especially can be left helpless and overwhelmed without the proper tools to manage what can become a chronic issue without outside intervention. However, there are several avenues that have been proven effective when it comes to supporting and overcoming the often complex symptoms of anxiety in children, many of which can often be achieved through the collaborative partnership and support offered by a trusted counsellor. Luckily, the counsellors at Horizon Plymouth are well-versed and experienced in treating anxiety disorders in children and would love to help you or your child attempt to mitigate their symptoms of and experiences with generalised anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of anxiety in children
Anxiety in children can sometimes be difficult to spot initially, as the symptoms differ slightly from anxiety disorder in adults. While many symptoms of childhood anxiety can also mimic other conditions or disorders and it is important to discuss your concerns with your doctor in order to get an accurate diagnosis, some of the common indicators of anxiety in children include:
- Difficulty concentrating on tasks or focusing in school
- Insomnia and difficulty sleeping
- Mood swings or being quick to lash out
- Constantly voicing negative thoughts or worries
- Complaints of physical distress such as stomach aches or headaches
- Seeming uncharacteristically clingy or upset
If you notice these symptoms in your child, it might indicate that they are experiencing anxiety symptoms and could benefit from counselling at Horizon Plymouth.
Treatment options for anxiety in children
Although it is important to note that not every anxiety treatment option works for every child, and no avenue is guaranteed to be effective, working with a counsellor allows you to explore different strategies and options that may help your child better manage their anxiety symptoms on a daily basis. Some of these treatment options include:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy: Cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT, is one of the most common and widely utilised treatments for mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. It centres around helping the child work through their maladaptive and negative thoughts, reframing and changing them to help replace them with more positive thinking patterns. This is achieved through a variety of individualised tools that the child can use in high-stress or anxiety inducing situations.
- Mindfulness therapy: Older children might benefit from the application of mindfulness training, which can offer calming strategies and tools to help decrease physical and cognitive anxiety symptoms in the moment. Mindfulness therapy can also be combined with other forms of anxiety treatment for maximum effect.
- Dialectical behaviour therapy: Dialectical behaviour therapy, or DBT, helps children to examine the way that they respond to situations so that they can experience more control over their responses. This therapy is best suited for children who experience big feelings and behaviours that they have trouble managing effectively in anxiety inducing situations.
Counselling services are also available for parents of children with anxiety, which can help by providing education regarding what your child is experiencing and teach strategies and tools that can be used to support your child as they learn to manage their anxiety. If you or your child is experiencing the symptoms of generalised anxiety disorder, don’t continue to go it alone. The counsellors at Horizon Plymouth are experienced with treatments and strategies to combat anxiety symptoms and are ready to help both children and adults with coping strategies and other therapies to reduce anxiety. Contact Horizon Plymouth to schedule your initial consultation today.