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Anxiety Disorders in Children




Anxiety Disorders in Children
Bushra Qureishi, MD

“My child is worrying all the time for no reason”,  “My Child does not talk with strangers”, “My child does not have friends”, “My child refuses to go to school”, “My child does not want to sleep alone”, “My child freaks out in dark or when thunderstorms hit” These are some of the common symptoms of anxiety that I hear from parents all the time.

Anxiety is a normal part of childhood, and every child goes through phases. A phase is temporary and usually harmless. However, if the  anxiety is excessive and uncontrollable,  it may negatively affect their day-to-day living and children starts to exhibit inappropriate behaviors like refusing or avoiding  to go to school, refusing to sleep alone, refusing to talk with anyone, freezes when asked certain questions or start to show emotional tantrums.

There are a wide variety of anxiety disorders, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive disorder, and Specific Phobias like School Phobia or Social Phobia.
There are some helpful tips for the parents to use when their child is suffering from excessive anxiety.
• Reassure them that you’ll do everything you can to keep them and their loved ones safe.
• Encourage them to talk and ask questions
• Let them know that they can be open about their feelings.
• Answer questions honestly.
• Protect them from what they don’t need to know.
• Avoid discussing worst-case scenarios.
• Limit excessive watching and listening to graphic replays of the traumatic event
• Stick to your daily routine as much as possible.

Most children and teenagers will recover from their fear. But you can watch for these signs of ongoing distress:
• Difficulty sleeping
• Change in eating habits
• Clinginess
• Re-experiencing the event through nightmares, recollections, or play
• Avoidance anything reminiscent of the event
• Emotional numbing or lack of feeling about the event
• Jumpiness
• Persistent fears about another disaster

For more information about how we can help your child with Anxiety Disorders, please call 419-475-4449 or visit us at www.Harbor.org.

Bushra H. Qureishi, M.D., DABPN
Medical Director, Harbor


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