We all experience moments of fear and stress, maybe even daily. However, when this uneasy feeling becomes a constant in your life, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety is the most common mental illness, affecting over 18% of the U.S. population. Unfortunately, children are no exception, and 7.1% of kids ages 3-17 are diagnosed with anxiety. If you believe your child is experiencing symptoms of an anxiety disorder, we encourage you to read on so that you can begin to take impactful steps in addressing their mental health.
Living with anxiety can drastically affect one’s ability to complete daily tasks. If your child is experiencing these anxious feelings, they will need guidance on how to manage their symptoms. As a parent, you can educate yourself on the signs and treatment options for different types of anxiety disorders. Some of the most common types of anxiety in children include separation anxiety, phobias, social anxiety, general anxiety and panic disorder.
If your child is dealing with an anxiety disorder, they will likely appear noticeably stressed about their academic performance, the safety of themselves and their family, getting places on time or events that are out of their control like earthquakes, war, etc. Anxiety can affect your child’s self-esteem, their need for validation, whether or not they feel as if they fit in and how comfortable they feel in social situations. These types of anxiety disorders can be exhausting, frustrating and an overall burden on your child’s mental health.
Managing anxiety looks different for everyone. Start by taking your child to a doctor for a professional diagnosis in order to rule out anything else that could be causing them similar symptoms. Outside of treatment prescribed by their doctor, there are things you can do consistently to help your child.
Support them by...
Living with anxiety will be a daily struggle for your child. If they are using social media, it is likely you will find no warning signs in the content they post, captions they make or comments they leave. Social media has become a place where people strive to present themselves in the most picture-perfect, positive light.
People with anxiety tend to deal with their struggles internally and avoid posting about it to their online community. However, it may become evident in their private messages, the videos they watch or the website searches that they make. Our dashboard analyzes and presents this information to parents so that you can easily spot these warning signs. Cyber Dive can serve as an additional resource for checking in on them and their mental health during these developmental years.
Identifying that they have an anxiety disorder and learning how to get their symptoms under control will drastically improve their self-esteem and quality of life. Take it day by day, do your research and be a strong support system for them as they learn to navigate and manage their anxious energy.
For additional support and practical next steps, you can call the National Alliance on Mental Illness hotline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). If you are ready to schedule your child to talk with a mental health professional, visit Talkspace, an online platform that connects patients with licensed therapists.