All children and adolescents will experience anxiety at some point in their development. For example, it’s normal and adaptive to experience separation anxiety from caregivers between eight months and preschool age. Your children may have fear of strangers, being alone in their dark bedroom or a neighbor’s dog.
Children and adolescents struggling with chronic anxiety are worried and tense on a regular basis. These children often become quiet or sometimes mute, in an effort to cope with the anxiety. When children are quiet, they often fly under the radar and are identified as quiet and shy, not anxious. Other children can have outbursts or behavior problems linked to anxiety. Temper tantrums that seem to ‘come out of nowhere’ are often due to anxiety. Be aware of your child’s mood. Ask yourself if they are able to engage fully in their life, or if anxiety is getting in everyone’s way. Keep in mind that anxiety is often the first sign of an undiagnosed learning disability or ADHD–kids who are struggling in school worry a lot. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our Northern Virginia office to discuss.
Many adults struggle with managing day-to-day stress. Anxious adults often feel that their stress is just a part of life. They may grow so used to being stressed that they forget that life can be better. They may forget how to relax, feel truly good, sleep without sleeping pills, or take good care of themselves. High stress is toxic for both mental and phyical health. The good news is that anxiety responds very well to psychotherapy. Adults can learn to take control of their anxiety through cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness techniques.
Anxiety takes on many forms, the following are areas of concern:
Red flags for anxiety:
- Worries about events before they happen
- Low self-esteem
- Chronic worry about family friends, school, sports
- Worry about making mistakes or embarrassing themselves
- Anxiety about being away from caretaker or family, friends
- Temper tantrums and outbursts
- Needing to be in control of every situation at all times
- Repeating purposeless behaviors to cope (hand washing, counting)
- Smoking, drinking, using drugs to feel calmer
Red flags for social anxiety:
- Fear about meeting new people
- Avoids social situations
- Will not talk or socialize outside the family
- For adults, underachievement at work or college
Support Services: What do you do?
The current treatments for anxiety in children and adolescents have come a long way. Anxiety can be treated successfully with a combination of individual and family therapy. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our Northern Virginia office.