Childhood is a very crucial and important stage in the life of a person. Kids have their way of assessing things, understanding them, and then reacting to them. One of the most difficult tasks is probably understanding how a child thinks or feels. The parents and doctors can note the telltale signs and know what is disturbing the kids and making them uncomfortable. The brain of a child is developing with age, and the child responds to every new thing and makes it a part of the memory, the repetitive things become easier to handle, and the not so familiar things are either forgotten by the child or lodge in some part of the memory.
The kids learn skills and knowledge from their home, school, and the surrounding environment and use it to overcome their fears, hurdles, and problems. But sometimes, the stress of being unable to handle the situation makes the kids feel anxious and uncomfortable. A kid suffering from regular periods of anxiety may be unable to perform at school, lose focus from play activities, and limit his interaction and not like being socially active. The parents and adults in the house try to comfort an anxious kid, but when the anxiety persists, they should take the kid to the doctor. The doctors mostly diagnosed the kid’s actions and responses as an anxiety disorder, which is a common mental illness in the country. The treatment of mental illness is mostly done by a qualified and practiced psychologist or psychiatrist who will first perform a child anxiety assessment to know the type and degree of anxiety disorder in a child.
The anxiety disorders nearly affect 15% to 20% of the young kids and one of the most prevalent psychiatric condition in kids and adolescents. Nearly all the mental disorders are quite stressful and discomforting both for the child and his parents. There are several disorders and managing anxiety disorders is tricky as most times; it is difficult to know whether the child is suffering from an anxiety disorder or has some other medical problem. The child suffering from regular periods of anxiety may feel occupied with different thoughts all the time and not feel comfortable and relaxed. The child will always fear of being criticized, made fun of and being called on. Anxiety and ADHD (Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) may look similar most times, and it would be tricky to differentiate one from the other.
The signs and symptoms of anxiety looked for in the assessment test by psychologist include
- Restlessness and agitation
- Constant feelings of headaches and stomach aches
- Loss of concentration and losing focus quite easily
- Getting frustrated about wearing clothes, going to school and doing homework
- Avoiding work and also avoiding being told about any work
- Not participating in any playful activity in school or the neighborhood
- Having high expectations regarding classwork, sports performance, and homework
Anxiety can be good sometimes when a child is preparing for an exam, but most times, unfortunately, anxiety tends to bring the negative traits and behaviors of the child. The careless attitude of the child for a longer duration can be frustrating and alarming for the child, and they must consult a psychologist immediately.
Medical studies suggest that there are nearly 11 types of different anxiety disorders and other behavioral patterns that can affect a child’s life. The common anxiety disorders are classified as
- Physical responses
- Thoughts; and
The psychologists assess the behavior of the child and identify the various times the child experiences anxiety with more intensity than other children their age. The childhood disorders are also categorized in
- Generalized anxiety disorder
In this disorder, the child feels the anxiety that can result in fatigue, muscle tension, lack of sleep, and difficulty in focusing. The anxiety may be caused by friendships, school performance, and family lifestyle
- Selective mutism
The children with selective mutism may avoid socially interacting, although they may be quite talkative at home. The children around the age of 5 may experience this disorder and not speak at school
- Separation anxiety disorder
Many children fearing about getting lost or separated from their parents are diagnosed with a separation anxiety disorder. The children may refuse to go to school and feel like having headaches and nausea.
- Specific phobia
Children are naturally curious but also tend to be afraid of different things. Children may develop being afraid of certain animals, insects, confined spaces, and loud noises.
- Panic disorder
The children worrying about certain things and getting recurring panic attacks are diagnosed with panic disorder. The symptoms include shortness of breath, slight dizziness, chest pain, and chill sensations.
The phycologist performing child anxiety assessment may recommend the most suitable treatment, which includes psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, talk therapy, and play therapy. Cognitive therapy is considered to be the best treatment as it helps to examine how negative feelings and thoughts that contribute to anxiety. The behavior therapy also helps for a psychologist to know how the child will respond to situations that lead to anxiety.