In 2019, anxiety disorder affected 9.4% of children in the United States. They are the most common of all mental health issues among children and teens.

The types of anxiety in children can be a confusing topic. Children don’t always tell us when they’re feeling worried or nervous. Sometimes, there are physical signs that our children are experiencing anxiety, and we don’t understand why.

What are the signs of anxiety in children? How can we help when we notice our child is anxious? Continue reading to learn more!

Excessive Worrying

Excessive Worrying

Excessive worrying is a common sign of anxiety in children. This type of worrying includes:

  • Fear of new places
  • Fear of the unknown
  • Fear of change
  • Fear of school
  • Fear of being attacked or hurt
  • Fear of being embarrassed or judged
  • Fear of separation from guardian
  • Fear of failure

Children might also have vivid visions of negative outcomes (catastrophizing) or thoughts of worry that last for a long time and are hard to control.  Additionally, the child may want to avoid activities and social gatherings due to these worries.

Physical Symptoms

Physical symptoms are often a sign of anxiety in children, and the older the child, the more likely they are to experience them. Common physical signs of anxiety in a child can include:

  • Headaches
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Poor concentration
  • Digestive issues
  • Increased heart rate
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Dizziness
  • Poor coordination
  • Frequently urinating
  • Blurred vision
  • Tunnel vision
  • Night terrors

child anxiety

In some cases, a child may even experience a sudden change in their eating habits, such as not wanting to eat, eating excessively, or fear of choking. It’s important to be aware of physical signs to look out for anxiety in your child and begin to tackle it early.

Avoidance Behavior

Children may become overwhelmed by their feelings of fear and worry, leading them to try and avoid situations that could trigger the emotion. An anxious child may avoid school or social situations if they become too anxious or fearful.

They may also try to withdraw from activities they have traditionally enjoyed, either to avoid potential discomfort or as a result of feelings of fear or worry.

Other signs of avoidance behavior may include avoiding going to places that before made them feel anxious or avoiding asking questions or participating in conversations.

Emotional Outbursts

Sometimes children with anxiety will display frequent temper tantrums, which can be a sign of their anxiety. Other times, they may appear unusually quiet, not seeking out peers or engaging in activities, or expressing negative opinions about themselves.

It is common for those with anxiety to become agitated and have difficulty controlling their emotions. They may also start to show signs of withdrawal and even become tearful. It’s important to seek help as soon as possible to find a type of therapy your child will love.

Emotional Outbursts

Detect Signs of Anxiety in Children Today

The signs of anxiety in children are a serious concern that can manifest in physical, behavioral, and psychological signs. If you see these signs or symptoms in your child, seek professional support as soon as possible.

Early anxiety treatment may help reduce the duration of anxiety symptoms in no time.

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