Anxiety in Children | What to Know and When to Seek Help

Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in children and adolescents, affecting up to 1 in 5 children. Symptoms can include excessive worry, fearfulness, and avoidance of social situations. While anxiety is a normal part of development, when these symptoms persist or become disruptive, it may be necessary to seek treatment.

Unusual behavior, fears, and desperation are some of the many symptoms that may represent anxiety in children. Just like adults, children also suffer from anxiety, but they can’t express their feelings and state of mind. However, if the symptoms get severe, it might deteriorate your child’s emotional and mental health as well as their confidence and self-esteem. 

Let’s learn more about the reasons and negative consequences of anxiety in children.

Common Signs of Anxiety in Children

You may notice the following signs in your child undergoing anxiety:

  • Excessively worrying 
  • Avoiding daily activities 
  • Insomnia 
  • Inattention 
  • Poor appetite
  • Aches and pains
  • Becoming short-tempered even on minor issues

Causes of Anxiety in Children

Unusual behavioral changes may indicate that your child is suffering from an anxiety disorder. You must know the activities or things disturbing your child’s mental health to prevent them from severely harmful consequences. The most noticeable causes of anxiety in children are:

  • Any traumatic incident like the death of a dear one, accident, or fire
  • Agitated home environment
  • Frequent parental arguments leading to clashes
  • Genetics
  • Being abused
  • Severe childhood illness
  • Communication gap between parents and child

Types of Anxiety Disorder in Children

Children may suffer from various anxiety disorders, depending on their age, psychological condition, and surrounding environment. 

Some of the most common types of anxiety disorder in children are: 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Children

Generalized Anxiety Disorder affects around 3.1% of the US population. Kids with GAD may have attention deficit issues and are likely to develop severe worrying problems related to friends, school, food, etc. They may miss essential tasks and school for many days due to unexplained fears, sickness, and tiredness caused by GAD. 

Separation Anxiety Disorder in Children

When children can’t live without parents even for a shorter duration or can’t leave behind the fear of being apart from their parents, it can be a sign of Separation Anxiety Disorder. Kids with SAD may feel sick or upset in the absence of parents. Similarly, they constantly cry, refuse to go to school, and become deprived of proper sleep.

Social Anxiety in Children/ Social Phobia

Social anxiety represents a state of shyness more than a routine. It is a long-lasting and irresistible condition of fear to collaborate with someone socially. Kids with social anxiety usually show symptoms like less confidence, difficulty making eye contact, and sweating, palpitation or trembling while socializing.

Panic Disorder in Children in Children

Feeling shaky or nervous, trembling, and having difficulty breathing are all common physical symptoms of panic anxiety disorder that can occur at any time. Teens are more likely to have panic disorder than children.

Treatment Options for Anxiety in Children

The most common treatment used for anxiety is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, which teaches kids how to manage and control their fears. It’s recommended to consult a professional therapist or psychologist as they can diagnose anxiety disorder type in the child and prescribe possible treatments. 

What are the Medications used to treat Anxiety in Children? 

There are a variety of medications that can be used to treat anxiety in children, including antidepressants, alpha agonists,  and beta blockers. Each medication has its own set of potential side effects, so it is important to work with your child’s pediatrician to find the medication that is best suited for your child.


If you’re looking for a certified mental health provider for your child’s anxiety treatment in, feel free to reach out to us. We, at Children Psych, are professional anxiety specialists in Orange to help recognize the root cause of anxiety in your child and combat the symptoms with a suitable treatment. 

Use the online booking widget or all use to schedule an appointment with our Psychiatrist in Orange. You also may schedule a telehealth psychiatrist appointment.