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9 Signs Your Child Is Struggling With Serious Anxiety

In a perfect world, every kid would enjoy a fun and worry-free childhood. Unfortunately, that is not always the case in reality, and sometimes little kids have to cope with larger issues. But by reviewing the signs your child is struggling with serious anxiety, you can know when to step in and provide help.

Although anxiety is largely an internal struggle, you can look for clues that your child is beginning to experience symptoms of it. Sure, most kids may get a little jittery before a big test, but some children can be affected by more extreme forms of anxiety. It could show up in the form of physical ailments, or even aspects of your child's behavior.

Even if you are familiar with the signs of anxiety in yourself or other adults, keep in mind that anxiety in children may present itself differently. Anxious children may complain of physical pains, experience trouble sleeping, or even act out in class. By keeping an eye out for these signs, you might be able to help your child get help before anxiety becomes a more destructive problem. Overall, even if your kid does have serious anxiety problems, by reading the signs as they develop, you can help your child address the issues as soon as possible.

1. They Complain About Headaches Or Stomachaches

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Sometimes anxiety can show up in the form of physical troubles. For instance, your kid may complain of stomachaches or headaches, even if trips to the doctor reveal no reason for them, as noted by Understood.org. Anxiety may be the real culprit.

2. They Have Difficulty Sleeping

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Does your kid have trouble getting to sleep at night? According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, kids who suffer from anxiety often have trouble sleeping well. If your child has issues getting adequate shut-eye, anxiety may be something to consider.

3. They Are Extremely Shy

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A bit of bashfulness does not necessarily indicate that your child is anxious. However, if your kid displays extreme shyness or social withdrawal, then this could be a sign of more serious anxiety, as explained by WebMD. Does your kid tend to shut down socially?

4. The Exhibit Disruptive Behavior At School

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You may associate disruptive classroom behavior with kids who are prone to more antisocial behavior, but it can actually be a sign of anxiety. As explained by the Child Mind Institute, kids who act out may actually be reacting from a fear of embarrassment or criticism. Kids who are oppositional could be coming from a place of anxiety.

5. The Worry A Lot

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This may be the most straightforward symptom of all. After all, anxiety is about a fear of the future. And according to Kids Health, children with anxiety may express worries about even the most mundane of daily tasks. If your kid regularly freaks out about minor school assignments, for instance, then anxiety might be the cause.  

6. They Strive For Perfection

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Sure, it's laudable to try your best. But as noted by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, children who are obsessed with the pursuit of perfection or in need of constant reassurance may have some underlying problems with anxiety. After all, perfection is impossible.

7. They Have Specific Phobias

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Does you child have any specific fears? As explained by Anxiety BC, phobias are defined as excessive fears of certain objects or situations. If your kid has a debilitating phobia of bad weather or dogs, for instance, then anxiety may be to blame.

8. They Struggle Socially

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A fear of social situations may also stem from anxiety. As explained by Web MD, children with anxiety may dread the social elements of school and even refuse to talk during their school day. In addition, these kids may be reluctant to attend school altogether.

9. They Are Irritabile

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Is your kid easily aggravated? According to the National Health Service, kids with anxiety may be quick to anger and have outbursts. This irritability may be yet another symptom of the underlying anxiety.