Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear – it’s an understandable reaction in children to change or a stressful event.
But for some children, anxiety affects their behavior and thoughts on a daily basis, interfering with their school, home and social life.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF ANXIETY IN CHILDREN?
Anxiety can make a child feel scared, panicky, embarrassed or ashamed.
Some of the signs to look out for in your child are:
Finding it hard to concentrate
Not sleeping, or waking in the night with bad dreams
Not eating properly
Quickly getting angry or irritable, and being out of control during outbursts
Constantly worrying or having negative thoughts
Feeling tense and fidgety, or using the toilet often
Being clingy all the time (when other children are ok)
Complaining of tummy aches and feeling unwell
Your child may not be old enough to recognize why they’re feeling this way. The reason for the anxiety (if there is one) will differ depending on the age of the child. Separation anxiety is common in younger children, whereas older children and teenagers tend to worry more about school performance, relationships or health.
TREATMENTS & MEDICATION
Cognitive-behavioral therapy or CBT, teaches skills and techniques to your child that they can use to reduce their anxiety. Your child will learn to identify and replace negative thinking patterns and behaviors with positive ones. They will also learn to separate realistic from unrealistic thoughts.
Acceptance and commitment therapy, or ACT, uses strategies of acceptance and mindfulness (living in the moment and experiencing things without judgment) as a way to cope with unwanted thoughts, feelings, and sensations.
Dialectical behavioral therapy, or DBT, emphasizes taking responsibility for one’s problems and helps children examine how they deal with conflict and intense negative emotions. (source)
The most common type of medication used for treating anxiety disorders in children and adolescents is a class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. They work by raising levels of a brain chemical known as serotonin. Side effects include insomnia, anxiety, nausea, and diarrhea. A doctor may also prescribe an anti-anxiety medication, such as alprazolam or clonazepam, for children and teens with anxiety that prevents them from attending school or performing everyday activities. An anti-anxiety medication calms the central nervous system and provides short-term relief. Side effects include fatigue and dizziness. (source)
HOW CHIROPRACTIC CAN HELP
Although Chiropractic doesn’t directly treat anxiety, we know that Chiropractic care changes the function of the prefrontal cortex in the brain. The prefrontal cortex is the ‘conductor’ of your brain and is directly involved in the regulation of:
Sequencing / time management
Inhibits irrelevant distracters
Maintains focus on goal directed tasks
Reward based learning
Processing of pain and emotional response to it
Attention and focus
Chiropractic cares for your child can help their body better regulate its self. Have your child’s ‘Brain Conductor’ fine-tuned with Chiropractic care. (source)
Dr. Isaac Mooberry is a Denver chiropractor who works with both children and adults that experience anxiety to help balance their nervous system to help life be more enjoyable and less stressful.