The internalized nature of anxiety makes it challenging to spot in children, reports the Richmond Register.
Anxiety in children is often described with different words before it is officially diagnosed. Referring to a child as worried, shy, afraid, or self-conscious helps open a dialogue about what issues or struggles he or she is facing, but skirts around the true problem that needs to be addressed: anxiety.
Early signs of anxiety in children include being too shy to talk to classmates, taking an unnecessarily long time to complete homework in order to get the alignment on the paper just right, or avoiding others while clinging to their parents.
These early behavioral signs eventually lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, sleep deprivation, lack of focus, and fidgetiness.
Despite the common nature of anxiety disorders, it is often untreated in children because of a lack of recognizing the fundamental problem at hand. Consequences of letting anxiety go untreated in children include difficulty socializing out of fear of embarrassment, lack of self-esteem, lower academic achievement, and depression.
Anxiety is treatable and manageable. Children can learn cognitive-behavioral therapy to cope with the disorder. If you notice any anxiety symptoms in a child you know, talk to their guardian.