Anxiety in Children

Anxiety in Children

While most children worry, and some anxiety is both normal and healthy, problematic anxiety is best addressed by a professional when it begins to inhibit a child’s full participation in the formative experiences of childhood.

Problematic anxiety in children may manifest as:

  • Perfectionism
  • Excessive worry about and/or refusal to engage in activities
  • Somatic complaints
  • Difficulty separating from parents or caregivers
  • Panic attacks
  • Selective mutism
  • Specific phobias

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder in Children

In children, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder may manifest in a variety of ways. Common presentations in children involve:

  • Obsessive worry about loved ones
  • Over-concern with the appearance of school assignments
  • Rituals involving washing
  • Specific bedtime rituals
    Repeatedly asking questions
  • Checking and/or ordering objects
  • Counting
  • Praying

A child with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) will become markedly distressed when not able to complete a ritual.
Some children are able to articulate specific fears related to completing or not completing the tasks, while other children may express more general worries or discomfort, such as “something bad will happen,” or “it just doesn’t feel right”.

If a child’s ability to fully engage with and enjoy life appears to be impacted by worries or rituals, a professional evaluation is indicated.

Untreated anxiety in children can lead to future problems such as depression or other behavior or personality disorders. It is important to detect the alarm symptoms and seek for professional help as soon as possible.

Get in touch with us here at the Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Health (CCBH) to receive quality care and advice from our specialist therapists, as well as personalized attention for all types of anxiety disorders in children in Westport, Connecticut.