CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENT ANXIETY
Children can experience anxiety from an early age even in their preschool years. They may appear shy or inhibited in social situations though appear more relaxed and talkative at home. They may find it difficult to separate for Mum and Dad when they are being left with a babysitter or attending Preschool. This anxiety can continue through their school years with increased shyness and difficulty making friends. They may also find it hard to concentrate and learn at school due to their anxiety. They may find it hard to perform front of their peers especially with school plays or to talk. Any comments from others become internalised as them not feeling good enough for their peers which in turn leads them to isolate themselves further. Anxiety can become quite difficult to cope with during the adolescent years as they start to notice their thoughts and bodily symptoms of anxiety when they are in class or with their peers. They may start to worry about their symptoms occurring when they have to engage in public speaking and worry about being bullied if they blush at such times.
At every stage throughout their lives children find anxiety overwhelming and quiet scary. It is hard for them to identify the triggers that cause the anxiety and they find they focus continually on their worrying thoughts which heightens their anxiety further. Their sleep becomes disturbed which impacts upon their ability to concentrate and learn. Their avoidance of situations to avoid the symptoms of anxiety occurring may lead to them withdrawing socially and even engaging in repetitive behaviours to alleviate their anxiety.