Anxiety and Phobias disorder in Children : Everyone, from children to the elderly have experienced anxiety and fear at a time. Feel anxious in a particular situation will certainly lead to an uncomfortable feeling, but it does not mean it is necessarily bad. In children, anxiety is sometimes necessary to prepare them to face unexpected situations. More can be seen in the following article :
Anxiety and fear are normal
Anxiety is defined as a fear for no apparent reason. Terjaid anxiety usually when there is no immediate threat to the safety or condition of the person, but it feels real.
When feeling anxious, people are usually eager to avoid such situations. The heart will beat faster, the body may start to sweat and the stomach started to feel queasy. Even so, a little anxiety will make the people to remain alert and focused.
Have fear or anxiety a thing may also help, as it can make children safer apply. For example, a child who is afraid of fire would avoid playing with matches.
Anxiety and fear in children can also change as they age, for example:
- Babies usually have a fear of strangers, so they tend to stick to their parents when meeting people they do not know.
- Toddlers ages 10-18 months, usually have anxiety they tend to split up so cranky / depressed when one or both parents gone.
- Children aged 4-6 years usually have anxiety about something that is not tangible, such as fear of monsters or ghosts.
- Children 7-12 years of age often have a fear of an event that may never happen to them, such as injury to body or natural disaster.
As we get older the child, the fear that one may disappear or be replaced by the fear of the other. For example, 5-year olds who had been unable to sleep when the lights are turned off at the age of 5 years, it will probably be like the ghost stories while hanging out with his friends a few years later. Or there is some fear that develops for certain things, such as the children wanted to have a lion as a pet when the zoo but do not dare to go near the neighbor’s dog.
Signs of anxiety
Normal fears in children will usually change as we age. Fear is for example: afraid to meet strangers, fear of heights, fear of the dark, fear of animals, fear of blood, fear of insects and afraid to be left alone. The children also often become afraid of something after having an unpleasant experience of it, such as an accident or bitten by a neighbor’s dog.
Anxiety / worry when separated usually occurs when the child starts going to school, so it makes children afraid to school. Whereas for older children such as adolescents will experience anxiety related to social acceptance-and the value of the lesson.
If the anxiety experienced are continuous, then it can interfere with the condition of the child. Anxiety related to social rejection also may have the effect of time on children, such as children who are afraid to be rejected would be difficult to train social skills so as to be isolated from the social environment.
Many adults are still haunted by the fear of the experience of childhood. Like for example, adults who are afraid to speak in public can be a result of having been humiliated in front of their peers first. It is therefore very important for parents to recognize and identify the signs and symptoms of anxiety in children so that fear does not affect their lives later.
Some signs that may indicate that a child is feeling anxious is:
- Being impulsive, distracted or always stick to the parents
- Perform movements that show being anxious, such as playing fingers, eyes twitching etc..
- It’s hard to sleep & / sleeping longer than usual
- Hands sweating
- Heart rate and rapid breathing
- Abdominal pain
In addition to the above signs, parents can usually feel when a child feels overly anxious about something. Sometimes just trying to be a good listen and talk about their fears can help the child to overcome the fear
Phobia in children
When the anxiety and fear experienced by the child is settled (not being absent), it can be trouble. Although parents always hoped they could overcome her fear, but the opposite could happen and cause of anxiety is growing and more common. In that case, the anxiety experienced by the child becomes a phobia or fear of very severe and irreversible.
Phobias are usually very difficult to be tolerated, either by the child or his family, especially if the cause of the phobia is hard to avoid. Phobia against the real thing is often the cause of a child to be referred to a psychologist / psychiatrist. But the good news is, unless the phobia has led to the disruption of day-to-day activities of the child, then the child usually does not require treatment by doctors, because in time the phobia may disappear by itself.
Helping children cope with anxiety & fear
Parents can help children to develop the skills and self-confidence so that they can beat the fear, so it does not develop into a phobia.
Here are some things you can do to help children cope with anxiety and fear:
- Recognize that fear is a child who experienced the real thing. The slightest fear, but it was evident to the child and make him feel afraid. Therefore, with the fear talk, can help the child to reduce his fear.
- Do not underestimate the fear experienced by the child and then force the children to forget about it. Such as by saying, “do not make sense when there are monsters in the closet”, probably will make kids want to sleep but will not drive out the fear.
- But do not wait too frightened of the child. Such as when the child is afraid of dogs, do not deliberately seek a detour to avoid the dog. This will only make the child grow confident that the dog is to be feared and avoided. When approaching object / thing dreaded by children, give support and understanding to that effect.
- Teach children to be able to measure the level of fear, such as children who can describe the fear scale between 1-10, will realize that the perceived fear was not as scared as he had imagined.
- Teach children strategies to overcome her fear. For the strategy to overcome her fear, then the following can be tried: using ourselves as a fortress, then the child can try approaching the dreaded oabyek little by little, to then come back to us when he feels less safe then tried to get close to the object again. Children can also be taught, positive self-statements, such as saying the words: “I can do this” or “I’ll be fine” when faced with something that made him feel anxious or scared. In addition, the child can also be taught relaxation techniques or try breathing deeply.
The key to coping with anxiety and fear in children is to beat the anxiety and the fear. By trying the suggestions above, it is expected the parents can help the child to deal with situations in life that may cause anxiety and fear in the person of the child.
Source : kidshealth.org