Nothing is more painful for a parent than to see his/her child suffering mentally or physically. It’s easier for parents to be on the alert mode when a child is suffering physically. A wound on the knee is easily visible and parents can give medications immediately. But what about the wound in the mind? How can a parent determine that his/her child is suffering from an anxiety disorder?
Well, there are a few tell-tale signs to know if your child is suffering from an anxiety disorder. Here are a few of them.
- Inability to mix with school friends
- Too much perfectionism
- Problem in focusing on studies
- Lack of interest in interacting with family members
- A tendency to avoid various activities and situations
- Not willing to get out of bed and do all the daily activities
- Shaky hands, headache, insomnia, breathlessness, overeating or not eating foods, stomach upset
If you see that most of these signs are present in your child, this means that he/she is suffering from an anxiety disorder. What should you do in this situation as a responsible parent? Should you leave it on time and hope your child will become normal again? Should you take some proactive steps to help your child get better? What should you actually do?
Well, if your child’s life is getting affected due to anxiety disorder, then you should obviously take steps to get him or her well as soon as possible.
Here are a few steps you can take to help your child recover and lead a healthy life.
- Consult the primary care provider: Take your child to the primary care provider first. He can check all the symptoms and find out various ways to treat children with an anxiety disorder.
If your child has a mild anxiety disorder, then, in that case, the primary care provider may prescribe a few medicines and counsel him/her for a short time. Let’s say the primary care provider may take 6-8 counseling sessions. However, if your child has an acute anxiety disorder and PTSD, then he may refer your child to a good psychiatrist in your area. The psychiatrist can give long-term counseling and medicines to your child and make him/her smile again.
- Initiate delightful conversations: Most kids with anxiety disorder prefer to lock themselves in a room. That’s very bad for their mental health. All the demons get a chance to create a hurricane in their mind.
No matter how busy you’re, try to spend quality time with your child, Sit with him and watch a movie in a theater. Initiate delightful conversations when both of you’re in the car. You have to let him shed his guard and open up about what’s bugging him. Don’t go straight to the topic. Rather, give him time to open up.
- Don’t avoid the trigger factors: Too much love and adjustments are not good for your child’s mental health. If you adjust too much for your kid and avoid the situations that create anxiety, then that would turn into a big problem in the future. Don’t avoid small situations that make your child anxious. This is because you can’t be there with your child 24*7.
For instance, if your child becomes anxious whenever someone invites him to a party and you politely decline the invitation to avoid problems, then that’s a wrong move. He would never learn how to mingle with people in a huge gathering. He can’t avoid all the parties all the time. So you’re doing him more harm than good.
Teach him the ways to overcome his fears. That’s the best way to help him overcome his anxiety issues.
- Don’t give junk foods: Many children suffering from an anxiety disorder love to eat junk foods. But these foods trigger anxiety. Don’t let your child eat chips, burgers, pizzas, etc. Encourage them to eat leafy vegetables, fruits, and healthy meals.
The biggest fear of people suffering from an anxiety disorder is that they want to control things that are uncontrollable. You have to teach your child to handle adversity. You have to make him understand that there are alternative solutions to various kinds of problems. For instance, if someone misses a train, he can take a cab.
Instill confidence in your child and help to build emotional intelligence. Teach him the various ways of figuring out a solution to a problem. Let your child go out and face the world.
As a parent, it’s normal to feel nervous when your child goes out alone. You may always worry about him. But will you be there with him throughout his life? Can he stay his entire life at home? This is not practically possible. So you have to let him go out and learn how to sort out problems on his own.