Kids Don’t Tell You They Have Anxiety, They Say ‘My Stomach Hurts’!

Before having a game or a test, kids used to complain about abdominal pain as their anxiety and stress level are at a high level.

Some parents don’t take this as a immediate concern, while some might not know that it may be a sign of anxiety.

The symptoms of abdominal pain associated with anxiety and stress had been discussed by the gastroenterologist at Seattle Children’s, Dr. Nicole Sawangpont Pattamanuch. He also shared red flags to help parents determine if there’s something more concerning to their kid’s symptoms, and he also advice to copy techniques for children to relieve their discomfort.

In reality, most kids experience problems, stress, and other negative aspects. The serious changes in the way children typically behave, learn, or manage their emotions are called mental disorders among kids.

Behavior disorders, anxiety, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are the most common mental disorders diagnosed in childhood. There are many parents who are skeptical or shocked at the number of children that have mental disorders.

Those parents may ask, “What do children have to be depressed about?” the parent who as this question has no idea about what anxiety is. And that misunderstanding can cause that mental, behavioral and emotional disorders in kids are severely under diagnosed and undertreated.

This is also causes a great impact on kids. A kid doesn’t have any idea of what’s wrong or abnormal, particularly if they have always felt a certain way.

But, anxiety is beneficial in certain situations too. As a parent, you should know the signs or symptoms of your kid that lead to anxiety.  One of the great and a first step is to have an appointment with a trained mental health professional or your family physician.

Signs Your Kid Has Anxiety:

– Behavioral signs of anxiety

  • They say “I cannot do it!” with no reason
  • They constantly seek approval from friends, teachers or parents
  • They become angry or emotional when separating from loved ones or parents
  • They refuse to speak to peers or strangers in restaurants or stores
  • They avoid social situations with peers on weekends or after school
  • They refuse to go to school
  • They remain silent or preoccupied when they are expected to work with others
  • They refuse to participate during circle time or other class activities
  • They often ask “what if?” (“What if something bad happened?”)

– Emotional signs of anxiety

  • They have tantrums or meltdowns
  • They act extremely sensitive
  • They have compulsive behaviors or obsessive thoughts
  • They often cry
  • They have extreme test anxiety
  • They are afraid of making mistakes
  • They become angry or grouchy with no reason
  • They have frequent nightmares about losing a loved one or a parent
  • They worry about things in the future
  • They are afraid others will find out about their attention or learning issues
  • They have exaggerated fears about things such as natural disasters, etc.) and phobias (about dogs, bees, etc.)
  • They get distracted from playing by their fears and worries
  • They have panic attacks (or are afraid of having panic attacks)

– Physical signs of anxiety

  • They have a hard time falling or staying asleep
  • They tense their muscles
  • They sweat or shake in intimidating situations
  • They are distracted, hyperactive, fidgety or restless
  • They do not use restrooms except at home
  • They refuse to eat snacks or lunch at school or daycare
  • They often complain of stomachaches or headaches, even if there’s no medical reason for them

Parents need to understand that these behaviors are normal parts in childhood life. Remember to build space to your kid to talk with you comfortably about their emotions. Ask them to think about whether it is a particular thing they are trying to avoid, or if they just want to be alone, if they suddenly withdraw from personal interactions.

You also can try some outdoor activities to stimulate their brain, if your kid just needs a change of pace. In order to calm their anxious mind, just teach them about breathing techniques. If more they are in tune with their emotions and body, they can communicate anomalies more effectively.


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