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Childhood Anxiety

Anxiety is a natural, normal emotion that exists in everyone. It is important for our well-being because it helps us escape danger when there is a threat.


So if anxiety is normal and natural, why would it be a problem? It's only when anxiety starts to interfere with normal life, that it is considered a problem. With children, it's sometimes difficult for parents to know whether anxiety is a problem, or if it's just something they will grow out of. When deciding if there is a problem, it's important to take into account the developmental stage the child is at. For example, separation anxiety in a pre-school aged child is normal and expected. However, if a child in the later years of primary school cries when being dropped at school each day, it's worth considering seeking some guidance as the child is likely experiencing difficulties with anxiety.


So, why do some children sail through situations and others become worried about seemingly the smallest of things? Some personality types are more prone to becoming anxious. We all know how different children can be, even from the same family. Sometimes anxiety starts after a traumatic event, and the child may worry about more and more new things.


What should parents do if they are concerned about anxiety? Talk to your GP or a Child Psychologist. Anxiety is treatable and it's important to take action sooner rather than later. Children with untreated anxiety problems tend to become more anxious, and anxious teens are more likely to also develop depression through their adolescence.


Sara Balmer is a Child Psychologist in Hornsby who works with children and adolescents with anxiety problems.

If you would like to talk more about concerns you have about childhood anxiety, please don't hesitate to make contact.

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