How to identify childhood anxiety

ABC10's Walt Gray spoke with an expert on how to better identify if your child is suffering from anxiety.

Is it harder to be a child these days with all there is to deal with?

Internet, cell phones and social media are easily accessible to children and teens these days, which has expanded their worlds. Does that make them more aware or more anxious about the crazy stuff going on?

Dr. James Margolis has been a child Psychiatrist for over 50 years. He says it's normal for all of us to be anxious because it keeps us safe. But are there signs of clinical anxiety parents should watch out for in their child?

"They need to recognize with kids that there are some bad things out there, and to tell them we'll take care of you," Margolis said. 

He also has five key points to consider:

  1. Up to 10 percent of children have clinical anxiety
  2. School avoidance/separation anxiety
  3. Is it the parent's anxiety, too?
  4. Early identification.
  5. Anxiety may be a serious mental illness.

Parents are often frustrated and feel helpless that they can't help alleviate their child's anxiety. Children lie awake at night dreading going to school, or a social or athletic event. Sound familiar?

Many experts say to empathize with your child instead of sympathizing.

Forty million Americans suffer from anxiety, and many of the issues children have is from their own parents' stress. Remember, kids are perceptive, they watch how we handle daily stress and that goes a long way to show them how to manage their own issues as well.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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