How do I know if my child needs professional help for their anxiety? | Morris Bernards Moms

Between school, sports and friendships, children these days face much more pressure than we ever did as parents. They try to do it all, starting at such an early age, and that feeling anxious may go unnoticed, or start to feel normal, when professional help may be the best solution. We sat down with Anxiety Institute, with a location right in Madison, to understand the signs of needed a professional for your child’s anxiety. Read what they had to say below:

“When parents ask me if they think their child may have an anxiety problem, I tell them to listen to their gut. If something feels off with your child, there’s a good chance something is. The good news about anxiety is that early intervention contributes to better efficacy of treatment. The even better news about anxiety is that it’s treatable.

Face it. All kids can get anxious. As long as you see a child roll with the ups and downs (even if that rolling feels messy sometimes!), no need to make too much of their anxiety. Nor should we sweep the road clear of their obstacles. An important developmental marker on the road to adulthood is your child’s ability to persevere, even when the road is filled with potholes.

On the other hand, not all kids are able to handle the anxiety they feel. We may see our kids begin to use avoidance as their primary coping mechanism. They may start to refuse to do things they once enjoyed. As their worry and anxiety grows, they may begin to complain about an upset stomach or headache as a means to stay home from school. They may even start using technology as their only tool for distraction or soothing. From a parent’s perspective, it may feel like your child’s world is caving in on them.

If you find yourself and your child in these kinds of situations, you are smart to act.

To begin, I always encourage parents to tap into the other adults who know and work with your child; perhaps a school advisor, teacher or coach. We know for certain that kids will present their best selves outside of the home, so gaining insight from other adults who know your child can be very helpful.  Ask these other adults about their observations on how your child interacts with peers and other adults as well as how they communicate. These insights will guide you and therapists on how to proceed in understanding the source and treatment of their anxiety.

A good next step is to check in with your child’s pediatrician. A pediatrician can offer a valuable perspective that comes from knowing your child and your family over the years. They may be able to tease out if anxiety is the issue at hand or if there is separate potential mental or physical health concern. The next step, after the above, would be to connect with a professional who can help with your child’s anxiety. There are many ways to find a good therapist. The school counselor may have someone they recommend. Or try asking trusted friends who they might know or use one for their own child.

Or, call Anxiety Institute.

At Anxiety Institute in Madison, NJ, we have been working with kids with anxiety for many years. We have the knowledge and the experience. We offer individual therapy (remote and in-person) as well as group therapy for adolescents and young adults, ages 12-25, who struggle with anxiety. We also have parent coaching services available to give you support and confidence in your parenting. This is a great option for a family whose child is resistant to therapy, but you, as parents, feel ready to more effectively support your anxious child.

Remember, listen to your gut. If something feels off with your child, take action. Persistent or chronic anxiety doesn’t typically get better on its own. Call Anxiety Institute at 844-881-1846.”



This article was done in partnership with Anxiety Institute.

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