Moving from elementary school to middle school is a big change for children. Some kids make the transition very easily while others have a much more difficult time. If your child is one that is finding it difficult, they could be having anxiety. Below are some signs of anxiety so you will know for sure, and treatment options to help your child.
Symptoms of an Anxiety Disorder
You will notice many changes in your child if they have an anxiety disorder. First, they may have trouble falling asleep at night or they may wake up in the middle of the night. Your child may also not want to be alone, or they may constantly pick at their skin. Nail biting is another symptom, especially if your child has never bit their nails before.
Your child may start being self-critical of themselves suddenly. For example, they may say they are ugly, fat, or stupid. Your child may also show signs of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), such as constantly checking that the door is locked, arranging objects on a constant basis, and much more. Your child may also want to be alone inside their home instead of going out and having social interaction with people, including their friends.
Your child may also refuse to go to school or finding it hard to participate in class. They may also act bad in school and get in trouble a lot, as well as not do their homework.
Child Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Anxiety Disorder
There are many treatment options for anxiety disorder in children. One type is known as child cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). This type of therapy is done by a professional therapist, such as a child psychologist. During CBT therapy, the therapist will help improve your child's behavior, anxiety, and moods. Your child will be taught that their thoughts will affect their mood and their feelings. The therapist will help your child learn how to identify harmful thoughts. They will then teach your child to replace their negative thoughts into more positive thoughts. All of this is known as talk therapy and over time it can be beneficial for this type of disorder.
Your child may also be put on medication by a doctor to have along with their CBT. This medication is generally an antidepressant. Your child's doctor will determine the best type of medication and how long your child will need to take it.
Talk with your child's therapist to learn much more about anxiety disorder and treatment.