Kids Dont Say ?I Have Anxiety; They Say ?My Tummy Hurts
Hello, i just want to thank you for the website, my sister signed me up two years ago. I lost my wife to a brutal Murder 7 years ago, my daughter was 14 months old and found laying on her mom in blood. I took care of her and had no idea why she would scream most everyday for no reason. Then they being the goverment put me in Prison for a gambling charge, my daughter was 4, again she was abandoned , i did two years and she would come to see me weekly until it was just to difficult for her, she threw up on call and was on meds seeing doctors and Physichiatrist and not being cared for that well either by the people i put in charge of her. When i got her back i immediately got custody again and things slowly got better adctually she only threw up one more time. But the Anxiety was really difficult for me not understanding all the symptoms, Thanks to your emails i started tyo understand and most important that she couldnt stop them sometimes she would tell me after a two hour attack Daddy im sorry i dont know why i do that. Thats what helped me the most knowing she had no control. I have got upset at times with her bnut very seldom, i owe that to your website, she is 8 , we moved closer to relatives and she is in school doing well only one anxiety pill a day and a sleep aid at night, I have never loved something as much as her and i have 4 older boys who all know it. She has most all the symtoms i just read in your article and we are doing pretty good, after reading i think i can do a better job. Thaks again im very grateful , Teddy
Kids Don’t Say ‘I Have Anxiety’; They Say ‘My Tummy Hurts’
Thank you, thank you, Karen. I work in an Ed Support Centre and will definitely be putting some of your suggestions to practical use. It breaks my heart to see the level of anxiety that some of our kids are dealing with on a day to day basis.
Two of my children have anxiety (one a 7yo boy has GAD and my 11 yo girl has social anxiety which is getting worse in puberty) and they both absolutely love your book! It has helped both of them pick up when they are starting to feel anxious and helped them find words to tell me. I even bought a copy for their schools. Congratulations and thank you.
But with GAD, kids worry more, and more often, about these things. Kids with GAD also worry over things parents might not expect would cause worry. For example, they might worry about recess, lunchtime, birthday parties, playtime with friends, or riding the school bus. Kids with GAD may also worry about war, weather, or the future. Or about loved ones, safety, illness, or getting hurt.
Having GAD can make it hard for kids to focus in school. Because with GAD, there is almost always a worry on a kid's mind. GAD makes it hard for kids to relax and have fun, eat well, or fall asleep at night. They may miss many days of school because worry makes them feel sick, afraid, or tired.
Some kids with GAD keep worries to themselves. Others talk about their worries with a parent or teacher. They might ask over and over whether something they worry about will happen. But it's hard for them to feel OK, no matter what a parent says.
Separation anxiety disorder (SAD). It's normal for babies and very young kids to feel anxious the first times they are apart from their parent. But soon they get used to being with a grandparent, babysitter, or teacher. And they start to feel at home at daycare or school.
But when kids don't outgrow the fear of being apart from a parent, it's called separation anxiety disorder. Even as they get older, kids with SAD feel very anxious about being away from their parent or away from home. They may miss many days of school. They may say they feel too sick or upset to go. They may cling to a parent, cry, or refuse to go to school, sleepovers, playdates, or other activities without their parent. At home, they may have trouble falling asleep or sleeping alone. They may avoid being in a room at home if their parent isn't close by.
Social phobia (social anxiety disorder). With social phobia, kids to feel too afraid of what others will think or say. They are always afraid they might do or say something embarrassing. They worry they might sound or look weird. They don't like to be the center of attention. They don't want others to notice them, so they might avoid raising their hand in class. If they get called on in class, they may freeze or panic and can't answer. With social phobia, a class presentation or a group activity with classmates can cause extreme fear.
Social phobia can cause kids and teens to avoid school or friends. They may feel sick or tired before or during school. They may complain of other body sensations that go with anxiety too. For example, they may feel their heart racing or feel short of breath. They may feel jumpy and feel they can't sit still. They may feel their face get hot or blush. They may feel shaky or lightheaded.
Selective mutism. This extreme form of social phobia causes kids to be so afraid they don't talk. Kids and teens who have it can talk. And they do talk at home or with their closest people. But they refuse to talk at all at school, with friends, or in other places where they have this fear.
Specific phobias. It's normal for young kids to feel scared of the dark, monsters, big animals, or loud noises like thunder or fireworks. Most of the time, when kids feel afraid, adults can help them feel safe and calm again. But a phobia is a more intense, more extreme, and longer lasting fear of a specific thing. With a phobia, a child dreads the thing they fear and tries to avoid it. If they are near what they fear, they feel terrified and are hard to comfort.
With a specific phobia, kids may have an extreme fear of things like animals, spiders, needles or shots, blood, throwing up, thunderstorms, people in costumes, or the dark. A phobia causes kids to avoid going places where they think they might see the thing they fear. For example, a kid with a phobia of dogs may not go to a friend's house, to a park, or to a party because dogs might be there.
Most often, anxiety disorders are treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This is a type of talk therapy that helps families, kids, and teens learn to manage worry, fear, and anxiety.
CBT teaches kids that what they think and do affects how they feel. In CBT, kids learn that when they avoid what they fear, the fear stays strong. They learn that when they face a fear, the fear gets weak and goes away.
For babies and infants, you can help alleviate gas pain by rubbing their belly, moving their feet, or burping them. For older kids, try adjusting their diet and avoiding gas causing foods like beans, peppers, fried foods, and wheat. If your child is over 12, they may be able to take some over-the-counter medicines like Gas-X or Beano.
While it's normal for children to frequently have fears and worries, some anxious children may grow up to develop a long-term condition called generalised anxiety disorder when they become a teenager or young adult.
If your child is suddenly passing loose, watery stools three or more times a day, they have diarrhea, which most kids experience from time to time. Diarrhea usually lasts at most a few days, but if it sticks around longer, it could lead to severe dehydration. It can also signal an infection or a more serious health issue. Infants, toddlers, and young children should be taken to the doctor if they experience symptoms such as:
In particular, pain below the belly button may indicate chronic issues such as irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease, disorders that affect the small and large intestines. While many kids with either of these disorders will have loose stools, diarrhea, gas and bloating, parents should seek medical attention immediately if there is blood in the stool, weight loss, or slow or delayed weight gain.
Rational and intelligent parents can easily fall into the trap of doing all the wrong things with riled-up kids. Our tendency to provide reassurance during a red-zone moment is remarkable in how typical it is and how spectacularly it can fail to help accomplish the goals of calming the child and inspiring compliance. Whether the anxiety is triggered by a birthday party, soccer practice or homework, fear is in the mind of the beholder and is not something to be argued with during a meltdown.
You children need help and so do you. Get support from the school counselor as soon as possible (if you have one) or the school administration. The school can work with you to develop a plan on how to help your children work through their anxiety.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by chronic and exaggerated worry and tension, much more than the typical anxiety that most people experience in their daily lives. People may have trembling, twitching, muscle tension, nausea, irritability, poor concentration, depression, fatigue, headaches, light-headedness, breathlessness or hot flashes.
Panic Disorder: People with panic disorder have panic attacks with feelings of terror that strike suddenly and repeatedly with no warning. During the attacks, individuals may feel like they can't breathe, have lost control, are having a heart attack or even that they are dying. Physical symptoms may include chest pain, dizziness, nausea, sweating, tingling or numbness, and a racing heartbeat. Some people will have one isolated attack, while others will develop a long term panic disorder; either way, there is often high anxiety between attacks because there is no way of knowing when the next one will occur. Panic disorders often begin early in adulthood. Many people with panic disorder also suffer from agoraphobia (abnormal fear of open or public places.). See more on Panic Attacks.
Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. People with social phobia have a fear of being judged by others, being embarrassed or being humiliated. This fear may interfere with work or school and other ordinary activities.