Anxiety symptoms are not always obvious, especially in children. This could mean that many kids with anxietyFor example, the 25% of adolescents aged 13 to 18 who suffer from anxiety every year, may not receive treatment and have more anxiety problems in adulthood.
11 phrases that children could use to tell you “I’m anxious”
In many ways, anxiety has similar effects on both adults and children: Anyone with anxiety can feel nervous, moody, shy, or tired, or suffer from anxiety-related disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, unlike adults, they may children do not know how to communicate their anxiety correctly and adults think that it is just one more whim to manipulate.
It will not always be like this, and parents must learn to differentiate when it is a normal uncomfortable moment that we all go through as children, to a state of real anxiety that has something deeper behind it that, if explored and cured, could be the difference between an anxious adult and one who was able to release that anxiety with the help of his parents even as a child.
So, without further ado, here are some ways in phrases that children could be telling their parents the anxiety they are experiencing. If your kids have used 2, 3, or more repetitive phrases, it might be a good idea to start talking to them about anxiety and how to deal with it, as told by concerned parents and people with childhood experiences of anxiety in a psychological study involving adults and that below we will see what they answered.
1. “What about me?”
If your child begins to express doubts too often, it’s best to keep your eyes peeled for other signs of anxiety.
“I didn’t realize I had anxiety and neither did my parents. They just thought I was being dramatic when I burst into tears and said, ‘What’s wrong with me?
2. “I’m tired”
Perhaps your child is constantly exhausted due to anxiety-related ruminations.
“As a child, I suffered from sleep disorders for a long time,” another person from the study told him. “The whole process of going to school, getting through the day, trying not to be bullied, and coming home was always mentally rehearsed the night before.”
3. “I have a headache” or “Don’t make me…”
Although few children love going to school, your child’s refusal to go to school could still be indicative of something deeper than just disliking a few classes.
“I used the excuse of feeling sick many times to avoid going to school,” commented one of the study participants. “I didn’t realize I had anxiety at the time, but it all makes sense when I look back now. I wasn’t being so ‘lazy’ back then.”
Knowing when to apologize is a good thing. Apologizing too often is not.
“I was constantly apologizing for things that weren’t really a problem, or just not interacting,” another participant said of her intrusive doubts. “I still have issues with constantly saying sorry for something that isn’t a problem and being very quiet in difficult situations.”
5. “Can’t we stay home?”
Does your child prefer to stay in quiet and familiar environments rather than new experiences, even fun and exciting ones?
“I hated going out to places because the noise bothered me. Now, as an adult, I try to balance things, but it’s still a challenge,” one participant admitted.
6. “You do it” or “I don’t want to!”
If your child actively avoids even the smallest social interactions, he could be suffering from severe social anxiety.
One participant recalled, “I had such a hard time ordering food that I could tell anyone what I wanted and ask them to place the order.”
7. “Is it time to go yet?” or “I want to go home”
While parties can be uncomfortable for anyone when they go on too long, they can be especially worrying for kids with anxiety.
“I always said this because crowds of even more than two people would trigger my anxiety,” another commenter confessed. “I couldn’t wait until those events or functions were over.”
8. “Don’t leave me”
If your child never wants to leave your side, even for a short time, he/she may be showing separation anxiety.
“I was very anxious about being abandoned as a child,” said another commenter. “I believed that people would abandon me if I wasn’t good enough, and it would be my fault.”
9. “Can you turn on the hallway light for me at night?”
It’s one thing to be afraid of the dark, and quite another to be overwhelmed by nightmarish thoughts about it.
“I lived in fear for a few years that someone was going to come into my room and kidnap me,” one user explained. “The light didn’t help. I would stay in bed for two hours just waiting. I still don’t sleep well.
10. “My body is uncomfortable”
Your child may be combining physical and mental health.
“I used to say, ‘My body is uncomfortable, my body is uncomfortable!’ He didn’t know what it was at the time. Years later, I finally figured it out! another user exclaimed.
11. “I don’t feel good”
Sometimes a complaint about body aches could be just that.
“Or more specifically, ‘My stomach hurts.’ Even now, my gut and my feelings are still very connected,” added a participant in the study.