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Anxiety Symptoms in Teenagers and Children

The symptoms of anxiety in children will differ depending on the age of the child or teenager and the type of anxiety they experience, but below are some of the most common symptoms.

Symptoms of anxiety in children can fall into three main categories:

Physical Responses:

  • Dizziness and feeling light headed
  • Hot and cold flushes
  • Stomach complaints, nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches
  • Difficulties sleeping
  • Easily fatigued
  • Loss of appetite

Thoughts and Emotions:

  • Obsessive worrying about illness or death of self or loved on
  • Fear that things will go wrong
  • Perfectionism
  • Social shyness and embarrassment
  • Feeling tense and on edge

Behaviours:

  • Obsessive behaviours (see OCD)
  • Hair pulling, skin picking
  • Clinginess
  • Difficulties concentrating
  • Irritability and angry outbursts

What causes the symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety symptoms are caused, on the whole, by a series of complicated chemical reactions that occur within the body.

In one of these reactions, when we feel stressed, chemicals are released from a part of the brain called the hypothalamus. These trigger more chemicals from another part of the brain called the pituitary glands, which in turn triggers cortisol to be released from the adrenal glands, located on top of the kidneys. This is known as the hypothalamus – pituitary – adrenal axis or HPAA for short.

The cortisol that is released is responsible for many of the anxiety symptoms commonly experienced.

Not all children will experience all of the symptoms described above and often people with anxiety experience the same symptoms again and again. Whilst it isn’t always easy to understand what is causing the anxiety, it is important to know that the signs and symptoms can be truly terrifying and very often are uncontrollable.

There are several different types of anxiety disorders that children and teenagers can suffer with:

If you are concerned your child or teenager has anxiety and aren’t sure what to do, you can call one of our clinical advisors today on 0203 761 7026 and they will be able to help advise you or request a call back.

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