Signs of Anxiety in South Asian Children and Teens

Anxiety in moderation is necessary for normal development. Brief fears about the dark, strangers or loud noises as well as fears about being separated from the family are very common for children and teens. It is because of anxiety that we work harder on projects, think twice before we say anything to our friends or feel excited about our first time on the roller coaster. Every anxious situation is an opportunity for a child and teen to learn how to manage his/her emotions appropriately.

anxiety childExtensive or prolonged anxiety, or developmentally inappropriate anxiety (e.g. a 15 year old versus a 5 year old scared of the dark) however, can have a negative impact on a child’s emotional, social and physical development and is a cause for concern. Here are the most common signs of severe anxiety in children and teens that should be treated immediately:

Recurrent stomach aches, headaches, vomiting or nausea with no physical cause

Fever, with no physical cause

Intense fears about parental safety

Intense fears about death

Panic symptoms or tantrums when being separated from parents

Being overly clingy beyond what is age-appropriate

Nightmares, trouble falling or staying asleep

Avoiding certain people or location

Ruminating about mistakes

Fear of embarrassment or making a mistake

Low self-esteem and self-confidence

Engaging in compulsive actions (e.g. washing hands excessively, pacing, etc.)

Avoiding social situations

Severe anxiety is not something your child can just snap out of or grow out of. If your child has any of the above symptoms and they are concerning you, it is important to seek a consultation with a mental health professional. Early intervention is key to prevent long-term problems from developing.

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