Many of us experience anxiety, a normal emotion. And children and teenagers are no exception. Because anxiety is associated with fear, it can help protect us from danger. That’s why it’s normal for children, young or older, to fear certain elements of their environment. However, some people can experience an intense form of anxiety that warps their perception of reality. In fact, anxiety is closely related to how you interpret situations. When anxiety begins to interfere with daily activities, it’s time to get help.
Psychologists who are members of the Clinique GOTM team are qualified to help children and teenagers deal with anxiety disorders. Furthermore, our teleconsultation services can easily fit into the schedules of parents and their children.
How do anxiety disorders manifest themselves in children and teens?
It’s important to know the difference between “normal” anxiety and a disorder. First, you need to assess its intensity, frequency, and if it persists for no apparent reason. As mentioned above, it’s normal to experience anxiety once in a while, but if it hinders someone from going about their daily routine, it could be a disorder.
Anxiety can manifest itself in a variety of ways in children, depending on their age. Here is a brief overview of the symptoms:
Babies and young children. Anxiety is usually caused by a fear of separation. Some infants and toddlers don’t want to be away from their parents and throw tantrums when that happens. They might also be afraid of strangers.
Young children. When children grow up a bit, anxiety will generally lead to fears or phobias. Some children will be scared of the dark, others of burglars, etc. At that age, anxiety can be completely irrational.
School-aged children. When they’re old enough to go to school, anxiety can be associated with the child’s social context (fear of eating in the cafeteria, recess, etc.) or a need to perform well. The child might feel anxious because of tests, oral presentations, etc.
Please keep in mind these are only a few examples. Anxiety disorders can be related to numerous factors. For instance, a change in the child’s routine or environment (a move, parents’ separation, etc.) can lead to a disorder.
How a psychologist can help with anxiety disorders
Anxiety disorders can lead to psychological distress and can even cause physical symptoms. If you notice changes in your child’s behaviour, if they tend to avoid certain situations or places, if they’re having trouble focusing, if they complain about having trouble sleeping, or if they complain about headaches or stomach aches, you might want to get professional help.
A psychologist who is qualified to help children and teenagers can issue a diagnosis that will identify the roots of the anxiety disorder. They will then be able to help the child or teenager deal with this disorder through an adapted therapeutic approach.
Teleconsultation services: a flexible service tailored to your needs
Psychologists who are members of the Clinique GOTM team are now able to offer teleconsultation services. These can easily fit into the busy schedules of parents and their children. And with these services, families living in remote areas can get help from qualified therapists.
Teleconsultation sessions are similar to appointments at a psychologist’s office. The first session occurs with the parents, so the psychologist can understand the reason for the consultation and they can establish the duration, frequency, and schedule of the teleconsultations. From then on, the therapist and their young client will have several teleconsultation sessions. Time will be kept for discussion with parents, follow ups, etc.
Kids today are very familiar with technology and they generally respond very positively to teleconsultations. If you think your child suffers from an anxiety disorder and they could benefit from our services, don’ hesitate to contact the Clinique GOTM team for more information!