Child and adolescent mental health

Child anxiety disorders for parents and carers

We all feel anxious at times - when we move to a new school, before a big test or exam, the first date with a girlfriend or boyfriend, for example - and it's perfectly normal. But there are times when we feel our worries and fears have taken control of our lives. We just can't stop worrying about something or everything. We may have all sorts of physical symptoms - headaches, stomach aches, feeling or being sick, not being able to sleep. It may feel like we are having a heart attack. We may even wet the bed. We may not want to leave the house or go to school, or not want to be away from mum or dad. Anxiety can express itself in so many ways.  

Kids worry about...

Worries about the world

There are a lot of things your child might be very worried about that are going on in the UK and the world at the moment. Here you will find a few issues a lot of young people are worried about at the moment. Click on the red circles for more information.

Worries about school

Some things that happen in the world can make us scared, confused, and unsafe, or like we don’t have any control. However you feel, it can really help to share your feelings and get support. Click on the red circles for more information.

Other worries

Websites

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Action for Children's vision is that every child and young person in the UK has a safe and happy childhood, and the foundations they need to thrive. They do this by working closely with children and their families, from before they’re born until their twenties.

Their online information explains the different ways in which children can display anxiety, strategies for coping with anxiety, and how you can support them.

Anxiety.org is an American website committed to making mental health information accessible, inclusive, easy-to-find, and easy-to-understand. Their goal is to bridge the understanding gap that exists between mental health professionals and those actually dealing with anxiety disorders. They have partnered with hundreds of schools, institutions, researchers and clinicians, experienced therapists, and other mental health and wellness experts. 

Their page on anxiety disorders in children identifies symptoms; discusses how they can be confused with conditions such as ADHD and learning difficulties; how frightening or traumatising events cause anxiety in children; the link between child anxiety and OCD; and treatment of anxiety in children. They also offer some tips on helping your child cope with anxiety at home and in the classroom.

Anxiety UK is a dedicated, friendly and approachable charity that believes that anxiety, stress and anxiety based depression are treatable and manageable. Although most of their work is with adults, you can find some information about the impact of anxiety on children and young people on their website, including conditions such as separation anxiety and selective mutism.

Barnardo's help hundreds of thousands of children, young people, parents and carers across the UK. 

They focus on three key core areas: mental health and wellbeing; child sexual abuse (CSA); and children in and leaving care.

 

Recognising anxiety in children isn’t always easy so it’s only natural to want more information on how to spot when a child might be feeling anxious.  Here are five ways to help you to understand what anxiety can look and sound like, and support your child with coping with it

Beyond Blue's Healthy Families is an Australian website providing information about anxiety, depression and suicide for families. It's all about giving them the information, knowledge and confidence to support the young people in their life – whether thry’re a parent, guardian, grandparent, uncle or aunt. They’re also there to help them take care of their own mental health and wellbeing, especially if they’re a new parent or about to become one. The website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The advice of an appropriately qualified healthcare professional should be sought before making decisions about one's own circumstances.

Dealing with big emotions when you’re a kid is difficult. Trying to articulate these feelings to a grown-up, so they can help you, is nearly impossible. What you’re often left with, as the parent, is a feeling of frustration as you try to “fix” the problem your child is complaining about without understanding the underlying meaning. Fortunately, there are a few surprising things kids say that actually reveal their underlying anxiety.

Just like adults, children and young people feel worried and anxious at times. But if your child's anxiety is starting to affect their wellbeing, they may need some help to overcome it. The NHS gives information and advice on what anxiety is and how it presents in children, when to seek help, and how to support your child.

Nip in the Bud® was set up to encourage awareness about mental health disorders in young children. These relatively common problems which begin in childhood and adolescence can have wide-ranging and long-lasting effects, affecting a child’s relationships, their educational attainment and job opportunities. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems identified in children. 

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No Panic is a registered charity which helps people who suffer from panic attacks, phobias, OCD and other related anxiety disorders. They specialise in self-help recovery and our services include providing people with the skills they need to manage their condition and work towards recovery. They have a page on their website for parents whose children are experiencing anxiety disorders.

Parenting NI is the leading charity for parenting support in Northern Ireland. 

If your child's anvxiety is starting to affect their wellbeing and causing a lot of distress, they may need help with managing it. This page will give you information about anxiety and resources you can use with your children to explore these feelings. 

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Priory is dedicated to helping people, including children and adolescents, improve their mental health and wellbeing, providing a range of mental health treatments at their hospitals.

This article outlined ways that parents and carers can support an anxious child so that they can overcome their worries. It helps them to understand how anxiety starts in a young person, how it may present, and how to help them recover. It also looks at how to talk to a child about anxiety to help them get a better understanding of what they are going through with a series of illustrations to help them explain to a child why anxiety can happen, when it can happen and what they can do if they do feel anxious.

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raisingchildren.net.au is an Australian website providing free, reliable, up-to-date and independent information for parents and carers to help their families grow and thrive together. Articles, videos and interactive resources are tailored to different ages and stages, from nurturing a newborn to raising a confident, resilient teen – and helping parents to look after themselves.

 

They have a page full of information about anxiety disorders in teenagers and how they can be helped. There is also a page of suggestions for parents on how to support their child, as well as examples of what teenagers worry about. 

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The Royal College of Psychologists is the professional medical body responsible for supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers from training through to retirement, and in setting and raising standards of psychiatry in the UK.

This information describes the different types of anxiety you might feel as a young person and how it is treated.

stem4 is a teenage mental health charity aimed at improving teenage mental health by stemming commonly occurring mental health issues at an early stage. Young people have just as much right to accessing facts about good mental health as they do good physical health, and yet there is a lack of accurate information. 

There is information for parents about anxiety in young people including four steps to assist their child with change.

Podcasts

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Feeling anxious and worried is a normal experience for children, but how do we know when it's becoming a serious problem and what can we do about it? Claudia Hammond discusses these issues and more with expert Professor Cathy Creswell from the University of Reading, and Beckie, whose whole family was affected by her son's anxiety. Child in Mind podcasts are produced by the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.

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