Anxiety and anxiety disorders are not an ‘adult-only’ thing – children are capable of experiencing these too, and we shouldn’t dismiss or trivialise their feelings.
Anxiety is a common feeling for many of us. It’s that uneasy feeling of nervousness, worry, dread, and fear that we experience in certain situations. You might have felt it before a job interview, while you’re in the labour room (even if you’re not the birthing parent!) and probably on your child’s first day of school. The occasional anxious feeling isn’t exactly a bad thing – in fact, it’s perfectly normal and beneficial to a certain extent. Healthy levels of anxiety function as a warning signal during dangerous situations, prompting us to react or flee to protect ourselves.
However, some people may experience overwhelming levels of anxiety to the point where it interferes with their daily life and relationship with others. In this case, professional help is highly recommended as intense and prolonged feelings of distress aren’t great for anyone and may be attributed to an anxiety disorder. And we’re not just talking adults – anxiety disorders may also develop in children.