Childhood Anxiety

Heber Valley Pediatrics

Pediatrics & Behavioral Health located in Heber City, UT

As many as 1 in every 8 children suffer from an anxiety disorder, which can lead to childhood depression, learning difficulties, and social problems. David Larson, MD, FAAP of Heber Valley Pediatrics in Heber City, Utah, specializes in mental disorders, including childhood anxiety, which can impact your child’s health and well-being for a lifetime. For evaluation and compassionate care, call the office or schedule an appointment online with his office today.

Childhood Anxiety Q&A

What is childhood anxiety?

Childhood anxiety is when extreme worry or fear affects your child to such a degree that it affects their sleep, school, relationships, eating, and mood. Childhood anxiety can impact very young children, adolescents, teens, or young adults.

Some worry, fear, and stress are normal for all children, and learning to cope with low-level anxiety is a natural part of growth. When anxiety or stress begins to affect their physical, emotional, or developmental health, however, it may be more worrisome and require professional attention.

What causes childhood anxiety?

As your child ages, a variety of experiences may naturally cause worry or fear, including:

  • Family changes, such as divorce or new baby
  • New places or new friends
  • New experiences, such as starting school
  • Moving to a new house or city
  • Witnessing traumatic events
  • Death, injury, or illness of a loved one
  • Bullying or abuse from other children or adults

Many of these experiences are typical for most children, and usually they can adapt quite well with time and understanding. If your child’s worry or stress begins to impact their eating, sleeping, or personality, they could have a more severe form of anxiety that needs attention.

What are the symptoms of childhood anxiety?

Your son or daughter may present symptoms that you may not associate with childhood anxiety, which is the reason that this disorder often goes untreated.

Symptoms of childhood anxiety include:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Frequent complaints of stomach aches or other pain
  • Avoiding others, even friends
  • Being clingy to parents or other caregivers
  • Difficulty focusing or being restless
  • Having explosive or emotional outbursts
  • Being impulsive or oppositional
  • Dangerous behaviors, such as self-harm or violence

There are different types of anxiety disorders, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder, phobia disorder, or social anxiety disorder. Dr. Larson has extensive experience in understanding the symptoms and identifying the underlying causes of your child’s anxiety.

What are the long-term effects of childhood anxiety?

If childhood anxiety goes undiagnosed or untreated, your child could experience long-term, adverse effects including:

  • Increased risk for childhood depression
  • Increased potential for suicidal thoughts
  • Higher risk for self-harm or high-risk behaviors
  • Difficulty establishing and maintaining relationships
  • Problems developing life skills or trying new things
  • Higher risk of substance abuse

As a behavioral health specialist, Dr. Larson excels at the diagnosis and holistic treatment of childhood anxiety and childhood depression. Using an integrated approach of behavioral therapy, stress management, nutrition counseling, medication, and support, he can help your child find relief from these mental conditions and instill hope for a lifetime of wellness.

For a consultation regarding your child’s childhood anxiety or other mental illness, call the office or schedule an appointment online with Heber Valley Pediatrics today.