Anxiety is everywhere. Chances are you are anxious, or you already know someone who is. But its roots are grown during childhood, and the data shows that more than 25% of anxious teenagers between the ages of 13 to 18 didn’t get help or treatment. This, in turn, made them anxious adults.
That means a life hampered by fatigue, mood changes, shyness or nervousness almost every day. Anxious people are stressed almost all the time. Tough to catch a break.
But thanks to Providr, we have some tips on how to prevent this in the future. An anxious person finds it very difficult to be direct, so anxious people, kids included, find alternative ways to express themselves. And today we’ll look at some phrases kids use – that can mean they are suffering from anxiety.
1. What’s wrong with me?
The occasional doubt in oneself is normal, and actually healthy, but when it becomes a constant pattern – it can indicate real anxiety. Look for other symptoms too.
2. I’m too tired
Most kids have a lot of energy and have no problems with being active all day long. But when a kid avoids playing with others saying they’re “too tired”, then it may mean their anxiety exhausted them. Maybe school is stressful, maybe there’s a bunch of bullies they have to constantly keep avoiding, maybe when they needed help from their parents they weren’t around. All of this can build up fatigue and anxiety. They could just be introverts, though, so be on the lookout for other symptoms.
3. Don’t make me do that / don’t make me go there
I remember feeling like this about visiting some relatives of ours. If your kid is saying these phrases for some kinds of events, it means the event is making them anxious. Lots of kids, for example, hate going to school, because it can be a rather stressful environment.
4. I am sorry
There are times when an apology is in order and it’s the necessary, polite thing to do. Caring, even. But if your child is apologizing all the time, for things that don’t really warrant those constant apologies, it may mean they’re feeling insecure and nervous all the time. They have this feeling that whatever they do, they’re doing it wrong, like never being good enough. It can mean that you’ve punished them too much or too severely for a mistake they once did.
5. I just want to stay at home
A child’s home is often its safe space. It’s their comfort zone. They’d rather stay in, then go outside, face unpredictable things and possibly get their anxiety triggered.
6. I don’t want to do it
This phrase could be a sign of the so-called social anxiety – people who quickly get tired of others and prefer being left alone to collect their thoughts. Kids aren’t that self-conscious, though, so they can just refuse to go places or do things because it feels unpleasant.
7. When do we leave? / Can we leave yet?
Parties make adult people anxious, let alone kids. So as soon as they arrived at the party, some kids will immediately want to go back home. Adults can manage socializing in other ways, but kids don’t have the knowledge or capability to do that.
8. Please stay
While it’s normal for kids to be attached to their parents, if they get panic attacks when their parents need to leave them, chances are the kid has separation anxiety.
9. They want the lights to be on all night
Getting creeped out by the dark is pretty normal, but having nightmares about it – isn’t. This is an indication your child may be suffering from the so-called sleep anxiety.
10. I don’t like my body / my body is uncomfortable
If your child is constantly complaining about their body, or making frequent remarks about their appearance or bodily sensations (tightness in the belly, and so on), they might be suffering from emotinal anxiety and/or physical anxiety.
11. I don’t feel good / I don’t feel well
Sure, sometimes they really don’t feel well, and they’ve gotten the flu or catching a fever. But pay attention when kids say this in regards to certain events, or about school. Chances are there’s a big test, or a public performance they need to do and it’s stressing them out.
Remember, though: these phrases MAY indicate anxiety, or MAY not. The best way to really understand what’s going on is to sit down and talk to your child. But make sure you make that a very comfortable and safe thing for them. Otherwise, they’ll just lie and wiggle out of it. So, comfort is key. Then, they will, with luck, feel free to express their feelings.