Childhood Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Stress disorders and anxiety are serious health conditions that are all to familiar to adults. Sadly, more and more children are developing health conditions related to daily stress and anxiety issues.  A recent study by the Child Mind Institute found that 30% of children and adolescents are effected by anxiety at some point in their lives.  Anxiety among young people has risen 17% in the last ten years and the National Institute of Mental Health says at least 8.5% experience a severe impairment due anxiety and stress.  As common as this appears to be in children, treatment for stress and anxiety conditions is very hard to come.  The treatment options are not commonly used due to the monetary expense as most insurances do not cover mental health conditions or the medical co-payments are to high.  In addition, a lot of children do not communicate with their parents about having anxiety issues.  Parents may even feel that their child’s abnormal behavior is just a “normal” phase of going through puberty and not notice that their child is having anxiety issues.  The responsibility then falls on the parents to recognize symptoms of anxiety in their child.  Dr. Susan McClanahan of the Insight Behavioral Health Center lists common symptoms that could indicate anxiety conditions in children.  The most common are headaches, stomachaches, physical distress (when they can’t put into words how they are feeling), not wanting to go to school, frequently talking about not feeling well, trouble sleeping, excessive fears, excessive worries, restlessness, hypervigilance, performance anxiety, always looking out for what could go wrong and lastly, withdrawing from social opportunities. My research on this topic does not find a lot of treatment options for the children suffering from this condition other than therapy sessions.  Naturally, the first recommendation is to have a visit to the pediatrician who may be able to refer to a child psychologist for therapy and counseling.  Dr. McClanahan says that therapy can be very effective especially if started fairly quickly when the anxiety symptoms are first diagnosed. Dr. McClanahan feels that most children today are emotion avoidant, meaning that from a young age children don’t learn the language of emotion and cannot properly express themselves. Therapy helps children understand that their feelings are ok and it’s alright to experience different emotions and to even cry as an emotional release.  Lastly, some parents feel that going to a child psychologist means their child will be put on medication.  Which in most cases does not happen.  Today’s child psychologists use cognitive therapy and other natural methods to help children deal with anxiety and stress disorders.

Thought for the Week:  Drinking a daily cup of tea will surely starve the apothecary. ~Chinese Proverb

Chiropractic Thought for the Week:  When you think of the ideal chiropractic patient, one typically thinks of a person suffering from lower back or neck pain.  Rightly so, as chiropractic is probably the most effective natural treatment for those conditions. However, when I think of the ideal chiropractic patient, I think of a person without any symptoms or complaints.  I think of a person who is interested in maintaining thier health by having their spine adjusted and cleared of spinal nerve interference. Chiropractic care used on a regular basis, whether you have symptoms or not, maintains health, boosts immune system function and helps yoour body function at an optimal level.

 

Chiropractic and Pregnancy:  Chiropractic care helps pregnant women through pregnancy naturally without drugs and medications.  Research shows that pregnancy chiropractic care can shorten labor times and less use of pain medication needed during labor. 

 

Author
Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

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Child Anxiety

Dr. J. Zimmerman discusses the symptoms of childhood stress and anxiety disorders