It’s Children’s Mental Health Week 2017 from 6th-12th February, which is a cause very important to me. I suffered from anxiety in childhood and did not get the support that I needed. I remember my parents taking me see our GP at the age of 10, as I’d been feeling sick every morning on my way to school (it was around the time I took the eleven-plus and I think this triggered my anxiety around that time). The doctor just dismissed it as ‘school phobia’, basically saying that I was just making up feeling sick to try and get out of going to school. I wasn’t though, I loved primary school! Fortunately, a lot has changed over the last 15 years or so and there seems to be more awareness and support available now than there was for me.
Some signs to look out for if you’re concerned that your child may be suffering from clinical anxiety are the following:
- If your child seems constantly worried or negative about things
- If your child is having trouble sleeping and staying asleep
- If your child seems tense or fidgety
- If they seem to be making frequent trips to the toilet
- If your child seems angry and gets irritable very quickly
- If your child withdraws themselves from activities with family and friends
- If your child cries often
- If your child complains of nausea and/or headaches frequently
- If your child doesn’t seem to be eating properly – either too much or too little
- If your child seems to find it difficult to concentrate
If your child is exhibiting a combination of these symptoms and you think they may have anxiety, please go to see a doctor and make sure it’s taken seriously to ensure they get the help they need.
You can find out more about Children’s Mental Health Week here.