Signs of Anxiety in Children

by Eileen Bailey Health Writer

Anxiety disorder includes persistent worry and with children this is also apparent. Children and teens with anxiety may worry about activities, about grades and about receiving adult approval.

Children with anxiety may have self-doubts and worry about their acceptance by their peers. They may not be able to stop worrying, even if they know it is not necessary. For some children, persistent and chronic worrying may interfere with their ability to do well in school or to participate in activities outside of school.

According to an article "Generalized Anxiety Disorder" by Massachusetts General Hospital, some of the signs of anxiety in children:

  • Excessive worry

  • Being self-critical

  • Irritability

  • Trouble sleeping

  • Depression

  • Intense desire for approval

  • Inability to explain why they are worrying

  • Difficulty with transitions, such as from school to home

  • Not wanting to go to school

  • Difficulty concentrating

In addition to these symptoms, children with anxiety may also have physical problems such as headaches, stomachaches, tiredness, and muscle aches.

Treatment is available for anxiety disorder in children. The most common type of treatment is often cognitive-behavioral therapy. When this is not effective by itself, medication may be used as well.

Children with anxiety should not need to suffer with symptoms when treatment is available. If your children are exhibiting any of the above symptoms, talk with your physician about options you may have to help your child.


"Anxiety", 2006, Massachusetts General Hospital

Eileen Bailey
Meet Our Writer
Eileen Bailey

Eileen Bailey is an award-winning author of six books on health and parenting topics and freelance writer specializing in health topics including ADHD, Anxiety, Sexual Health, Skin Care, Psoriasis and Skin Cancer. Her wish is to provide readers with relevant and practical information on health conditions to help them make informed decisions regarding their health care.