Family Services

Anxiety

Most children are nervous or fearful sometimes, such as before performing in a school play or writing an exam. This is normal. There could be a problem, however, if a child finds it difficult to cope with any new challenge or situation. In these cases, they are not just nervous, they have anxiety.

When the level of anxiety affects a child’s everyday activities, it is called an anxiety disorder and may require medical or psychological treatment.

There are a number of anxiety disorders including:

  • Separation anxiety – fear of leaving parents;
  • Generalized anxiety disorder – where the child has many worries and fears and tries to do things perfectly;
  • Social phobias – excessive fear in social situations, such as being embarrassed or judged by others; and
  • Obsessive compulsive disorders – anxiety that causes obsessive fear or worry and leads to repetitive behaviours such as washing hands, checking or hoarding things, or other repetitive thoughts or behaviours.

To learn more, refer to the links and resources on this site. If you feel the situation is serious, contact your Community Social Service Worker or local health care provider.

(Reference the Offord Centre for Child Studies – Anxiety Problems in Children and Adolescents article)


Resources

Anxiety Problems in Children and Adolescents (Offord Centre PDF)

Links

Anxiety BC – Helping Your Anxious Child or Teen (CONFIRM RESOURCE)

Centre of Knowledge on Healthy Child Development

Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

Canadian Mental Health Association – Anxiety Disorders

HelpGuide.org – Separation Anxiety in Children

Mind Your Mind -- A place for youth and emerging adults to access info, resources and tools during tough times.

National Institute of Mental Health – Anxiety Disorders


Books in Your Community

For Children and Youth

What to do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety, Huebner, Magination Press.

What to do When You're Scared and Worried: A Guide for Kids, James Crist.