Anxiety and Children: What Some Phrases Might Be Telling Us

Anxiety and Children: What Some Phrases Might Be Telling Us~~

Children often struggle to communicate their feelings. Many times children don’t even realize that their “worries” are a problem. They might even believe that whatever is going on in their head is “normal”… they don’t even think about asking for help.

A recent article on the Child Mind Institute’s Website pointed out some possible phrases or “code” words that children might be be using in an attempt to communicate to a parent~ “Hey I’m Anxious…help me!”

~~Here are some below:

1. “I have a headache.”~One adult explained, “It was easier to explain that something physical was going on as opposed to something that was invisible.”

2.“What’s wrong with me?”~One adult shared, “I didn’t realize I had anxiety and my parents didn’t either. They just thought I was being dramatic when I would burst into tears crying….or “What is wrong with me?’ I was a chatterbox, so my silence was a sign my anxiety was in full swing.”

3.“I’m tired.”~One adult shared, “When I was a kid, I experience sleep disturbances for a very long time. The whole process of going to school, getting through the day, trying not to be bullied and coming home was always mentally rehearsed the night before. It was around fourth grade that I started seeing the school’s social worker to create plans to self-soothe and keep the anxious thoughts under control, so sleep was one less thing to worry about.”

4. “I’m sorry.”~one adult shared, “I constantly apologized for things that weren’t really an issue, or I just wouldn’t interact.”

5. “Can’t we stay home?”-One adult shared, “I hated going out places because the noise bothered me.”

6. “You do it.” One adult shared, “I had such a hard time placing an order for food that I would tell whoever I was with what I wanted and have them place the order.”

7. “Is it time to leave yet?” One adult shared, “I always said this because crowds of even more than two people would trigger my anxiety. I couldn’t wait till said events or functions were done.”

8.“Don’t leave me.” One adult shared, “I was very anxious about being abandoned as a child. I believed people would leave me if I wasn’t good enough, and it would be my fault.”…..whenever my parents would want to leave me, I would beg them not to leave because I was too anxious. Or if they didn’t pick me up at the exact time they said they would from the babysitters, I would call them constantly until they answered.”

9.“I Want to go home.” One adult shared, “I used to tell my dad this every time he would take me to my mother’s and he would get extremely confused.”

10. “Can you turn on the hallway light for me at night?” One adult shared, “I lived in fear for a few years that someone was going to come into my room and kidnap me. The light didn’t help. I would lie in bed for two hours just waiting. I still don’t sleep well.”

11. “Don’t make me.” One adult shared, “I’d tell my parents this when I didn’t want to go to school in the morning.”

12. “I don’t feel well.” One adult shared, “My stomach hurts. I remember being sent home several times because I was sick and no one ever knew what was wrong with me. Shortly after I’d get home my stomach pains would cease and I’d be fine. Of course I couldn’t have known on my own that I was just anxious.”

~~DOES ANY OF THESE SOUND FAMILIAR? If you feel your child may be struggling…we’re here to help! Call and ask for Suzanne at 973-658-7767