Can a Pediatrician Diagnose My Child's Anxiety?
Is your child often worried before, after, and during events? Do they have meltdowns before or after school? If they are often agitated, restless, or have unexplainable headaches and stomachaches, your child may have anxiety. If your child is experiencing any kind of emotional distress, you should take them to the pediatrician.
According to Psychology Today, many parents rely on pediatricians to diagnose and help with their child’s mental health. A pediatrician may outsource care and recommend a psychologist when they feel it is necessary. However, your child’s doctor should be the first stop when you suspect that something could be wrong with their health - whether it is mental or physical.
How Does a Pediatrician Diagnose Anxiety?
Your pediatrician undergoes training in many different health fields when in medical school because these doctors see such a variety of cases. Some pediatricians even focus on mental health topics. It’s a good idea to call your pediatrician’s office and discuss your worries. If your pediatrician cannot diagnose anxiety, they will recommend someone that your family can rely on.
It’s likely that your pediatrician will speak to your child and begin looking at prominent symptoms. Then they may interview a family member and the child, as well as have them fill out surveys on their reactions or behavior when it comes to different events. It can be difficult to diagnose anxiety in a child, especially younger ones, because they don’t quite have the articulation to pinpoint what is wrong. With kids, the symptoms for things like anxiety, depression, ADHD, and learning disorders can all be similar. Children often develop stomachaches or headaches when they are nervous, and a pediatrician can help decipher what is making the child upset.
After a thorough screening, your pediatric team will go over treatments and options with you and your family.
How Does Anxiety Affect Child Development?
The Child Mind Institute found that at least 17 million children throughout the US are affected by mental health issues annually. This means that many children suffer from anxiety, and many of them never seek help. It’s vital to a child’s health and development to seek help if you should notice that they are developing anxiety issues.
Anxiety takes a toll on a child’s health.This disorder can cause sleeplessness, diarrhea, migraines, and difficulty concentrating. These symptoms may cause the child to drop in school performance. Sometimes, a noticeable decline in grades and interest in school is a good cause to have your child evaluated for mental and emotional health. Most pediatricians will first rule out learning disorders, before moving on. It’s an important process, so talk to a pediatrician you trust.
How Much Anxiety is Normal in Children?
While it’s true that it’s normal to experience a certain amount of anxiety, the mark of an anxiety disorder is that children feel anxious often, for a variety of reasons. Kids feel anxious when they’re dealing with a brand new situation. Or, certain things can trigger them to become anxious (like being dropped off at school). Most children are able to learn coping methods. So over time, they will become less anxious when it comes to certain events. Children with anxiety don’t see any alleviation from the anxiety.
Children with anxiety often worry about daily activities and making simple mistakes, like checking over and over that they remembered their math textbook, for example. Or, they may become obsessive over the health and safety of family members. Children may exhibit panic attacks or like behavior, like shallow breathing, pacing, and increased heart rate. If a child becomes overly nervous and cannot find ways to cope or calm down before a stressful event, that may be a sign that they need to speak to a doctor.
If you suspect your child is affected, keep a close eye and monitor their behavior.
Local Pediatricians Treating Anxiety
If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hold off to see what happens. Simply call us at Glen Allen Pediatrics. Dial 804-282-4210 and speak to a friendly staff member who can schedule you for an appointment. Our doctors have received an A+ rating from the BBB for our excellent track record serving the community of Richmond, Virginia. Our doctors have over 70 years of combined experience treating a variety of children. Call us today and get your child the help they need to grow up healthy.