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Recognizing Signs of Childhood Anxiety

Learn to recognize signs of anxiety in your child.

Does your child complain of frequent headaches or stomach aches? If a visit to the pediatrician rules out any physical causes, anxiety may be the underlying culprit.

Childhood anxiety often first manifests as physical symptoms in children, such as headaches, stomach aches, fatigue, and the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night.

Noticing the patterns of these symptoms can be helpful in determining whether they are caused by anxiety in your child. Do the symptoms most often occur on Sunday evenings before a new school week? Do they appear before a big test at school or presentation? Do more symptoms emerge before your child is exposed to a social situation, such as a birthday party or school event? If so, anxiety is most likely to blame.

Play therapy can be very helpful for children struggling with childhood anxiety, as the anxiety is often the result of the inability to express their worries. When stress and worries are held within a child's body and not expressed it can cause physical symptoms to emerge. Play therapy helps children recognize the sensation of these feelings within their bodies, and gives them an outlet to express and overcome their worries.

At HeadFirst Counseling, our play therapists specialize in providing a safe, accepting, and welcoming environment for children to begin to learn ways of expressing their emotions, so that they can gain control over their feelings. Giving children control allows them to be able to work through their concerns and emerge with an increased belief in themselves and their ability to handle problems on their own and be successful.

Contact our Dallas office today to get started if you notice a lot of unexplained physical symptoms in your child. (469) 665-9416 or

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