Stomach aches and miserable bedtimes made every night a source of stress... For years during her childhood, my daughter complained of stomach pain, especially at bedtime. Numerous trips to the doctor didn't help. The only new bit of information I came away with was that stomach pain in children is such a widespread issue, there is an entire course in med school devoted to it. And its cause still largely remains a mystery.
It wasn't until years later (and too late) that I learned what the cause was: unaddressed, undiagnosed anxiety. It was the only symptom of anxiety that she had, so we had no idea that it was the cause. She was such a confident, happy kid that it would never have occurred to me that she could possibly be struggling with anxiety. But she revealed in her later teen years that she was.
Don't make the mistake I did
If I had only known, we could have addressed the anxiety, learned how to master it, and it would not have taken the hold that it did. The earlier you treat any mental health issue, the better the outcome will be, and it will be - relatively - easier to treat. Don't make the mistake I did when I didn't know as much about anxiety as I do now. Learn the warning signs so you don't mistake them for something they are not. Making that mistake can result in a more stress (especially at bedtime), anxiety that worsens over time, and potentially more serious mental health issues that result.
You have nothing to lose except years of unnecessary stress and worsening mental health.
So what are the symptoms? Well, there are different forms of anxiety, some of which will have symptoms that are obvious. However, Generalized Anxiety and Social Anxiety can both be less obvious to spot. Here are some symptoms to look out for. If your child is displaying any of these, it doesn't necessarily mean that anxiety is the cause - but it warrants looking into a bit further to find out. You have nothing to lose except years of unnecessary stress and worsening mental health.
Stomach pain or gastrointestinal problems not due to medical causes
Trouble concentrating; mind going blank
Sleep problems, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, restlessness, or unsatisfying sleep
Feeling restless, wound-up, or on-edge
Being easily fatigued
Having difficulty controlling worry
I am now well-trained (professionally and by experience) in identifying and treating anxiety using the Cool Kids program developed and run by Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. If you'd like to have an exploratory chat about your child and any symptoms you may be concerned about, book a free consultation with me (below). This is not about selling you anything - just a helpful chat to put your mind at ease or point you in the right direction.
If you'd like an assessment done with your child to determine whether there is an issue with anxiety, book a short or full consultation. Or, of course, contact me with any questions.