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Anxiety

Feeling Anxious

Children can feel anxious about different things at different ages. Many of these worries are a normal part of growing up.

From about eight months to three years, for example, it's very common for young children to have something called separation anxiety. They may become clingy and cry when separated from their parents or carers. This is a normal stage in a childs development and tends to ease off at around age two to three.

For teens or anyone else, anxiety is a normal reaction to stress. Things like tests, meeting new people, speaking in public, changing schools between primary and secondary, or going to university can make us feel apprehensive or uneasy. But some teens react much more strongly to stressful situations than others. Even thinking about the situations may cause them great distress.

It's also common for pre-school children to develop specific fears or phobias. Common fears in early childhood include animals, insects, storms, heights, water, blood, and the dark. These fears usually go away gradually on their own.

Throughout a child's life there will be other times when they feel anxiety. Lots of children feel anxious when going to a new school, for example, or before tests and exams. Some children feel shy in social situations and may need support with this.

If the problem has gone but the feeling of fear or panic stays or even gets stronger, that’s when anxiety becomes a problem.

With as many as one in six young people experiencing anxiety at some point, it is very common to have anxiety.

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