Anxious Child or Teen

Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatry & Perinatal Specialist located in Cherry Hill , NJ
Anxious Child or Teen services offered in Cherry Hill , NJ

Some children and teens develop such severe anxiety it affects their ability to cope at school and makes every day uncomfortably stressful. If you have an anxious child or teen, Dr. Amy Carnall, DNP, APN, PMHNP-BC, and Christina Sertway, APN, PMHNP-BC, at Clarity Psychiatry Care in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, can help. They provide an in-depth assessment and effective, personalized treatment that helps reduce your child’s anxiety. Call Clarity Psychiatry Care today or schedule a consultation online to get help for an anxious child or teen.

Anxious Child or Teen Q & A

What makes children and teens anxious?

Anxiety is a natural response to stressful, worrying, and scary situations. Most people feel anxious before an exam, a first date, or an important interview — the emotion can even be beneficial when not excessive, helping you perform better during significant events.

Young children are likely to suffer anxiety about things they fear, like the dark, monsters in the closet, or losing their parents. Teens tend to worry more about themselves, for example:

  • How they look
  • How well they do at school
  • Sporting achievements
  • How they think others see them
  • The ways they change during puberty
  • Peer pressure
  • Attracting a partner

All these fears are normal, but anxiety becomes overwhelming for some children and teens. Their anxiousness limits their ability to function and prevents them from leading the life they want.


How do I know if I have an anxious child or teen?

An anxious child is often tearful or clingy during the day. At night, they have difficulty sleeping, wake often, suffer from nightmares, and may wet the bed. In teens, anxiety symptoms vary widely but could include:

  • Social withdrawal
  • Avoiding new people and activities
  • Irritability
  • Angry outbursts
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Self-consciousness
  • Extreme sensitivity to criticism
  • Frequent stomach or headaches
  • Falling grades
  • School refusal
  • Repeated reassurance-seeking
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Substance misuse

Some children develop child anxiety that goes undiagnosed until it worsens in adolescence. Or they may receive treatment only for the problem to return when they become teens. Others have no abnormal anxiety issues until their teenage years.


What help is available for an anxious child or teen?

The Clarity Psychiatry Care team specializes in providing child psychiatry services that help young people. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) effectively reduces anxiety symptoms, teaching children and teens how to respond differently when it occurs. Children learn to tolerate anxiety rather than avoid it, so it gradually reduces.

Some children might benefit from antidepressants, but these drugs require expert medication management to ensure they have no adverse effects on your child. Exposure therapy is an option for children and teens with phobias (extreme anxiety about something specific like insects, the dark, or water).

This treatment involves gradually increasing the child’s exposure to objects or activities they fear to reduce the anxiety response. Clarity Psychiatry Care also runs a mentoring program (Together Youth Mentoring) to address child and teen anxiety. Mentors include peers who’ve experienced anxiety and can provide an understanding ear for your child or teen.

If you’re concerned about child or teen anxiety, call Clarity Psychiatry Care today or book an appointment via the online form.