Anxiety is a normal and necessary emotion; it keeps us safe and alive. When we see something dangerous our body and mind automatically react to keep us safe. You may have heard of Fight or Flight? This is when we run to safety or fight to stay safe. Most people feel anxiety when it’s necessary to keep themselves safe, and those times are occasional and short lived.
People might also feel worry. Worry can happen in unknown situations, or when there might be some doubt (how will they respond to me? Will I be able to do it?). It feels uncomfortable but manageable.
These as described above are normal and typical; however high levels of anxiety and excessive worry becomes a problem for people when it causes distress and affects their lives by getting in the way of doing what they have to do (i.e. going to school), doing what they like to do (i.e. no longer going to play sports), or when the thoughts of worry and anxiety overwhelm their mind and they can’t focus.
Children and teenagers don't always discuss their feelings and worries with others for a number of reasons. This means that their behaviour speaks for them. Parents might notice all or some of the following in their child(ren) if they are struggling to manage their emotions: