What does the mask of childhood anxiety look like?

Childhood anxiety can be complex, and considering that children often have little understanding of what is happening to them, diagnosis can be a lengthy process.

Anxiety can look like a number of things including anger, challenging behaviour, school refusal, negative behaviour changes, withdrawal, selective mutism, self-medicating in older children (drugs, alcohol, self-harm), emotional outbursts for seemingly no reason, sudden anxious attachment to one parent, constant self-criticism or psychosomatic symptoms.

I can remember having panic attacks at age ten. Only, I did not know what they were back then; I just knew that I felt nauseous, unexplainably terrified of everything around me, fearful of my own body and what was happening to it, and I was convinced that I was dying.

My instinct, even at a young age, was to avoid the places that I thought had made me feel like that.
School was a place of fear for me, and I tried my best to avoid it.

My Anxiety Monster uses illustrations to portray the intensity of anxiety; as the anxiety dissipates, so does the appearance of the monster. The book explains what anxiety feels like, what feeds it, how to overcome it by playing the anxiety challenge game and includes two relaxation exercises.

I am a qualified counsellor who has worked with children for over ten years. I have a passion for helping children understand what anxiety is, and this was the driving force behind my children’s book. For more details check out www.innerpeacebears.com

For your chance to win a copy of My Anxiety Monster, click here.