News ID: 215707
Published: 0513 GMT May 26, 2018

Anxiety disorders affecting more kids

Anxiety disorders affecting more kids

Ask any parent dealing with a child with anxiety and they will tell you the struggle is real. And it's real for more families than you might think.

Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children, wrote.

NBC Charlotte anchor Sarah French looked into what parents can do to restore sanity to their household.

Cathy Click spent an afternoon at the park with her 13-year-old daughter Molly.

"It's difficult," Cathy said. "It's time-consuming."

Molly's anxiety was at peak level so she had to stay home from school one day.

"My head hurts real bad and then my stomach starts to hurt and it feels like I can't move because it's so bad," Molly said.

"Anxiety is definitely is the number one mental health disorder for children and adults," said Carolinas Counseling Group's Dr. Chis McCarthy.

Dr. McCarthy created an audio anxiety program called Turnaround, which turns fear into freedom. He said parents can make the situation worse without realizing it.

"They can care too much which leads them to overprotect and limit the exposure of their children to things that stress them and that doesn’t help the child overcome their anxiety," Dr. McCarthy said.

"Or they only focus on what the child needs to fix."

Dr. McCarthy said the solution is to try and understand where the fear is coming from.

"It’s not fake, it’s not pretend," he said. "So really try to empathize with what’s going on with the child."

Katie Bumgarner's daughter is just in the 5th grade.

"Talk to me about some of the things you’ve tried that worked and some of the things that didn’t work," asked French.

"We tried introducing new situations more slowly," Bumgarner said.

Behavioral modification, essential oils, melatonin, vitamins, tapping techniques or counseling… there is no one solution.

"It’s very much trial and error," Dr. McCarthy said. "Let go of, "this is a pattern. Things are not changing. Let go of that. Give your child a new day give yourself a new day."

McCarthy also suggested educating kids about what anxiety is. He said that helps them identify when their brain sends these false alarms and enables them to push through the fear.

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