Research highlights high levels of anxiety in children

A recent BBC report on research conducted in 2016 by the mental-health charity Place2Be highlights the ongoing difficulties young people face with anxiety on a daily basis.  The study included 700 children aged 10 and 11 and found that two thirds experienced significant levels of worry.  The main causes of anxiety were related to school performance and worry about the wellbeing of family and friends.  Girls were more likely than boys to be anxious about their appearance and being bullied, whereas boys were more concerned about being angry.

The case study of “Tom” in the report is interesting as it highlights the far reaching impact of anxiety.  In Tom’s case, his anxiety affected his learning, increased his risk when he was distressed and also made it difficult for his mum to work.  These are common experiences shared by many families I have met with.  In addition anxiety can impact on friendships, family relationships, concentration and self-esteem.  Some young people that experience severe anxiety also start to suffer with other difficulties such as low mood/ depression.

It is important to emphasise that short-lived anxiety or worry is a normal reaction to situations that appear threatening such as exams or starring in the school play.  However it may warrant closer attention if your child starts to consistently exhibit the common symptoms of anxiety or it starts to impact on daily life.  Physical symptoms of anxiety include a racing heart, trouble breathing, sweaty palms and butterflies.  Anxiety may also impact on the thoughts and behaviour of a child or young person and they may have trouble sleeping or eating, suffer with nightmares, be excessively tearful or clingy, struggle with concentration, or be more irritable/ angry.  Or it might lead to them avoiding situations, feeling panicky, or having a worry go round and round in their head.

Take a look at my blog on managing your child’s anxiety for ideas on coping strategies if you would like some further insight

If you and/or your family are experiencing similar issues and think you might benefit from an intervention that is specifically tailored to meet your individual needs, please feel free to contact me on Tel: 07514 874561 or Email:


I am based at Northwood Surgery, Argyle House, Joel Street, Northwood Hills. HA6 1NW.

Full BBC report can be seen here