Understanding generalised anxiety disorder
What it means to have a child with generalised anxiety disorder.

Do you remember taking your driver’s test? The sweaty palms, the sleepless nights, the inability to think about anything else and the utter fatigue from all the energy being drained out of you by nagging worry?

Stress is part of life. In manageable proportions it can be healthy and promote productivity, but anxiety in excessive doses is like driving through life with the handbrake on. It inhibits performance.

So it’s important to find ways to play which move your child forward by reducing the development of
overwhelming anxiety.

What does over-anxious mean?

Children with generalised anxiety disorder experience:

Excessive worry

The over-anxious child finds her mind being nagged by concern. Worry bothers and distracts her from her tasks like the buzz of a hovering mosquito about to draw blood.

Logic loses

She is unable to combat her worry with reason. For example, if she is worried that someone may break into your home, by telling her that your gate is closed, you have electric fencing and an alarm, you will not ease her concern.

Some behaviour you may observe:


Fatigue due to difficulty falling asleep, waking up too early or being restless through the night.


Your child may be quick to become restless. For example, while the children are sitting in a circle to listen to a story, she may suck her fingers, bounce about or play with other children’s hair.

Problem focusing

She may find it difficult to focus on what is going on around her. For example, if you call her, she may seem not to hear her name until you have called her 3 or 4 times.

Nausea or tummy ache

She may complain of nausea or tummy ache quite often because her muscles are tense.

Feeling sick

She may not want to go to parties or school quite often because she isn’t feeling well. Her wellness is broken down by what worry does to her body.

Did you know:

Anxiety disorders are the most common form of childhood psychopathology as 8-10% of children suffer from them.

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