“The COVID-19 pandemic basically unmasked a problem that was already beginning to boil over,” Dr. Aiken says. “The pandemic made it clear to everyone this is a national emergency.”
Not every kid who gets worried has an anxiety disorder. The key, Dr. Aiken says, is whether a child can be soothed or whether they can’t stop catastrophizing. It’s the difference between a teenager being nervous about a driving test, for example, and being convinced they’re going to wreck the car.
“It’s when a realistic, everyday thing that we all have to do becomes a huge thing,” Dr. Aiken says. “You can’t talk to them, and you can’t make them calm down about it. You can’t de-escalate.”
If you think your child may be struggling with anxiety, don’t hesitate to talk to the child’s pediatrician or other qualified provider. Here are some signs they could be dealing with more-than-normal nervousness: