In each issue of Strides, we like to highlight one anxiety-related condition. In this issue, we are going to feature Health Anxiety in Children – what it is and what parents can do if their child struggles with it.
What is Health Anxiety?
Did you know that Health Anxiety is not a disorder; however, there are several disorders that are defined by excessive anxiety related to a condition.
Health Anxiety occurs when a child has a preoccupation with one or more somatic symptoms or is concerned about having or getting a serious illness or condition. A child may become easily alarmed about their health which can lead to excessive checking behaviours or persistent questioning to determine if they are sick. While children with health anxiety do not always have a medical condition, some do.
Although it may be common for youth to worry about health and general wellness on occasion, for youth with health-related anxiety, this worry is excessive, ongoing, uncontrollable, physically draining and has a significant negative impact on the quality of life of the child and family. For more information on Health Anxiety including signs & symptoms, how health-related anxiety impacts the child at different ages, and home management strategies for health-related anxiety, visit https://anxietycanada.com/parenting/health-anxiety.