Causes and effects of anxiety in children under the microscope

An article in the Sunday Times, exploring the subject of children and anxiety, states that "South African children as young as three are being treated for anxiety".

Psychiatrist Dr Kedi Motingoe, says that anxiety disorder cuts across all age groups. But it is difficult to detect in children younger than three. Some behaviours are often pegged as simply irritability and bad tempers, she says.

But we can see it even in infants... even infants can have a reaction to anxiety. This is because parents are not coping and are not able to contain children sufficiently.

Dr Kedi Motingoe, Psychiatrist

Symptoms of anxiety in infants

  • High levels of irritability
  • Difficult to console
  • Eating and sleeping disturbances
  • Not responding to stimulation from the mother
  • Developmental delays
  • And lack of engagement

In Pre-school children

  • Do not socialize with other children
  • Withdrawing behaviour
  • Clinging to the teacher

Youngsters with anxiety disorders tend to keep it bottled up. Young children and teenagers are able to articulate their feelings, but can keep going for years at school without saying anything due to other factors, like parents not being available.

Children don't find the right platforms at times because parents are less available due to their own work pressures. Sometimes it goes unrecognised that the child is suffering.

Dr Kedi Motingoe, Psychiatrist

Some children internalise their anxieties and their negative moods state and become frustrated with themselves, have low-self-esteem, while others externalise and end up behaving negatively by not responding positively towards care givers and teachers.

Dr Kedi Motingoe, Psychiatrist

Dr Motingoe says sometimes anxiety is assumed to be a symptom of ADHD but when looked at very closely, they find ADHD is not the cause.

She says it is important to look at the quality of care children are receiving especially in their early years, as this is when they are most emotionally vulnerable. Not all children develop healthy emotional attachments at this crucial stage, and it can lead to anxiety.

Listen to the full conversation below:

Read More
No surprise that Nzimande shown the door in Cabinet reshuffle - analyst

No surprise that Nzimande shown the door in Cabinet reshuffle - analyst

Political analyst Karima Brown says SACP members who remain in Cabinet are "at the mercy" of Zuma and will have to strategise.

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

How we invented the modern concept of sleep

Dr Bodhisattva Kar reveals how industrial capitalism influenced the world's current sleep patterns.

Where are the whites at DA led marches?

Where are the whites at DA led marches?

DA's Makashule Gana penned an article in which he responds to journo Karyn Maughan's criticism of the party's marches.

Zuma SCA judgment: Everything you need to know

Zuma SCA judgment: Everything you need to know

Advocate James Grant provides pithy analysis on SCA decision that withdrawing charges against President Jacob Zuma was irrational.

Could boarding school work for your child? Here's advice on how to figure it out

Could boarding school work for your child? Here's advice on how to figure it out

Boarding school isn't for everyone. Clinical psychologist Khosi Jiyane says some considerations need to be made before deciding.

The unfinished business of apartheid: Families in search of truth

The unfinished business of apartheid: Families in search of truth

Eusebius McKaiser chats about the unfinished business of apartheid and what the ramifications of this are for SA today.

Popular articles
Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

Why Sisulu and Dlamini-Zuma aren't suitable Presidential candidates: analyst

ANC branch in the Eastern Cape, Z.R Mahabana, has launched a campaign backing Lindiwe Sisuslu as an ANC presidential candidate.

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Gospel singer Sipho Makhabane explains how Sfiso Ncwane died

Gospel singer Sipho Makhabane explains how Sfiso Ncwane died

Makhabane says Ncwane was feeling weak yesterday and his wife phoned paramedics to check on him.

14 job titles that callers can't take seriously

14 job titles that callers can't take seriously

People do some very interesting things for a living, but some job titles are given more credit than others.

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

This week Xolani Gwala's speaks to former Generations actor Pamela Nomvete for #WhatInTheWorldHappenedTo feature.

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

Who is Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi?

The EFF lawyer stole the show during the state capture report court battle.

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

‘I started my thriving business with R5000 (and made a profit in the 1st month)’

After 3 years there are 3 Nic Harry stores (incl online) that sell 100 000 pairs of socks in over 20 countries around the world.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?