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Little Worrier: How Children Express Worry and Anxiety

So when I started this train of thought about anxiety and worry, I did what we all do: I googled. A definition on each should establish the conversation nicely I thought. The bizarre thing is that both anxiety and worry are used to describe each other, in one kind of ambiguous loop

It took a little Instagram square to get me thinking about the difference between worry and anxiety. I was taking a photograph of a worry doll to caption with ideas on how children can express worries and I started reflecting on some recent conversations about the maze of diagnosis and treatment options for children’s mental health concerns; in particular anxiety in children. The subject matter is too much for one blog post but I thought I would collate a few thoughts on the topic and share a few strategies to help children express worry and anxiety.

As much as we would all like mental health concerns to fit neat and tidy in a small box, they appear in all shapes, sizes and even sometimes disguises. I like to think of mental health as a continuum. Down one end of the continuum is health at its best and down the other end is illness at its worse. We all sit somewhere on the continuum and move along it all the time. Anxiety and worry can also be thought of as a continuum; low grade worry at one end and debilitating anxiety at the other. A continuum is defined by having two extremes and a less perceptibly different middle ground which together form a whole. In this instance worry and anxiety form a whole experience but they can also be differentiated. Continue reading Little Worrier: How Children Express Worry and Anxiety