Anxiety in kids: Personalized guidance and support for your child

UW Health Kids Behavioral Health experts, including pediatric psychiatrists, psychologists and licensed therapists, help children and their families manage the many forms of anxiety.
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Overview

Anxiety disorders

We diagnose and treat all types of anxiety disorders.

Childhood fears of the dark or strangers are normal. But if your child’s fears are extreme or keep them from everyday activities, UW Health Kids specialists can help.

Types of anxiety

When fear and worry become too much

Anxiety occurs when fear or worries overwhelm your child or change their behavior.

Types of anxiety

Your child tries to avoid open or public places and events that make them worry.

Uncontrolled, extreme worry about activities or situations.

Intense anxiety and terror in response to a fear. Your child may worry about another panic attack or avoid activities where a panic attack occurred.

Excessive fears of specific situations or things, such as dogs.

Your child does not speak in certain situations, like at school.

Extreme fear of being separated from parents or other trusted adults.

Fear of social situations and feelings of embarrassment or self-consciousness.

Intense anxiety caused by medicines, misusing drugs or withdrawal.

Symptoms

Signs your child may be struggling with anxiety

Anxiety symptoms differ for each child. Watch for these common behaviors.

It can be tough to pinpoint anxiety. Over time, you may notice patterns, like a frequent stomachache before school. Or you may get reports of perfect behavior from a classroom teacher but deal with meltdowns outside of school.

Symptoms of anxiety can include:

  • Avoidance of school, other activities

  • Being a perfectionist

  • Controlling behaviors

  • Dizziness

  • Excessive worrying

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Racing heartbeat

  • Restlessness

  • Stomachaches

  • Sweating

  • Tantrums

  • Trouble sleeping

Treatments

Helping kids cope with anxiety

We provide the help your child needs to manage and overcome their fears.

We find the right treatment for your child’s anxiety. Treatment may include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (talk therapy)

  • Family therapy

  • Group therapy

  • Individual therapy

  • Medicines

  • Parent coaching and training

  • Relaxation and coping strategies

  • Stress management

Smiling child with signing UW Health Kids
UW Health Kids

Our pediatric experts have served the special needs of children for more than 100 years. We focus on each child’s unique needs and offer social and emotional support to help you and your child face even the most complex condition. Our long history includes the creation of medical advances that save lives around the world. Together, we get your child back to health and enjoying being a kid.

Meet our team

Expert pediatric anxiety care

The UW Health Kids anxiety care team includes pediatric experts in behavioral health, psychiatry and psychology.

Pediatric psychiatry
Pediatric psychology
Behavioral health

Mental and Behavioral Health

Promoting well-being, healing and recovery.

Learn more

Locations

Find the care your family needs

We provide anxiety care at UW Health clinics in Madison.

  • 2275 Deming 748348-8376
    2275 Deming 748348-8376
    Behavioral Health and Psychiatry Clinic
    • 2275 Deming Way, Suite 180 / Middleton, WI
    • Closed now
    • Our UW Health psychiatrists, psychologists and counselors are here to help you and your family with an array of treatment options, including both medications and therapy.

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  • UW Health Behavioral Health and Recovery Clinic
    UW Health Behavioral Health and Recovery Clinic
    Behavioral Health and Recovery Clinic
    • 1102 S. Park St. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 282-8270
    • Closed now
    • We are here to help you and your family begin the journey of recovery from chemical dependency and mental illness. Services are individualized to meet your unique needs, and encourage family involvement.

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  • 122 Olin 748348-7465
    122 Olin 748348-7465
    Behavioral Health Youth and Family
    • 122 E. Olin Ave / Madison, WI
    • (608) 262-1111
    • Open now
    • We offer youth and their families a comprehensive alcohol and drug evaluation program that includes screening, assessments, intervention and referral services.

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  • East Clinic - Behavioral Health
    • 5249 E. Terrace Dr. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 504-4100
    • Closed now
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  • 6001 Research Park 748348-0120
    6001 Research Park 748348-0120
    Psychiatric Institute and Clinic
    • 6001 Research Park Blvd. / Madison, WI
    • (608) 232-3171
    • Closed now
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  • Union Corners Clinic - Behavioral Pediatrics
    • 2402 Winnebago Street / Madison, WI
    • (608) 242-6845
    • Closed now
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  • Yahara Clinic - Behavioral Health
    • 1050 East Broadway / Monona, WI
    • (608) 287-5757
    • Closed now
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Patient support services

Learn to support your child

We teach you how to recognize anxiety and help your child manage their fears and worries.

Anxiety support resources for parents

UW Health’s Dr. Marcia Slattery discusses anxiety in children on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Larry Meiller Show. Listen.

Learn the difference between normal fears and anxiety in children. Read more.

UW Health’s Dr. Marcia Slattery discusses the signs of anxiety in children. Read more.