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Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children)

Levels of Anxiety



I have a 6 1/2 year old twin who we think may have some problems with anxiety. We have a family history of anxiety problems. She is an excellent student and enjoys school. On the 1st day of school, initially would not go into the classroom. However, this is the first day that she was separated from her sister at school. The next day and from then on, she has been fine. She is also a good soccer player. However, at games she can not perform to her ability. In a new soccer class that we brought her to today, she cried initially. After bribing her with candy (I know, bad parent), she participated in the class. She often will not talk to adults that she is not comfortable with. In addition, she is appears uncomfortable with me volunteering in her class. Although, when asked, she does want me to come into the room. She has a difficult time talking about her feelings. We have talked about the feeling of butterflies in her stomach. She does acknowledge that she has them. She does not have any physcial complaints, sleep issues, or the like. When do we decide to pursue professional help?


This sounds like normal shyness which occurs in 20% of the population, as long as she pushes herself to be social and you both work on increasing these opportunities. If her shyness progresses to impairment at school or socially, then professional help may be required.

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Response by:

Floyd R Sallee, MD
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati