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December 10, 2020 Thursday 08:24:34 AM IST

How Anxiety Causes Stomach Pain in Children?

Parent Interventions

Anxiety can lead to recurring stomach pain in children and effective treatment option uses cognitive behavioural therapy to target the discomfort and the anxiety triggering it.

Kids with increased anxiety may experience more pain and have greater impairment in physical and daily functioning due to their pain,” Natoshia Cunningham, Assistant Professor in the Department of Family Medicine of Michigan State University said. “Such kids may experience things like school absences, poorer academic performance, social difficulties and difficulty concentrating due to their pain symptoms.”

Worries may increase pain symptoms, according to Cunningham, who is also a paediatric psychologist who specialises in developing and testing personalised psychological treatment for kids with chronic health conditions involving pain.

The psychologist created and tested the Aim to Decrease Anxiety and Pain Treatment or ADAPT program. It involves cognitive behavioural therapy, or CBT or an evidence to help them deal with emotions and manage their pain.

Detective Thinking

It involves challenging worrisome thoughts, gradual exposure to fearful situations and social skills training.

Assertiveness training

Helps children communicate what they need in the classroom, allowing time to take deep breaths and how to deal with bullies.

“Girls are more likely to experience abdominal pain and anxiety and are also more prone to develop depression as they go through adolescence,” she said. “It is our hope that if we can teach them these coping strategies early, perhaps ,we can promote their resilience as they grow older.”