Psychogenic Fever: Can Anxiety Cause Fever in a Child?


As parents of young children, it is important to recognize when our child’s fever may be caused by something more than a physical ailment. Can anxiety cause fever in a child?

It is plausible that the worry and fear associated with childhood anxiety can manifest as a physical ailment like fever. While there are other causes for fevers in toddlers, understanding how anxiety can play into this common childhood illness is essential for providing proper care and support.

In this blog post, we will discuss how can anxiety cause fever in a child, provide strategies for managing stress and anxiety in toddlers, and share coping mechanisms for parents during these trying times.

Table of Contents

Can Anxiety Cause Fever in a Child?

Yes, it is possible for children to experience an elevated body temperature due to anxiety.

Anxiety can affect the body in many ways, including altering its normal functions and causing physical symptoms such as fever.

Research has shown that stress can weaken the immune system, making people more vulnerable to infections and illnesses, including fevers.

What are the effects of anxiety on the body?

Anxiety is characterized by feelings of fear or apprehension about potential threats or dangers. It can cause various physical symptoms such as restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, irritability, muscle tension, and shortness of breath. In addition to these symptoms, it can also lead to increased heart rate and breathing rate which may result in an elevated body temperature.

What types of anxiety disorders may be associated with fever?

Different types of anxiety disorders have different effects on the body. For example, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by persistent intrusive thoughts that lead to compulsive behaviors in order to relieve distress or discomfort. This type of disorder has been linked with higher levels of cortisol – a hormone released when we feel stressed – which could potentially raise body temperatures.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has also been associated with increased cortisol levels, leading to stress-induced fevers.

What is Psychogenic Fever?

Psychogenic fever may present itself differently than normal fevers caused by illness or infection. Common physical symptoms associated with psychogenic fever include sweating, trembling, rapid breathing, headaches, and persistent low-grade fever. Accompanying this emotional fever may be an array of psychological disturbances ranging from apprehension to episodes of sheer terror.

To identify psychogenic fevers in toddlers, monitor any behavioral changes that have heightened since the fever’s onset. If you notice your child exhibiting signs of extreme fearfulness or panic attacks, then it’s likely they are experiencing a psychogenic fever rather than one caused by illness or infection.

Treatment decisions will depend on the severity of your child’s anxiety and any other factors that may be involved (e.g., medical issues). Generally speaking, treatment should focus on helping your child manage their emotions and providing them with reassurance that everything will be okay. This could involve cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) sessions where appropriate techniques are taught to help reduce feelings of worry as well as relaxation exercises like deep breathing which helps promote calmness.

Anxiety can be a complex challenge to tackle, particularly when it involves physical symptoms. Parents and caregivers should be alert to signs of anxiety-induced fever in their kids so they can find suitable therapeutic options.

can anxiety cause fever in a child


How to Tell If Stress is Causing Your Child’s Fever

When it comes to stress-induced fever, the symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people may experience chills, shaking, headaches, and body aches while others feel dizzy, lightheaded, fatigued, or nauseous. It’s important to pay attention to any physical signs that the body is under stress so you can take steps to prevent psychogenic fever.

If you think that your child’s fever could be related to anxiety, the first step is to take them to the doctor for evaluation. Once underlying medical conditions are ruled out, they can then begin looking into severe stress as the cause of these symptoms.

How to Treat Anxiety Symptoms

The first step in treating psychogenic fever is identifying what’s causing stress levels to rise. It could be one specific incident or an ongoing issue like untreated anxiety or depression. Once you’ve identified the source of your child’s stress, you can begin working towards reducing fever symptoms.

Kids who experience psychogenic fever may benefit from psychological therapy such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and psychotherapy sessions focused on relaxation such as mindfulness meditation or deep breathing exercises.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used as a treatment for psychogenic fevers because it helps people identify patterns of thought and behavior that may be contributing to their condition, then work towards changing them into healthier habits that will help manage their stress levels better.

Other psychological therapies such as talk therapy may also be beneficial in helping children understand why they are feeling stressed out and how to address those feelings effectively.

Mindfulness practices such as meditation have been found to reduce stress significantly by teaching kids how to focus their attention away from negative thoughts.

Lifestyle changes such as getting more sleep, eating healthier foods, and exercising regularly are natural ways to prevent persistent low-grade fevers caused by chronic stress.

Medications like anxiolytics and antidepressants may also be prescribed to help manage the mood swings associated. However, this should always be a last resort after other methods have been tried and exhausted since there are potential side effects that come with pharmaceuticals.

Coping Strategies for Parents of Anxious Children

Parents can find it tough to decide how best to aid their children when they experience psychogenic fever. It’s important to remember that your child may not understand why they are feeling so overwhelmed and scared. The key is to provide reassurance and understanding while helping them cope with their feelings.

Here are some tips on how you can help your anxious child during a fever episode.

  • Provide comfort by offering hugs, holding hands, or talking in a soothing voice. Let your child know that you are their ally, ready to do anything in order to help them feel better.
  • Create a safe space where your child can relax without being judged or criticized. This could include playing calming music, reading stories together, or taking part in activities like coloring or puzzles that keep the mind busy.
  • Be patient when listening to their concerns and fears – don’t try to fix the problem but instead focus on validating their feelings so they know you understand what they’re going through.
  • Offer distraction techniques such as counting backward or having them take deep breaths until the anxiety passes. This helps shift attention away from worrying thoughts.
  • Encourage positive talk by reminding your child of all their strengths when they start feeling down. This will help build confidence in times of distress.


Can anxiety cause fever in a child? The answer is yes! It is important for parents to be aware of the signs and symptoms of anxiety-induced fever.

By understanding what causes emotional fever, parents can better recognize when their child may be feeling anxious and work towards helping them through it.

Are you a parent of a 3-6-year-old child who has been experiencing fever and anxiety? If so, it is important that you take the necessary steps to address both conditions.

Research suggests that there may be a connection between anxiety and fever in young children. Therefore, it is essential for parents to understand how can anxiety cause fever in a child and ways to manage these symptoms. By utilizing evidence-based solutions such as cognitive behavioral therapy or relaxation techniques, families can work together to reduce stress levels while providing appropriate medical care when needed.

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