Recognizing Anxiety Disorders in Children

By | June 9, 2016

Anxiety and Depression related disorders are the most common psychological maladies in the United States. Anxiety is not restricted to the adult population however. Many children experience anxiety that often goes untreated because it is not recognized or treated. Read on to find out how to learn about anxiety disorders, recognize anxiety in children, and common treatments.

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a sense of pervading worry, panic, and or apprehension about a situation that does not logically require these emotions. Anxiety and stress are vital to living.

Positive stress tells us that something needs to happen quickly, that action needs to be taken in order to survive. This is good stress. Bad stress occurs when people associate these feelings of anxiety with events that do not logically require it.

When stress becomes illogical it produces anxiety and often depression. The term Anxiety Disorders, is truly an umbrella term for many anxiety related illnesses including, panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive compulsive disorder.

How is anxiety recognized in children?

Children with a generalized anxiety disorder or other anxiety related disorder are generally abnormally worried about events at school, friendships and unrealistic fears of failure. These children might have physical symptoms like headaches and stomach aches that can’t be explained by their physical health.

If a child is exhibiting these symptoms it is helpful to look into their social and medical history. Anxiety is caused by three major factors; genetics, biological and psychological. If a child has a sibling or parent with a history of anxiety or depression their chance of experiencing anxiety will be elevated. Additionally if a child has an illness, anxiety can be a part of their experience of that illness.

Read More:  How To Treat Sleep Problems In Children

What treatments are available for children with Anxiety?

Treatment of anxiety in children is very similar to treatment of anxiety in adults. Common treatments include, family therapy, medication, relaxation techniques and cognitive behavioral therapy.

In children suffering with anxiety, cognitive therapy is used to help the children recognize the way they think when they are anxious and works to reconstruct their thinking in a more positive direction. In more extreme cases cognitive therapy might be used in addition to medication and family therapy.

Giving parents the skills to cope with their children’s illness and the tools to aid their child in recovery are just as important. Very positive changes can be achieved when parents work diligently with children coping with anxiety.

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