Anxiety in Children
About 13 out of every 100 children and adolescents ages 9 to 17 experiencing some kind of anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or generalized anxiety disorder. Possible treatment options include therapy, relaxation techniques, biofeedback, or medication. If anxiety in children is not detected and treated early enough, other problems may develop.
Children and adolescents with anxiety disorders typically experience intense fear, worry, or uneasiness that can last for long periods of time and significantly affect their lives. If not treated early, anxiety in children can lead to:
- Repeated school absences or an inability to finish school
- Impaired relations with peers
- Low self-esteem
- Alcohol or other drug use
- Problems adjusting to work situations
- Anxiety disorder in adulthood.
Many different anxiety disorders affect children and adolescents. In children, anxiety disorders often experienced include:
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Children and adolescents with generalized anxiety disorder engage in extreme, unrealistic worry about everyday life activities. They worry unduly about their academic performance, sporting activities, or even about being on time. Typically, these young people are very self-conscious, feel tense, and have a strong need for reassurance. They may complain about stomachaches or other discomforts that do not appear to have any physical cause.