Children with anxiety disorders are a growing concern in today’s society. What’s even more concerning is that many children who suffer from severe anxiety are either misdiagnosed or go diagnosed altogether. And these children never benefit from available treatments that could make a big difference in the quality of their lives.
It’s important to note that not all childhood anxiety is considered problematic. Most children experience some level of anxiety as a normal part of growing up. A typical child experiences demands from family, friends, sports and school that can seem overwhelming at times and can lead to a certain amount of anxiety. But children with anxiety disorders experience anxiety on a much deeper level. Depending on the type of disorder the child has, it can lead to severe shyness, situation avoidance, and social withdraw.
Symptoms Of Severe Childhood Anxiety
Typical symptoms that children with anxiety disorders display are:
- Difficulty Breathing
- Rapid Heartbeat
- Excessive Fear
- Excessive Worry
- Avoidance Of Certain Situations
Types Of Childhood Anxiety Disorders
As with adults, there is a wide range of anxiety disorders that children can experience.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Panic Disorder
- Social Phobia
- Specific Phobias
- Separation Anxiety
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
- Adjustment Disorder With Anxiety
- Drug Induced Anxiety Disorder
Causes Of Childhood Anxiety
There is no single cause of anxiety in children, but many factors that increase the likelihood that particular children may develop the disorder.
A child with a close relative (particularly a parent) who suffers from severe anxiety has a much higher chance of developing an anxiety disorder.
Children can also develop anxiety disorders after experiencing a traumatic event, such as divorce, a serious accident, witnessing someone being injured, being threatened or bullied, or living in an abusive household.
Although we know of many common contributors to childhood anxiety, there’s no explanation as to why some children develop severe anxiety while others who have similar experiences or surroundings do not.
Treatment Options For Children With Anxiety
Treatment options for children with anxiety include:
Behavioral therapy attempts to help the child identify the cause of the anxiety, confront it, and then eliminate it. Therapy may prove to be beneficial if the child’s anxiety in fact stems from a specific event.
While anxiety medications are often prescribed for adults, they are generally only given to children in severe circumstances. They are extremely powerful and addictive, and should really only be considered as a last resort.
Self-help treatments consist of specific techniques a child can use to recognize the symptoms of anxiety when they begin and immediately work to reduce and eliminate them. These techniques can work especially well for panic attacks.
Natural remedies include specific herbs and other natural ingredients that are known to address particular anxiety disorders. These remedies can alleviate the symptoms and sometimes eliminate the problem altogether.
Also Read : Where to Find Help For Anxiety Disorders
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