Stress Management

Anxiety Disorders In Children

If you thought anxiety disorders were just restricted to adults then you are highly mistaken. Children and adolescents too deal with anxiety disorders. Children suffering from anxiety disorders deal with constant fear and worry. Certain cases of anxiety disorders in children may also lead to drug use, impaired relationships with peers, low self esteem, suicidal thoughts and the like.

Anxiety disorders in children can be broadly categorized into Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Separation Anxiety Disorder, Phobias, Panic disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Let us take a close look at each one of them.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder
As the name suggests, there is no such specific cause of this type of anxiety disorder. Children suffering from generalized anxiety disorder are worried even about the minutest of things. They are tensed about day to day activities such as homework, academic performance, being on time, extra curricular activities and the like. Such kids feel way too self conscious and are always tensed. Giving these kids reassurance can be of great help.

Separation Anxiety Disorder
This is a common type of anxiety disorder in children. Children suffering from separation anxiety disorder fear the thought of being separated from their parents. They have a problem leaving their parents and going for a camp or to stay at a friend's place. Such kids usually cling on to their parents and even have problems sleeping alone.

Phobias are one anxiety disorder that exists with both- children as well as adults. Phobia simply refers to extreme fear of a particular situation or an object. Since phobias are extremely common, some of them even have specific names. For instance, phobia of heights is known as vertigo. Some kids even have social phobias that is they fear being in public places and interacting with others. Typically, individuals try to avoid the subject of their phobia which can make their life restricted.

Panic disorder

If a child experiences frequent panic attacks, he/she is said to be suffering from panic disorder. Most often, there is no specific cause of panic attack in the child. Such panic attacks are accompanied with extreme fear, shivering, nausea and the feeling of imminent death. Since panic disorders are so frightful, they leave the child in a traumatic state.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

This is a relatively rare kind of anxiety disorder in children. Kids suffering from this disorder are obsessed with a particular habit or a process of thoughts. This could be repeatedly washing hands, counting, rearranging habits, eating and the like. Though children suffering from this anxiety disorder are able to identify their behavior as senseless, they find hard to refrain from the given behavior.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder usually occurs after the child has gone through an extremely stressful event. The trauma of the event lingers behind and results in an anti anxiety disorder. These events could include physical abuse, a disaster such as flood or bombing, physical assault and the like. The memories of these stressful events flash in front of the child and make him stressed.