It is normal for a child to feel anxious after a frightening situation or event. Comforting and reassuring the child takes away the general anxiety. However, if the anxiety is constant and uncontrollable, the child may have an anxiety disorder. Untreated anxiety affects a child’s relationships at home and at school. The disorder may also affect the child’s performance at school. Here is everything you need to know about childhood anxiety disorder.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Children suffer anxiety disorders from the age of six. One of the common types of anxiety disorders is separation anxiety, which affects children under 18 years. The disorders result from fear of separation from anyone that a child is attached. Children also suffer from simple phobias that may start from eight years. Another common disorder at this age is the obsessive-compulsive disorder. Other types of childhood anxiety disorders include panic disorder, social phobia, agoraphobia, selective mutism, hoarding disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The later may develop after the age of 20. A visit to a family psychiatrist clinic can help diagnose the form of anxiety that your child is suffering from and recommend the right treatment.
Causes, Signs, and Symptoms
The causes of childhood anxiety remain unclear but most children suffer from more than one psychological disorder. The anxiety or phobia may be a sign of another disorder. The types of anxiety disorders outlined in the previous section have specific signs. However, some signs and symptoms apply to all types of anxiety disorder. These symptoms include irritability, restlessness, excessive worry or anxiety, fatigue and muscle tension. Other signs and symptoms include poor concentration, sleeplessness, and lack of control over worry, like keeping checking AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts reviews before applying. Anxiety affects a child’s behavior at school, home, and social settings. Sometimes anxiety leads to habitual behaviors such as nail biting, lip biting, nose picking, pulling hair, skin picking, and cheek biting among other things.
If you cannot help your child to overcome worry or anxiety, you need to seek professional help. The signs and symptoms outlined above will help you determine if your child requires therapy. The phobia or anxiety may start in childhood and persist in teenage and adulthood when left untreated. The major treatment for anxiety disorders for both adults and children is cognitive behavioral therapy. The treatment is effective in managing the signs and symptoms of anxiety disorders. Your family psychiatrist will recommend the number of therapy sessions that your child requires based on his or her assessment. Therapy gives the patient a realistic and balanced way of thinking about their fears.
Your child may develop anxiety from simple situations such as attending school for the first time. He or she may be clingy when experiencing change or separating from you. However, if the signs outlined above accompany the anxiety, you need to seek treatment immediately. You cannot treat the disorder at home or hope that it will go away with time. Therapy sessions with a qualified psychiatrist will help in treating the anxiety disorder.