Anxiety Disorders in Children

During their lifetimes many children may experience various typical fears. This may include being nervous of starting at a new school to a fear of taking a test . However, generally these types of fears do not develop into anxiety disorders or panic attacks.There are some children who may show the signs of a disorder because of other reasons.

Although, we would prefer to protect children from anything that will interfere in their lives, it is not always possible to do so. Children can suffer from the same types of anxiety disorders as those of adults. There are various means of spotting a generalized disorder in children. For instance, she or he may worry excessively about their daily life as well as their daily events. Children many be very hard on themselves as they strive for perfection, while seeking the constant reassurance and approval of others. Some may redo tasks repeatedly in order to produce a perfect outcome.

Some children do suffer from OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder. OCD causes unwanted and intrusive obsession and thoughts that are not so easy to overcome. These children may display repetition or performance or ritualistic behaviors in order to relieve their overwhelming feeling of anxieties. Generally, diagnosis of OCD occurs around ten years of age, however younger children can show the same signs by the time they are two or three years old. The overwhelming feelings and need to excessively wash their hands, a terrible fear that he or she may accidentally do something wrong as well as continually counting objects or rechecking them may aid them in driving off any unwelcome thoughts are all symptoms of this type of anxiety disorder in children.

Children can suffer from other disorders such as panic disorder. These disorders are generally diagnosed after the child repeatedly suffers through two unexpected attacks followed by one month of concern and worry over having yet another attack.

The irrational fears towards specific objects, places or situations, is another sign of anxiety disorder in children. Many children have a natural fear of the dark, storms and animals. However, if this fear persists for six months or more and interferes with their everyday activities the child has developed a phobia. The symptoms may include such conditions as headaches, stomach upsets, freezing in place when frightened, becoming overly clingy and temper tantrums.

Children can suffer form post traumatic stress disorder which is another type of anxiety disorder after being exposed to a natural disaster, physical assault, an accident and other traumatic events such as the sudden death of a parent or loved one. The symptoms they may display are those of the inability to eat or sleep, nightmares, role playing the incident, emotional numbing and a terrifying fear that the event will repeat itself.

Children can suffer from anxiety disorders just as adults do, however, their emotional and physical symptoms may vary. Children do not understand that their fears can be irrational. Some many not even be able to verbalize their overwhelming feelings. When a child displays such symptoms as temper tantrums, excessive crying or becoming overly clingy, it is wise to consult with their regular pediatrician to consider the possibilities of suffering from anxiety disorders in children.