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Types of anxiety disorders among children ( Part 1) | Kalvimalar - News

Types of anxiety disorders among children ( Part 1)- 23-Feb-2022

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What are the kinds of anxiety disorders?


Different anxiety disorders can affect kids and teens. They include:


  • generalized anxiety disorder
  • separation anxiety disorder
  • social anxiety disorder
  • panic disorder


Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). GAD causes kids to worry almost every day and over lots of things. Kids with GAD worry over things that most kids worry about, like homework, tests, or making mistakes.


But with GAD, kids worry more, and more often. Kids with GAD also worry over things parents might not expect would cause worry. For example, they might worry about recess, lunchtime, birthday parties, playtime with friends, or riding the school bus. Kids with GAD may also worry about war, weather, future, about loved ones, safety, illness, or getting hurt.


Separation anxiety disorder (SAD). It's normal for babies and very young kids to feel anxious the first times they are apart from their parent. But soon they get used to being with a grandparent, babysitter, or teacher. And they start to feel at home at daycare or school.


But when kids don't outgrow the fear of being apart from a parent, it's called separation anxiety disorder. Even as they get older, kids with SAD feel very anxious about being away from their parent or away from home. They may miss many days of school. They may say they feel too sick or upset to go. They may cling to a parent, cry, or refuse to go to school, sleepovers, play dates, or other activities without their parent. At home, they may have trouble falling asleep or sleeping alone. They may avoid being in a room at home if their parent isn't close by.


Social phobia (social anxiety disorder). With social phobia, kids to feel too afraid of what others will think or say. They are always afraid they might do or say something embarrassing. They worry they might sound or look weird. They don't like to be the center of attention. 


They don't want others to notice them, so they might avoid raising their hand in class. If they get called on in class, they may freeze or panic and can't answer. With social phobia, a class presentation or a group activity with classmates can cause extreme fear.


Social phobia can cause kids and teens to avoid school or friends. They may feel sick or tired before or during school. They may complain of other body sensations that go with anxiety too. For example, they may feel their heart racing or feel short of breath. They may feel jumpy and feel they can't sit still. They may feel their face get hot or blush. They may feel shaky or lightheaded.


Panic disorder. These sudden anxiety attacks can cause overwhelming physicals symptoms, such as feeling shaky or jittery, trembling, a racing heart rate, and shortness of breath. Panic attacks can happen any time. Theyre more common in teens than kids.


What Are the Signs & Symptoms of Anxiety?


A parent or teacher may see signs that a child or teen is anxious. For example, a kid might cling, miss school, or cry. They might act scared or upset, or refuse to talk or do things. Kids and teens with anxiety also feel symptoms that others can't see. It can make them feel afraid, worried, or nervous.


It can affect their body too. They might feel shaky, jittery, or short of breath. They may feel "butterflies" in their stomach, a hot face, clammy hands, dry mouth, or a racing heart.


These symptoms of anxiety are the result of the "fight or flight" response. This is the body's normal response to danger. It triggers the release of natural chemicals in the body. These chemicals prepare us to deal with a real danger. They affect heart rate, breathing, muscles, nerves, and digestion. This response is meant to protect us from danger. But with anxiety disorders, the "fight or flight" response is overactive. It happens even when there is no real danger.


How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed?


Anxiety disorders can be diagnosed by a trained therapist. They talk with you and your child, ask questions, and listen carefully. 


How Are Anxiety Disorders Treated?


Most often, anxiety disorders are treated with cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). This is a type of talk therapy that helps families, kids, and teens learn to manage worry, fear, and anxiety.


CBT teaches kids that what they think and do affects how they feel. In CBT, kids learn that when they avoid what they fear, the fear stays strong. They learn that when they face a fear, the fear gets weak and goes away.


In CBT:


Parents learn how to best respond when a child is anxious. They learn how to help kids face fears.


Kids learn coping skills so they can face fear and worry less.


The therapist helps kids practice, and gives support and praise as they try. Over time, kids learn to face fears and feel better. They learn to get used to situations they're afraid of. Sometimes, medicines are also used to help treat anxiety.


How Can I Help My Child?


If your child has an anxiety disorder, here are some ways you can help: 


Find a trained therapist and take your child to all the therapy appointments.


Talk often with the therapist, and ask how you can best help your child.


Help your child face fears. Ask the therapist how you can help your child practice at home. Praise your child for efforts to cope with fears and worry.


Help kids talk about feelings. Listen, and let them know you understand, love, and accept them. A caring relationship with you helps your child build inner strengths.


Encourage your child to take small steps forward. Don't let your child give up or avoid what they're afraid of. Help them take small positive steps forward.


Be patient. 


It takes a while for therapy to work and for kids to feel better.




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