Types of anxiety disorders among children ( Part 2) | Kalvimalar - News

Types of anxiety disorders among children ( Part 2) - 24-Feb-2022

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Anxiety disorders cause extreme fear and worry, and changes in a child's behavior, sleep, eating, or mood.

What Are the Kinds of Anxiety Disorders?

In the previous article we saw few types of anxiety. In this writeup we see two types of anxiety that are:   

  • selective mutism
  • specific phobias

Selective mutism. This extreme form of social phobia causes kids to be so afraid they don't talk. Kids and teens who have it can talk. And they do talk at home or with their closest people. But they refuse to talk at all at school, with friends, or in other places where they have this fear.

Specific phobias. It's normal for young kids to feel scared of the dark, monsters, big animals, or loud noises like thunder or fireworks. Most of the time, when kids feel afraid, adults can help them feel safe and calm again. But a phobia is a more intense, more extreme, and longer lasting fear of a specific thing. 

With a specific phobia, kids may have an extreme fear of things like animals, spiders, needles or shots, blood, throwing up, thunderstorms, people in costumes, or the dark. For example, a kid with a phobia of dogs may not go to a friend's house, to a park, or to a party because dogs might be there.

In the previous article we  saw what are the signs & symptoms of anxiety. 

Here we will see the causes anxiety disorders?

Several things play a role in causing the overactive "fight or flight" that happens with anxiety disorders. They include:

Genetics. A child who has a family member with an anxiety disorder is more likely to have one too. Kids may inherit genes that make them prone to anxiety.

Brain chemistry. Genes help direct the way brain chemicals (called neurotransmitters) work. If specific brain chemicals are in short supply, or not working well, it can cause anxiety.

Life situations. Things that happen in a child's life can be stressful and difficult to cope with. Loss, serious illness, death of a loved one, violence, or abuse can lead some kids to become anxious.

Learned behaviors. Growing up in a family where others are fearful or anxious also can "teach" a child to be afraid too.

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.


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. They feel proud of what they've learned. And without so many worries, they can focus on other things like school, activities, and fun. Sometimes, medicines are also used to help treat anxiety.

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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