Types of Anxiety Disorders in Children
posted by Seth Coynor, DO | October 30, 2018
As children grow and learn about the world around them, it is not uncommon for them to develop worries, fears and anxious thoughts about potential dangers, loss, safety and even death. Although experiencing some anxiety is a perfectly normal part of growing up, anxiety that becomes overwhelming and debilitating can negatively impact a child’s performance in school, relationships with friends and family and even his or her physical well-being. If you suspect that your child has an anxiety disorder, it’s important that you do what you can to better understand the triggers so that you can better help your child manage the condition.
Anxiety looks different in everyone and can result from different factors. By understanding the cause of your child’s worries, you can pinpoint the type of anxiety he or she has and identify an effective course of treatment. Common types of childhood anxiety disorders include the following:
There are a few other types of anxiety that children may deal with, but GAD, social phobia and SAD are the three most common pediatric anxiety disorders.
Because there are several types of anxiety disorders, obtaining an accurate diagnosis is the first step toward helping your child overcome his or her fears. Once a diagnosis exists, your child’s provider will devise a treatment plan, which will likely include cognitive behavioral therapy. Some children also need medication. A doctor may only prescribe medication if CBT and other therapeutic intervention is ineffective and/or if your child’s anxiety is affecting his or her ability to function.
Childhood anxiety is the most common type of psychiatric disorder in children. The prevalence rate is greater than 10 percent. Four major studies conclude that it’s higher, between 12 and 20 percent. Though common, it should not be treated lightly. If your child demonstrates excessive and overwhelming fears, talk to your doctor about obtaining a diagnosis and developing a treatment plan.
“Anxiety Medication for Children: When Does My Anxious Child Need Medication?” Katie Hurley, LCSW – PSYCOM.
“Anxiety Disorders.” Kids Health.
“Recognizing and treating childhood anxiety disorders.” John Piacentini and Tami Roblek – Western Journal of Medicine.
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.