Children anxiety disorders are common, but the exact number of sufferers is unknown, most likely because the condition is often under-diagnosed, undiagnosed or unreported. While it is very treatable with good, persistent medical care, medical experts agree that anxiety problems during childhood (when misjudged and overlooked) will likely to persist as an adult psychiatric disorder. In other words, early manifestations of anxiety through anxiety attacks during childhood must be addressed as early as possible hence, reducing the chances of developing into an adult version.
Through the following symptoms, you can detect that a child is a possible candidate of a specific type of anxiety disorder or if the child is undergoing another episode of anxiety attack.
Separation anxiety is very common among children when they reach school age. They exhibit unreasoned fear and panic at being separated from their parents or their home during parents. Symptoms include crying and begging not to go to school. It is also possible that a child complains stomach aches, headaches, toothaches, and other maladies that would keep him from going to school. Alternately, a child will show a demeanor when at home or during the company of parents.
Social phobia is almost the opposite of separation anxiety. A child may choose stay home alone or keep separated from parents. Social phobia can push children to stay away from peers as they feel that they are different from other kids or that they have clothes or hair style that are apart from the interest of other kids. A child with social phobia may choose to read a book than to go to summer camp or any activity that involves mingling with others.
Performance anxiety can be closely linked to social anxiety. A child who does not play good sports may show signs of fear during physical education class. A child with poor reading skills or cannot perform simple mathematical equation may panic and become ill when called to recite for the class or solve a problem on the board.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is characterized by chronic worry or fear over almost everything without any apparent reason. Symptoms of GAD are very similar to what adults would experience. Patients with GAD may complain about stomach upset, fatigue, restlessness, and difficulty sleeping. In addition, a child may throw tantrums, may cry, have nightmares, may be keyed up and even begin to show problems in school that were not present before.
What causes anxiety to children?
There are many studies supporting that child anxiety is genetically acquired. Parents, for example, who manifest anxiety, will likely have anxious and nervous children. This condition can be learned as well. It is possible that a child develops anxiety disorder after a bad experience – ridiculed by classmates, victim of bullies in school, or making a mistake in front of the class. Separation of parents, abuse, death of a loved one or any traumatic experiences can lead to anxiety disorder as well. Fear of being alone, is afraid of the dark or afraid of certain animals may be reflections of events with bad memories.
Behaviors during anxiety attacks and symptoms of anxiety disorders are similar to other psychological, physical and behavioral condition. It is important, therefore, to seek professional help to be able to rule out other reasons and provide the right treatment to the patient.