Anxiety Disorders in Children Essay

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Anxiety Disorders in Children
Kelli Williams
Mississippi College

Abstract One of the most misunderstood conditions with children are anxiety disorders. One in 10 children (most common in females) will suffer from some form of anxiety disorder, which is about six percent of children. Anxiety is often times viewed as a mental illness or some sort of handicapping. Socially anxiety is considered a mental disorder that often times discourages the child and it prolongs the parent(s) from seeking help for that child. Certain studies will examine anxiety disorders in children and also how it affects their development into adult hood. Anxiety disorders can have people feeling extremely tired, afraid, and very uneasy in situations where other people would not experience those symptoms. If anxiety disorders are left untreated or unnoticed it could reduce productivity and slowly weaken their life skills.

Anxiety can be a normal reaction to stress. It helps us to deal with tense situations and help us cope. Anxiety disorders cause people to feel excessively frightened, distressed, and uneasy during situations where mostly other people wouldn’t experience those symptoms. Anxiety disorders in children often leads to low self-esteem, low social skills, and it affects school attendance. Being one of the most common mental illnesses in the US, as many as 1 in 10 young people are affected by it. Most of these disorders are hard to recognize and most children suffering from their illness are ashamed to seek help or do not know that there are effective ways to treat their illness. The most common types of anxiety disorders are: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Separation Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Social Phobia Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Generalized anxiety disorders is chronic, exaggerated worry about everyday, routine life events and activities that lasts at least six months is indicative of generalized anxiety disorder. Children and adolescents with this disorder usually anticipate the worst and often complain of fatigue, tension, headaches, and nausea. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is persistent symptoms of this disorder occur after experiencing a trauma such as abuse, natural disasters, or extreme violence. Symptoms include nightmares; flashbacks; the numbing of emotions; depression; feeling angry, irritable, and distracted; and being easily startled. Social Phobia Disorders is a disabling and irrational fear of something that really poses little or no actual danger. The fear leads to avoidance of objects or situations and can cause extreme feelings of terror, dread, and panic, which can substantially restrict one’s life. Panic disorders are characterized by panic attacks, panic disorder results in sudden feelings of terror that strike repeatedly and without warning. Physical symptoms include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, abdominal discomfort, feelings of unreality, and fear of dying. Children and adolescents with this disorder may experience unrealistic worry, self- consciousness, and tension. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is characterized by repeated, intrusive, and unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or rituals that seem impossible to control (compulsions). Adolescents may be aware that their symptoms don’t make sense and are excessive, but younger children may be distressed only when they are prevented from carrying out their compulsive habits. Separation Anxiety Disorder is characterized by excessive clinging to adult caretakers and reluctance to separate from them. This particular pattern is typical in 12-18 month old toddlers, and isn’t expected of school-age children. That disorder often indicates a few difficulties in parent-child relationships, or the child being bullied at school.
Social anxiety disorder (SAD) is characterized by a debilitating fear of being scrutinized by