Information about Childhood Anxiety Disorder
Childhood anxiety disorder includes many different categories. According to childanxiety.net these inclue, but are not limited to, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is defined as over excessive worrying about events that cannot be controlled. This could be future, past, or present events. Some examples are worrying about friends, school, family, someone’s health, their own health, and how well they are doing in sports. This can severely affect their day to day life.
Panic disorder is having multiple panic attacks that can be brought on by too much worrying. Shortness of breath, increased heart rate, lack of being able to communicate and a total shutdown can all be symptoms. Causes can vary from fear of dying to the fear of repeating a traumatic event. Panic attacks can happen anytime and anyplace and there is not always a reason.
Separation anxiety disorder is just what it sounds like. The child has an extreme fear of being separated from their parents, grandparents, or other family members that they love and feel safe with. This is usually more common with younger children. Children that have this disorder can have night sweats and night terrors and can cause headaches, stomachaches, and undue stress on other parts of the body.
Some children can experience what is called specific phobias. These are irrational, intense fears of situations or things. Some examples are fear of a certain animals, insects such as spiders or bees, the dark, and even flying. This can also cause severe problems in day to day activities.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD is repeated thoughts or behaviors that the person cannot control. This can cause severe distress and anxiety. Some examples are thoughts of dying that won’t go away or thoughts of being in an accident if the person affected leaves the house. These thoughts become so prevalent that the person can think of little else. Some examples of compulsive actions are obsessive hand washing, locking the doors over and over to make sure it’s done, counting, repeating things over and over including words and other actions.
All childhood anxiety disorders can be treated with proper diagnosis and followup.