Anxiety disorders are actually super common, especially in children. They cause feelings of fear or distress that can be intense and distracting. No one is immune to the possibility of developing this disorder.
If you leave an anxiety disorder untreated in a child, this can have a problematic impact on their future. This is because it can cause the child to have difficulties academically, socially, or issues adjusting to life changes.
Common Anxiety Disorders In Childhood
- Panic Disorder.
Panic attacks that occur frequently are the main symptom of panic disorders. Panic attacks involve strong feelings of fear or panic that come on suddenly even if there is no actual danger there.
Children who have panic disorders can seem fearful in situations or have constant complaints of headaches or upset stomachs before certain activities they may fear. They may avoid these situations, so they don’t have to deal with a panic attack. This can cause other problems like agoraphobia.
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Sometimes children can have obsessions, but not just about cars or horses. Instead, these are disruptive and intrusive behavior or compulsions that the child can’t control.
Some of these behaviors include counting, hand washing, repeating words, or needing things in a specific order.
- Separation Anxiety Disorder.
All infants develop separation anxiety around a certain age. It starts around 8 months and finally lessens around 15 months old. This is when the child realizes the parent and themselves are different, which means they realize when the parent is gone. They may be afraid their parent won’t come back which leads to the feeling of separation anxiety.
When this continues at an older age is when it is considered a problem. If a child has a separation anxiety disorder, they may be super clingy to their parents. They may be afraid to go to school or be alone.
- Social Anxiety Disorder.
Having a social anxiety disorder means the child is irrationally afraid of social situations. They may be upset or anxious or have panic attacks if forced to be social. That can interfere with regular life and relationships.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
It is common for children with this to be way too anxious about normal daily events. The worry is considered to be chronic and irrational and has nothing to do with what is actually going on in their life.