Anxiety disorders in children can be stressful on the child and his or her family. What many parents don’t realize is that anxiety conditions can be successfully treated, particularly when someone is still relatively young. The strategies young children and teens learn to manage their anxiety can help them when they are adults.
By consulting with mental health professionals and increasing their own knowledge of anxiety disorders in children, parents can become better equipped to deal with the unique challenges caused by mental health conditions. They can grow more understanding of their child’s anxiety issues and how to help him or her work through it in healthy ways.
Panic disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder are two anxiety illnesses that come affect children. Below we will go into detail about both based on some information provided by this article.
Panic disorder is an anxiety condition in which the affected person suffers from bouts of physiological distress known as “panic attacks.” During a panic attack, people experience a number of distressing symptoms. “Palpitations, shortness of breath [and] faintness” are some of the physical complaints a person having a panic attack might have, according to the article mentioned above.
The researchers note that, unlike adults, teenagers with panic disorder may have additional complaints of “chest pain, […] headache, and vertigo.”
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can develop after someone has lived through a harrowing or emotionally taxing experience. In adults, PTSD can often be attributed to things like witnessing extreme violence (e.g., in combat) or have a near-death experience.
In children, the cause of PTSD is often “physical abuse” or “natural disaster,” both of which are highly distressing for a person of any age. A child is usually not emotionally mature enough to handle the fear, devastation and anxiety caused by a traumatic incident. The article lists symptoms such as flashbacks of the trauma, nightmares, anxiousness, and “separation difficulties” in children with PTSD. Children with the condition may also report “difficulties in concentration and memory problems” and “a premature awareness of [their] own mortality.”
It is crucial that children showing symptoms of an anxiety disorder receive professional treatment as soon as possible. Parents should make sure that the chosen therapist for their child is well qualified and makes the child feel comfortable. As parents, being supportive of anxious children and following the recommendations of a trusted counselor is also important.
For a site that can provide a list of therapists in your area, visit the link just below.