Anxiety Disorder in Children

anxiety disorder in childrenAnxiety disorder in children can often be more difficult to diagnose than those in adults because children react to severe anxiety differently. In many ways, it is the parent’s job to initially assess whether the extreme apprehension felt by their children is just a phase that will pass as soon as the stressors are removed or if it is abnormal behavior that constitutes anxiety disorder.

Imperative Need for Treatment

If it is indeed diagnosed to be anxiety disorder, parents must seek help as soon as possible. This is because children who have untreated anxiety disorders have been shown to perform poorly in school, to be more at risk for substance and alcohol abuse, to possess less developed social skills, and to commit suicide especially amongst teenagers.

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Beyond these troubling consequences, however, immediate treatment for anxiety disorder in children is necessary simply because of their fragile psyche and bodies. Parents generally want what is best for their children and anxiety disorders are not one of them.

Steps Towards Treatment

The child’s pediatrician is the first health professional to turn to for advice regarding treatment. In most cases, said medical practitioner will not be able to provide the appropriate treatment because of lack of training and expertise so a referral to a competent psychotherapist is preferred.

Even when said referral is made, parents are well advised to ask questions about the qualifications and expertise of the mental health professional. He/she should have had significant success with anxiety disorder in children and teens. If the area of expertise is adult patients, then look for another one.

Children will also be made to undergo similar treatment regimens as those provided for adults. As such, medications and psychotherapy will be provided along with educating the child on proper diet and lifestyle. In many cases, hypnosis is not applied due to the fragility of the child’s psyche.

Parents must work closely with both the mental health professional and the child in order to achieve full treatment. Keep in mind that children will still need the guidance of their parents so it is best to be as closely and as actively involved with the therapy.

It might also be asked of parents to change certain habits in themselves especially when these habits and lifestyles are the sources of great anxiety for the children. In many ways, anxiety disorder in children can be traced to the parents’ actions or lack thereof.

As such, it is very important for parents to maintain an open mindset when it comes to therapy for their children. In fact, parents are highly advised not to contribute to the already anxious mindset of the child by reprimanding him/her to “grow up and get over it”.

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One more treatment option that you may want to consider is the use of a self-help guide such as Panic Away. Panic Away has been a massive success in the last few years and helped people of all ages (over 42,000 so far!) to permanently treat anxiety. You can learn more about Panic Away by Clicking HERE.

As cliché as it may sound, a loving home is often the best treatment that children suffering from anxiety disorders will ever have in their arsenal. The important thing is that the parents must act as adults towards their children instead of becoming the primary source of apprehension for them.
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