ANXIETY DISORDERS IN CHILDREN

These are the commonest psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. It may be difficult to distinguish between an anxiety disorder and normal anxiety, but it is very important to make such a distinction.

The three types of anxiety disorders are:

  • Separation anxiety, in which the affected child shows excessive distress when separated from home and may refuse to go to school or sleep away from home.
  • Phobia, whereby there is persistent fear of social situations, school, animals, and other phenomena.
  • Post traumatic stress disorder, which is related to a traumatic or a life threatening event.

Management

  • Counselling the child and family
  • Behaviour treatment – teaching the child coping mechanisms
  • Play therapy