Anxiety disorder is a type of mental disorder and is characterized by symptoms like fear, worries and anxiety and that can be in relation to future, past and current events. Racing heart beats and shaking are the physical symptoms of the same.
Anxiety, fears and worries are not something that is very uncommon in children. There are many kids who experience normal fear or worry about any upcoming situation and that can be a test or even a thunderstorm. This is normal. However, there are few children who handle similar situations with too much fear and worries and just cannot stop thinking about their fears. No amount of assurance seems to help and these children get stuck and are not able to do their daily normal functions like playing, going to school etc.
There are various types of anxiety disorder that children can suffer from starting from generalized anxiety disorder and phobias to panic disorder and separate anxiety disorder. Here are the steps that are generally undertaken by a child psychologist in order to treat a child with anxiety disorders.
The first step undertaken for successful treatment is carefully assessing the child and his or her comprehensive evaluation. This includes:
- A comprehensive report of the current symptoms of the child and intensity and duration of the same.
- A review of the background and development of the child.
- Evaluating the past psychiatric and medical history of the child.
- The family medical and psychiatric history is also evaluated.
- A mental status exam as well.
Parents and guardians of the child are usually a part of this evaluation process as background reports are required.
After the assessment is over, the psychiatrist or psychologist designs a treatment plan based on the specific requirements of your child and the treatment plan may or may not include a combination of the following:
- Family therapy
- Cognitive behavioral therapy for your child
- Parent support and education
Family members of the child have a very critical role to play and can help the child to cope with his or her situation at the time when the anxiety of the child is the highest.
How to Acquire Help?
If you feel that you child is suffering from anyone of the symptoms of anxiety, then consult your healthcare provider immediately and tell him or her about your child’s situation. He or she would carefully assess the child and discuss an individualized treatment plan for him or her.