It is important to recognize that anxiety disorders are the most common type of psychological problems found in children and adolescents. Approximately one in ten children meet the criteria for what is technically called an anxiety disorder.
Even though anxiety disorders are so common, children are usually referred initially for other reasons. They tend to access treatment when they are displaying aggressive behaviours, attention difficulties, eating disorders or suicidal tendencies. Sometimes the anxiety can go unnoticed due to these other difficulties. It can also be difficult for parents to recognise anxiety as a disorder, due to associating anxiety as part of a child’s personality.
Children who experience anxiety can be affected in three different ways:
The amount of anxiety a child experiences will vary from a single fear, such as being scared of going to sleep with the light out, to extremes where a child worries about many aspects of their life. Whether your child is experiencing anxiety relating to a single fear or to an extreme, early intervention is the key through seeking professional help with a Psychologist.
Ms Kerri Corkill, MAPS
BSci (Psych), BPsych (Hons)
Child Psychologist Daniel Wendt is the Principal Clinical Psychologist of Oracle Psychology in Newcastle, NSW.