Signs of anxiety disorder in children can occur for a variety of reasons. They can stem from traumatic events like death or loss of a loved one. They can also be caused by a medical condition, or a combination of both. Regardless of why they occur, they are a serious and often difficult condition to treat.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder, also known as GAD, is the most common sign of anxiety that children experience. GAD is characterized by excessive worry about everyday life. Children with GAD will frequently worry about things like family matters, school work, and what others think of them. Generalized anxiety can be persistent and may cause physical symptoms like stomachaches and headaches. These signs of anxiety disorder in children can range from being slightly worried all the time to extremely anxious throughout the day.
Panic attacks in adults are another common sign of anxiety. When a person experiences a panic attack they can feel an intense, unexpected sense of fear. It can last anywhere from ten seconds to half an hour, but the feeling of fear is continuous and occurs in most areas of the body. People who experience these episodes do not always realize that they are having a panic attack, and they can last up to several days before subsiding. While some people only have one panic attack in their lifetime, others experience them on a nearly daily basis.
Social phobia and self-esteem issues are both signs of anxiety disorders in adults that occur more frequently in adults than in children. Social phobia is a persistent and intense fear of situations that others find uncomfortable and abnormal. Individuals with this disorder will avoid social situations that they believe will cause them physical discomfort or humiliation, and may only interact with other individuals in settings that offer little danger.
Another common sign of anxiety disorder in adults is chest pain. Chest pain can occur anytime and can radiate down the arm or into the shoulder area. This pain is usually associated with stress, but it may also be caused by numerous other factors such as a cold or even flu. Some people have severe chronic chest pain that can interfere with their work, family life and other activities. These individuals should contact their physician for an assessment of their condition and treatment options.
Many individuals with anxiety disorders report feelings of dread or worry, regardless of how little stress they are experiencing at the moment. These individuals will often feel as if a horrible disease or death was impending. They may worry for days or even weeks without just cause. Other symptoms include extreme amounts of worry or crying spells, sweating, numbness in the hands or feet, headaches, irritability, heart palpitations, dizziness, shaking, and chest pains. Most individuals will experience one or more of these symptoms at some point in their lives. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, then chances are good that you also suffer from anxiety disorder in adults.
Finally, one of the most subtle signs of anxiety that can often go unnoticed is an abnormal or slow breathing rate. Individuals who are experiencing increased anxiety will typically increase their breathing rate as well as the rate at which they sweat. It is important to note that these symptoms should not be ignored. If your breathing rate and heart rate increase significantly, then chances are high that you are undergoing some form of anxiety.