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Anxiety in Children

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When children do not outgrow the fears and worries that are typical in young children, or when there are so many fears and worries that they interfere with school, home, or play activities, the child may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. Examples of different types of anxiety disorders include:
-Being very afraid when away from parents (separation anxiety)
-Having extreme fear about a specific thing or situation, such as dogs, insects, or going to the doctor (phobias)
-Being very afraid of school and other places where there are people (social anxiety)
-Being very worried about the future and about bad things happening (general anxiety)
-Having repeated episodes of sudden, unexpected, intense fear that come with symptoms like heart pounding, having trouble breathing, or feeling dizzy, shaky, or sweaty (panic disorder)
-Anxiety may present as fear or worry, but can also make children irritable and angry.

Anxiety symptoms can also include trouble sleeping, as well as physical symptoms like fatigue, headaches, or stomachaches. Some anxious children keep their worries to themselves and, thus, the symptoms can be missed.

Content source: National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention