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Monday, December 27, 2010

Child Anxiety Treatment - Tips For Concerned Parents

By: Chris Mollo

Every parent wants their child to grow up happy and healthy. However, there is a pressing problem which has been the subject of hot debate in recent years. It's childhood anxiety disorder.

Many people don't believe that children can have anxiety problems. This is because the symptoms can sometimes be difficult to spot, or they may be misdiagnosed and mistaken for something else.

Children can demonstrate their anxiety in a number of ways, and most commonly they'll act out or misbehave. The child doesn't understand what they are feeling, and so they act out in the only way they know how. They do this to get the attention of their parents. It's their way of asking for help.

There are several types of childhood anxiety disorder, but the most common are:

1. Generalized Anxiety Disorder

This type of childhood anxiety disorder is marked by excessive worrying, usually over trivial or unimportant things. Children between the ages of 6-11 are often afflicted the most and GAD in children is commonly brought on by events like the first day of school or other important extracurricular activities. Some of the symptoms of GAD in children are:

-Poor concentration
-Destructive behavior

Panic attacks can occur frequently with this type of disorder and phobias of animals, people, and heights as well as fear of the dark are also common.

2. Separation Anxiety Disorder

This is usually triggered because a child has gotten too attached to its parents in the first 12 months to 4 years of life. It's normal for symptoms of SAD to appear up until 4 years old, but then they should subside. If they continue beyond this point, it could be an indicator of separation anxiety disorder. Some symptoms are:

-Refuses to go anywhere without a parent, especially school
-Physically "clings" or hangs onto parents
-Becomes homesick
-Asks to sleep with parents every night
-Has nightmares or dreams of being separated from parents

When symptoms are noticed, it's extremely important that the child be treated immediately. If this is ignored, it may impede the child's development and the child may not become a well adjusted adult.

Some of the most common treatments for child anxiety disorder are:

1. Drugs - Drugs such as anti-depressants and beta blockers have been successful in child anxiety treatment.

2. Psychologists or Psychiatrists - Child psychologists and psychiatrists are trained professionals and have had great success in treating child anxiety disorder. Medical professionals can help you to notice symptoms and alert you to unhealthy behaviors.

3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy - This is a psychotherapeutic approach that focuses on problems concerning dysfunctional emotions, behaviors and cognitions. It works by modifying the negative emotions. In some cases, treatment is applied through the gradual exposure of the feared stimulus, reducing the anxiety it causes the child.

There are many treatments for child anxiety disorders, and one of the newest and most successful treatments focuses on parents treating their children at home through interaction and understanding, avoiding drugs and therapy.

About the Author:
Is your child suffering from anxiety? If so, you may be able to help your child right in your own home. To learn about a powerful and effective method that can help your child overcome anxiety, visit: The Anxiety Free Child Program.

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