Health Topics

Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents

It is normal for children and teens to develop some fears and anxieties as they grow. Over time, normal fears fade as children learn more about what to expect from their environment and relationships with others. When their fears do not fade and begin to interfere with their daily life and activities, an anxiety disorder may be present.  These children should get prompt evaluation by a doctor.

Examples of Normal Anxiety Triggers

7-12 MonthsStrangers, unfamiliar objects, etc.
1-5 YearsStrangers, storms, animals, dark, loud noises, monsters, insects, bodily injury
6-12 YearsBodily injury, disease, ghosts, staying alone, criticism, punishment, failure
12-18 YearsTests and exams, school performance, appearance, peer scrutiny and rejection, social embarrassment

A large, national survey of adolescent mental health reported that about 8 percent of teens aged 13-18 have an anxiety disorder, with symptoms first seen around age 6. 

There are many different anxiety disorders that affect children and teens that require clinical care by a doctor or other mental healthcare professional.

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Separation Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

Panic Disorder

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Social Phobia or Social Anxiety Disorder

Selective Mutism

What Causes Anxiety Disorders?

How Are Anxiety Disorders Diagnosed?

Treatment for Anxiety Disorders

Websites for Support Organizations

Clinical Trials / Research Studies

Last Updated: 08/2013