It is normal for children and adolescents to develop some fears and experience some fearful anticipation of problems (anxiety) during the course of their development. 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, and prompt therapy should be sought or the evaluation by a physician.
Examples of Triggers of Normal Developmental Anxiety
|7-12 Months||Strangers, unfamiliar objects, etc.|
|1-5 Years||Strangers, storms, animals, dark, loud noises, monsters, insects, bodily injury|
|6-12 Years||Bodily injury, disease, ghosts, staying alone, criticism, punishment, failure|
|12-18 Years||Tests and examinations, school performance, appearance, peer scrutiny and rejection, social embarrassment|
Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health problems that occur in children and adolescents. In one large scale study of children between the ages of 9 and 17 years old, as many as 13 percent were reported to have had an anxiety disorder in a year. Other estimates state that 5 to 20 percent of children will be diagnosed with some type of anxiety disorder.
There are many different anxiety disorders that affect children and adolescents and require clinical care by a physician or other health care professional.