Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health problems of childhood
Anxiety disorders cause people to feel excessively frightened, distressed, or uneasy
during situations in which most people would not feel that way. Left untreated, anxiety
disorders can impair students' ability to work or study and may affect their personal
relationships. In the most severe cases, anxiety disorders can make going to school
The most common anxiety-related disorders affecting kids and teens are:
Generalized anxiety disorder. With this common anxiety disorder,
children worry excessively about many things, such as school, the health or safety
of family members, or the future in general. These students also may have physical
symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, muscle tension, or tiredness. Their worries
might cause them to miss school or avoid social activities.
disorder (OCD). Children with OCD have excessive preoccupying thoughts
(obsessions) and repetitive actions done to try to relieve their anxiety (compulsions).
Specific phobias. These are unrealistic and excessive fears,
such as a fear of dogs or enclosed spaces. Phobias usually cause people to avoid the
things they fear.
disorder (social phobia). This anxiety is triggered by social situations
or speaking in front of others. It is an intense fear of being judged in social situations
or performance. A less common form, called selective
mutism, causes some students to be too fearful to talk at all in certain
A panic attack can happen for no apparent reason. With a panic attack, a person has
sudden and intense physical symptoms that can include a pounding heart, shortness
of breath, or dizziness caused by the body's normal fear response.