Anxiety in Children and Teens

Every child goes through phases of anxiety. These phases are usually temporary and harmless, but one in eight children suffers from an anxiety disorder.

Symptoms of Anxiety Disorder in Children and Teens

Children who suffer from an general anxiety disorder may:

  • Experience feelings of intense fear
  • Become constantly "on edge"
  • Suffer from severe nervousness
  • Become more shy
  • Start to avoid people, places and activities
  • Have an uncontrollable urge to cry
  • Change their diet or sleep pattern
  • Suffer from physical ailments like headache, fatigue, chest pain or nausea

*These symptoms may resemble other conditions or problems. Always consult with a provider for a diagnosis.

Types of Anxiety Disorders in Children and Teens

In addition to general anxiety disorder, youth may suffer from other forms of anxiety such as:

  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) - Unwanted and intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and feelings to repeatedly perform rituals and routines (compulsions) to try and ease anxiety.
  • Separation Anxiety Disorder - Feelings of excessive anxiety, extreme homesickness and feelings of misery when away from home or when separated from parents or caregivers.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Experience intense fear and anxiety, become emotionally numb or irritable easily, and avoid places, people, or activities after experiencing/witnessing a traumatic event
  • Panic Disorder
  • Social Anxiety Disorder - Intense fear of social situations and activities, like public speaking or starting a conversation with a peer.
  • Phobias - Intense, irrational fear of a specific object, such as a spider, or a situation, such as the doctor's office.