The outcome for treatment of anxiety attacks in children is generally very good, but since it is often misjudged, many cases are not treated until adolescent years when the anxiety has worsened and begun to affect daily functions. Cognitive behavioral therapy combined with treatment of antidepressants is proving to be widely effective, even when initiated in later stages of childhood anxiety disorder.
The link between chronic mood and anxiety disorders in adults originating when they were children is very strong. Commonly, anxiety attacks in children worsen as the child reaches maturity.
It’s also important to note that children who fear the dark seem to be at an increased risk of anxiety and depression as adults. It is now understood that those fears may stem from many disorders as opposed to just a single one.
How can you manage your child’s fear of the dark? Many child psychologists suggest the use of a nightlight, or having the child’s bedroom in close proximity to their parents. Leaving the bedroom door open at night will also reinforce the child’s belief that they are not alone and have nothing to worry about. Many parents, unfortunately, believe that these actions will cause their children to be weak and fearful in later years, when in fact they help nurture the child and alleviate feelings of desolation and loneliness.
Another correlation between adult anxiety and fear are the toilet habits of the child. This is something that is most often overlooked by both parent and medical professional as well, partly because it is uncomfortable to speak of and somewhat of a “taboo” in many civilized cultures.
Children who have painful bowel movements can leave a child fearful of pain, and leave them with tremendous anxiety towards using the bathroom. This is has also been linked to generalized anxiety disorder in older children. This phenomenon is just one of the many fears that children many have that can lead to anxiety attacks in later life.
The bottom line is that there are many behaviors and apprehensions that can cause anxiety attacks in children, and as a parent, you should be aware of these and what you can do to help.
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