In children and teens it often results in physical symptoms such as stomach pain or headache. It is important to offer adequate psychoeducational support
Anxiety is a state characterized by fear or worry that can become excessive and inappropriate.
It is believed that multiple factors may be the cause of anxiety related disorders. The frequent presence of other pathologies together with anxiety (eg attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mood disorders) suggests a common predisposing genetic cause. We then need to consider brain metabolic factors, personality type and learned experiences.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS
Anxiety can manifest itself as nervousness, restlessness, muscle tension, irritability; in children, in particular, symptoms may be characterized by physical manifestations such as abdominal pain / headache and others.
Anxiety is often associated with environmental stimuli such as separation from the parent, school / social situations or manifests itself as fear triggered by specific situations (eg height, animals, etc.), thus taking the na
HOW THE DIAGNOSIS IS DONE
The diagnosis must be considered within an evaluation process that includes the interview / observation of the child-adolescent, the patient’s history that is collected with the parents together with their perception for the child and through the administration of specific evaluation questionnaires / tests for the diagnosis of this disorder.
HOW IT IS CARED FOR
The treatment of anxiety disorder is characterized by a psychological intervention for the child-adolescent of a cognitive-behavioral type (with respect to which there is evidence of efficacy) together with psychoeducational support from the parent.
Psychological treatment identifies dysfunctional thoughts and beliefs that trigger anxiety reactions aiming to change the perception we have of situations.
Parent psychoeducation helps in understanding the disorder, its mechanisms and modifies educational attitudes of potential reinforcement to the disorder by modeling the child’s lifestyles.
HOW IT IS PREVENTED
A correct understanding of the disorder and its functioning mechanisms by the child and the parents allows to facilitate educational interventions and cognitive strategies that guarantee an important preventive intervention.
The prognosis is favorable when a timely psychological support intervention of the child and the parents is activated. The chronicity of the disorder can lead to an evolution towards more serious pathologies (eg mood disorders, adaptation / social problems, use of abusive substances).