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Behavioural / Mental Health conditions

Anxiety Disorders

What are anxiety disorders and what are the symptoms

Anxiety disorders are a type of mental health disorder that can cause feelings of anxiety, worry, and fear. These feelings can interfere with daily activities such as going to school or work and can sometimes lead to avoidance behaviour. There are several different types of anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobias.

Symptoms of anxiety disorders can vary depending on the type of disorder, but may include feeling restless or irritable, having difficulty concentrating, sweating, rapid heartbeat, and tightness in the chest. Anxiety disorders can be treated with medication, therapy, or a combination of both.

How do Anxiety Disorders affect children

Symptoms of anxiety in children include getting angry or irritable quickly and being out of control during outbursts. Children may also express constantly worry or negative thoughts. They can also seem tense and fidgety, or use the toilet often.

Symptoms can present themselves in the following ways:

  • A 6-year-old can’t fall asleep at night.
  • A 7-year-old is the perfect student but destroys their bedroom and screams at their siblings after school.
  • An 8-year-old cries every morning before school or events and clings to their parents.
  • A 10-year-old snaps at family constantly, criticizing everything.
  • A 12-year-old experiences headaches that make it difficult to get out the door on time.

Though all of these behaviours appear unrelated and present different challenges, they have one common thread: anxiety or feelings of anxiousness.

OTFC Letter A for anxiety disorder in children
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How do anxiety disorders develop

About 2.1 million Australians are affected by anxiety disorders. This works out to be 14% of the population who would experience some form of anxiety-related condition. Anxiety disorders can develop from a number of different factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, and life events. Anxiety disorders are often characterized by symptoms such as persistent worry, restlessness, and difficulty concentration. anxiety disorders can also lead to physical symptoms such as heart palpitations, chest pain, and shortness of breath. While there is no cure for anxiety disorders, they can be effectively treated with medication, therapy, or a combination of the two. With proper treatment, people with anxiety disorders can live full and productive lives.

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