Nervousness is a normal part of life for children and adults. For a children or adolescents, nervousness may help them study harder for an exam or remain focused and motivated when giving a presentation. Anxiety occurs when fear becomes less logical or rational with the result that it interferes significantly with functioning at home, in relationships, in school or at work.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Children, teens and adults with generalized anxiety disorder experience chronic anxiety about more than one area of their lives, which may include school, family, social situations, health, and natural disasters. Children and teens with generalized anxiety disorder may be very hard on themselves and strive for perfection. They may also seek constant approval or reassurance from others.
A specific and excessive fear about a particular object (e.g., spiders) or situations (e.g., going on a school bus). The anxiety, and frequent avoidance of the of the object or situation is immediately experienced by to a degree that is out of proportion to the actual risk posed.
Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) or Social Phobia
A very common anxiety disorder. It occurs in social settings or performance situations like being called on in class, starting a conversation, speaking in public or eating in a restaurant. Those with a social phobia suffer from an extreme fear of being humiliated or embarrassed in front of other people. It can cause uncontrollable and negative reactions to social situations and can result in isolation, depression and substance abuse.
An anxiety disorder experienced by children, separation anxiety is excessive fear of being away from their home or caretakers. Children may complain of homesickness and refuse to go to school, camp or sleepovers. These children commonly worry about something bad happening to their parents or caregivers or that they may become lost, kidnapped or sick if they are apart. Children with separation anxiety cannot be distracted after a parent leaves and take longer than other children to calm down after a parent has left.
Frequent symptoms of a panic disorder for a child, teenager or adult are intense physical reactions such as a rapid heartbeat or difficulty breathing that seem to occur out of nowhere.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
If a child or adult has intrusive thoughts that are causing them anxiety and then move on to do ritualistic or repetitive behaviour, these are common traits of obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Characterized by a consistent failure to talk in social situations where there is an expectation to speak, even though the individual speaks in other situations. One example is a child who does not speak in school but speaks normally at home.