Children and Teens
Anxiety is a normal part of childhood, and every child goes through phases. A phase is temporary and usually harmless. But children who suffer from an anxiety disorder experience fear, nervousness, and shyness, and they start to avoid places and activities.
- See statistics for anxiety disorders among children from the National Institute of Mental Health.
A child who sees a scary movie and then has trouble falling asleep or has a similar temporary fear can be reassured and comforted. But that is not enough to help a child with an anxiety disorder get past his or her fear and anxiety.
Anxiety disorders affect one in eight children. Research shows that untreated children with anxiety disorders are at higher risk to perform poorly in school, miss out on important social experiences, and engage in substance abuse.
- Find out the two questions all parents of young kids should ask themselves for a high degree of predictability that their child will develop an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders also often co-occur with other disorders such as depression, eating disorders, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
With treatment and support, your child can learn how to successfully manage the symptoms of an anxiety disorder and live a normal childhood.
The following sections will help you get started:
- Childhood anxiety disorders
- Anxiety and depression
- Tips for parents and caregivers
- Anxiety disorders at school
- School refusal
- ResourcesFree brochures from the National Institute of Mental Health (in English and Spanish)
- Mood Disorders and Teenage Girls Why girls are more vulnerable than boys for anxiety and depression, what signs and symptoms you should look for, and why early intervention is critical.
- Treatment of Children with Mental Illness
- Tratamiento de Niños con Enfermedades Mentales
- The Teen Brain: Still Under Construction This brochure describes changes in the brain that occur during the teen years and the significance of this stage of development.
- "Worried Sick: Living With Anxiety" Kids around the country share their stories of struggling with and managing their anxiety disorders in “Worried Sick: Living With Anxiety" (Nick News With Linda Ellerbee)