Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is a condition involving chronic, excessive fear and worry. There may be no obvious reason for your child or adolescent to feel this way.
Most children face some form of anxiety.
Growing and taking part in new experiences can bescary for anyone, especially, for young people without fully developed coping skills. If your child’s fears appear to frequently affect their daily home and school life, they may have GAD.
What are the common GAD symptoms? Below are some examples:
- Constant fear of personal safety and safety of others
- Excessive worry about things before they occur
- Fear of attending school
- Frequent physical complaints – stomachaches, headaches, etc.
- Inability to relax
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Very clingy behavior with family
- Worry about friends and school activities
- Worry about sleeping away from home
What causes GAD?
- Biological factors – a chemical imbalance in the brain involving norepinephrine and serotonin
- Environmental factors
- Family – learned behavior from an anxious family member
What should you do if your think your child has GAD? Contact your pediatrician to discuss.
If further assessment is needed, your pediatrician may recommend evaluation by a licensed behavioral health professional. GAD can be effectively treated.