Anxiety is a common feeling that everyone experiences in their lifetime. Often times these feelings are helpful in overcoming certain situations (i.e., being nervous about a test and studying). However, anxiety is a serious problem when an individual is not able to handle the resultant thoughts and emotions, and this impacts on functioning (i.e., being nervous about a test, but being so fearful and anxious, that studying cannot be accomplished). Further, being anxious can cause someone to feel sick and unable to carry out particular tasks.
Childhood anxiety is especially overlooked since symptoms are experienced internally. Parents can look for particular symptoms in children that may present as anxiety: avoidance of school, avoidance of social situations, refusal to go to bed, excessive worry about harm coming to a caregiver, physical symptoms as a result of worry including stomach and headaches, and avoidance of particular environments or objects.
Therapy is helpful because it teaches an individual how to deal with their anxiety. The connection between particular situations that cause anxiety and the resultant thoughts are examined to determine faulty thinking patterns. Specifically, perceptions or thoughts of events affect emotions and behaviors. By challenging and changing negative thought patterns and creating a more positive outlook, emotional reactions tend to follow. Therapy will also focus on how to relax when your body is in a state of fear caused by anxiety. Due to the debilitating nature of anxiety, children, teens, and adults should seek treatment for symptoms of anxiety, no matter the severity.
Having completed by doctoral dissertation focusing on anxiety, I feel a strong connection with this treatment.
Moldovan, Jaime, "School Psychologists' Knowledge and Self-perceived Competency in Identifying, Assessing, and Treating Childhood Anxiety Disorders in the School Setting" (2011).PCOM Psychology Dissertations. Paper 182.