These symptoms must be present for at least one month
These symptoms must be present for 2 months or more
These symptoms must be present for 2 months or more and the diagnosis should be made with caution in young children less than 36 month old.
If anxieties become severe and begin to interfere with the child’s usual activities, (for example separating from parents, attending school and making friends), parents should consider seeking an evaluation from a qualified mental health professional to get the best diagnosis and treatment.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) recommends that healthcare providers routinely screen children for behavioral and mental health concerns.
Early treatment can prevent future difficulties, such as failure to reach social and academic potential and feelings of low self-esteem.
Severe anxiety problems in children can be treated. Early treatment can prevent future difficulties, such as loss of friendships, failure to reach social and academic potential, and feelings of low self-esteem.
A mental health professional can develop a therapy plan that works best for the child and family. Behavior therapy includes child therapy, family therapy, or a combination of both. The school can also be included in the treatment plan. For very young children, involving parents in treatment is key.
Behavior therapy for anxiety is one form of therapy that may involve helping children cope with and manage anxiety symptoms while gradually exposing them to their fears so as to help them learn that bad things do not occur.