Family Partners of Hudson County

110B Meadowlands Pkwy, Ste 305

Secaucus, NJ 07094

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What are the signs of an anxiety disorder?

What are the signs of an anxiety disorder?
There are a number of different anxiety disorders that affect children and adolescents: Generalized anxiety disorder, 
phobias, panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.

Generalized anxiety disorder- Youngsters with this disorder experience extreme, unrealistic worry that does not seem to 
be related to any recent event. Typically, these young people are very self-conscious, feel tense, have strong need for 
reassurance, and complain about stomachaches or other discomforts that don’t appear to have any physical basis.

Phobias- a phobia is an unrealistic and excessive fear of some situation or object. Some phobias, called specific 
phobias, center on animals, storms, water, heights, or situations, such as being in an enclosed space. Children and 
adolescents with social phobias are terrified of being criticized by others or judged harshly by others. Because young 
people with phobias will try to avoid the objects and situations they fear, the disorder can greatly restrict their lives.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder- A child with obsessive-compulsive disorder becomes trapped in a pattern of repetitive 
thoughts and behaviors. Even thought the child may agree that the thoughts or behaviors appear senseless and 
distressing, the repetitions are very hard to stop. The compulsive behaviors may include repeated hand washing, 
counting, or arranging and rearranging objects.

Post-traumatic stress disorder- Post-traumatic stress disorder can develop in children or adolescents after they 
experience a very stressful event. Such events may include physical or sexual abuse, being a victim of or witnessing 
violence; or being caught in a disaster, such as a bombing or hurricane. Young people with post-traumatic stress 
disorder experience the vent again and again in strong memories, flashbacks, or troublesome thoughts. As a result, the 
young person may try to avoid anything associated with the trauma. They also overreact when startled or having 
difficulty sleeping.