Anxiety: Overview

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Learn about the causes of anxiety, how to tell if your child has an anxiety disorder and how best to respond.

Key points

  • Anxiety is a normal part of life and usually lasts a matter of days or weeks. It becomes a disorder when it lasts a number of months and interferes with your child’s everyday activities.
  • Anxiety has a number of causes, including our genes, our temperament and our environment.
  • Help your child cope with anxiety by reassuring them and encouraging them to face their fears.
  • Anxiety often runs in families. Look at your own anxiety levels and assess if they are affecting your child.
  • See a health-care provider if your child is no longer attending school or after-school activities, or if your family’s routine is disrupted. Go to your nearest emergency department if your child has thoughts of suicide.
  • Multiple anxiety disorders can occur together. Sometimes anxiety occurs with oppositional defiant disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities and other conditions.
Last updated: September 30th 2021