Generalized Anxiety Disorder

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Current epidemiological data suggest anxiety disorders are the most prevalent type of childhood psychological disorders. Generalized Anxiety Disorder or GAD is described by excessive worrying about a variety of events, including those in the past, present, and future. Children with this disorder worry excessively about a number of issues, including past conversations or actions, upcoming events, school, family health, their own health, competence in sports or academics, and world events. Typically, children experiencing such excessive worry find it difficult to control the amount of time that they worry, and the worrying interferes in their daily life. Sometimes children don’t realize their anxiety is excessive considering the situation. Worries, doubts, and fears are a normal part of life. It’s natural to be anxious about your upcoming test or to worry about future plans after graduating from high school. 
The difference between “normal” worrying and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is that the worrying involved in GAD is the student can have thoughts that are excessive, persistent or debilitating. For most children, anxiety is a common and can be a functional, everyday part of life. But for some children in our schools anxiety may be intense and cause significant disruptions in normal social and academic development (Storch 2005). The difference between normal age appropriate worry and Generalized Anxiety Disorder lies in the symptoms and behavior of the child. According to the Diagnostic Statistic Manual (DSM-IV) Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized as follows: A. Excessive anxiety and worry (apprehensive expectation), occurring more-days-than-not for at least 6 months, about a number of events or activities (su... ... middle of paper ... ...ew York: Guilford Press. Layne, A., Bernstein, G., Bernat, D., & Victor, A. (2009). Generalized anxiety disorder in a nonclinical sample of children: Symptom presentation and predictors of impairment. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 23(2), 283-289. Piacentini, J., & Roblek, T. (2002). Recognizing and treating childhood anxiety disorders. Western Journal of Medicine, 176(3), 149-149-51. Retrieved from Promising Practices Network | Programs that Work | Coping Cat. (n.d.). Promising Practices Network on Children, Families and Communities | Home. Retrieved July 2, 2011, from Storch, E. A. (2005). THIS ISSUE: Childhood anxiety disorders. Pediatric Annals, 34(2), 78-78,80-81. Retrieved from

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