Anxiety is a common experience in adults and children. Anxiety in children is a normal occurrence, which comes in certain development stages in children. For instance, between the ages of 8 months in preschoolers, the children may display immense distress (Anxiety) in the events when they are separated with their parents, or those people whom they are extremely close. The children can also display short-lived fears; for instance, fear of animals, darkness, or storm. An anxious child is normally uptight or tense. School-age children have a tendency of fearing injuries and death while the preadolescence and adolescents have bouts of anxiety when it comes to the existing social status, health issues, and their performances in school. This anxiety becomes out of hand once it does not subside after a certain duration of time. It is considered to be a disorder in the event that they become severe enough to affect ones normal functioning. At this point, medical intervention comes in handy so that the clinician can assist in distinguishing between inappropriate development and normal anxiety from those anxiety disorders that call for professional intervention (Lader, 1983).
An anxiety disorder has no any notable cause. Its development typically results from the relationship existing between environmental and biological risk factors, which portray its uniqueness when it comes to different individuals. Genetics play a vital role in the selection of people with a high susceptibility of possessing anxiety disorder. Studies have revealed that the children are shy, quite and innately cautious. They have a higher possibility of developing an anxiety disorder. Other environmental risk factors; for instance, the parenting style, intertwine with risks possessed by environmental factors of genetics and the existing temperament making a child have low susceptibility to developing anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders are among the leading emotional disorders affecting more than 25 million Americans. The commonest symptoms of anxiety disorders include; memories that are normally intrusive or painful. There may be uncontrolled obsessive thoughts, frequent nightmares, and overwhelming feeling of fear and panic. Anxiety disorder is different from the common feelings of nervousness. In the event that anxiety disorders are not treated, this could push one in to avoiding conditions that have a likelihood of worsening these conditions. People with anxiety disorder have a tendency of suffering from depression. At times, they end up abusing alcohol and other drugs in their bid to escape from reality.
Abnormal psychology is a branch that deals with abnormal and psychopathological behavior. Under abnormal psychology, there is a wide variety of disorders. These may include depression, obsession-compulsion and sexual deviation. In cases when the behavior becomes problematic in one’s life or disruptive to others people, then it becomes abnormal that requires some mental intervention (Davison, 1994).
Numerous varied perspectives are used in abnormal psychology. Some psychologists emphasize on single perspective while other mental experts employ the usage of elements from multiple spheres, in order to obtain a clear comprehension and treat the psychological disorder. The behavioral approach to abnormal psychology emphasizes on observable behaviors. This therapy focuses on enhancing positive behaviors and not enhancing maladaptive behaviors. The behavioral approach aims at one’s behavior itself but never touches on the underlying issues.
The medical approach to abnormal psychology emphasizes on the biological factors that bring about mental instability. The perspective stresses on the comprehending the underlying factors of disorders that could involve the genetic inheritance, infections and chemical instability, and other related physical disorders.
An example of abnormal psychological anxiety disorder is the bipolar disorder, characterized by prolonged periods of deep and profound depression. The depression alternates with durations of an intensely irritable or heightened mood also called mania. Its symptoms include a reduced need of sleeping, excessive libido, pressured speech, grandiosity and careless behaviors. The aftermath consequences involve severe thought disturbance. The increased mood may change into a condition of dysphasia. Here, they develop a condition of irritable and agitated behavior which crops up the cognitive impairment in mania. This could be revealed in stages of confusion with disorganization of thoughts and flight of ideas. A person suffering from mania takes excessive risk as appertains to emotional, physical, and endangering their finances.
Bipolar disorder has severe outcomes in adolescent and older children. The individual could end up getting expulsions from schools due to the problem of dysfunction in the school setting. One may also suffer rejection from their peers because of unusual behaviors which could also bring about a psychotic state, while at an advanced level; the individual could easily commit suicide. One develops a poor eating habit and a higher susceptibility of substance abuse. An individual could end up having early deaths, which are brought about by cardiovascular complications of arteriosclerosis, cancer, and stroke.
The development of bipolar disorder has a genetic origin. A tender age of inset of bipolar disorder indicates an increased rate of mood problem among the closest relatives. The adolescents who have symptoms of a true mania that are childhood-linked, for instance mood shifts, attention difficulties and aggression, are highly susceptible to bipolar disorder as opposed to the adolescents with various adult-related psychotic signs, for instance grandiosity. The youths who display early symptoms of bipolar disorder have a tendency of having a low response to normal medication; for instance, valproic acid, lithium and a heightened risk of alcohol-related disorder among the family members of pro-bands. In case of children whose parents have Bipolar disorder, there exists a 28% chance of the children developing an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Another anxiety disorder is the Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). An individual with the problem of generalized anxiety disorder experiences excessive worry and anxiety on most times of the day. This anxiety is not based on a certain happening or a situation, but rather it is unrealistic and immense when the person’s life is narrated. Therefore, people suffering from this condition live in a relatively persistent condition of unfocused and diffuse anxiety. This condition is so severe than the general, brief durations of mild anxiety that most people experience. Other symptoms that have a close relation with this disorder include; motor tension, which encompasses muscle aches, trembling, restlessness, and twitching. Michael Joseph (Robinchaud. 2007).
It could also involve Autonomic hyperactivity, which includes; bouts of dizziness, the individual may experience accelerated heart rate, frequent sweating, chills, shortness of breath, their mouth has a tendency of becoming dry, and nausea. Another symptom includes scanning and vigilance; one feels keyed-up or edgy, the person become easily startled, irritability, cases of insomnia and difficulty when it comes to concentrating. The exact nature of this disorder lacks clarity among researchers and clinicians. Evidence portrays that the people suffering from this disorder might be suffering from milder anxiety disorders forms, for instance; panic disorder.
The other disorder is the Panic Attacks; this disorder has some similarity with the Generalized Anxiety Disorder. As opposed to GAD, which one develops anxiety without any identifiable cause, the Panic Attack, which is typically preceded by a certain stressful life occurrence, for instance, a divorce. Panic attack is characterized by numerous, unexpected “panic attacks.” These attacks have a tendency of lasting for a short period, but under abnormal circumstances, the attacks can last for some hours. These attacks may manifest several times in a week or even on a daily basis. It is the commonest disorder affecting most patients (Nutt et al, 2001).
Agoraphobia is the usual complication of panic disorder. This is the fear of being in a place where there could be no way to escape or where help is inaccessible. It has been argued that agoraphobics are afraid of their own sensational internal anxiety. This phobia may develop being a secondary reaction to the distressing experiences of the persistence panic attacks. The existence of panic with Agoraphobia has a higher possibility of affecting females than males.
Other forms of anxiety disorders include the occurrence of phobias. People with phobia have a constant, irrational fear of a certain object, situation resulting to a compelling need to do away with dreaded object, and an activity. Agoraphobia brings a general fear while phobia’s fears are of certain things. The basic impairment regulates one’s choice, forcing him/her to limit and rigid behaviors. Examples of phobias include; acrophobia, which is the fear of heights. Claustrophobia is the fear of closed places. The fear of foreigners is referred to as Xenophobia (Abou-Saleh et al, 2000).
Most of anxiety disorders, psychological procedures provide the most successful forms of treatment. They involve the procedures that assist one to relax and deal with issues that bring the anxiety. They treat the cause of the issue; therefore, guaranteeing the success of the treatment. The treatment could also require the usage of drugs thereby becoming quite an expensive practice since most psychologists charge an average of $80 per hour. Other factor that could hamper the control of these problems could be the lack of enough therapists in the rural areas (Barlow, 1993).
Relaxation technique targets at the induction of one’s mind and body in to a relaxation state. They might employ the use of exercises that are meant to relax one muscle, while others are aimed at relaxing the mind. Structured problem solving assists one on identifying the problematic issues, and then formulates a method of finding solutions to their problems. Grade exposure involves the gradual exposure to the thing they fear. This aims at desensitizing an individual to the extent where fear does not poses a threat (Holly, 2008).
In conclusion, Anxiety in children is a normal occurrence, which comes in certain development stages. The children may display immense distress in the events when they are separated with their parents. A person suffering from generalized anxiety disorder experiences excessive worry and anxiety at most times of the day. While Phobia deals with fear of certain factors, Agoraphobia generalizes fear. The therapy focuses on enhancing positive behaviors and not enhancing maladaptive behaviors. There are numerous methods of treating anxiety disorders namely; structured solving of problem, grade exposure involving the gradual exposure to the thing they fear and the relaxation technique.