Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Kids with GAD feel nervous or stressed daily, sometimes unable to name the sources of their anxiety. Children with GAD may worry frequently about everyday stressors, like interpersonal interactions and schoolwork. They may also have weightier worries, about things like sickness and death, their own safety or the safety of loved ones, and catastrophic events like natural disasters and wars. GAD can interfere with a child’s sleeping and eating patterns and may interfere with their ability to engage in activities and to focus on learning.
Social phobia (social anxiety disorder)
Kids with social phobia worry that they will say or do the wrong thing in front of other people. They worry very much about how they will be judged by other people. Public speaking or other situations when people will be looking at them can cause feelings of panic. Social phobia can lead to avoidance of school, activities, and friendships. In extreme cases it can make kids reluctant to go out in public at all. Some children with extreme social phobia develop selective mutism – their extreme discomfort in social situations makes it incredibly difficult for them to talk with anyone outside of family and their closest friends or supports.
Separation anxiety disorder (SAD)
It is normal for babies and young children to feel uncomfortable and nervous when they are separated from their primary caregivers. Some children continue to experience this discomfort and worry well into childhood, leading them to avoid school and other activities that take them away from their parents. They may have difficulty falling asleep alone or sleeping in a room away from their parents.
Kids with specific phobias fear one or more specific things so extremely that they are full of dread when they are anticipating coming into contact with the source of their phobia, and full of panic when confronted by the things they fear most. People with specific phobias will do whatever they can to avoid the source of their fear. A few common specific phobias are fears of spiders, dogs, vomiting, and shots or needles.