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How can I protect my children from generalized anxiety disorder?

Kathy Sowder
Psychology
Even though the causes of generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) are not fully known, there are some things parents can do to protect their children from developing further anxiety. One would be to allow children to express their fears verbally without criticizing them, and even to share a parent`s own childhood fear and how it was experienced and then handled. Another way to help children is to teach them to think in rational and realistic ways, rather than exaggerating or "awfulizing". They can learn deep breathing and relaxation techniques. However, if a child`s fears and anxieties seem to increase and  interfere with the child`s life and activities, seeing the child`s pediatrician or a child therapist would be advised.

It may be difficult to protect children from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) because doctors are unsure of the specific cause. Anxiety is a normal part of life and all children will experience it on some level. Doctors believe that environment, family, and learned behaviors can all contribute to the development of GAD, so it's possible that modeling appropriate levels of anxiety and calm will help your child avoid the condition. It is important for parents to be aware of the symptoms and take their children to the pediatrician if GAD is suspected.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.