Worry & Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)

What is Worry or Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

Generalised Anxiety Disorder or ‘GAD’ is excessive and uncontrollable worry about a variety of events, and is often accompanied by physical symptoms of anxiety such as stomach aches, restlessness, muscle tension, pounding heart, and headaches. Children and adolescents with generalized anxiety tend to worry about a variety of issues, and worry more intensely and more often than same-aged peers. Some common ‘worry themes include:

  • Their safety (e.g., “what if a robber breaks into the house?”)
  • The future (e.g., “what if I don’t get into university?”)
  • Family issues (e.g., finances, parental discord, sibling discord)
  • Their own health (e.g. “what if I get a brain tumour”)
  • Health of family members (e.g. “what if my mum dies in a car crash”)
  • Friendship groups (e.g. “what if my friend doesn’t like me anymore”
  • Performance based activities or schoolwork (e.g. “what if I fail”)

Children with GAD are often overly self-critical and tend to avoid engaging in activities in which they feel they may not be able to perform perfectly. Children who worry tend to seek reassurance from caregivers and teachers about their performance; unfortunately, this reassurance only provides fleeting relief from their worries. GAD is relatively common in children, tends to begin gradually, and symptoms tend to worsen in times of stress. The ‘theme’ of c child’s worry tends to switch from one concern to another, and themes tend to change with time and age.

Symptom Checklist

  • Does your child worry about a variety of things (e.g., homework, health, school or sport performance, money, world events)?
  • Does your child worry more than their same-aged peers?
  • Does your child feel the need to do tasks perfectly?
  • Does your child feel afraid to ask or answer questions in class?
  • Does your child find it hard to perform during tests?
  • Have you noticed your child complaining about feeling sick when they are worried?
  • Does your child tend to find new and unfamiliar situations difficult?
  • Does your child frequently seek reassurance?
  • Does it appear your child is often daydreaming?
  • Does your child have trouble sleeping at night?
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  • Together, let us help those people who are suffering from mental disorders. If you’re interested, please complete the form below and we will reach out to you.

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