Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Adolescence

Anxiety is a functional system that has existed since early childhood and continues to develop and warns our brain against danger and helps to take precautions. However, deterioration in quality of life in daily life is seen as a problem if it causes difficulties in daily flow. This problem is also known as anxiety disorder.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder is characterized by the fact that the person has difficulty in controlling certain events or activities on most days of at least six months, and has excessive anxiety and anxious expectations that may affect daily functioning, as well as restlessness (constant tension), easy fatigue, It is defined as the presence of at least three of the symptoms of difficulty concentrating, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance. In children and adolescents, it is sufficient to have one of these six substances, unlike adults.

Children with generalized anxiety disorder may have intense feelings of anxiety about all areas of life. These areas may be about the child himself, his family, the health of his relatives, personal performance, problems he hears in the news.

When children are often unable to express their concerns, this anxiety manifests itself as somatic symptoms.

Although the age of onset of generalized anxiety is stated as 8.5 years, this age can vary in the literature. It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between anxiety, which is a developmental part of adolescence, and anxiety disorder in young people. In such cases, the history of the young person and the follow-up process are very important.

The areas where anxiety is experienced vary according to the age period. For example, while children under the age of 6 are more worried about separation from family members, losing their parents, and burglaries, it is seen that anxiety about academic performance, death, physical appearance and news intensifies in primary school and adolescence.

Children with generalized anxiety disorder can be very critical of themselves. Due to their perfectionist attitudes, they approach events as all or nothing, and this attitude often causes them to avoid activities that require performance.

Compulsive excessive thoughts and anxiety are also seen in children with obsessive compulsive disorder. It is necessary to distinguish between the two disorders and to analyze the situation correctly. In both these cases, a correct understanding of the nature of thoughts makes it easier to distinguish.

While there are daily worries about real life problems in generalized anxiety disorder, there are less realistic thoughts that are not related to daily events in OCD.

Medication and psychotherapy are the methods used in the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder.

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