Having some mild anxiety from time to time is normal, but excessive anxiety, worry, and fear can turn into a disorder when it starts to interfere with your life. But what does that look like in young children versus older adults? Researchers are learning that anxiety can look different at different ages, and that age needs to be factored into treatment decisions.
Does anxiety get worse with age?
Anxiety disorders don’t necessarily get worse with age, but the number of people suffering from anxiety changes across the lifespan. Anxiety becomes more common with older age and is most common among middle-aged adults. You can even browse https://www.serenity-method.com/generalised-anxiety-disorder to know about symptoms of anxiety disorder.
This may be due to a number of factors, including changes in the brain and nervous system as we age, and being more likely to experience stressful life events that can trigger anxiety.
The types of anxiety that people face may also vary with age.
Anxiety in young children
Young children can experience anxiety, though it’ll be different from anxiety in teens or adults. Children with anxiety can experience worry about the future, fear of being separated from loved ones, and fear of people, places, or things.
How common is anxiety in children?
Anxiety is more common in older children than in younger children. Around 1% of children ages 3 to 5 and 6% of children ages 6 to 11 show signs of an anxiety disorder.
Signs of anxiety in children
Some anxiety is normal and healthy in young children. Children typically experience separation anxiety when they’re away from their parents or caregivers, and stranger anxiety when they encounter people they don’t know. If a child’s anxiety becomes severe enough to interfere with school, play, and home life, they may be dealing with an anxiety disorder.