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Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children)

Phobia in Adolescence

10/24/2005

Question:

How do I assist my 13y/o daughter to overcome her numerous fears? Although she is up to date with her immunizations she absolutely fell apart on our last MD visit and refused her Td Booster, blood work and mantou test. She also went a whole year in school without raising her hand in any of her 8th grade classes. She can be social in other situations (church) but has difficulty making friends or fully participating in the group. What can I do?

Answer:

It sounds like your daughter might have a combination of anxiety disorders, simple needle phobia occurs in about 10% of the population and can keep people from visiting the doctor or dentist.  It may also be possible that she has more "shyness" than is healthy and perhaps suffers from social anxiety disorder.  I suggest an evaluation by a mental health professional.

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Response by:

Floyd R Sallee, MD
Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati