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Anxiety and Stress Disorders (Children)

Anxiety as A Symptom

08/31/2007

Question:

How can you determine if your child has anxiety because it is anxiety or because it is a symptom of something else?

When a child doesn`t feel well for a long time, anxiety can arise and become part of the problem though it is not the basic cause of the issue?

How do we get doctors to look beyond the anxiety to make sure nothing else is wrong so that everything is addressed? Shouldn`t certain medical problems be addressed before handing out drugs to cover up the symptoms to try to help anxiety which may not be the root cause?

Answer:

I am sorry but you did not provide sufficient information for me to interpret your situation. If "feeling ill" coincides with the return to school in the fall, then the most likely cause is "school phobia"-- a form of anxiety disorder. If timing of feeling ill is not related to school, then perhaps something else is going on. You should speak with your child's physician if you have concerns about his/her diagnosis and treatment.

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Response by:

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