New recommendations issued on Tuesday recommend that pediatricians do anxiety screenings on children aged 8 and above. Children who do not exhibit recognized signs of anxiety or depression and who do not have a confirmed mental health disorder fall inside the scope of the new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. This is the first time the task committee, which is made up of unaffiliated medical professionals whose opinions carry great weight, has called for testing. Many medical practices have been altered due to its suggestions.
The task group reiterated in its recommendations the need of screening for depression in children aged 12 and above. The task force reported that 8% of children between the ages of 3 and 17 had an anxiety problem at the time of writing, and that children under the age of 18 with anxiety disorders are more likely to have an anxiety disorder or depression in the future.
The percentage of children over the age of six who have ever been diagnosed with anxiety or depression rose from 5.4% in 2003 to 8.4% in 2012, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Due to a lack of data about the advantages and hazards of screenings for children aged 7 and younger, the task force has decided not to recommend such screenings.
A person’s anxiety levels rise when they worry about potential negative outcomes. It may trigger symptoms such as avoidance, panic attacks, and overthinking. Although everyone experiences anxiety from time to time, anxiety symptoms that become so severe that they persistently hinder everyday living are indicative of an anxiety disorder, as defined by the National Institute of Mental Health.
Anxiety exists, like many other mental health illnesses, on a continuum, with varying degrees of intensity. Anxiety in children may manifest in a variety of ways, some of which are behavioral, such as increased clinginess or an inability to separate from their parents. Children may also exhibit somatic signs, such as an upset stomach or a headache.
There is help for anxiety, and it may come in the form of individual or family therapy. It has been shown by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that keeping up a healthy lifestyle by eating well, exercising regularly, and getting enough of shut-eye will reduce anxiety symptoms.