Behavior Problem In Children And Adolescents

This is a story of Ted, an eight year boy, in whose eyes there always was seen a certain kind of anxiety. He loves playing football like any other child in my neighborhood. He has brown hair, wears long T-shirt, hat and always has a muffler around his neck. He looks like any other normal boy but one day when I went to his house, I saw anxious face of this mother and what she told made me felt thinking. She said that one day Ted was sitting in his English class and suddenly he felt that he should run away from his room, or he was going to get mad and hurt somebody.

Not only this, he started breathing very fast and began to tremble too. He asked his teacher that he wanted to leave the classroom but his teacher simply refused. He became so adamant that he started to scream, just kicked the desk, slammed the door behind and rushed outside the class room finally finding himself landing in the Principal’s office. He apologized but that was not the end of the story. Sometimes his face also used to turn red. He started behaving in this manner in regular intervals.

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His mother told me that they had even got him thoroughly examined by the doctor but there was no serious problem with him. He stayed with his mother who got divorced few years back, and there was no one else in the house. His mother goes to office after dropping him to near by school and Ted always returns home disappointed, finding himself all alone. Later it was found out that he is suffering from Panic Disorder. Panic disorder is a form of anxiety disorder commonly found in thousands of children all over United States of America.
Generally 12 per cent of children of ninth grade have panic attacks, and 1-2 per cent of adults have this problem. Children having Panic disorders may suffer from fear and discomfort, palpitation, pounding heart or great heart rate, trembling, sweating, shaking legs, nausea, dizziness etc. Panic disorder has become the most common problem among children and adults alike. They may also feel choking, chest pain, fear of dying, parasthesia (numbness or tingling sensation) etc.
We generally ignore Panic disorder terming the symptoms as normal behavior of children but it is a very serious problem, which can hamper the child’s mental and physical growth. Affected children are socially cut off, their school performance is deteriorated and they may suffer from many other problems. It is not necessary that those children who are having panic attacks may have panic disorder, if 10 % of the children will suffer from panic attacks then 1 to 2 per cent only suffer from Panic disorder.
Out of these who develop the Panic disorder, 10-35% is sure to get cured, 50% may get affected mildly later. The most common of all panic disorder is Agrophobia. This means always having a feeling of finding in a place or any situation were it is impossible to escape, or face a situation where help is not nearby available. According to the researchers, Panic disorder is caused when there is abnormality in that part of the brain, which indicates the quantity of Carbondioxide in the blood. If Carbondioxide is more, this means breathing is less than normal.
Therefore, body will send the signals to increase the breathing process and also send adrenaline to help in the same process. We can also say that Panic disorder is hereditary problem. The children are much more likely to have an anxiety disorder if a parent also has an anxiety disorder. Part of this heredity is expressed through something called Behavioral Inhibition, which means reacting opposite to entirely new situation and things. Some infants and children will be very happy, eager and curious to find out about new people and things.
However, roughly 15% of children will feel shy, withdrawn, and irritable in a new situation or with new people or things. Ted’s problem of Panic disorder is a problem of anxiety disorder, which is the most common among Children and adolescents. There are many kinds of anxiety disorders but the most common of them are Separation Anxiety Disorder and Specific Phobias, occurring in the age group between 6-9 years old. Anxiety is one of the many disorders affecting man hood like neuroses. Children generally suffer from maximum fear and worry more than their parents do.
Many of these problems can be predicted and cured easily so clinician before starting the treatment should carefully examine the behavior among children and then should prescribe the medicine for the same. Girls suffer more from fear than boys do. Separation anxiety disorder is found in childhood only and these involve the problems like specific phobia, social phobia among others. Children suffering from the phobias will try to leave the feared object. Social phobia occurs when children fear from being humiliated in public place.
Children may get scared of speaking, writing, reading, performing in public, initiating and maintaining conversations, speaking to authority figures and interacting in informal social situations. The idea can daunt on the children that what others will think of them and may suffer somatic symptoms with a sole purpose to escape uncomfortable situations. These children may suffer from lower self esteem and and always feel lonely and sad. This disorder can be comorbid with other diagnoses such as anxiety or depression.
So, it becomes inevitable to treat the problem, whatever disorder the child may be suffering from before it causes some serious implications on his health and life. There should be open communication between clinicians, therapists, family and school staff. The source of stress of the child should be reduced through counseling, medicines and supportive environment both at home and school. It becomes utmost important for the parents to understand the illness of the child and his struggle with it. The child should not be left isolated.
They should listen to the child’s feeling, praise his efforts and encourage him to participate in various activities to relieve him of the stress, tension and depression. Ted’s mother also understood the root cause of problem and following the advice of child psychologists, she herself undertook parent guidance counseling sessions. With this, she was able to manage his son’s illness effectively by providing much needed support and love. Soon, Ted was on the path of recovery. Reference Nelson R. W. , Emeritus & Allen Y. (2005) Behavior Disorders of Childhood. Publisher: Prentice Hall

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