Child and Teen Anxiety in Another Culture

Did you know that even relatively young children can be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder? The prevalence of child and teen anxiety is increasing in many western societies. The good thing about this is that awareness of mental health issues is spreading, and this increases the likelihood that new, more effective treatment methods will be discovered (or that major improvements will be made to the current methods).

Some of the anxiety disorders that are known to affect children are separation anxiety, specific phobias, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Mental health issues in non-western societies may be considered in a way which we have not considered. Attitudes and treatment options can vary greatly.

Sub-Saharan Africa is one area of the world where lifestyle differs significantly from the lifestyle in America and other western countries. How common are anxiety disorders in children in such a different environment?

According to a recently published study, over one-fourth of the sampled group of children has an anxiety disorder. The researchers included Ugandan children ages three to nineteen in their study.

Among the disorders found in the children were separation anxiety (in younger children), specific phobias, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (in older children/teens).

The high rates of anxiety disorders in the children in the sampled area of Uganda are likely due, at least in part, to war-related trauma.

Other stressful factors were also mentioned as contributors to the anxiety found in the children in the study.

Read more about the research here:

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