Anxiety is one of the most common childhood mental disorders. About 7% of children suffer from it at any given time, with nearly 1 in 3 adolescents experiencing it sometime during their teen years.
For an anxious child, seemingly normal activities can be hard. Worried kids have trouble adjusting to school, making friends, and learning. They can feel inhibited, avoiding challenges by running away or retreating into themselves. While parents may feel desperate to help, their approaches can backfire. For example, trying to talk kids out of their feelings or keep them away from anxiety-producing situations may inadvertently make the anxiety worse.
What if very young kids could be inoculated against anxiety somehow, sparing them from a future of worry and inhibition? A new line of research conducted by Kate Fitzgerald, professor of Psychiatry and Obstetrics at the University of Michigan, suggests this may be possible.
Fitzgerald has been studying very young children with anxiety symptoms and making important discoveries about the brain markers for childhood anxiety. Building on this work, she and her team have created a training program for young children aimed at increasing their cognitive capacities, helping to lessen their anxiety—both immediately and, possibly, in the future.
“We hope our work will show that childhood anxiety is not inevitable, but might be prevented with the right intervention,” says Fitzgerald. “So far, it’s looking promising.”
Read the full article at The Epoch Times.