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Anxiety

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Anxiety in Adults
Do I Have an Anxiety Disorder? Do you find that that many of the following apply to you... I am often startled by the smallest thing I worry that something terrible will happen to me or others I am easily irritable I get sudden fears of dying or doing something out of control I often worry that something has not been done correctly even though I know I completed the task properly I am extremely worried about disease (e.g. germs, infections, dirt, dust, contaminates, cleanliness) I need constant reassurance I often find myself doing things repeatedly (e.g. hand washing, showering, tooth ...
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Anxiety in Children and Youth: Information for Parents and Caregivers
Does Your Child Have.. Does your child have any of the following:  Gets fearful or worried about leaving the home, e.g. school or activities? Require a lot of reassurance to calm down?  Fears that are so extreme, that it gets in the way of life? Introduction Dylan is afraid of the dark. Tricia hates to eat in front of other people. Eric becomes sick to his stomach and throws up if he has to speak aloud in class.    Life is stressful. It is normal to have fears and worries. Being worried about things can help us prepare for potential dangers. E.g. being worried about failing a test ...
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Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Introduction J. is a 15-yo teen who believes his hair is "all wrong" despite the beliefs of his friends and family who see none of these 'defects'. But now it's to the point where he refuses to go to school unless he combs his hair for hours.   M. is a 45-yo woman. Her ability to focus on details makes her a gifted and accomplished musician and music teacher. Unfortunately, she has been increasingly obsessed with signs of ageing which she thinks make her nose now appear much bigger. Despite the reassurance of family members, she is so concerned about her appearance that she has been reducing her social contacts to a greater and ...
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Fear of Vomiting (Emetophobia)
J's Story J. is a twenty-something who struggles with a fear of vomiting. She remembers the day it started in Gr. 9. She had been sick with the flu and ended up throwing up in class. Since then, her fears of vomiting have been getting gradually worse. She is able to go to her work but other than that, she is not able to leave home. She wishes so badly that she could just go out like others… What is the Fear of Vomiting (Emetophobia)? It is normal to dislike the thought of vomiting and in fact, having just enough fear of vomiting can be helpful. It encourages one to 1) stay away from people who may be sick, and 2) take measures to avoid ...
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Helping Children and Youth Cope After Traumatic Events
Children and youth can have strong emotional reactions (or stress reactions) after a difficult experience. A traumatic event is one that causes a child or teen to react with horror, fear and distress. Events that might cause a stress reaction include:  Being in a car crash  Getting badly hurt  Witnessing violence  Nearly drowning  Seeing another person get badly hurt  How do children and youth react after traumatic events?  Everyone is different, and reactions often depend on a child’s age.  After a traumatic event, children and youth may ...
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Illness and Health Anxiety, Hypochondria and Hypochondriasis
What is Illness Anxiety Disorder? On one hand, it is normal to have health anxiety and concerns about one’s health from time to time. On the other hand, sometimes those concerns can become so severe that it causes problems. Illness anxiety disorder, also known as hypochondria or hypochondriasis, is an excessive concern about having or developing a serious, undiagnosed general medical disease. At What Age Does It Start? Health illness anxiety can start in children, but usually starts in early adulthood. How Common Is It? It is felt that up to 5-10% of the population may have health anxiety disorder. Terms Hypochondriasis: Ever since ...
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Needle Phobia in Children, Youth and Adults
J’s Story, Part 1 J. is a young adult who wants to get the COVID vaccine, because she wants to protect her elderly parents. And she needs to be vaccinated to keep her job working with medically ill people. But she has hated needles all her long and she just doesn't know what to do... Introduction On one hand, getting needles for immunizations, bloodwork or injections is part of the miracle of modern medicine, which helps people live healthier and longer than in the past. This includes getting needles for the COVID vaccine, which is necessary for herd immunity to overcome the COVID pandemic. On the other hand, it is understandable that ...
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Panic Attacks in Adults
Penny’s Story, Part 1 Penny is a married with two kids. She has a supportive partner and great kids, but but recently has been having more stresses with work and her aging, elderly parents.    She’s always been a bit of a worrier, but now she’s started having periods “out of the blue” where she feels suddenly anxious, along with shortness of breath, feeling sweaty. The periods are so severe, that it feels like she’s having a heart attack… “I must be going crazy” she thinks to herself…   What are Panic Attacks? Panic attacks are periods of intense fear and anxiety, caused by a sudden ...
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Panic Attacks in Children and Youth: Information for Parents and Caregivers
Petra's Story Petra is in her last year of high school. Unfortunately, it has been a stressful year -- there have been difficulties with peers, and the work has been very hard as well. Now she’s having periods out of the blue where she feels panicky and anxious for no reason. During these times, she feels her heart racing, starts sweating and has to leave the room, and ends up hiding in the bathroom until she feels better. Things are so bad that she is starting to skip classes in order to avoid having an attack…   
How would you support Petra? Introduction Everyone gets anxious from time to time. The ...
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Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Trauma in Children and Youth: Information for Families and Caregivers
Introduction Ask any parent what they want for their children, and most will say that they would like their children to grow up safe and happy.  Unfortunately, many children and youth end up experiencing stressful and traumatic events in their life.  Examples of trauma include: “Acute”, single incident trauma, such as being in a car accident; being physically assaulted; experiencing a fire, flood, earthquake or other natural disasters; experiencing war, as a soldier or a civilian. “Chronic”, repeated trauma which happens over and over again, such as: child neglect, physical or sexual abuse, domestic violence; bullying ...
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Selective Mutism in Children and Youth: Information for Parents and Caregivers
“She won't speak to anyone…” Fatima is a 7 year old girl who plays soccer with her brothers and talks excitedly about her favorite World Cup team. Yet, at recess time, she stands alone watching the other kids play soccer and doesn’t speak when her classmates ask her if she wants to play. And despite the school year being half over, she has not spoken a single word in her classroom. Fatima's parents have tried everything to get her to talk. They've tried talking to her about her feelings, and asking if she's been bullied. They've tried positive consequences such as rewards for being able to speak. They've tried punishing her for not ...
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Social Anxiety Disorder in Adults
Introduction It's the adult who has never dated because he's too shy to talk to members of the opposite sex. It's the quiet employee who is under-appreciated by his co-workers and underpaid by his company. It's that great, funny person that you know, but who suffers from loneliness because s/he is too shy unless around close friends and relatives... Do I have Social Anxiety Disorder? Do you have any of the following? Significant and persistent fears of social or performance situations in which embarrassment, rejection, or scrutiny are possible.You either avoid such situations, or endure them with distress (e.g. having symptoms of anxiety)The ...
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Social Anxiety in Children and Youth: Information for Parents and Caregivers
Introduction It's the student who struggles at school because she's too afraid to ask questions in class. It's the teenager who suffers from loneliness from not having any friends because he's too shy to talk to anyone in school. It's shyness so severe that it gets in the way of life...   Shyness runs along a spectrum. It is normal for everyone to be shy at certain times. It is appropriate to be more shy in some situations than in others.  Some cultures value shyness more than others, especially for children. Social anxiety disorder is more than just normal shyness - it is shyness so severe that it gets in the way of enjoying ...
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Social Anxiety: Information for Youth
What is Social Anxiety Disorder? Many people feel shy or stressed in social situations. But when you feel so anxious that it’s hard to go out and take part in everyday activities, you might have social anxiety disorder (sometimes called “Social Phobia”). People with social anxiety can become very fearful about things like:  Meeting new people;  Going somewhere new;  Speaking in public;  Eating or drinking in front of others;  Making phone calls;  Going to school or work;  Going shopping;  Taking the bus.  Many people with social anxiety ...
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Tragic and Upsetting News Events : Helping Children and Youth Cope
Christopher's Story, Part 1 Christopher is a 10-year old boy who heard about a recent terrorist attack on the news. Ever since then, he is worried when parents leave the house, and is having trouble sleeping at night. When he expresses his fear, his father tells him not to worry.   His dad reminds him that it’s safe in their home, that they have a security system, and that they can call the police if they have trouble. But Chris is still anxious, no matter how much his parents try to reason with him. What News Events are Upsetting for Children? We all want our children to grow up feeling safe. But almost every ...
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Trichotillomania
What is Trichotillomania? Trichotillomania (pronounced as "trick-o-till-o-mania",  commonly called "trich" or also known simply as ‘hair pulling') is a condition where a person has repeated, uncontrollable urges to pull out hair from their scalp, eyelashes, nose hair, ear hair, eyebrows or other body hair. The term trichotillomania comes from the Greek words trich (for hair), tillo (pulling) and mania (an impulse). On one hand, it is normal for human beings have grooming behaviours for body function and hygiene, such as pulling out unwanted hair.  On the other hand, pulling out excessive hairs can lead to noticeable bald ...
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