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Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Children

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Feb 4, 2024.

What is generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)?

GAD is a condition that causes your child to worry or feel nervous about daily activities. Your child is not able to control the anxiety and feel calm. Your child may worry about his or her health or the health of a parent. He or she may worry about relationships or about being in danger. Anxiety can also happen without a cause.

What increases my child's risk for GAD?

What other signs and symptoms may occur with GAD?

How is GAD diagnosed?

Your child's healthcare provider will ask when symptoms began and what triggers them. The provider will ask if anxiety affects your child's daily activities. Tell your provider about your child's medical history and if he or she has family members with a similar condition. Your child's healthcare provider will ask about your older child's past and present nicotine or drug use.

How is GAD treated?

Healthcare providers will treat any medical condition causing your child's symptoms. Your child may also need any of the following:

Treatment options

The following list of medications are in some way related to or used in the treatment of this condition.

View more treatment options

What can I do to help my child manage GAD?

Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) for any of the following:

When should I call my child's doctor?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your child's care. Learn about your child's health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your child's healthcare providers to decide what care you want for your child. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.