Evidence from a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information suggests that anxiety during childhood leads to subsequent alcohol use disorders, such as alcoholism or alcohol dependence. Alcoholism is the inability to control one’s drinking due to physical and emotional reliance upon it. Childhood anxiety is positively associated with the development of alcoholism later in life.
According to the Center for Disease Control, many children have fears, such as being separated from their parents or being afraid of the dark. Even when children are safe, nurtured, and cared for by loving parents, they may still feel distressed when being away from their parents. When children do not outgrow or progress through these worries and fears, they may interfere with school, home, or activities with friends and develop into anxiety disorders. The most common anxiety disorders among children are:
- Separation Anxiety- is characterized by being fearful when being away from one’s parents, loved ones, or home.
- Phobias- are extreme or irrational fears related to a specific thing or situation, such as bugs, dogs, going to the doctor, or being in enclosed spaces.
- Social Anxiety- is characterized by being extremely afraid of situations in which one might be judged or scrutinized by others, such as school or other places with numerous people.
- General Anxiety- is generally being worried about the future and the fact that bad things might happen.
- Panic Disorder- is having repetitive episodes of sudden and intense fear that are characterized by trouble breathing, dizziness, and shaking.
Anxiety in children may seem to be just fears and worries, but it can also make them angry and irritable. These symptoms can lead to problems with sleep and physical illnesses. Since children may keep these worries to themselves, the signs and symptoms can be overlooked. Since childhood anxiety can lead to the development of alcoholism later in life, these worries must be addressed without delay.
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Childhood is a critical time for brain development and subsequent growth in all aspects of life. Psychologically, having anxiety throughout childhood can lead to recurring and detrimental issues such as anxiety disorders and consequent substance use disorders. No matter how or when addiction to drugs or alcohol starts, recovery is possible, and there is hope for a better future. At Fort Worth Recovery, we offer a nurturing space to support clients on their road to long-lasting recovery. We seek to inspire clients to face their challenges and foster hope for their future. If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction, call us today at 844.332.1807 or visit us online.