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Anxiety in Childhood: Diagnosis

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), outlines the defining feature of anxiety disorders (ADs)—excessive fear about a current state and anxiety about a future state. AD diagnoses provide categories that aid in providing treatment for children and continuing research endeavors to study the causes, maintaining factors, and treatment efficacy of specific interventions for childhood anxiety. ADs do not include anxieties that would be considered typical in a given group of people (including age and culture). For instance, a fear of strangers is developmentally typical at about 18 months of age, is circumscribed to specific situations, and is short-lived. Nor do ADs define short-term anxieties that may only persist for a couple of days. These types of anxieties can be ...

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