The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, reported in 2019 that 9.4% of children in the US aged 3 to 17 were diagnosed with clinical anxiety, representing an astounding 5.8 million young ones. Significantly, this data predates the COVID-19 pandemic. Global research by Drs Nicole Racine, Brae Anne McArthur et al found that in the first year of the pandemic, as many as “1 in 5 youth were experiencing clinically elevated anxiety. These … estimates, which increased over time (as the pandemic wore one), are double pre-pandemic numbers”.
The number of anxiety-related disorders a child may experience are many, including among others:
- Separation anxiety – being excessively afraid when away from caregivers
- Selective mutism – a consistent failure to speak in certain situations, like school, while able to speak in others
- Phobias – having extreme fear about a specific thing or situation, such as dogs or blood
- Social anxiety – being very afraid of one or more social situations such as meeting new peers, going to school, speaking in a classroom
- Panic disorder – having repeated episodes of sudden, intense feelings of dread that come with physical symptoms like a racing heart and shortness of breath
- Generalized anxiety – having excessive about the future and about bad things happening, out of proportion to reality
Today’s podcast discusses children experiencing anxiety, a serious issue that is often dismissed or overlooked. In this episode, Patricia speaks with Melissa Gallardo, an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist from The Guidance Center’s San Pedro Clinic. She has more than 5 years of experience working with different populations in various mental health settings.
In My Backyard is brought to you by The Guidance Center, a children’s mental health agency in Long Beach, CA. In My Backyard is produced by Tricia Costales and Matthew Murray. Thank you to Jay Vincent B for original music. All other music licensed through SoundStripe. Thank you to our listeners and supporters.
Please visit tgclb.org or text HOPE to 562-262-5689 to make a one-time donation or join our Hope and Healing Club to become a monthly donor today. And subscribe to In My Backyard on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.