In today’s society, it is clear that mental health problems have become an increasing risk factor for children year after year. One of these main mental health problems which are becoming increasingly common among young children in today’s society is anxiety. Creswell himself said ‘ For the majority of people with mental health disorders such as anxiety and major depression psychological difficulties had its onset in childhood- most presenting as anxiety disorders. Creswell et all 2014. This is quite worrying for us as teachers as we must try and prevent this from happening from a young age and help the children as much as possible.
Anxiety does not come in one form. There are many different types of anxiety such which related to the Persistent excessive feeling of fear, worry or panic which continues for as long as 6 months for the child Cannon et al 2013. There is a factor that distinguishes the anxiety which is the focus of child anxiety. There are 8 different types of anxiety such as specific phobia, social phobia, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, Agoraphobia, generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety, and selective mutism.
Anxiety disorders are quite common among 11-13-year-olds. There is a large number of statistics supporting this for example over 1 in 813.6% experience an anxiety disorder excluding phobias. As well as that one in twenty experience generalized anxiety disorder 5.5% social phobia, 5.1% separation anxiety disorder4.7%. These statistics indicate to us the huge effect that anxiety is having on society and how common it has become among young people. It is not always obvious when people have an anxiety disorder it can be really well hidden. Creswell said himself that anxiety could be defined as the ‘ challenge of distinguishing pathology from normal developmentally appropriates fears and worriesCreswell et al 2014.
There are 3 components of anxiety which involve Cognitiveworry, stress, Behaviouralcrying, tantrums and Physiological such as headaches. The causes of anxiety can vary from stress at school, genetics- heredity and emotional neglect. The history behind anxiety is quite varied. Mary Cover Jones 1924 states; all behaviour is learned and can be unlearned. Using Modelling and deinitialization techniques Jones treated This is the only history that has been discovered to Peter who had a fear of rabbits and it was resolved. That is the only history of anxiety and mental health problems that have been discovered.
Anxiety comes in many forms as I said earlier. Separation anxiety is when someone develops a fear of anxiety about being separated from a major attachment figure MAP some examples of the effects are nightmares, headaches, worry and it also impacts school attendance. Another form is generalized anxiety which is worrying excessively about different events such as school or social interactions. This leads to a tiredness, muscle aches and a lack of concentration in school. It is quite common among 11-13-year-olds but can vary to children as young as 4-year-olds. As well as that another form is a panic attack. This is defined as a repeated fear of danger that causes a panic attack. Which involves quickened heart rate, shortness of breath and excessive sweating. Evans 2012 This may lead to numerous children avoiding school because of PE class or drama for example.
As teachers, we play a huge role in the children’s lives from a young age and it is important that we are aware of mental health problems such as anxiety. Unfortunately, many people with mental health problems do not seek help. Which is a major risk factor as a teacher? The reasons for people not seeking help is varied. Firstly there is a lack of awareness of many mental health problems such as anxiety. There is also a lack of facilities and resources available to young children to offer them support. Also, there are long lists of treatment which shows us the huge impact that mental health is having on our society. Children also have to deal with family commitments. Lastly the lack of professional help on offer to children. Creshwell 2014. There is no doubt that mental health problems have become huge in society in this day and age. Many children have to carry the burden of their mental health difficulties without telling anyone how they feel. Mental health disorders, especially among young people, are becoming such a worrying disability among young people aged 10-14 around the world today Goz et al 2011
In conclusion, Mental health problems such as anxiety are having a huge impact on teachers in today’s society because they are becoming increasingly common among young children. They are not only affecting the well- being of these young children but also it is affecting the success they are having in their educationWorld health organization 2003, Kessler 2009. As teachers, we need to become more aware of mental health issues and how they are affecting young people. We need to be able to offer as much help as possible from a young as possible so that children feel less alone and they feel as though they have someone to talk to. Mental health will always be a huge part of society and anxiety is often not discussed enough but it is a huge mental health issue facing our society. We need to try our best as teachers to offer help and raise awareness for mental health problems such as anxiety.
Word count – 900 words