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Generalized anxiety disorder is characterized by excessive and uncontrollable worry. Among other symptoms, your child or teen may experience restlessness, irritability, upset stomach, and trouble sleeping.
Emma's mother describes her daughter as a "worrier”. She says that she worries incessantly about bad things that might happen. Worrying is worse at night, leading to reassurance-seeking from both parents. During the day she complains of stomach aches, and she is noticeably teary. She is not good with changes in her routine and is often moody.
Health anxiety (hypochondriasis) is characterized by a preoccupation with the idea or thought that they are currently ill, or may become ill in the future. The worry is typically accompanied by checking the body and seeking reassurance from parents or medical specialists.
Tate often worries that he has brain cancer. He is constantly googling symptoms of brain cancer to the point tht he starts to overthink minor headaches, tiredness, and even the feeling of dizziness when he stands up too quickly. These worries lead him to miss school due to frequent doctor appointments. When at school, teachers notice he is distracted. At home he often feels too anxious to spend time with his friends and participate in extra-curricular activities.
Panic disorder is characterized by recurring panic attacks and may be accompanied by Agoraphobia (anxiety about being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult or embarrassing).
Rachel experienced a panic attack while writing a test in class. However, she was unable to leave the room in case she got into trouble with her teacher. During this event she had difficulty catching her breath, felt dizzy, shaky, hot, and had a feeling she was going to lose control. Ever since then, she avoids circumstances where another panic attack might occur. This has led her to leave school early when feeling anxious, turn down invitations to go out with friends, and miss important soccer practices. She hopes that limiting these activities will prevent another panic attack.
Social anxiety (also known as social phobia) is characterized by excessive shyness and/or a fear of being judged by others.
Owen's parents are concerned that he hasn't made many friends at his new elementary school. His teachers have noticed that he rarely speaks in class and sits by himself at recess rather than playing with the other children. Owen worries that he will say something stupid, and kids will laugh at him. Sometimes he sees kids talking together and looking over at him and he can only assume they must be making fun of him. These anxious thoughts lead Owen to avoid several situations including speaking in class, going on playdates, and participating fully in family gatherings.
Separation anxiety involves excessive anxiety when a child is expecting to be separated from home or a loved one (such as a parent or a caregiver). This can lead to difficulty developing and maintaining friendships and decreased school attendance and performance.
Jordan is a seven-year-old who often pleads for his mom to not go out in the evening. He also demands that he go everywhere that she goes when leaving the house to run errands. He frequently complains of stomach aches on school mornings and asks to stay home from school. While he used to have many friends, since his problem started he has declined going over to other children’s homes to play.
Specific phobia is characterized by an excessive fear of an object or a situation which, when avoided, significantly impairs one’s life in some way.
Ever since the beginning of the pandemic, Nour has developed an intense fear of needles due to frequent COVID-19 and flu vaccinations. Even though she is often reminded that the pain from a needle is minor and temporary, she seems to think that the pain will last forever. This fear has led her to feel anxious when going to the doctor's office for check-ups and even when her parents drive anywhere near the doctor's office. Any reminder of COVID-19 triggers a feeling of discomfort, as she fears having to experience another injection.
Affecting approximately 1 or 2 out of 100 individuals (National Institute of Mental Health), OCD consists of obsessions (thoughts, images, impulses, ideas, doubts) and compulsions (actions or thoughts aimed at neutralizing the obsessions). Obsessions can be focused on any subject matter, but they are different from worries in that they are more excessive and tend to be inconsistent with the individual’s character or values. Compulsions are often behaviours (e.g. washing/cleaning, checking, ordering, repeating an action etc.) but can also be thoughts (e.g. mental checking, reviewing memories, reassurance seeking, distracting/blocking, counting etc.)
Children and adolescents can experience many types of obsessional themes and corresponding compulsions. Learning how the vicious cycle of OCD works for your child or teen, and how to interupt the cycle is paramount in helping prevent future episodes. Read more about OCD and related behaviours by visiting our OCD & BFRB Clinic.
Body Focused Repetitive Behaviour (BFRB) is a term that describes a group of conditions characterized by excessive and repetitive self-grooming behaviours, resulting in damage or physical injury. In children, examples of BFRBs include hair pulling, skin picking, nail biting, cheek biting, and lip biting. These behaviours can lead to anxiety, embarrassment, shame, and avoidance of social interactions. You can read more about BFRBs by visiting our OCD & BFRB Clinic.
From a young age Maria has twirled her hair with her finger. Recently, her parents and friends have been pointing out a bald patch that has appeared at the top of her head. Maria explains that she finds herself searching for hairs to pull from her head when feeling stressed. Other times, her parents notice her doing it while she's on her phone. Because of her noticable bald patch, she always wears a hat in public. Wearing a hat at school draws unwanted questioning and attention from her teachers and classmates. She worries about people discovering her secret, and also about her hair never fully growing back. However, she still finds it difficult to stop pulling her hair.
A major depressive episode is more than just feeling sad or depressed. Among other symptoms, individuals can experience lack of motivation, fatigue, poor concentration, low sex drive, sleep and appetite changes.
Marcus used to be very academic and social at school. Lately, he has been feeling tired and unmotivated. He no longer feels like going to soccer practice or spending time with his friends which he used to really enjoy. This has negatively impacted his grades and his social life.
For a diagnosis of PTSD to be given, a person needs to have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event, or have heard about a trauma that has happened to a close family member or friend. In addition, the person “relives” the traumatic experience, by having distressing memories of the event, recurrent nightmares or flashbacks. The person might engage in avoidance of places or people that remind him or her of the event. Additionally, individuals may experience a change in their mood, concentration, and sleep. Some individuals feel “jumpy” and are hypervigilant of their surroundings.
Jasmine frequently wakes up in a cold sweat from nightmares related to a car accident she experienced with her family a few years ago. Since then, when driving with her family she finds herself picturing the car spinning off the road. She feels anxious when faced with any reminders of the car accident. This includes scenes from TV shows, driving to the store, or even walking across a busy intersection. This anxiety leads to her avoiding these situations by staying at home as much as possible where she feels safe and out of harm's way.
Our standard rate/fee is $225.00 per session (45-50 minutes). This is the fee recommended by the Ontario Psychological Association for individual psychotherapy sessions. Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) does not cover treatment with private psychologists. However, there are a number of ways to have your treatment costs reimbursed. You can find out more details on our Fees page.
This largely depends on the age of the child. Younger children will need to have a parent attend a first session, whereas older teens may wish their conversations to be more private.
There are limited appointments available outside of school hours. Our psychologists do their best to accommodate booking requests, however they have their own personal committments and therefore may not be available.