The Anxiety Cure for Kids: A Guide for Parents and Children


The up-to-date, practical guide for helping your child deal with anxiety

Fear, worry, stomach pains, self-doubt—these are classic symptoms of anxiety in children. Using kid-friendly concepts and real-life examples, this reassuring guide helps adults and children understand the powerful ways in which anxiety works and how to overcome its negative effects. This revised edition includes all-new chapters on food phobia; the relationship between ...

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The up-to-date, practical guide for helping your child deal with anxiety

Fear, worry, stomach pains, self-doubt—these are classic symptoms of anxiety in children. Using kid-friendly concepts and real-life examples, this reassuring guide helps adults and children understand the powerful ways in which anxiety works and how to overcome its negative effects. This revised edition includes all-new chapters on food phobia; the relationship between anxiety and other illnesses and problems such as ADHD, depression, and autism; and anxiety in teens.

The lessons in The Anxiety Cure for Kids have helped many children break free from anxiety. By making changes little by little, any child with anxiety can get well and stay well.

  • Provides up-to-date, practical guidance for helping both younger children and teenagers deal with anxiety issues
  • Shows how to recognize the symptoms of anxiety, evaluate a child's need for medication and/or therapy, assess the role of the family in anxiety disorders, and take concrete steps to find solutions
  • Explains how to communicate effectively with your child, help him or her confront fear, and boost your child's feelings of accomplishment and self-esteem
  • Addresses a range of anxiety disorders, such as food phobia and anxieties about terrorism, as well as the relationship between anxiety and other illnesses
  • Also includes advice that can be used by teachers, coaches, doctors, therapists, school nurses, and others who work with anxious kids

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The Anxiety Cure for Kids: A Guide for Parents provides the missing essential ingredient to current treatment for anxious children. . . . This book is written for parents and explains anxiety in children and its treatment in a meaningful and straightforward way.” —Karen Dineen Wagner, M.D., Ph.D., Clarence Ross Miller Professor and Vice Chair, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Director, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Texas Medical Branch
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781118430668
  • Publisher: Turner Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 1/14/2014
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 416,296
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth DuPont Spencer, M.S.W., L.C.S.W.-C., served as Vice President of DuPont Clinical Research and on the Clinical Advisory Board of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). Her father, Robert L. DuPont, M.D., and her sister, Caroline M. DuPont, M.D., are board certified in psychiatry and in addiction medicine. Robert DuPont was the founding President of the ADAA and the first Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Caroline DuPont was principal investigator of numerous research studies on the treatment of anxiety. This team specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders and also authored The Anxiety Cure: An Eight-Step Program for Getting Well.

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Read an Excerpt


Dear Young Reader:

This book is about being scared of being scared. You probably noticed that some kids are scared more than other kids are. Sometimes kids are scared even when most kids see nothing to be afraid of. Some people like to be scared, for example, when they ride a roller coaster at an amusement park or listen to a ghost story on Halloween. Of course, everyone is scared of something sometime. This is good! Being scared helps us when we are really in danger. Our bodies react quickly when we’re afraid so that we can run fast to get away from things that scare us. Fear helps us get to someone who can help us.

But what about a kid who is scared of dogs and won’t go to his friend’s house because the friend has a dog? Or a kid who is too scared to even walk outside, because there might be a dog around? Or someone who stays up for hours past her bedtime because she is scared something bad will happen to her parents during the night? Kids are afraid of what might happen to them and to their parents. When kids are scared, they want their parents to help them feel safe. Being scared can feel extra scary when other people don’t understand why you’re scared! Sometimes it’s hard to explain why you do things to keep yourself from being scared. Sometimes kids stay away from things that scare them or have to do things certain odd ways to make themselves feel safe. Being scared of being scared is called “anxiety.” Having anxiety means that you worry about things that most kids don’t worry about.

We think of anxiety as being like an imaginary Dragon in your head. The Dragon seems to be really scary. It can make you feel terribly afraid even when other kids are not upset. You should know that it’s OK to feel scared. This doesn’t make you a bad person. Feeling scared doesn’t have to limit what you do with your life. You can do everything you want to do, even if you feel scared.

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Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Acknowledgments xi

A Letter to Kids with Anxiety Problems xiii

Introduction and Guide to This Book 1

PART ONE: All about Anxiety

CHAPTER 1 Understanding Anxiety and Fear: The Dragon 7

CHAPTER 2 The History and Diagnostic Categories of Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adults 23

CHAPTER 3 Treatment: The Wizard 47

CHAPTER 4 Evaluating Your Child’s Need for Medication and Therapy 59

PART TWO: Five Stories for Kids, Five Steps for Parents


Step 1: Ben’s Story—Understanding Your Child’s Dragon 79


Step 2: Julie’s Story—Shrink the Dragon with Practice and Cognitive Restructuring 101


Step 3: William’s Story—Using Medication and Relaxation 113


Step 4: Rebecca’s Story—School Anxiety and School Refusal 131


Step 5: Rebecca’s Story One Year Later—Set Goals for the Future, Including a Plan If the Anxiety Problem Comes Back 159

PART THREE: Beyond Anxiety

CHAPTER 10 Assessing Your Family’s Role in Anxiety Disorders 169

CHAPTER 11 Anxiety, Terrorism, and Other Extraordinary Threats to Children 177

CHAPTER 12 Advice for Teachers, Coaches, Doctors, Therapists, School Nurses, and Others Who Work with Anxious Kids 191

Appendix: Diagnostic Criteria for Anxiety Disorders (from the DSM-IV) 203

Glossary 213

Suggested Additional Reading 215

Anxiety Disorders Resources for Parents and Children 217

Index 219

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