Mild anxiety is normal and can result from positive events, like a birthday or marriage, as well as negative events like school failure, loss of a friend, divorce or a death in the family. Traumatic events and or cumulative stress can overwhelm a child and cause extreme anxiety and ineffective coping responses. Anxiety reactions can range from complete withdrawal to volatile emotional over-reactions. Children who have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) or traits of that condition can also be very rigid and fall apart easily when their expectations are not met. Excessive worrying can turn into full blown panic over parental separation, weather, barking dogs, insects, food spoiling, home burglary, airplane trips and numerous other unrealistic fears. Perfectionistic tendencies can also cause undue anxiety and stress when the child fails to perform as well as expected in sports or school.
Conditions that result in a greater risk for anxiety are ADHD, ASD, mood disorders and sensory integration dysfunction, as well as a family history of similar issues.