Anxiety an increasing problem for Danish children - The Post

Anxiety an increasing problem for Danish children

Most of the country’s municipalities do not offer any specific assistance and treatment

Few Danish children suffering from anxiety disorders get adequate support (photo: iStock)
July 31st, 2015 3:57 pm| by Lucie Rychla

According to several municipalities in southern Jutland, increasing number of Danish children have anxiety disorders, reports DR Syd.

Henning Riis Tofte, the district manager at Children and Family Services in Haderslev, confirms that more and more local children are seeking help in support groups because of the issues.

The situation is similar in Sønderborg.

“There is clearly an increase in the number of inquiries from children with anxiety,” Marianne Korsgaard Helms, the head of Children and Family services in Sønderborg,  told DR Syd.

No adequate assistance for anxious children
Nationwide, some 2.5-5 percent of Danes under the age of 18 suffer from anxiety disorders.

However, according to a survey carried out for Information, two out of three municipalities do not offer assistance specifically for anxious children.

In 2007, researchers from the University of Copenhagen reported that less that 6 percent of Danish children with anxiety disorders undergo treatment.

“Knowing how easily and quickly children suffering from anxiety disorders may be treated if a disorder is discovered in due time, it is incomprehensible that Denmark does not have available treatment options for children who suffer from the most common anxiety disorders,” Barbara Hoff Esbjørn, an associate professor at the University of Copenhagen’s Psychology Clinic, told DR Syd.

Prolonged anxiety leads to depression
While anxiety is a natural human reaction that serves as an important biological function, activating the body when we are in danger, long-term anxiety is a form of stress.

Usually, it relates to worry about something negative that might happen in the future and can eventually lead to a vast range of physical as well as psychological problems such as headaches, fatigue, irritability and depression.