Anxiety is the experience of fear which has overtaken the sense of objective’ danger. In more recent models, anxiety is understood to arise when the individual has certain beliefs about the dangerousness of situations which hold important individual meaning for that person. Once situations, events, sensations, and mental events are seen as dangerous, a complex web of emotions, actions, physiological reactions, and thoughts is formed. The central theme of anxiety problems, in contrast to other difficulties, is that anxiety is based on anticipating problems in the future. The theme is that of impending threat and danger. Anxiety is a combination of different elements, cognition, emotion, biology, behavior, and environment, which are linked and trigger one another off (Beck &. Averill, 2004).
Beck and Averill (2004) comment anxiety is itself an emotion and is strongly related to other emotions. Anxiety can result from other emotions, such as low mood or depression, and can produce many other emotions. Worry is perhaps one of the most characteristic features of anxiety. Given the paucity of research on childhood worry, the current state of knowledge should be considered formative and incomplete. Because of this, researchers on child anxiety have begun a strong and methodologically rigorous journey toward a thorough understanding of childhood worry and anxiety disorders more generally (Beck &. Averill, 2004).
As indicated about the classification by Last et al. (1996) Anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions affecting youths and include generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), separation anxiety disorder (SAD), selective mutism, specific phobia, and social anxiety disorder (SoAD). Epidemiological studies estimate the prevalence of impairing anxiety disorders at greater than 10%, with four of five large surveys estimating prevalence to be 12% to 20% (Last et al., 1996).
GAD can be perceived as a shared and intrinsic human response that can universally be experienced during times of stress as a threat or challenge. Therefore, assessment and diagnosis of GAD need to focus on the magnitude, that is, intensity, pervasiveness, and persistence of the worry and anxiety reported. Masi et al (2004) while studying this disease in the referred children comments that at the heart of GAD is excessive anxiety and worry which is known as "apprehensive expectation", lasting for at least 6 months, occurring more days than not, about a number of events and activities in work, school, and performance. In addition, three of six symptoms need to be present, restlessness, easy fatigability poor concentration, muscle tension, and sleep disturbance to make the diagnosis.