Classification of children’s fears

These fears arise acutely in response to emotional distress. In a fit of fear, the child is torn, screaming, constantly talking about the object or phenomenon, which scared believe in this fear, imagining it to be bright and colorful, up to hallucinations. Between bouts of fear, the child almost healthy.

4-year-old girl was afraid of the doctor . Periodically I think back on it, she screamed, cried, refused to attend the clinic. Another approximately at the same age were afraid of the spider and at the sight of the insect screamed, afraid to sleep, demanded that the mother bedtime carefully shook out the blanket, because there might be spiders.

Depending on the child’s personality neurotic fears are transformed into overvalued fears. These children fear dominates the mind, the child is difficult to dissuasion. The younger children (7-9 years) among overvalued fears should be allocated “ fear of the school “ fear of failure, fear of punishment for breaches of discipline, fear of strict teachers, which can lead to failures to attend school.

In pre-puberty age (10— 11 years) in the structure overvalued fears advocates fear for life and health. Such children are afraid of being attacked by bandits, the heart stops. they can die from suffocation.


Here there is no feeling, no awareness of the causes of fear, connection with the traumatic situation. Most often the child is monotonous, stereotyped repeats: “scary, Scary, scary, scary. ” Often joined, especially in children of school age, somatogenic component (coldness in the abdomen, squeezing and sinking at the heart, chest tightness, pain in the legs).


Often asked by anxious-insecure children who have broken fellowship with their peers. It’s, generally, fears of contamination, pollution, sharp objects (needles, broken dishes), enclosed spaces, transport, fear of blushing, fear of oral responses in school, fear of speech in stutterers (logophobia), fear to choke on solid food or bone, the fear of losing their parents.

Unlike overvalued fears children understand the strangeness of his fear, feel a sense of inner freedom and actively try to overcome this fear that, as a rule, leads to the formation of special techniques, the so-called rituals. With the fear of contamination, infection children, for example, wash their hands, to dryness and flaking of the skin, wash with soap products, even bread and candy. With the fear of sharp objects are asked to take them to the doctor that he found and pulled out a needle which was swallowed long ago, no longer ride in the Elevator, use transportation, only eat liquid food.

The child of 11 years became afraid of losing their parents after they come home from work 3 hours later than usual. Since then, awaiting their return, he made a number of protective rituals: in the hallway put Slippers in a specific order, set the table, repeat steps 20— 30 times a night.

Girl 10-11 years old was afraid of getting sick and in the evening before going to sleep for hours in a special way fluffed the pillow, wore and removed a nightgown. Fear of bandits makes a child dozens of times to check whether the closed door, turn on and off lights, to inspect the apartment.


They are often ridiculous and pretentious: children are afraid of shadows, wind, noise, water, rain . water faucets, light bulbs. There was a girl for 2 years who was afraid of the door handle. It seemed to her that they are “scary faces”.

Boy 3 years old was afraid of the leaves fell from the tree, did not transfer their rustling, crying, asked to remove.

5 years boy was afraid of the sound of rain, did not tolerate when the rain drumming on the roof.

Children who have similar fears, as a rule, withdrawn, uncommunicative, suspicious. Such pretentious, unrealistic fears should alert parents, they often are the precursors of mental illness in the child. It is desirable to observe such a child neuropsychiatrist.

A special place in children’s practice is


They are expressed in the fact that the child during sleep becomes erratic motor, talks or screams, cries, and can sit, stand, walk around the room. Last such status from several minutes to several hours. The next morning the child has virtually nothing to remember or remembers fragmentary information. Here we can distinguish several variants of fears.

Fears overvalued . usually associated with the experienced by the child during the daytime quarrels, conflicts between parents, bad grades in school. Fears are a continuation of dreams reflecting these situations, and psychologically understandable. You can hear the child mutters: “don’t hit me; don’t touch mom; I’m going to learn a lesson; look out!” Sometimes seen fantastic monsters, wild animals, scary people.

Undifferentiated, empty night terrors — episodic intense fears crying, screaming, agitation without any content and without connection with dreams. Consciousness in them quite deeply darkened, and even partial contact with a child is impossible. Upon awakening in the morning, the baby doesn’t remember anything about them. They occur in infections with high fever after traumatic brain injury. In those cases, when they are repeated, they should be differentiated with fears of epileptic origin. Such fears are called paroxysmal.

Paroxysmal nocturnal fears . Their main features: the suddenness of onset and cessation, confinement to a certain time of night sleep (mostly the second half of the night), a tendency to repetition through the same period of time (often associated with the phases of the moon), the combination with a monotonous automated movements (frozen facial expression, fixed in one direction glance, monotonous hand movements: effleurage, shuffling of bed linen, shaking off; the sway of the torso, the automated walk, shouts). Consciousness is deeply darkened, contact with children is impossible, in the morning the children don’t remember, in rare cases, involuntary urination.

Many authors believe that paroxysmal night terrors are one of the manifestations of the so-called psychomotor epilepsy and are often combined with snooztime (somnambulism). When progressing subscribe seizures.

Girl 5 years wakes up in 2-3 hours a night, usually during the full moon, sits up in bed, whimpering, monotonously swinging from side to side, repels mother, a mug of water. Can stand, walk around the room, then suddenly falls asleep anywhere. The attack lasts 5-10 minutes. Electroencephalogram brain speaks of convulsive readiness. Parents report that the daughter is changing the nature is stubborn, unyielding, angry for no reason.

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