Normal vs. abnormal anxiety

Learn about: Normal vs. abnormal anxiety from Preetpal Sandhu, MD,...
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Normal vs. abnormal anxiety

The most important thing to consider when trying to figure out if your child's anxiety is normal or whether it's something to worry about, is the degree of impairment in their lives. There are three main areas of impairment that we are always concerned about with children. The first is impairment in school. The second is impairment in family life. The third is impairment in social or peer groups. Examples of impairment in school is a child that has been getting A's and B's in school, and all of a sudden, they are getting C's and D's. An example of an impairment at home can be tantrums, where we didn't see them before, crying episodes which don't have a clear inciting stressor. An example of a peer group inciting stressor would be anything that can create isolation for your child. So the kids that used to come over for play dates, aren't coming over anymore. He or she has no desire to call them or go over to their house. These are all warning signs that this might be a problem.

Learn about: Normal vs. abnormal anxiety from Preetpal Sandhu, MD,...


Expert Bio

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Preetpal Sandhu, MD

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist

Dr. Sandhu is a UCLA-trained, Board Certified Psychiatrist who has practiced Psychiatry at UCLA and in Beverly Hills for several years. He did his undergraduate work at UCLA where he was named to Phi Beta Kappa. He then completed medical school at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine and was named a Dean's scholar. He also received a master’s degree in Business Administration from University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business where he was named to the Dean's list.

Dr. Sandhu then pursued training in Child, Adolescent, and Adult Psychiatry at the University of California at Los Angeles, Neuropsychiatric Institute (now named the Semel Institute for Neuroscience & Human Behavior). While at UCLA completing his residency and fellowship he was named the Chief Fellow of the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry training program. He then proceeded to work at UCLA as part of the Attending Staff on the Child and Adolescent Inpatient unit. He is a member in good standing of the American Psychiatric Association (APA), the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists (AACAP) and has served as the Southern California Regional Organization’s President.

His areas of interest include attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and the roles coordinated psychiatry and psychotherapy can have in jointly improving outcomes.

Dr. Sandhu lives in the Los Angeles area with his family and is actively involved in teaching medical students, residents, and fellows at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. In his free time, he enjoys surfing, snowboarding, basketball, golf, video games, and travel.

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