Many different anxiety symptoms exist; fear of the dark, fear of doing a presentation, fear of doing things alone, fear that a war will begin, panic attacks on the street etc. For a long time it has been questioned whether it would be useful to make a distinction in these various types of anxiety. For the TRAILS-youth this was not found to be useful. It was found that, instead of asking what someone is afraid of, it is more useful to ask exactly how scared someone is and how often someone is scared. This is valuable information. Moreover, there are so many things that one can be scared of, and asking about all the different things is therefore not necessary when tracking anxious adolescents in the general population.
Due to the high prevalence of anxiety and depression it is often asked whether we are dealing with separate anxiety and depression disorders. This research found that anxiety and depression symptoms usually go together in the group of TRAILS-youth. Furthermore, we found that adolescents with anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts may form a group with a more severe prognosis than the group of adolescents who are anxious and depressive but who do not yet think about death. This is important for prevention.