Can anxiety disorders be helped?

Yes. Anxiety disorders can be helped by a combined treatment approach using cognitive - behavioral treatment, family intervention and/or medication based on the individual needs of the child or adolescent. Often, children and adolescents do not initiate the help-seeking process and need the support and direction of their families.

What is the typical approach to treatment?

Assessment: The first step to successful treatment begins with a comprehensive evaluation of your child. This evaluation would include:

  • A review of current symptoms and concerns, their duration, and level of intensity.
  • A thorough review of your child's development and background.
  • Past medical and psychiatric history.
  • Important family background as well as family psychiatric history.
  • A mental status exam.

Parents and guardians are included in the evaluation process to obtain background information and history as well as to participate in treatment planning.

Treatment: As part of the evaluation, the psychiatrist or psychologist will discuss an individualized treatment plan for your child. The treatment plan may include a combination of the following:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy for your child.
  • Medication.
  • Family therapy.
  • Parent education and support.

The role of parents and guardians in their child's treatment is essential. Families play a critical role, helping to reinforce needed coping skills in the moment when their child’s anxiety is highest.

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