Treating youth anxiety can have long-term advantages



Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the United States, affecting more than 40 million adults, or 18 percent of the population.

Anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in the United States, affecting more than 40 million adults, or 18 percent of the population. While the condition can be a burden for people their whole lives, symptoms can develop at a young age and are often not spotted until further down the road. Researchers have recently engaged in studies looking to discover the best form of anxiety treatment for children and teenagers.

Doctors working on behalf of the NIMH Child/Adolescent Anxiety Multimodal Study followed 412 adolescents between the ages of 7 and 17 after they had received acute treatment for exhibiting symptoms of anxiety. There were three forms of anxiety treatment available, including cognitive behavioral therapy, medication (sertraline) or the combination of both. The subjects were then reevaluated both three and six months after completing their initial therapy by researchers, who in turn found that 80 percent of the youth responded positively to their respected treatment. Those who had been administered to combined cognitive and sertraline therapy showed greater signs of benefits on the measured outcomes than compared to those who received only one form of therapy.

Dr. John Piacentini, professor at the UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior and co-author of the study, firmly stated his belief that treating children displaying signs of anxiety at a young age is the best way of preventing further symptoms in the long run.

"The results of this study provide further evidence of the benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy and SSRI medication, alone or in combination, for treating clinically significant anxiety in children and adolescents," Piacentini said in a statement. "A separate project by the CAMS researchers is now gathering information on how study participants are doing up to 10 years after study participation."

Catching anxiety traits early on
Teenagers are experiencing a dramatic stage in physical development, which makes it difficult to try to spot signs of stress in adolescents. While the official cause of anxiety in children is undetermined, a number of factors including genetics, stressful living conditions and learned behavior are common indicators. Symptoms of adolescent anxiety can also include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Excessive worrying
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping during the day
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue or restlessness

Anxiety treatment is always available, but according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, only one-third of those experiencing the illness actually seek help. Prescription drugs such as Quetiapine can help ease any stress or side effects. You can buy Quetiapine on a Canadian online pharmacy.