Teens and Anxiety and How to Handle This Condition

Adolescents and Anxiety

Scientists have found that adolescence is an important period for the diagnosis and treatment of an anxiety disorder. Of adolescents who have any one of the mood or anxiety disorders, 42 percent still have an anxiety or depressive disorder in adulthood. In contrast, only 5 percent of adolescents who were healthy go on to develop one of the disorders. It is likely that if we aggressively treat adolescents who suffer from mood and anxiety disorders, we can prevent many of these disorders from becoming chronic.

Treatment Options

Anxiety treatment can be effective at any age. If you think you may have an anxiety disorder, don't hesitate to discuss it with your healthcare provider. There are many different types of treatments available, and these can be tailored to specific problems. In some cases, psychotherapy, or counseling, is sufficient. In other cases, medication alone can be effective. Some people may need both.
A number of medications that were originally approved for treating depression have been found to be effective for anxiety disorders as well. Some of the newest of these antidepressants are called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Other antianxiety medications include groups of drugs called benzodiazepines and beta-blockers. If one medication is not effective, others can be tried. New medications are currently under development to treat anxiety symptoms.
Two clinically proven effective forms of psychotherapy used to treat anxiety disorders are behavioral therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy. Behavioral therapy focuses on changing specific actions, and uses several techniques to stop unwanted behaviors. In addition to the behavioral therapy techniques, cognitive-behavioral therapy teaches patients to understand and change their thinking patterns so that they can react differently to the situations that cause them anxiety.
(Click Anxiety Treatment for a closer look at the treatment options for this condition.)
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Anxiety Information

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