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10-23 Combination of medicine and therapy more effective for children with severe anxiety, finds study

Combination of medicine and therapy more effective for children with severe anxiety, finds study

Anxiety is a common problem among children and teens in the United States. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), roughly 25 percent of American teens aged 13-18 years suffer from anxiety disorders in their lifetime. Physicians usually prescribe medicines or therapies to help teens and children get rid of anxiety symptoms. Though administration of either drugs or behavioral interventions is enough for most of the children suffering from the disorder, some young patients still complain of recurring feelings of anxiousness.

A recent study suggested that a combination of both medications and behavioral therapeutic intervention can be more effective for anxiety-ridden young patients. The researchers of the study, published online in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology in September 2017, examined details from a clinical observation of 488 patients, aged seven to 17 years, diagnosed with anxiety problems. The researchers contrasted the effects of therapy, use of anti-depressants, including sertraline, a combination of both and those kept under controlled condition.

An analysis of the research revealed that the participants who did not recover completely from only one treatment option were those afflicted with grievous symptoms. Most people with anxiety show signs of unwarranted fear against others, compelling them to live in social isolation. The researchers revealed how it is necessary to deal with unnecessary fear that anxiety patients suffer from before administering them any kind of treatment. Extremely anxious patients are at an increased risk of developing depression or secondary anxiety disorders. Patients affected by generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) have an aggravated risk of suffering from social anxiety or panic disorder, the study found.

Elaborating on the findings, Eli Lebowitz, a co-author of the study, said, “For many of the study participants with extreme anxiety, the feelings could be reduced but still persisted at a debilitating level even with a specialized psychotherapy called cognitive behavior therapy or when on the antidepressant. If they got both therapy and medications, they had a good chance of getting better. If they only got one, they were no more likely to be free of an anxiety disorder, than children who only got the placebo.”

The revelations stemmed from observations of nearly 60 percent of severely anxious respondents who had received both the treatments and recovered from symptoms of the disorder in three months after the treatment. According to the study, 25-30 percent respondents who suffered from chronic anxiety problems and received only one kind of treatment exhibited a similar outcome. The findings supported the suggestions of many physicians who have for long stressed on the combination method to treat anxiety problems in children.

Choosing recovery over anxiety

Lack of an innovative approach or incapacity to provide customized treatment options results in most patients relapsing to their earlier conditions of serious mental illnesses. Though previous studies have indicated the effectiveness of mindfulness and meditation in treating anxiety disorders, it may be necessary to treat extremely anxious children and teens with the combination of medicines and therapies for complete recovery.

Though an anxiety disorder is treatable, many continue to suffer from the mental condition due to lack of proper treatment. If your child is struggling with anxiety or any other mental problem, help is available. Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego is equipped with evidence-based techniques for teen anxiety treatment. We provide both medications and behavioral therapeutic interventions to our patients according to their need. Call our 24/7 helpline or chat online to know more about residential teen generalized anxiety disorder treatment facilities for teenagers in your vicinity.

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