Common Methods of Treatment for Childhood Anxiety Disorders
Child anxiety disorders affect numerous children and many parents are not aware of the symptoms and the treatment options. It has been estimated that one out of every ten children suffers from some type of an anxiety disorder.
Anxiety is a natural part of being human and helps people to overcome hard situations, but when it becomes a constant response that people have on a daily basis that is uncontrollable it becomes a problem.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
- Panic Disorder
- Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Separation Anxiety Disorder
- Social Anxiety Disorder
- Selective Mutism
- Specific Phobias
All of these anxiety disorders impact a child’s life significantly in a negative way. Anxiety disorders can cause problems in a child’s socialization, school work, and can drastically affect their self-esteem, which can lead to depression. This is why treatment should be provided to children who have anxiety orders.
Different Treatment Options
The two main types of treatment options for childhood anxiety orders, which in themselves have many different options, are Behavioral Therapy and Medication.
Behavioral therapy is the most effective way proven to help children overcome anxiety disorders. Behavioral therapy will incorporate positive thinking and reinforcement strategies to help a child learn to think in a positive manner versus a negative manner. Behavioral theory is a way to take a negative situation that typically causes anxiety and find a positive spin to it so that anxiety is no longer present in these situations.
A behavioral therapist will incorporate activities and strategies not just on paper and in an office, but out in the community, so the child will be able to have hands on experience in real life situations to overcome their anxiety. This technique has been very successful with working to help children overcome anxiety and is typically more effective than other therapies.
Some people do not like the thought of medication, but unfortunately just like medication is needed to help people get better when they are sick; sometimes medication is also needed to help emotional problems, such as anxiety.
Medication treatment will help a child to feel better in stressful situations that causes their anxiety to occur. There are numerous medications out there and a therapist will determine which medications are best suited for each child they work with. Medication is not a long term fix for an anxiety problem because a child should not take medication for a long period of time if the problem can be fixed through therapy.
Medication may help a child to feel normal again in social situations and with the right medication it can definitely help a child feel much better all together, but it is important for a child to go to therapy in addition to their medication treatment so that they can eventually be slowly taken off of the medication being that medication is just a short term fix to the problem.