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How is generalized anxiety disorder treated in children and teenagers?

Anxiety disorders in children and adolescents can be effectively treated using therapy and/or medication. Treatment should always be based on a comprehensive evaluation of the child and family. In children and adolescents, the first line of treatment is generally therapy. Two types of therapy are commonly used to treat generalized anxiety disorder (GAD): cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and family therapy. CBT helps the child or adolescent learn skills to manage his/her anxiety and master the situations that contribute to the anxiety; in addition, a parent component can be added to CBT to help parents assist the child in coping with anxiety. When the anxiety is affecting family routines and rhythms, family therapy may also help the entire family cope with the disorder.

Studies are currently underway worldwide to evaluate whether combination treatment -- the concurrent use of both therapy and medication -- produces better outcomes in children and adolescents with GAD.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.