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What are treatments for a child with an anxiety disorder?

With the exception of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for obsessive-compulsive disorder (PTSD), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any drugs for childhood anxiety disorders. But because some SSRIs have been found effective and are approved for the treatment of adult anxiety disorders, many pediatricians and psychiatrists also prescribe these antidepressants for anxious children. Doses are usually lower than recommended for adults.

Parents and other family members can help by learning techniques for managing a child's anxiety, providing models of self-confidence and problem-solving, and giving rewards for overcoming fears. Sometimes a family problem is the source of the child's anxiety, or an anxious child thinks he or she is the cause of any trouble in the family. In that case, joint family therapy, in which all members participate, may be a good idea.

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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.