Anxious Child or Teen
Who does not relate to the term “anxiety” — and when is it serious enough to see a psychiatrist? What causes it and what makes it better? Should it run its course while the parents are careful to be extra attentive and patient? Will it get worse during the pandemic? These are the kinds of concerns parents have about their child or teen who is tense, seeks reassurance, has nightmares, is afraid of talking to people, refuses to go to school, has physical complaints, or worries about things excessively. Anxiety also can be present in the child who is overly quiet and eager to please. If you decide to explore this further, you probably already recognize that your child’s usual activities are being adversely affected.
Ironically, children and teens recognize their own anxiety while often parents do not, misreading their children as having ADHD or OCD. An accurate evaluation is essential in order to receive the correct remedy.
Early identification and treatment of Generalized Anxiety Disorder can prevent future and worsening difficulties. The child can be helped to develop friendships, reach their academic potential, and feel a good sense of self-worth. Any outside stressor, for example the loss of a family pet or the impact of COVID-19 on the expected patterns of their lives, can exacerbate anxiety. That is why Dr. Rauch may recommend several modalities such as medication, individual psychotherapy, family counseling, consultation with the school, and behavioral treatments. The causes/severity of Anxiety Disorder are undergoing constant research and are thought to be partially familial, partially situational, partially biological and highly dependent upon environmental conditions that can mitigate or initiate anxious responses.