Anxiety can affect children as much as adults. It is estimated that anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of youngsters suffer from debilitating anxiety. When children are treated with medicines used to treat psychiatric disorders in adults, however, they may not do well. What can be done to help kids with anxiety?
Ways to Help Kids with Anxiety:
A review of 15 studies that included more than 7,700 children found that SSRI-type antidepressant drugs like sertraline or fluoxetine worked better than placebo to alleviate symptoms. Benzodiazepine medications such as alprazolam (Xanax) are the mainstay for treating anxiety in adults. However, such drugs did not work for kids with anxiety.
On the other hand, cognitive behavioral therapy was quite effective. It helped more than fluoxetine or sertraline did and, even better, there were no side effects. The investigators concluded that cognitive behavioral therapy is a viable treatment for childhood anxiety.
JAMA Pediatrics, Aug. 31, 2017