The first step in the pediatric management of anxiety disorders is to determine whether a child or adolescent has acute, situational anxiety symptoms or a pervasive, chronic anxiety disorder. Such anxiety symptoms can most frequently be handled with reassurance and practical advice to the child and the parents, and followed by monitoring. However, if an anxiety disorder is suspected, then referral to a mental health professional is in order for confirmation of the diagnosis and institution of comprehensive treatment. Medication currently has a limited role in the treatment of any anxiety disorder, although psychopharmacologic treatment may become part of the overall care of obsessive-compulsive disorder in the future. Pediatricians may wish to learn more about behavioral-cognitive treatment approaches used by mental health professionals in the treatment of anxiety symptoms and disorders in children and adolescents. An excellent general text has been edited by R. Gittelman, Anxiety Disorders of Childhood.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health