Anxiety Disorder In Children and Teens

What it is and what it is not

As part of our daily lives, we all have experienced anxiety at some point due to something specific (like an object or a situation) that causes us to feel temporarily worried, uneasy or “ nervous”, whether the expectation before a test, or while rooting for our favorite sports team during the finals; but the condition known as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is a completely different thing, in that it is a problem caused by persistent, excessive, and unrealistic worry that is not focused on anything specific.

What are some of the symptoms of GAD?

Children with GAD tend to worry more than other children in the same situations, and they feel this much more intensely.  They may worry excessively about their performance at school or in sports, personal safety and that of family members, or about natural disasters and the future.

Children with GAD, unlike other people without it, have difficulty “turning on and off” their worrying, their ability to concentrate, to process information, and engage successfully in various activities may be impaired. They also tend to have problems with self-esteem and insecurity, which makes them seek reassurance from others, which may interfere with their relationships and personal development.  Some children with GAD tend to be excessively conforming or perfectionistic, and are very hard on themselves, even with insignificant tasks.  This causes a level of disruption that can impair their ability to live a normal, healthy life, and may place stress on the entire family.

If I wait, will it just go away on its own?

As it unfortunately happens, children with GAD sometimes go undiagnosed for years due to a variety of reasons.  If they don’t receive treatment, the problem may get worse and some complications may appear, such as:

  • Depression that may become severe and other mental conditions
  • Social withdrawal
  • Relationship and family problems that worsen the anxiety and need for reassurance
  • Teens, may self-medicate with alcohol, medication or illegal drugs

How is GAD diagnosed?

The mental health specialist evaluating your child will look at the following:

  • Excessive anxiety and worry for at least 6 months
  • Difficulty controlling the worry.
  • Restlessness or feeling on edge
  • Getting tired easily
  • Difficulty concentrating 
  • Irritability and muscle tension
  • Insomnia, or waking up tired

NovoTelehealth is composed of qualified healthcare providers who, besides being equipped to diagnose and recommend the most effective therapies, are a caring and compassionate group of people who will do a thorough evaluation of your child’s mental and physical health and will formulate a comprehensive, holistic treatment tailored to their individual needs.  

What treatment options are there for GAD

It is common for people with GAD to be treated with medication such as anxiolytics and antidepressants, but medication is not the only treatment available, and in fact, medication alone is not enough to treat GAD .  Your integrative team at Novo goes above and beyond to not only address your child’s GAD , but also support their health in the most effective, comprehensive and holistic way. Some treatment options include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Psychotherapy
  • Behavior modification
  • Medication
  • Naturopathic medicine
  • Diet modification
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Mindfulness techniques

To know more about GAD and how NovoTelehealth can support you and your family in living a happier, healthier life, book an appointment with us online or at one of our locations.

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