Childhood anxiety disorders are among the most common mental health conditions affecting youth, and they are predictive of long-term adulthood psychiatric problems. Increasing acknowledgement of the significant impact of anxiety disorders on public health has seen greater focus on treatment approaches and empirical evaluation of their effectiveness.
A review of treatments for anxiety disorders in children concluded that evidence-based psychological treatments (cognitive behavior therapy; CBT) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor medications (SSRIs) are effective in decreasing anxiety symptoms and functional impairment. Each treatment on its own is effective for young people with anxiety disorders, but a combination of SSRIs and CBT has been found to be more effective than mono-therapies, with this difference decreasing over time. However, pharmacological treatment is not recommended as a first line as there is a potential risk of harm to children and young people. Read more..