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Combined treatments ensure positive outcomes in alleviating anxiety disorder

Combined treatments ensure positive outcomes in alleviating anxiety disorder

December 06 | By Rachael

“A sick thought can devour the body’s flesh more than fever or consumption.”

― Guy de Maupassant, Le Horla et autres contes fantastiques

Many people, especially children and teenagers, struggling with any kind of mental disorder are prescribed antidepressants along with therapies to help manage their symptoms. However, drugs or therapies often fail to provide them complete respite from irrational and exaggerated anxious thoughts, especially in the case of children and teenagers with severe symptoms. However, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology reported that a combination of both treatments could help in overcoming the distresses.

According to Dr. Jeffrey Strawn, a child and adolescent psychiatrist at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, it is important to address the childhood anxiety at the earliest  to avoid the prolongation of such problems even in their adulthood. He further explains that such individuals stand a higher risk of developing depressive disorders or secondary anxiety disorders. For example, if a person has generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), he or she runs an increased risk of developing social anxiety or a panic disorder in later years.

Medication and therapy help in treating severe anxiety in children

The study researchers examined data from a large clinical trial of 488 people diagnosed with anxiety disorders and aged seven to 17. In order to assess the effectiveness of each treatment, the trial assessed therapy, an antidepressant called sertraline, the combination of both and a placebo.

Highlighting the earlier findings, Eli Lebowitz, a psychiatrist at Yale University and an author of the above study, said that the prior studies proposed both therapy and medication as effective methodologies. However, he challenges the above finding by stating that the above contention is valid only in the case of some anxious children and not others.

During the investigation, people who did not perform well only on a single treatment were the ones who suffered extreme levels of symptoms. Oftentimes, the overwhelming feeling of fear plays a crucial role in preventing people from inciting a conversation with another person and being alone in the case of those with separation anxiety.

The negative thought of what their friends might think about them often forces children and adolescents to abstain from actively participating in social settings. For such individuals, the dread of experiencing something bad in future is the primary source of nervousness. The fear of what is coming may rattle them to the core.

In the case of most study subjects struggling with extreme anxiety, the thoughts and feelings of dread could be diminished only to a certain level. Unfortunately, such a vicious pattern of thinking remains even with the specialized cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) or antidepressants. “If they got both the therapy and medications, they had a good chance of getting better. If they only got one, they were no more likely to be free of an anxiety disorder as compared to children who only got the placebo,” said Lebowitz.

Subsequently, an estimated 60 percent of the participants living with acute anxiety were able to overcome their anxiety disorder at the 12th week of the combined treatment. However, subjects with severe anxiety, about 25 to 30 percent, who got only one of the options, had the same outcome.

Road to recovery

In the light of this new evidence, many clinicians have felt the need to incorporate both the treatments as the best way to treat children with severe anxiety. Therefore, clinicians must lay emphasis on integrating both medications and therapies for treatment while confronting a patient with intense anxiety. While medication may make therapy easier and effective, the therapy may help patients in overcoming behavioral problems and innate fears.

If you or your loved one is suffering from an anxiety disorder, seek professional help immediately. The Anxiety Treatment Help can help you connect to the state-of-the-art anxiety treatment centers. Call our 24/7 helpline number 866-487-5015 to avail the services of one of the best anxiety disorders treatment centers in El Paso. You can also chat online with our medical advisers for any queries pertaining to the anxiety disorders treatment centers in Texas.

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