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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How is anxiety treated in children?

    My 13 year old daughter is extremely anxious in many situations (school exams, soccer games, birthday parties, etc) and I do not want this to carry to her adulthood. How is anxiety treated in children? Is my daughter too young to take medication? Can I put her in therapy?
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  • Leanne Hall

    Clinical Psychologist, Psychologist

    Integrative Psychologist, Health Coach & Personal Trainer in private practice. I have expertise in assessing and treating a range of disorders and conditions; depression, anxiety, … View Profile

    Typically medication would not be the first line of treatment for a young person with the symptoms you describe. However, while a certain amount of anxiety is actually quite healthy, if it interfers with day to day functioning it is best to seek the opinion of a health professional. Often a GP is a good starting point, as they can then refer your daughter to a clinical psychologist for further assessment and treatment. I would advise to do this as soon as you can, as we know that treatment is more successful in the earlier stages of anxiety as opposed to waiting until the anxiety is overwhelming and debilitating. 

    The best treatment for anxiety is cognitive behavioural therapy. This is a skills based approach which aims to teach the necessary skills to identify and challenge anxiety provoking thought patterns. One of the benefits to this approach, is that your daughter would be able to take these skills into adulthood. It also goes without saying that it would also improve her self esteem as she learns how to feel more in control of her anxiety. Anxiety problems are extremely common, and your daughter should know that she is certainly not alone. Around 1 in 3 people experience debilitating anxiety at some point in their life. The good news, is that it can be treated! 

    Best of luck!

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