CME Article 

Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Children and Adolescents: An Update

Nazish Imran, MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCPsych; Imran Ijaz Haider, MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCPsych, DPM; Muhammad Waqar Azeem, MD, DFAACAP, DFAPA

Abstract

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), despite being among the most common psychopathology of children and adolescents, often goes undetected and untreated. GAD is characterized by excessive worry for more than 6 months about a variety of situations, events, or activities (especially school performance among children), inability to control the worry, and presence of at least one physical symptom. The interplay of various risk factors (genetic, environmental, and psychosocial) and protective factors is seen in youth with GAD, and comorbidity is common. GAD is associated with significant distress and disability independent of comorbid disorders. A multimodal approach that includes psychoeducation, psychological therapies (in particular cognitive-behavioral therapy), family therapy, and pharmacological treatment provides the best outcome for children and adolescents with GAD. [Psychiatr Ann. 2017;47(10):497–501.]

Authors

Nazish Imran, MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCPsych, is an Associate Professor, Child & Family Psychiatry Department, King Edward Medical University/Mayo Hospital. Imran Ijaz Haider, MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCPsych, DPM, is a Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Fatima Memorial College of Medicine and Dentistry. Muhammad Waqar Azeem, MD, DFAACAP, DFAPA, is the Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Sidra Medical and Research Center; and a Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University.

Address correspondence to Nazish Imran, MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCPsych, 6-C Phase 1, Defence, Lahore, Pakistan; email: nazishimrandr@gmail.com.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

10.3928/00485713-20170913-01

Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), despite being among the most common psychopathology of children and adolescents, often goes undetected and untreated. GAD is characterized by excessive worry for more than 6 months about a variety of situations, events, or activities (especially school performance among children), inability to control the worry, and presence of at least one physical symptom. The interplay of various risk factors (genetic, environmental, and psychosocial) and protective factors is seen in youth with GAD, and comorbidity is common. GAD is associated with significant distress and disability independent of comorbid disorders. A multimodal approach that includes psychoeducation, psychological therapies (in particular cognitive-behavioral therapy), family therapy, and pharmacological treatment provides the best outcome for children and adolescents with GAD. [Psychiatr Ann. 2017;47(10):497–501.]

Nazish Imran, MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCPsych, is an Associate Professor, Child & Family Psychiatry Department, King Edward Medical University/Mayo Hospital. Imran Ijaz Haider, MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCPsych, DPM, is a Professor, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Fatima Memorial College of Medicine and Dentistry. Muhammad Waqar Azeem, MD, DFAACAP, DFAPA, is the Chair, Department of Psychiatry, Sidra Medical and Research Center; and a Professor of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medicine, Cornell University.

Address correspondence to Nazish Imran, MBBS, FRCPsych, MRCPsych, 6-C Phase 1, Defence, Lahore, Pakistan; email: nazishimrandr@gmail.com.

Disclosure: The authors have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

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