Children and teens struggling with severe anxiety often are prescribed medication or therapy as a way to treat the symptoms they have.
For many, either therapy or drugs is sufficient, but for some they cannot find any respite from their anxious thoughts. A study now suggests for them that using both therapy and drugs at the same time can be helpful.
The just published study on Monday used data taken from a 488-person large clinical trial of participants aged 7 to 17 that were already diagnosed as having a form of anxiety disorder.
The trial compared sertraline an anti-depressant, therapy, a combination of the two, and a placebo. Pfizer, which makes Zoloft, donated both the placebo and sertraline for the study.
Earlier research has suggested that medication and therapy were both effective approaches that ended with similar overall levels of efficacy, said a Yale University psychiatrist who was the author of this study. However, that only pertained to some children with anxiety and not others.
The study’s results showed that ones who did not do so well on just the one treatment were those who suffered from the severest symptoms.
Fear keep them from talking to other people, or for the ones with separation anxiety pushes them to avoid being alone. The thought of what peers are saying or thinking about them can keep those that have a social anxiety in their homes, when they need to be going to school.
For them, the source of anxiety they suffer from is often not of what could happen, but being certain that what will happen will be bad. The dread of what will come can shake them and can make them break out in sweat or throw up.
It is important that the issues are addressed early, that is because without any treatment, childhood anxiety could then stretch into the person’s adulthood, say doctors that took part in the study.
For many of those who participated in the study that had extreme anxiety, the feelings were reduced, but some persisted at a rate considered debilitating even with therapy or the use of drugs.
However, if given both therapy and drugs, they had a higher possibility of becoming better.
Close to 60% of those participants with cases of severe anxiety that were given both treatments became free of their anxiety disorder after 12 weeks, when the treatment stopped. Between 25% and 30% of those participating who only received one of the two options had the same results.