Anxiety disorders are one of the most common childhood and adolescents mental diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 7% of children ages 3 to 17 have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, the umbrella term that refers to phobias, panic disorder, separation anxiety, social anxiety and generalized anxiety disorders.
Researchers and doctors theorize that the anxiety in children and adolescents currently may be intensifying for a variety of reasons, including increased pressure to succeed in school, growing up in the age of social media and living in a world where mass shootings frequently dominate the headlines. Depending on the severity of the problem, an effective teen anxiety program can be designed to help teens combat anxiety and achieve control over their life.
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Anxiety experts warn that lack of care can damage future mental health because children and adolescents with anxiety disorders are at risk of depression, behavioral problems, drug use and even suicide attempts later on. Youth anxiety also increases an individual’s risk of educational underachievement in young adulthood and functional impairment in areas such as health, social relationships or work in adulthood.
Psychologists are also exploring ways to deliver social anxiety interventions to a wider audience. One way is through internet-based cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which allows children and others in therapy to get immediate access to evidence-based interventions. The interventions are delivered largely via computer, with varying degrees of mental health practitioner involvement.