Anxiety disorder in children and adolescents

NU-664C-02-23PCS3 FamilyPsychiatric Ment.Hlth I

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  4. Week 11: Anxiety Disorders
  5. Week 11: Group-Facilitated Discussion 1 – Group 2

Week 11: Group-Facilitated Discussion 1 – Group 2

To do: Make forum posts: 1

Value: 100 points

Due: Facilitating group to post by Day 1; all other students post to facilitating group discussion prompt by Day 4 and reply to at least two other peer posts by Day 7

Grading Category: Group Facilitated Discussions

Initial Post: Created by Facilitating Group

This is a student-led discussion.

  • Please review the Week 7 Get Started: Group-Facilitated Communication Board and Instructions for assignment guidelines for this discussion to ensure that you have met all the criteria.
  • The facilitating group should choose one member from their group who will be responsible for the initial post.
  • On Day 1 of this week, the chosen group member will create an initial post that is to include the group’s discussion prompts, resources, and the instructions for what your classmates are to do with the resources.
  • During this week, each member of your group is to participate in the facilitation of the discussion. This means making certain that everyone is engaged, questions from students are being answered, and the discussion is expanding.
  • It is the expectation that the facilitating group will address all initial peer response posts by Day 7.

Reply Posts: Non-Facilitating Students

  • If you are not a member of the facilitating group, you are to post a discussion prompt response according to the facilitating group’s instructions by Day 4. Your reply posts should include substantive reflection directed to the presenters.
  • You are also expected to respond to at least two other peers’ initial discussion prompt posts.
  • Pick out an idea from your peers’ initial post that you find most interesting and tell how you will use this information in practice.

Please refer to the Grading Rubric for details on how this activity will be graded. The described expectations meet the passing level of 80%. Students are directed to review the Discussion Grading Rubric for criteria which exceed expectations.   




This is my peer’s post

Re: Week 11: Group-Facilitated Discussion 1 – Group 2

by Ryan Anselmo – Sunday, 9 July 2023, 6:12 PM


Hello Group 2!

Thank you for your helpful and informative discussion guide on anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. You provided excellent resources that helped me better understand the profound impact this debilitating condition has on our patients. I would like to take this opportunity to respond to four of your thoughtful discussion prompts.  

Anxiety is a complex mental health condition that can manifest itself in various ways, involving both the mind and the body. The mind-body connection refers to the relationship and interaction between a person’s thoughts, emotions, and physical experiences. In the case of an anxiety disorder, this connection becomes evident through several different ways. Anxiety disorders may prompt a wide array of physical symptoms that include tachycardia, chest tightness, shortness of breath, dizziness, diaphoresis, trembling, muscle tension, headaches, digestive issues, and fatigue (Bandealy et al., 2021). Understanding the mind-body connection is crucial when addressing both the cognitive and physical effects of anxiety. Providers must be familiar with treatment approaches that can help patients change their thought patterns while also developing coping strategies to manage physical symptoms.

Untreated anxiety disorders in children and adolescents can have significant long-term impacts on their development and overall well-being. Younger children may not possess the self-awareness or communication skills to accurately express their emotional turmoil. Therefore, anxiety symptoms may often go unnoticed or be mistaken for unrelated behavioral issues. Furthermore, it can sometimes be difficult to differentiate between normal developmental fears and worries from symptoms of anxiety. With this in mind, it is imperative that providers and caregivers remain vigilant and attuned for signs of anxiety in children. Long-term consequences of untreated anxiety in children and adolescents include academic difficulties, impaired coping skills, interpersonal challenges, disruption of developmental milestones, and an increased risk of developing other mental health disorders later in adulthood (Bandealy et al., 2021). Early intervention and prompt treatment are crucial for mitigating the long-term consequences of anxiety disorders in children and adolescents.

When treating pediatric anxiety disorders, it is prudent to employ all available resources. Depending on the patient’s presenting symptoms, I would leverage targeted interventions to meet their unique needs. Pharmacotherapy and non-pharmacologic interventions are beneficial when treating pediatric anxiety disorders. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the first-line recommended treatment for younger patients with milder symptoms of anxiety (Leonte et al., 2023). For patients with moderate to severe anxiety, a combination of psychotherapy and medication should be considered. Studies have found that combined CBT-SSRI therapy performed better than either modality individually in clinical trials of children with generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, or separation anxiety disorder (Leonte et al., 2023). Medication and psychotherapy can target anxiety from different angles. While medication can help regulate neurotransmitters in the brain, therapy can help modify the maladaptive thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors associated with anxiety. These treatment modalities can act synergistically to enhance symptom relief and improve the patient’s overall quality of life. Ultimately, the treatment of choice should depend on the child’s specific needs, preferences, and the severity of their symptoms.

Exposure therapy is another psychotherapy modality that can be helpful in treating pediatric anxiety disorders. Exposure therapy involves systematically and gradually exposing individuals to anxiety-provoking stimuli in a controlled and supportive environment (Khan et al., 2021). The goal of exposure therapy is to help patients confront their fears and learn that their anxiety is manageable. The idea of exposure therapy can understandably be very intimidating and scary to children and their caregivers. Health care providers must provide age-appropriate psychoeducation regarding this form of therapy and the benefits it can offer when treating anxiety. Providers should explain that exposure therapy is conducted gradually, starting with less anxiety-provoking situations before moving on to more challenging ones. Given that this is a gradual and collaborative process, providers should stress the important role of parents in treatment. Providers and parents must strive to provide a supportive therapy environment where the expectations are comfortable for the child. This positive and supportive atmosphere can help alleviate patient and family fears and enhance the child’s willingness to participate in exposure therapy.


Bandealy, S. S., Sheth, N. C., Matuella, S. K., Chaikind, J. R., Oliva, I. A., Philip, S. R., … & Hoge, E. A. (2021). Mind-Body Interventions for Anxiety Disorders: A Review of the Evidence Base for Mental Health Practitioners. Focus19(2), 173-183.

Dobson, E. T., Bloch, M. H., & Strawn, J. R. (2019). Efficacy and tolerability of pharmacotherapy for pediatric anxiety disorders: a network meta-analysis. The Journal of clinical psychiatry80(1), 143-162.

Khan, A. N., Bilek, E., Tomlinson, R. C., & Becker-Haimes, E. M. (2021). Treating social anxiety in an era of social distancing: adapting exposure therapy for youth during COVID-19. Cognitive and behavioral practice28(4), 669-678.

Leonte, K.G., Puliafico, A., Na, P.J., & Rynn, M.A. (2023). Pharmacotherapy for anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. UpToDate. Retrieved on July 9, 2023, from

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