Treatments for Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) in Children

If you suspect your child may have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), it is essential to speak with a qualified mental health professional as soon as possible. Children with GAD respond well to treatment that is administered by trained mental health clinicians. By closely working with the treatment team, you can help your child go on to enjoy an active and fulfilling life.

Evidence-based treatments for GAD in children and adolescents includes cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), medication, or a combination of medication and therapy. Here at Boston Children’s Hospital, medication is used in conjunction with therapy for treatment of GAD. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants are currently first-line medications in the pharmacotherapy of anxiety disorders in children. These antidepressants are powerful anxiolytics with a broader spectrum that may improve comorbid affective disorders and symptoms of anxiety.