Jessica Kamen

A Review of the Treatments of Anxiety Disorders Within the Adolescent Population

April 10, 2021   /  

Name: Jessica Kamen
Major: Neuroscience
Advisor: Dr. Sharon Lynn

Mental disorders can affect anyone from children to adolescents. The Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V (DSM-V) has different categories for mental disorders. Within these categories, there are specific disorders that are considered anxiety disorders, which include Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD). Unfortunately, not much is known about the prevalence of these anxiety disorders, especially within adolescents aged 11-17. The aim of this paper is to discuss and review the treatment available for anxiety disorders, particularly in adolescents aged 11-17. Many different treatment options exists, including pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. Alone both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy are effective in reducing the symptoms from anxiety disorders, but there is sufficient evidence that shows that combining these therapies works superior to any one alone. Future research needs to focus more on the comparison of different psychotherapies, especially the non-traditional ones, and more on the combining effect of both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy.


 

Jessica will be online to field comments on April 16:
2-4pm EDT (PST: 11am-1pm, Africa/Europe: evening)

19 thoughts on “A Review of the Treatments of Anxiety Disorders Within the Adolescent Population”

  1. Interesting review Jessica – and boy does it coincide with our Drugs and Behavior class right now – your final paper is pretty much done! From your deep reading of this literature, how do you suggest patients advocate for themselves to get the “right” treatment, or is there a “right” treatment?

    1. I don’t believe that there is a “right” treatment. Because of the varying ways that anxiety states can occur, there is also variability in the treatments. This idea is why I came to the conclusion that combining pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy is the best way to treat anxiety disorders. Both treatments have their separate benefits, but using both can help an individual on both a behavioral and molecular level. We can help increase the neurotransmitters in their brain, while also helping these individuals reframe their beliefs surrounding their anxiety. However, it is not always easy to see this as a treatment plan when you are first diagnosed. Because of this, I believe that individuals need to observe how different treatments are affecting them and express this to their therapist or psychiatrist.

  2. Congratulations on completing IS! And really interesting topic that you covered!

    1. Hi. Thank you for watching my presentation. Since my sophomore year of high school, I myself have struggled with both Generalized Anxiety and Social Anxiety disorder, as well as Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. I was very fortunate that I was able to be diagnosed and found a great treatment that helped me through my anxiety. Through my own experiences with both medication and different types of psychotherapy, I wanted to help the education on this topic. I hope that in my future career I can help even more.

    1. Working in the virtual world is hard because no one saw this pandemic coming. However, I think it was helpful to have a set time that I met with my advisor. This set meeting kept me focused through the year and helped me keep on the right track with my writing.

  3. Very timely topic in a covid world. what would you suggest parents do first if they find their adolescents in this situation?

    1. I believe it is key to help your child by taking them to see a therapist if you suffer from the symptoms of anxiety disorders. If you believe that you are alone, it can be very hard for you to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just receiving a diagnosis and finding a network of people who want to help you can make all the difference.

  4. I really enjoyed your I.S., as someone who has recently learned that I have struggled with a lot of these mental disorders during my adolescent years, I think your research could really help adolescents in the future.

    1. Thank you so much. That was exactly my goal with this review paper. I wanted to help the people who struggle with anxiety disorders by helping further education on this topic.

  5. Congratulations! I know it was a lot of work and you were very successful in your endeavor.

    If you had to now continue the research further, is there a specific area of study in adolescent treatment of anxiety you would like to delve more into?

    1. Excellent question. In my discussion section, I stressed that future research needs to focus more on adolescents, but especially within psychotherapy. If I had the opportunity, I would want to perform more research on what I see as the untraditional psychotherapies, which I think are Interpersonal Therapy and Family-Focused Therapy.

  6. On point topic, Jessica! Relevant to the lives of our precious young people, especially in light of the past 14 months. Bravo to you for speaking on something near and dear to your heart. You are an encouragement to your peers.

  7. Nice job Jessica! If you were able to lead a study to fill the gap in literature you found, what topic would you want to go into?

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