Health Watch - A Good Start: Childhood Anxiety

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The seeds of a healthy life are planted in childhood, and this week on Health Watch we’ll look at some problems that are best addressed during childhood so they don’t grow into lifelong issues. Doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center say anxiety disorders need to be treated in children in order to prevent adult substance abuse or depression, among other problems.

Dr. Graham Emslie, a UT Southwestern psychiatrist, says childhood anxiety disorders can have long-term effects. They may cause children to avoid social situations, which means they may miss age-appropriate developmental milestones. That avoidance may also mean that children don’t learn to develop social skills that are essential later in life. Untreated childhood social anxiety often develops into educational underachievement and substance abuse or depression in adulthood.

Next: Recognizing anxiety.

Visit UTSW Medicine to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in mental health.


January 2009

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