Although mild fears and anxieties are part of normal childhood, they are a serious concern when they begin to disrupt daily life. Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric disorders in childhood affecting between 6 percent and 18 percent of children and teenagers. These disorders include phobias, separation anxiety, generalized anxiety disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, severe health anxiety (hypochondriasis), and social phobia. If left untreated anxiety disorders tend to continue into adulthood and place children at increased risk for other problems, including poor academic performance, depression, and drug dependence. For these reasons understanding the nature of anxiety problems, and how best to treat them, is very important.
The Child and Adolescent Anxiety Disorders Program at Mayo Clinic uses an evidenced-based approach to understand and treat childhood anxiety. Our research and treatment address the multiple factors contributing to childhood anxiety disorders, including biological, psychological, and family influences. Our research goals are to increase our understanding of childhood anxiety and develop state of the art treatments for severe anxiety that are easily available to children and families. As part of a world leading medical institution we are able to use the latest in medical technology to study childhood anxiety and evaluate the effectiveness of our treatments. Clinically, we specialize in our ability to integrated cognitive-behavioral and pharmacological assessments and treatments.