What’s Happening in the Brain of an Anxious Teen?

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Most people do not think of anxiety disorders as something that can affect a child. Unfortunately, psychologists are becoming aware of just how common it is for someone under eighteen to struggle with an anxiety disorder.

More parents are coming forward to speak about their child’s anxiety disorder. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is one anxiety condition that can be particularly difficult for a child to deal with, as mothers and fathers are learning. Part of the difficulty is treating a child for a disorder that is considered an “adult” illness.

Fortunately, the increased awareness of child anxiety disorders is leading more researchers to seek information about why kids are developing anxiety issues and how they can best be treated. Many who study psychology are attempting to determine the unique environmental and biological causes of anxiety in children.

New research from UCLA is revealing what occurs in the brain of an adolescent with an anxiety disorder. It turns out that over-activity in an area of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex may be related to the excessive anxiety that these teens experience. By figuring out how to change the amount of activity in this brain area, researchers may eventually be able to help teens who have anxiety issues to live a healthier, less stressful life.

If you want to know more about how the brain of an anxious teenager functions, visit the link below to read an article on Examiner. The article also describes how the researchers at UCLA arrived at their results.

http://www.examiner.com/article/ucla-researchers-locate-brain-area-for-anxiety-disorders

Photo Credit: illuminaut via Compfight cc

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