The book is divided into three sections: foundations, disorders and treatments. The treatments section is, in large part, a review of information found within the disorder chapters. The writing is such that one could read a single chapter of interest and gain the requisite information desired. While it is a decade old, the DSM has undergone a further revision, and a great deal of research has gone on in the intervening years, it still offers some useful insights. Disorders covered include: generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia, separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, specific phobia and selective mutism. These chapters are likely to be the most interesting to readers looking for information about a disorder. The chapters do present outlines of treatments, for specific CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) you would need to look elsewhere.
General points of interest:
- All anxiety disorders have multiple causes and multiple pathways.
- Treatment with CBT is the gold standard; medication can be added to severe cases and should not be assumed to be a long-term solution, nor should medication alone be used as treatment.
- Not enough clinicians are available to provide CBT to individuals who need it.
- Nearly all children and adolescents with an anxiety disorder have comorbid conditions including, but not limited to, other anxiety disorders, ADHD, and depression.
- Untreated anxiety significantly increases the likelihood of substance abuse, failure in school including failure to complete high school, and self-harm or suicide. Treated properly, the vast majority of patients advance to mild/moderate anxiety or no clinically identifiable disorder.
- Up to 15% of children and adolescents may suffer from an anxiety disorder.
- Children and adolescents represent an understudied group and more clinical studies need to be performed to better understand how to best treat these conditions.