Conditions and Treatments

The clinical arm of the Pediatric Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program delivers effective, short-term treatments for mood and anxiety disorders in youth. Mood disorders in children and adolescents are a major public health concern associated with social difficulties, academic failure, drug abuse, and, critically, suicide. They are also strong predictors of mood disorders in adulthood. Anxiety disorders are characterized by an excessive amount of worry, disproportionate to the situation.

Mood and Anxiety Disorder Symptoms

Our Program investigates therapies that target a wide range of symptoms across all mood and anxiety disorders, including the following common conditions:

  • Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): MDD is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for ages 15-44. It is characterized by feelings of hopelessness, sadness and a loss of pleasure. These symptoms vary in severity between individuals, and can last from weeks to months at a time.
  • Dysthymic Disorder: Dysthymia is characterized by chronic low moods. These symptoms are not as severe as those exhibited in individuals with MDD. However, they are ongoing and can last for years.
  • Bipolar Disorder: Also known as manic-depressive disorder, bipolar disorder is characterized by extreme mood swings cycling between manic and depressive episodes. When experiencing a manic episode, a person is extremely energetic and may act on unrealistic impulses. In severe cases, manic episodes can even induce psychotic symptoms. This mania is then rapidly followed by a depressive state.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Individuals with GAD are constant worriers suffering from an excessive amount of anxiety over everyday things. This excess anxiety leads to avoidance, social dysfunction and can manifest itself in a variety of physical symptoms such as restlessness and insomnia.
  • Panic Disorder: Panic Disorder’s primary symptom is the presence of spontaneous, severe, and recurring panic attacks. These panic attacks happen suddenly and unpredictably, which only increases the anxiety of the individual and their family for when they might occur.

Though these are the most common disorders we treat, our program investigates therapeutic strategies that target a wide range of symptoms across all mood and anxiety disorders.

Our Mood and Anxiety Disorder Treatments

We provide our patients with comprehensive psychotherapy sessions, including diagnostic evaluations, as well as routine check-ups. Our Program’s psychiatrists and therapists meet weekly to discuss each case and ensure the quality of therapeutic treatment. Dr. Gabbay then works with each individual to develop personalized coping strategies, monitor well-being and progress, and offer emergency consultations as needed. These treatments are augmented by our Program’s research activities, which give patients access to emerging therapies through clinical trials.