Identifying anxiety disorders can be tricky. For teens, it can be even more difficult because they haven’t developed fully. Anxiety is also a common emotion that people feel no matter what age they are.
This article discusses the best ways to approach treating your teens if they show signs of anxiety. These signs aren’t always apparent, so you need to create an open environment for your teen and discuss options such as teen treatment centers.
If you notice symptoms of anxiety or depression in your teen, consult with a mental health professional to determine your teen’s best course of action.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents. Studies have revealed conflicting numbers, but most studies identify between 15 and 30 percent of teens suffering from anxiety disorders.
Anxiety disorders often go unnoticed because it is such a common emotion. After all, it’s completely understandable if a child feels anxiety before a big test. So, how do you classify everyday stress as opposed to an anxiety disorder?Diagnosing Teen Anxiety Disorders
Identifying the signs for teen anxiety disorder can be difficult. However, many tell-tale signs can help you spot when your teen is struggling easier.
Panic disorder is more common in girls than boys. This disorder usually reveals itself between ages 15-19. It can be characterized by intense feelings of panic that don’t have logical roots. These feelings can manifest themselves as intense fear, discomfort, a sense of doom, the fear of going crazy, shortness of breath, choking, chest pains, nausea, dizziness, and numbness.
During these attacks, teens may think they are dying. Symptoms can linger in teens, and they may worry more attacks will follow. Teens may avoid specific social situations because they fear they will suffer more attacks.
One of the easiest ways to spot potential anxiety disorders is when teenagers have irrational fears, otherwise known as phobias. Most worries pass with mild implications. However, when teens have phobias, they get fixated on inexplicable, exaggerated fears. These fears can limit teenagers’ activities.
Some teenagers are more prone to phobias than others, and it’s essential to check in with your teenager to see whether they are feeling any of the above-described fears.
Anxiety In Teenagers
Teenagers are especially likely to develop anxiety disorders because their brains are developing more than adults. The teenage years are also times of immense change, and teenagers might not have developed social skills by this stage in their life. These influences can make life difficult and cause teenagers to deal with their symptoms in different ways.
Managing Anxiety In Teenagers
Managing anxiety is especially challenging for teenagers because they haven’t developed the essential life skills that make managing anxiety easier. However, there are a few ways you can ensure you create a safe environment for your struggling teenager.
Tips For Helping Your Teenager With Anxiety
The first step to helping your teen with their anxiety is acknowledging their fear and making them feel heard. Dismissing or ignoring your child’s fear is one of the fastest ways to get them to hole up and hide their emotions from you.
Giving your child encouragement is another vital component of providing them a safe environment. Your child shouldn’t feel like they are alone in their fears and worries. You can make them feel loved and like they can have an open conversation with you by simply providing an encouraging environment.
Create attainable goals for your child’s anxiety. Doing so helps build confidence in their ability to embrace their fears and not be subservient to them. Everyone has fear. It’s only when you give that fear power that your teen will struggle.
Keep your composure with your teens’ anxiety. Once you lose your composure with them, you create an environment in which they won’t feel comfortable being open with their emotions. This can have adverse effects.
Things To Avoid Saying To Your Teen About Their Anxiety
There are specific things you should avoid saying to your teenager if they struggle with anxiety. The following examples can give you some guidance.
Don’t Worry About Little Things
What you consider meaningless might have a profound hold on someone else. One of the best approaches when dealing with your teens’ anxiety is not to minimize their worries.
Few phrases do more to alienate and cause resentment within people suffering from anxiety disorders. If they could control their state of mind, they would.
Telling your teenagers to calm down will likely make them more upset. Keith Humphreys, a psychology professor at Stanford, notes that even the most well-chosen words often fall short of having any effect.
Everything Is Going To Be Fine
Anybody who is in the throes of an anxiety attack won’t be able to believe that everything is going to be okay. Instead, you should try to understand what your teen is going through. By getting more clarity on their symptoms, you can help make them feel heard and not isolated.
I’m Stressed Out
Saying this to someone struggling with an anxiety attack will surely put them at odds with you. Declaring this will only minimize what the person is going through. Stress can be contagious. Considering this, you’re more likely to create more tension by bringing attention to your troubles.
Anxiety Treatment In Teens
You can treat anxiety in teens by consulting doctors. However, teens often don’t feel comfortable bringing these troubles to their parents, so parents need to create open environments with their children.
Doctors will be able to tell whether your children require the use of medication. For most anxiety disorders, doctors will recommend a routine of exercise and a healthy diet.
Conclusion- How To Deal With Anxiety In Teens
Anxiety is a common emotion of most people. However, it can cause adverse effects in teens. Because teens’ brains develop slower than adults, they might not have the ability to cope with their symptoms effectively.
If your teen struggles with disorders such as depression, anxiety, or insomnia, help is out there. Residential treatment centers for teens can offer the treatment they need to stay on track.