As a parent or guardian, noticing, and dealing with behavioral changes in your teenagers can be quite daunting since they tend to be very hormonal in this stage of their lives. A large number of teenage kids experience a certain level of anxiety at different points in their young adult lives. This could be due to drastic environmental, lifestyle, or even physical changes, in which case, anxiety becomes a perfectly normal reaction to the stress caused by these various occurrences.
However, for many teens, their anxiety could surpass the common symptoms and go ahead to affect their relationships with friends, family and even their performance in school. When anxiety begins to interfere with their behavioral traits at school and home, the possibility of a disorder should be addressed. The work now rests on the parents or guardians to recognize the symptoms on time and offer a helpful solution.
In this post, we will highlight some various facts about anxiety amongst teens and how parents and guardians can recognize the signs early enough for effective treatment.
Some facts about teen anxiety
Anxiety disorders amongst teens in the U.S is on the rise. A study reported by science daily states that as many as 1 in 20 teenagers in the country are diagnosed with anxiety. Generally, about 25% of teenagers who are between 13-18 years have been diagnosed with this disorder, therefore becoming a major cause of concern amongst their guardians. Since anxiety amongst kids in this age bracket is quite common, it is important to be highly empathetic to your teen’s condition and know that it takes a major toll on him/her.
What are the symptoms?
Anxiety amongst teens can present itself in different forms. In some cases, one can easily decipher the problem through drastic changes in behavioral patterns in the teen or just a sudden withdrawal and lack of interest in associating with others or participating in any social or physical activities.
Since teenagers go through a wide range of emotions which can be caused by stress from school and other extracurricular activities, it is not always easy to ascertain whether or not a child has an anxiety disorder or not. However, there are definitely some key symptoms of anxiety that parents should look out for if they suspect their teen has a problem. Some of these symptoms are;
- Emotional symptoms
Emotional anxiety can be diagnosed when a teen shows feelings of irritability, restlessness, inexplicable outburst of emotion, lack of concentration etc.
- Social symptoms
Social anxiety affects relationships negatively and can take a huge toll on teens if the signs are not diagnosed in good time. It usually comes off as isolation, avoiding interactions with friends and refusal to take part in social activities or gatherings.
- Physical symptoms
Anxiety amongst teens can also showcase itself in a drastic change of the teens physical appearance or behavior. Symptoms like frequent migraines, increased fatigue, gastrointestinal issues, different eating habits etc. are often experienced.
Teens are known to be highly emotional often and it is definitely not easy for parents and guardians to note certain changes in their teens. However, with diligence and close monitoring, these symptoms can be seen on time and professional help can be rendered.
How therapy can help
Therapy provides teens with a safe environment rid of judgement and unnecessary triggers and gives them the opportunity to talk about the things that bother them without the fear of being judged or ridiculed. Professional help from therapists is highly recommended for teens who are dealing with anxiety and its disorders. This is because various therapeutic modalities like EMDR, CBT and also Play Therapy etc. which are specifically designed for these teens and are focused on helping them fight this disorder are employed. This and many other therapeutic exercises can definitely help teens overcome anxiety with time.
Conclusively, we encourage patience from parents whose teenagers are diagnosed with this disorder. This is because the treatments cannot be rushed and would require a high level of commitment and empathy while remembering that anxiety disorders in teens are very common and are also highly treatable. The earlier this disorder can be spotted, the higher the chances of effective treatment and fast recovery.
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