ANXIETY IN TEENS
The feeling you get on your first day of high school or when you are standing in front of a full class, is anxiousness.
For adolescents, it is normal to be a little anxious when facing new things. Anxiety becomes a problem when it is constantly triggered by a particular situation(s).
Being anxious about a school test or meeting a new date is normal. Constantly suffering from anxiety attacks is not.
Episodes of anxiety that exceed 6 months fit the criteria for an anxiety disorder. When teens experience severe bouts of anxiety related symptoms or attack before a particular event, they could potentially be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Symptoms of Anxiety
Chronic anxiety can be life-wrecking. Anxiety attacks leave teens feeling vulnerable and unable to function.
When adolescents suffer from any form of anxiety attack they could begin act out. Some become violent, resort to drugs, avoidant like behaviors, skip school and can become depressed.
Some symptoms of anxiety in teens include:
- Difficulty in sleeping
- Increased heart-rate
- Fast breathing
- Inability to concentrate.
- Deep fear about a particular thing, event, or place.
- Sudden outburst
Adolescents should look out for the symptoms above and some additional ones like
- Sweating profusely.
- Dry mouth.
- Hot and cold flashes.
- A feeling of acute worrying.
- A sense of fear and helplessness
There is no single cause of anxiety. Anxiety comes in different forms and in adolescents, anxiety is on the rise.
More teens are suffering from different types of anxiety ranging from phobias to obsessive-compulsive disorders to separation anxiety.
Some of these anxiety issues are caused by events that have happened in the past.
For example, a child who was mistakenly locked and forgotten in a dark cupboard is most like to grow into a teen with a healthy phobia for dark enclosed spaces.
Changes can also trigger anxiety in teens. There are teens who suffer chronic panic attack whenever they speak in public places.
Apart from affecting the social life of the adolescent, there is also the issues of them struggling to find balance in life. This can be a primary concern for parents.
Treatment for anxiety in teens and adolescents.
Unlike younger children who may not be able to describe how they feel some adolescents are willing to talk about their anxiety issues.
For a parent, tt can be hard dealing with your teen if they refuse to talk about how they are feeling.
Treatment for anxiety in adolescents include mental health therapy and medication that can are be prescribed to help them cope. A visit to a doctor/mental health professional is advised.
Therapists are a good choice for helping adolescents with anxiety.
With therapy, they can talk through their feelings in safe environments and even work out coping mechanisms.
A combination of medication and talk treatment will go a long way to help them overcome their anxiety.
Support from family and friends is also important. On the whole, though anxiety can be very concerning is it treatable. Be mindful of how your teen is feeling so that you are able to make the best decision for them.