Is Your Teen Overwhelmed And Stressed?

Does your teen seem to have a hard time making friends or socializing with other young people? Does your teen withdraw quickly and express fear about being judged or criticized? Perhaps your teenager grew up in an environment where he or she always had to “watch their back” or care for younger siblings. Or maybe your teen witnessed violence or abuse and now finds it hard to feel safe. Does your teenager seem to worry about anything and everything? Do you wish you could help your teen feel more comfortable and secure instead of being so painfully shy, stressed and anxious?

As with adults, a certain amount of stress can be healthy for teenagers. After all, this is the time when they are figuring out who they are, what they like, what their values are and what makes them feel confident. Virtually no one escapes these years without some amount of angst and inner turmoil. But if your teen is consumed with worry about things he or she can’t control to the point that it’s intruding on his or her social life, school performance and general happiness, your teen may be experiencing more than just stress.

Anxiety In Teenagers is Very Common

Two types of anxiety—generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and social anxiety disorder (SAD)—are most prevalent in teens. GAD is characterized by excessive and unrealistic worry about everyday tasks or occurrences, even if there are no indicators that something is wrong. For example, your teen may worry about getting poor grades even though he or she studies, does homework and is always prepared for class. Or perhaps he or she worries about the safety of family or friends. GAD is very common is teenagers who have witnessed abuse or violence or who were raised in unstable environments. Growing up with a “baseline” level of anxiety that is higher than everyone else’s can make your teen guarded, angry and defensive. With GAD, there is often nothing specific that is wrong. But, these teens constantly worry about something bad happening in the future.

Social anxiety disorder is also very common in teens. The adolescent years can be a challenging time. It’s when your teenager is learning about his or her own values, thinking and emotions. It’s normal to feel hypersensitive to surroundings and about the perceptions of others in relation to his or herself. Your teen may be self-conscious about his or her appearance. It may be very difficult for your teen to give presentations in class or make friends at school. Your teen may be easily embarrassed and think classmates are talking behind his or her back or making fun of him or her.

In addition to debilitating worry and irrational fear, anxiety in teens can come with several physical symptoms. Your teen may have trouble sleeping and feel fidgety or unable to sit still. Anxiety in teens often looks like ADHD and it usually takes a skilled professional to distinguish between the two. Your teen could also be experiencing shortness of breath, increased heart rate, nausea, stomach pain, headaches, numbness and muscle tension. And these symptoms aren’t just a concern in the short-term. When you experience a lot of anxiety growing up and then something traumatic happens when you are older, your response to the stimulus is altered and your anxiety level is usually higher. When multiple traumatic events occur without resolution, it can feel like you are a tightly wound ball of stress and nerves. It can feel almost impossible to relax. The good news, however, is that there is help and hope. A skilled and experienced therapist can help your teen learn to manage anxiety his or her anxiety, which at this young age can be an invaluable gift to your child.

Anxiety Counseling For Teens Can Set Your Child Up For Success

Anxiety counseling for teens can help your child learn to dial down the negative self-talk in his or her head, boost confidence and increase self-esteem. With the help and support of a skilled Philadelphia Assessment & Counseling therapist, your teen can learn to recognize irrational thinking patterns early on, which can dramatically improve his or her personal experiences and relationships. You may see improved grades and test scores once your teen isn’t under so much stress. It may also become easier for your teenager to make friends and get involved in extracurricular activities.

In anxiety counseling for teens sessions, we can teach your child coping skills and stress management techniques that he or she can use in the moments anxiety sets in to calm down. We’ll teach him or her how to recognize patterns in distorted thinking and how to reframe social situations so they aren’t so scary. We can also employ some mindfulness techniques that can help your teen stay grounded instead of getting carried away by negative self-talk. We can also teach your teen some very practical muscle relaxation techniques that can be used on the spot to help lower the physical arousal to anxiety.

Being a teenager wasn’t easy for any of us. And with the extra pressure testing and distractions that young people have today, navigating this time of self-discovery can be more confusing than ever. Anxiety counseling for teens can steer your child in the right direction and help him or her get back on track before the anxiety becomes overwhelming or debilitating. Your teen may not be able to get rid of his or her anxiety altogether (many people never do), but it is possible for your teen to learn how to change his or her reaction to it and manage it effectively. With the help and support of anxiety counseling for teens, your child can mitigate anxiety symptoms and come through his or her adolescent struggles with ease, confidence and stability.

You may be curious about anxiety counseling for teens, but still have some questions or concerns…

My teen will be fine. He or she will work through these problems eventually.

While that may be true, it’s helpful for anxious teenagers to have some help getting to a place where they can function better and with less stress. Anxiety counseling for teens can expedite this process. Instead of waiting to see what might happen, we can start helping your child immediately so he or she can experience relief and success.

My teen is already so busy. He or she doesn’t have time for therapy.

Improving your teenager’s mental health will improve his or her productivity and life in general. Finding one hour a week can improve your teen’s overall stamina and mood, making life easier and less stressful for the whole family. In reality, it may feel like you have more time even though you are doing one more thing.

How do I know if my teen’s experience is normal?

Teens go through typical developmental anxiety, but there is a point at which the anxiety is not normal, even for teenagers. If your teen’s anxiety is impacting his or her functioning, school performance, social interaction or self-esteem, it’s problematic and your child could benefit from anxiety counseling for teens.

If you still have questions or concerns, please call us for a free 15-minute consultation.* We are happy to address your concerns and discuss whether anxiety counseling for teens could benefit your child.

*all new clients must complete a consultation before being seen for an appointment