HOW CAN I HELP MY TEEN WITH ANXIETY?

Multiple studies have shown that teenagers are especially susceptible to anxiety.

Think about all teens have to go through these days. From social pressures to school, and from keeping up with social media to dealing with pandemics, it’s no wonder anxiety is running rampant through high schools and beyond.

As a parent, seeing your teen struggle with worry and fear can be heartbreaking.

Thankfully, there are things you can do to help them.

If you’re not sure where to get started, you’re certainly not alone. It’s not necessarily an easy task. But, by knowing the right way to approach things, you can guide your teen through their fear and give them a greater chance at a more peaceful, stable life going forward.

Understand the Signs

The first step in helping your teen with anxiety is understanding what it looks like.

Anxiety can impact people differently, but some “red flags” to look out for include:

  • Irritability
  • Complaints about headaches
  • Avoidance of hard situations
  • Withdrawal from friendships and activities
  • Self-consciousness

While it might not always be easy to get your teen to open up, listen to the things they choose to tell you. If they often talk about their fears or worries, even casually, they could be struggling more than you think.

You know your teenager better than anyone. Pay close attention to any changes that occur, and take note if they start to show any of the signs above.

Validate Their Feelings

One of the best things you can do to help your teen is to validate them. Let them know you see them and hear them, and that the things they’re feeling are real.

Sometimes, when they know they have a support system – no matter what – it helps to put their mind more at ease.

Teenagers and talking don’t always go hand-in-hand. But, having conversations with them about their anxiety can help you both in different ways. It will give you a better understanding of what they’re going through, and it will let them know they’re not alone.

Work On Management Techniques

Many adults with anxiety have to deal with the symptoms on a regular basis. So, finding ways to manage those symptoms is crucial.

Teenagers can benefit in the same way.

Talk to your teen about things like meditation, mindfulness, and self-care. They are all effective in keeping anxiety symptoms at bay, even if it’s only for a short period of time. When they’re at school, an activity, or spending time with friends, these management techniques can make a big difference in allowing them to keep moving forward without shutting down.

Seek Professional Help

Anxiety is manageable. But, it doesn’t often go away on its own, and managing it on your own can only go so far.

The absolute best thing you can do for your teen is to connect them with a therapist you trust.

A mental health professional can help your teen get to the root cause of their anxiety. Something may have triggered it long ago. Or, it may have been building up for years.

Once those layers are peeled back, a therapist can work with your teen on various techniques that will help them work through and handle their anxious thoughts on a daily basis.

Again, seeing your teen struggle with anxiety will always be difficult from a parent’s perspective. Don’t be afraid to talk to them, and get them the help they deserve. Feel free to contact me to set up an appointment for your teenager. It’s another step in showing them that you’re on their side, and you want what’s best for their future. With the right help, there’s no reason your teen can’t take the next steps toward adulthood without anxiety crippling their every move.

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