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Recognizing Teens and Anxiety Issues Early

Wouldn’t it be great to be a kid again? No 9-to-5 job, no taxes to file, no bills, no one else to worry about. To top all that off, you get to sleep in on the weekends and have meals prepared for you every night. We all know how stressful adult life can be, but we often forget that teenagers have stresses of their own. And to them, experiencing heartbreak, loss of friendship, final exams and peer pressure for the first time, it can get overwhelming.

Recognizing anxiety issues in teens before they turn problematic can save added stress for you and your teen. Teens are notorious for being overdramatic and moody, but be careful not to write off warning signs as typical teen behavior.

Teens and anxiety

Photo source: Flickr user – Holly Lay

Signs for teens and anxiety issues

The best way to determine normal teen behavior from teenage anxiety problems is looking at both the rate and intensity. Although experimenting with substance use or exhibiting mood swings are not necessarily a sign of a troubled teen, consistently going to parties and coming home intoxicated or having extremely volatile moods for weeks on end most likely indicate problems with depression or anxiety. Knowing your daughter’s peer group and talking to other parents is a good way to track normal behaviors.

Talking to your anxious teen

When you first see warning signs of anxiety in your daughter, the best thing to do is talk to her. Let her know specifically what behaviors are worrying you and why. Though she will most likely deny problems or be reluctant to share much information, trust your instinct. She might be embarrassed about what she is going through or might be unable to articulate what she is feeling.

When talking to your daughter remember to:

  • Offer encouragement and support – you are there for her unconditionally
  • Listen more than you talk – ask open questions
  • Share your own experience – anxieties you or siblings had when her age
  • Validate feelings – though they might seem like small issues to you, don’t dismiss how she is feeling

Treating teens and anxiety problems

After talking with your teen, it’s important to get them the help they need. A mental health professional can offer insight into your daughter’s specific issues, along with helping equip her to handle life’s stresses.

Therapy and treatment is different for every individual and every circumstance. Though your daughter might be overwhelmed now, anxiety is one of the easiest mental health issues to treat with a very high rate for positive results.

To talk to a professional about helping your teen with anxiety or depression, call us today at 800-264-8709.

AUTHOR: Kathryn Huffman
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