Anxiety for teens has often been overlooked and has become the number one health issue. The focus has been on college age students, however younger students often begin to struggle with anxiety as early as 10 and 11 years old.
Our daughters might not know how to express how much stress as a teenager is impacting their lives. They carry the stress of school, relationships, sports, and most of all, figuring out who they are and where they belong inside and don’t know what to do when they feel overwhelmed.
Some anxiety is perfectly normal like being anxious about a big test or being nervous about the first day of school. However, excessive amounts of worry, anxiety, fear, dread, or nervousness indicate that your teen may be dealing with an anxiety disorder.
Though there are many types of anxiety disorders, they all have the same basic affect on a teenager: anxiety is frequent, strong, disproportionate to the situation at hand, and ultimately disrupts the day to day life and happiness of the individual.
Types of Anxiety Disorders:
- Generalized Anxiety
If your teen has an anxiety disorder, chances are they won’t just be worrisome about one thing in particular. Chances are they will most likely be anxious about anything and everything. Their mind often goes straight to the worst-case scenario.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
If your teen suffers from OCD, their anxiety may look like negative obsessions and compulsory actions.
- Panic Attacks
A panic attack is a sudden episode of extreme anxiety where an individual experiences heart attack-like symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, tingling, numbness and more.
A phobia is a penetrating fear of an object or activity that is not necessarily dangerous, such as dogs, spiders, and heights.
- Social Anxiety
Social anxiety is triggered by social interactions, such as parties, speeches, and more.
- Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome
PTSD is common if the teen has had a traumatic or horrifying experience. PTSD usually causes scary nightmares, intense flashbacks, and overall fear.
3 Things To Do if You Think Your Teen May Be Suffering From an Anxiety Disorder
- Encourage them to be open with you.
You want your daughter to know that you are a safe place for them to be open and honest about her struggles, and that it is okay and even brave to ask for help.
- Take your daughter to a doctor to rule out physical conditions.
Just to be safe, take your daughter in for a check up. There is always a chance that there is a physical condition causing the symptoms, so it is helpful to rule that out.
- Seek out a mental health professional.
Mental health professionals are trained to identify and treat anxiety disorders. Working with a mental health professional can help your daughter become healthier and learn how to deal with anxiety. EMDR is a proven technique to help erase traumatic events like bullying from the brain.
If your daughter struggles with anxiety or you think she might, we would love for you to express your thoughts and experiences on our Facebook page.