Anxiety is on the rise in adolescents and young adults. It is estimated that 1 in 5 youths have experienced diagnosable anxiety symptoms. Untreated anxiety can lead to depression or other mental or emotional disorders and increased susceptibility to serious, long-term effects. Parents can help their teens with anxiety by learning to recognize symptoms, teaching them coping strategies, and knowing how and when to seek professional help.
5 Ways to Help Your Teen Cope with Anxiety
Anxiety is a normal part of life for many people, but it can be devastating for teens. Anxiety disorders affect an average of 32% of American teens every year, and that number is only going up. If your teen is struggling with anxiety and you’re wondering how to help them cope, here are a few tips:
1. Recognizing the Signs of Teen Anxiety
How do you know if your child or teenager is experiencing anxiety? Anxiety isn’t a single symptom that is easy to diagnose. Feeling anxious is a normal stress response, and everybody expresses anxiety in different ways.
For some teenagers, anxiety about school or coping with the challenges of adolescence can become overwhelming and lead to debilitating anxiety. Sometimes anxiety can also lead to other mental disorders such as depression. It may be difficult for teens to talk to their parents about anxiety, so it is not adequately addressed. Likewise, parents don’t always recognize when their teens feel anxious. Knowing the symptoms can help you open the lines of communication and allow you to talk candidly to your teen.
Signs to help identify teen anxiety can include:
- Difficulty concentrating, jitters
- A marked decrease in regular activities
- Increased social isolation or panic
- Difficulty handling new situations or life changes
- Apprehension or nervousness
Physical signs can also accompany their anxiety, including:
- Complaints such as stomach aches or digestive problems
- Rapid heartbeat or heart palpitations
- Feeling short of breath.
Teens don’t have to face their anxiety alone. Parents can play a valuable role in helping their teenagers cope with anxiety.
2. Helping Your Teen Cope with Anxiety
Many parents assume the symptoms of teen anxiety are transient and will go away in time. However, the CDC has shown that teenage depression and anxiety worsen over time in most cases. Untreated, teens are at risk of depression, dropping out of school, substance abuse, self-harm, or other detrimental and long-lasting effects.
When addressing your teen’s anxiety, it is essential to be supportive. Let them feel free to express their worries. Sometimes, just being able to talk openly about the things that bother them is enough to help. Try to avoid minimizing their worries or telling them how they should feel when something is bothering them. It is best to acknowledge what they are feeling and try to understand it from their perspective.
3. Understand When to Seek Professional Help
What if talking with your teen is not enough? As parents, we must understand that we can’t always be the ones to solve our teen’s troubles. When supportive communication and understanding aren’t enough, it may be time to explore professional resources to help your teen cope with anxiety. Only a professional can administer an anxiety test and help develop a treatment plan.
4. Explore Treatment Options for Anxiety
Professional support can provide your family with resources to help your teen. Anxiety is a recognized mental health condition that medical professionals can treat. Professional treatment for your teen’s anxiety can include:
- Life-Skill Mentoring
- Individual, Group, and Family Therapies
- Art and Recreational Therapies
- Relaxation Therapy
5. Settle on a Solution
Selecting the proper treatment is a matter of understanding what your teen needs. Listen to the Doctors and Therapists to find options that work best for your teen and your family. If it’s suitable for your teen, explore resources and programs offered by clinics. Mental health can be complex, and treatment may require a multifaceted approach. Explore options and see what works best for your teen.
Get Your Teen the Help They Need for Anxiety at Discovery Day Treatment
At Discovery Day Premier Teen Treatment Clinic, teens can receive general or intensive day treatment options to give them the support they need. Using a variety of therapies like those above, teens can practice relaxation and coping skills in a safe, supervised setting. They can also meet with a psychiatrist and receive academic support to help them reach their greatest potential.
Have questions? Then don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff at Discovery Day Treatment Clinic. Contact us today.