Of course, you’re looking for answers and want to know what to do for anxiety in teenagers if you see your teen struggling with it. It’s easy to hope the anxiety will go away on its own. Sometimes this is true, especially if the anxiety seems only to be present before a big test or sporting event in school. However, it is important to seek treatment if you notice anxiety that interferes with a teenager’s ability to move through life. Anxiety that is left untreated may get worse, not better, over time. Anxiety counseling may be helpful whether your teenager has been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder or whether he or she is currently experiencing the symptoms of anxiety. A good counselor will be able to help you identify the factors and triggers that contribute to the anxiety symptoms and provide a proper course of treatment.
As we talk about anxiety in teenagers and discuss anxiety counseling as a form of treatment, it is important to note that anxiety has nothing to do with strength or character. Anxiety exists on a spectrum, so that some individuals may experience a lot of anxiety and others may experience much less. However, many individuals feel anxious, nervous, or unsettled at some point in life. These are common feelings and reactions to new events or difficult times in life. For example, many teenagers may report feeling anxious, nervous, or worried before leaving for college, when participating in a new activity or sporting event, or while preparing for a big exam like the SATs. Anxiety counseling becomes increasingly important if those feelings of anxiety do not subside even once the temporary stressor is removed. Your doctor will be able to work with you and your family to identify symptoms, answer questions about potential courses of treatment, and help you and your family get started with a treatment plan that works best for you.
How do you know whether or not anxiety counseling is right for you? You may wish to speak with a doctor and consider anxiety counseling if you notice any of the following symptoms or if any of the following symptoms impact your teenager’s (or your family’s) ability to effectively handle and enjoy everyday tasks and activities.
The symptoms of anxiety may include:
- Restlessness and irritability
- Fatigue or shortness of breath
- Difficulty staying on task and concentrating
- Muscle tension
- Pounding or racing heart
- Excessive and regular worry
- Little luck at alleviating anxious thoughts and feelings
- Difficulty sleeping, getting comfortable, or staying still
- Feeling nervous, unsettled, or uneasy on a regular basis
- Difficulty keeping up with daily activities
If your teenager experiences one or more of these symptoms regularly, or if his or her symptoms are impacting his or her ability to effectively tackle daily tasks and activities, then it might be the right time to contact your doctor and find an anxiety counselor.
In addition to anxiety counseling for anxiety in teenagers, there are also natural treatments that may be used in coordination with other treatments and under the supervision of your doctor. Such treatments include:
- Journaling and reflection
- Regular meditation and breathing
- Daily or regular exercise
- Drinking green tea or chamomile
- Spending time in the sun and in nature
- Enjoying the aroma of lavender
- Eating regular meals (including regular breakfast)
- Drinking plenty of water throughout the day
At True North Counseling, we know that it can be a challenge to keep up with all the activities, problems, and situations thrown our way. It can be hard to push away the thoughts and opinions of others, sometimes leaving us feeling anxious and unsure of what we really believe about ourselves. In these moments, when we or our teenagers are struggling to keep up with the pressures of daily life, it can be beneficial to have the outside perspective of a professional.
If counseling is the right course of treatment for your family, then your counselor will ideally begin treatment by understanding and identifying any anxiety symptoms. He or she will want to look for common triggers or factors that contribute to your teenager’s anxiety. At True North Counseling, we begin all of our sessions with a thorough assessment to better understand you and your family. This will help us to better connect with your teenager and move him or her forward to where he or she wants to be. When you’re ready to address anxiety in teenagers, and consider anxiety counseling, please reach out to us at True North Counseling. You can contact us today at (614) 310-4940. Our licensed psychologist provides psychotherapy to children, teenagers, and adults and specializes in areas such as divorce and transition to college, anxiety, grief and trauma, relationship issues, depression, ADHD, and behavior problems in children. We look forward to hearing from you!
Anxiety Disorders. (March 2016). In National Institute of Mental Health. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety–disorders/index.shtml.
Anxiety Disorders. In National Alliance on Mental Illness. Retrieved from https://www.nami.org/Learn–More/Mental–Health–Conditions/Anxiety–Disorders.