Teen anxiety can be a very difficult experience for your adolescent child. Anxiety is a common symptom in everyones life but when it interferes with daily functioning it is important to understand what exactly is going on for your teen so that the proper help can be provided. Parents, caregivers, teachers and health care professionals can be the most helpful when they become aware of the causes and symptoms of teen anxiety.
The Causes of Teen Anxiety
Teens can often be under enormous amounts of stress. Some of the challenges that often contribute to increased anxiety are:
-Social Relationships: Wanting to fit in, peer pressure to conform to social norms, and fights with friends or partners.
-School Performance: Worrying about doing well on exams, feeling unprepared for assignments, presentation and public speaking fears, and pressure to obtain high grades for post-secondary education.
– Concerns about Future: Teens often wonder a lot about what they want to do with their life in the coming years of their maturity and can fixate on how to achieve such goals.
– Self-Esteem: Adolescent bodies change rapidly during this time, both physically and mentally. The new changes create confusion and uncertainty about their views of self. Body-image and self-esteem are particularly challenged at this time.
Self-Identity: The media targets teens in particular for how they “should” be, which makes it difficult for them to discern their own identity. The media influence combined with their new self-awareness of their surroundings, leads to rapid change in identity.
-Family stress: Home relationships will shift dramatically during these years and the child begins to individuate. Their changing life perspectives can often lead to battles with their parents. Also, divorce or other family stressors can impact your child significantly as they become more aware of the impact other’s have on them.
The Symptoms of Teen Anxiety
There are several symptoms that are seen in teens with anxiety. If more than a few of these symptoms are present for your teen, it could indicate high levels of anxiety.
-Isolation from activities they used to enjoy
-Avoidance of social events or school
-Impacted school performance
-Complaining of feeling overwhelmed
-Inexplicably tired often
-Increased or decreased appetite
Open and honest communication about the stressors they are facing as well as teaching coping strategies and skills are all important components of recognizing and treating anxiety.
If you have noticed symptoms of teen anxiety and would like to set up an appointment for counselling at Senta Counselling Services, we invite you to fill out our online Appointment Request Form.
Article Written by: Stacie Courtney-Mustaphi B.Soc.Sci, MA Candidate and Cassandra Petrella, MA.