Understanding Your Teen’s Anxiety
Watching your child struggling with overwhelming emotion is heartbreaking as a parent. When that emotion is anxiety, it can be even harder…you want to take it away, but no amount of reassurance can override a natural tendency towards that particular condition. Even professional help for anxiety can be an uphill and lifelong battle.
Many parents also fail to understand exactly what it means; what is anxiety? Is it just a feeling of nervousness or discomfort? Unfortunately, it is much more than that. Learning about what your teen is facing may help you to support them moving forward.
Anxiety as a Mental Illness
Everyone gets anxious sometimes. Extreme stress, high tension situations, the unknown…these are all causes of anxiety in the majority of human beings. You have almost certainly experienced it yourself more than once.
But there is a different problem, one called an anxiety disorder. This classification of mental illnesses are a legitimate health issues that can cause disruptions in every facet of a person’s life.
Anxiety disorders may lead to:
Physical sensations and symptoms, such as heart palpitations, nausea/vomiting, dizziness/fainting, jerky movements, headaches/migraines, sweating, chest pains, ect.
An inability to think, especially in a social or professional situation.
Development of phobias or irrational fears/fear responses.
A constant feeling of dread or terror, even without a source.
Many people who have anxiety disorders also have other conditions. These can include personality disorders, behavioral issues, depression and mental health diseases such as Bipolar disorder.
When navigating multiple conditions, it can be harder to treat anxiety as the other mental health issues much also be addressed. Likewise, distinguishing which symptoms relate to one another versus other conditions can further complicate matters.
Getting Help For Your Teen
This is not an issue that can be solved through strength of will. Coping strategies like breathing, exercise, dietary changes and positive thinking are helpful in managing symptoms but not the cause.
Getting the help of a trained professional is crucial in helping your teen move forward and be mentally and emotionally healthy. Counselors, psychiatrists, psychologists, therapy groups and medication are all viable options. There are even therapeutic boarding schools with full time programs for both academic and mental health improvement. In most cases, a combination will be used to address the issue and help your child get back on track.
The Importance of Parental Support
You are your child’s greatest defender and ally. Being there and supporting them is critical in their success and in helping them overcome their mental health struggles. Find out more at Sundance Canyon Academy.