Anxiety can have a profound effect on those suffering from it. In some instances, those who suffer from anxiety report physical symptoms such as hyperventilating or feeling lightheaded.
But in other cases, sufferers of anxiety disorders may find themselves affected emotionally to the point where they feel panicked or out of control.
If you suspect your teen may be suffering from anxiety, there are warning signs you should watch out for.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Teen Has Anxiety
While it’s normal for teens to feel anxious sometimes, anxiety becomes a problem when it interferes with day-to-day tasks or causes distress. Anxiety in teens is common, but that doesn’t mean parents should ignore the signs that their teen may be struggling with an anxiety disorder.
The first step toward getting past these troubling times is recognizing the problem and seeking help.
If you think your teen may be struggling with anxiety, here are six things you need to do:
- Get The Anti-Anxiety Medications If Needed
If you’ve spoken with your teen’s doctor and they feel that an anti-anxiety medication may be necessary to help your teen, don’t hesitate to fill the prescription. Anti-anxiety drugs are not addictive and can be an effective way to manage anxiety disorders.
Better yet, anxiety and nootropics do well to decrease stress, though it may depend on the severity. These herbs work best as a supplement to medications but can also reduce anxiety on their own.
- Seek Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Or Counseling
This is a great stepping stone for those suffering from anxiety. Cognitive-behavioral therapy and counseling can help teens overcome many negative thoughts that feed into their overactive fight or flight response. These therapies can work wonders for those who suffer from anxiety disorders.
Whether it’s working through self-doubt, understanding where specific fears come from, or techniques for coping with stress, these disciplines have been proven to heal in nearly all anxiety disorder cases. Dialectical behavioral therapy works well (and has had success with teens).
- Provide A Safe Environment For Your Teen To Share Their Feelings
One of the best things you can do for a teen struggling with anxiety is to provide a safe space for them to share their feelings. Allow them to express what they’re going through without judgment and be there to listen. Not only will this help your teen feel understood, but it can also help them to start working through their problems.
If your teen is willing to share their fears and anxieties with you—take advantage of that. Ask questions and let them know that it’s okay to tell you if they ever have any scary thoughts pop into their head.
- Help Them Create A Routine
A routine can do wonders for those who are struggling with anxiety disorders. Help your teen create and stick to a routine that includes plenty of time for relaxation, exercise, and spending time with loved ones.
Your teen may find it helpful to write down a list of things they do when they feel anxious, as this can serve as a reminder not to self-medicate or isolate themselves from others.
If you’re struggling to come up with solutions on your own, consider asking the pharmacist for advice on managing your teen’s anti-anxiety medication. This type of structure can help give your teen’s life some stability and peace of mind.
- Encourage Your Teen To Participate In Physical Activity
Regular exercise is an excellent way for those suffering from anxiety to work through their thoughts and emotions. Not only does physical activity release endorphins that can naturally reduce stress, but it also allows your teen to take their mind off of things they might be worried about.
For teenagers with anxiety disorders, any form of exercise can help lower depression and boost self-esteem. If you’re struggling to get your teen motivated to go on walks or do yoga, try finding an activity they enjoy and encourage them to participate as often as possible.
If walking isn’t getting the job done, let your teen know that other options are available, such as horseback riding, swimming in the pool, dancing (with nobody watching), martial arts training, and more.
- Seek Professional Help If Needed
If you feel like your teen’s anxiety is spiraling out of control, it’s vital to seek professional help right away. This doesn’t mean that you’re a bad parent—it just means that your teen needs additional support to get their anxiety under control.
A mental health professional can provide your teen with the tools they need to manage their anxiety and live a happy, healthy life.
Anxiety disorders are severe mental health conditions that require treatment. If you’re worried about your teen, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
There are many resources available to both you and your teen, and with the proper support, they can overcome their anxiety disorder and live a fulfilling life.