ANXIETY IN TEENAGERS

All teenagers experience some level of anxiety.  Hormones and social demands are enough to flip even the coolest kid's stomach.  Still, in some teens, anxiety can spiral out of control.  How can parents tell how much anxiety is too much?

A few symptoms of anxiety in teenagers include:

  • worry or rumination when there is no obvious reason for the feelings

  • withdrawal from social situations due to nervousness

  • refusal to play in a recital or compete in sports for fear of screwing up

  • nonstop worry about everyday activities such as homework or practices

  • perfectionism (being upset about missing one or two questions on a test, even when getting a good grade)

  • physical complaints such as migraine headaches or stomachaches

The best thing about teenagers is that they are resilient and energetic; therefore, they respond very well to therapy when they stick with it and apply the tools they learn.  Most adults with anxiety report their anxiety symptoms started as teenagers or even as young children.  Learning strategies for dealing with anxiety as a teenager can save a person years of misery as they grown older and are faced with more difficult life challenges.

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