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Anxiety in Teens: A Parent's Guide

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

Let's Talk Teens, Anxiety and Mental Health

Anxiety in teenagers can manifest in various ways, and the symptoms can vary from person to person.

Parents and teens walking down a road, feels happy.  The words say Do You know the signs and behaviour that may indicate anxiety in your teenager

Some common signs and behaviors that may indicate anxiety in teenagers include:

1. Excessive Worry: Teens with anxiety often experience persistent and excessive worry about various aspects of their life, such as school performance, social situations, what other people think about them, future uncertainties, or personal safety. This worry may be disproportionate to the actual situation.

2. Physical Symptoms: Anxiety can manifest physically, leading to symptoms such as headaches, stomach aches, muscle tension, fatigue, restlessness, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating, or dizziness. These physical symptoms can be distressing and interfere with daily activities.

3. Avoidance Behavior: Teenagers with anxiety may try to avoid situations or activities that trigger their anxiety. They may avoid social gatherings, public speaking, or situations that involve unfamiliar people or places. Avoidance can limit their opportunities for growth and development.

4. Irritability and Mood Swings: Anxiety can lead to irritability, mood swings, and emotional sensitivity in teenagers. They may become easily agitated, have outbursts of anger or frustration, or display signs of emotional distress without an apparent cause.

5. Sleep Disturbances: Anxiety can disrupt sleep patterns in teenagers. They may experience difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep, or have restless and unrefreshing sleep. Sleep disturbances can further exacerbate anxiety symptoms and impact their overall well-being.

6. Academic Challenges: Anxiety can affect academic performance in teenagers. They may have difficulty concentrating, experience memory problems, become overly self-critical, or constantly seek reassurance regarding their academic abilities. Anxiety-related concerns may lead to a fear of failure or perfectionism.

7. Social Withdrawal: Teens with anxiety may withdraw from social interactions and isolate themselves. They may experience self-consciousness, fear of judgment or embarrassment, and have low self-esteem. This social withdrawal can impact their social relationships and overall quality of life.

8. Changes in Appetite: Anxiety can lead to changes in appetite and eating habits in teenagers. Some may experience a loss of appetite and weight loss, while others may turn to food as a coping mechanism, leading to overeating and weight gain.

It is tough growing up, but a little understanding and empathy, cabined with structure and expectations will go a long way in helping teens understand their own mental health and develop their resiliency and confidence.

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