Lakeside

Helping Your Teen Deal with Anxiety

Affectionate young mommy supporting stressed teen daughter.

One of the by-products of COVID-19 has been a significant increase in anxiety in our children and teenagers. In fact it has also had impact to adults and to those who teach and work with children and teens. With Lakeside providing counseling and education to 4,000 teens per year we are witnessing a significant rise in anxiety in our students that has been manifested in many different ways.

This is the subject that is explored in a recent article by Karen Young on the Hey Sigmund website. She provides a thorough discussion of this issue that can be very helpful in our knowledge about anxiety and ways to intervene when anxiety occurs. Here are some excerpts from this valuable article:

Anxiety can be tough for anyone to deal with but add in the whirlwind of changes that come with adolescence, and anxiety can feel like an intrusive mind hog that spends way too much time squeezing, surprising and overwhelming anyone it lands on.

If anxiety is making a menace of itself, the good news is that there are ways to take it back to small enough. First though, it’s important to understand the telltale signs of anxiety and where they come from. When you understand this, anxiety will start to lose the power that comes from its mystery and its unpredictability… 

People with anxiety will be some of the strongest, most likable, bravest people any of us will know. Anxiety and courage always exist together. Courage doesn’t mean you never get scared – if you’re not scared, there’s no need to be brave. What courage means is that you’re pushing right up against your edges. It doesn’t matter where the edges are. They will be different for everyone. The point is that courage is all about feeling them and making a push to move through them – and people with anxiety do it all the time …

Pensive woman beside a laptop looks away lying on the floor at home

On average, about 1 in 5 young people have anxiety. Without a doubt, someone you know or care about will also struggle with anxiety from time to time. Stats don’t lie. They don’t gossip and they don’t start scandals either, which is why they’re so reliable. They’re good like that……

Anxiety exists on a spectrum – some people get it a lot and some people get it a lot less, but we all experience anxiety on some level at some time in our lives – exams, job interviews, performances. Sometimes it can happen for no reason at all.

This article continues to talk about the physical, emotional and behavioral symptoms of anxiety.  She also discusses some significant interventions that can help alleviate some of these symptoms of anxiety for your teen. This is a very thorough article and can be very helpful to parents and caregivers as they assess and provide options for their teen who may be struggling with anxiety.

Gerry Vassar

President/CEO

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