Anxious Teens

Your teen seems anxious.

Worried a lot, nervous, stressed, timid. Scared to try new things. Asking for reassurance.

Maybe your teen is shut down or just more quiet than before. While we think anxiety would be apparent, sometimes people are masterful at hiding it. Teens can hide worlds of nervousness.

Maybe your teen is highly perfectionistic and driven, never satisfied with their performance. While you always thought before that these were good qualities, now you’re not so sure. After all, if you have to be perfect in whatever you do, you’ll be anxious.

When you look back, you realize that this may have been going on a while, and you had hoped it was a phase and would go away. But now you realize that your teen really does need some help in order to be free from this anxiety.

You are right to be concerned.

Anxiety not only makes us, well, anxious, it also robs us of our ability to enjoy life, creating an anxiety-depression cycle that can seem never ending.

anxious teens

If we were a teen, we’d be anxious too. Teens are under so much pressure these days, with increased performance expectations in high school, 24/7 interactions with peers on social media, and a world that is just plain scarier than the one we faced growing up.

Teens can struggle with a number of anxiety issues, including :

  • Generalized anxiety, which is characterized by incessant worrying about things
  • Social anxiety, in which the teen is chronically anxious about their interactions with others
  • OCD, or obsessive-compulsive disorder, in which the teen has obsessive thoughts and fears and tries to reduce the anxiety through repetitive behavior or thinking
  • Panic attacks, in which they develop physical symptoms such as shortness of breath, dizziness, and racing heart that are so alarming that they fear a catastrophic event, such as losing control, fainting or dying
anxious teens

At Life Counseling Institute, we are specialists in treating anxiety, using methods of therapy that are known to work. These methods include:

  • ACT, or acceptance and commitment therapy. ACT is a more recent, but highly effective, “third wave” form of cognitive-behavioral therapy that focuses less on “changing our thoughts” and more on noticing our thinking in an observing, mindful way, in order to get distance and space to alleviate distress from our thinking.
  • CBT, or cognitive-behavioral therapy, which asks us to reevaluate our thinking patterns that are causing us distress, such as catastrophic thinking
  • ERP, or exposure and response prevention, in which we gradually expose ourselves to our feared situations until we learn we can manage them effectively. This form of therapy is highly effective for OCD, and we are particularly skilled in ERP therapy.

Counseling for anxiety is not only highly effective, it’s also enjoyable. Your teen is likely to enjoy having someone else in their life to talk to outside the family. (And this can be a relief to you as well, as it’s good to know that others support your teen in addition to you!) And they are likely to report to you that they are learning new coping strategies that really help.

Don’t wait any longer to get your teen a relationship with a skilled therapist who can help them develop the tools they need to be free of the anxiety that has been with them for so long.