It's normal for teenagers to feel anxious from time to time. It's people's usual reaction to stress. Whether it's taking an exam, meeting new people, speaking in front of a lot of people, talking to your crush, or competing in sports - you can feel anxious over these stressful situations even by just thinking about them.
In a way, anxiety can be a good thing. It helps you deal with the nerve-wracking situation effectively. For example, feeling anxious about an upcoming examination prompts you to study harder than you usually do. This can result in a score higher than what you expect.
Teenage Anxiety Disorder
However, anxiety can become harmful when it becomes irrational and excessive, to the point that you can't concentrate or go by your usual tasks anymore. When this happens, the anxiety becomes Teenage Anxiety Disorder. As a parent, you should always be on the lookout for such problem.
Here you will find common signs of this condition:
• Excessive Feelings of Anxiety and Worry Without Any Good Reason
As said earlier, it's normal for teens to feel little amounts of anxiety when facing a stressful situation. When a teenager feels anxious without any reason, this can be a sign of teenage anxiety disorder.
• Interference of School and Social Relationships Due To Anxiety
If your child's constant worrying not only puts him/her on the edge but also hinders his/her productivity in school and at home, and at the same time prevents him/her from maintaining close ties with family or friends, this is another indication that your teenager is undergoing excessive anxiety.
• Avoidance of Situations That Cause Anxiety
Your child wishes to drop the public speaking class without giving you a good reason. Or your teen wants to stop attending the weekly social event in your neighborhood. These can be signs that your child wants to avoid situations that set off his anxiety. Avoiding situations that trigger anxiety attacks is not the solution. It only makes the disorder even worse. It's important to identify your kid's source of anxiety and help him/her face this gradually.
Emotional and Physical Symptoms
Apart from keeping your eyes peeled for these signs, you should also make it a habit to talk to your teenage child. Encourage him/her to open up whatever it is that's bothering him/her. This is important since anxiety disorder causes mental burdens that can only be felt by the person affected.
Emotional symptoms of this condition include feelings of apprehension, feelings of dread, jumpiness, anticipating the worst, difficulty concentrating, irritability, restlessness, and feeling as if the mind has gone blank.
Physical symptoms on the other hand would include pounding heart, sweating, upset stomach, nausea, dizziness, frequent urination, diarrhea, shortness of breath, twitches, tremors, muscle tension, headache, fatigue and insomnia.
If you suspect that your teenage child is suffering from this condition, it's important to help your child cope with it through relaxation techniques. Talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist if signs and symptoms do not get better after a while.