Anxiety disorders are the most common disorders adolescents are faced with. It is estimated that up to 1 out of 10 adolescents is currently dealing with some form of anxiety disorder. Start the test below to determine if your teen’s symptoms may indicate an anxiety disorder
Instructions: Answer the questions about your teens behavior.
Types of Anxiety
Phobia: An improbable and overpowering fear of a situation or thing.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder: Unrealistic and extreme patterns of worry about not connected with any recent experience.
Panic Disorders: Panic attacks that may include symptoms such as rapid shallow breathing, increased heart rate, and dizzy spells.
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD): Being trapped in a pattern of repeated thoughts and actions that may include such things as counting, pulling hair, showering and hand washing.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A pattern of symptoms, such as flashbacks, in people who have experienced past trauma or distressing events. Some of these events could include sexual and physical abuse, exposure to violent crimes or death, or some other traumatic event.
How is Anxiety Treated?
Many self-help methods for controlling anxiety exist. If your son or daughter is experiencing higher than normal levels of anxiety then you may want to help them to try any or all of the following.
- Learn to accept uncertainty. If your teen is caught up in worrying about all the things that could happen or go wrong then he or she needs to understand that all of the worrying will not make life more predictable, rather it will only keep him or her from enjoying all of the things in life that are good. Helping your son or daughter to accept that uncertainty is part of life is essential.
- Practice techniques to help with relaxation. Relaxation helps many of the symptoms of anxiety to fade away. Some relaxation techniques may include deep breathing techniques, meditating, or taking a hot shower or bath.
- Learn to manage stress. Keep a good eye on the things in life that cause feelings of stress and being overwhelmed learn to stay away or cope with those things that trigger anxious feelings.
- Learn to replace negative self-image thoughts with positive self-talk.
- Regular exercise.
- Record worries in a journal. Keep a daily log of times when anxiety is experienced. Writing these thoughts down may help accelerate the disappearance of these negative feelings.
- Set aside a designated time to worry. Setting aside a few short blocks of time, 5 – 10 minutes per day, to focus on negative and anxious thoughts can be a healthy alternative to spending the entire day worrying. Outside of these designated times don’t dwell on negative or anxious feelings.
- Adopt a healthy diet. The old saying, “You are what you eat” has turned out to be true. Eating a healthy well balanced meal at least three times a day helps the body to maintain balance.
- Avoiding alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and illegal drugs can help to lessen feelings of anxiety.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule. A rested mind is a healthier mind. Sleeping around 8 hours a day will help lesson feelings of fatigue and lower anxiety levels.
In addition to self-help treatments counseling can also help in learning to cope with and overcome high levels of anxiety. The well-known and validated cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps patients to recognize problems areas that may increase levels of anxiety. CBT can also help to introduce important tools needed to treat those with anxiety disorders.
In cases where counseling doesn’t work a therapeutic environment found in therapeutic schools can be very helpful because they can offer a wide array of support options for a teen struggling with anxiety.
Medication is another way to help treat an anxiety disorder. While medication is not good for every case, it can work for some people. Though not a quick fix, medication can act as a cast to hold things in place long enough for the patient to do the work needed to overcome high levels of anxiety. If you feel like your son or daughter may be a good candidate for medication contact a psychiatrist for an evaluation.
Here are some common medications used to treat anxiety: Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Zoloft, Paxil, Proxac, Lexapro, Celexa and Effexor.
How is Anxiety Diagnosed?
Anxiety is diagnosed by a face-to-face meeting with a mental health care professional such as a psychiatrist.
When should parents seek professional help?
If you feel like your son or daughter may struggle with an anxiety disorder and have observed a noticeable negative impact on their life it may be time to seek professional help. Getting your teen back on track as soon as possible is most important. Seeking professional help sooner rather than later is always advised so that your child can quickly move on to live a happy and normal life.
This disorder typically occurs in response in a common stressor. These disorders are characterized by the inability of the person to function as usual or if the person’s reaction to the stressor is excessive.
**Note: This page is meant for informational purposes only. It is not a complete list of all disorders, but rather the most common disorders present in the youth that are served by the Turning Winds Residential Care Facility. For further understanding and information about any of the above disorders, please consult the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-V-TR.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]