Anxiety is the most common mental health problem in teens. How can you recognize anxiety in teens? A parent of a teen experiencing anxiety might notice any of the following symptoms or behaviours in their child:
Is My Teen Struggling with Anxiety?
Anxiety in teens frequently differs from how anxiety presents in children. Often younger children are anxious about things external to themselves – strangers, monsters, the dark, or being separated from their parents. Teen worry and anxiety is more self-focused, including anxiety about their changing bodies and their appearance, worry about their performance academically and socially, as well as their social status and their ability to manage their relationships with peers. Teens often worry about not being ‘good enough’ in a variety of areas. This can lead to unrealistic expectations of self or perfectionistic tendencies that can be distracting and tiresome. Some teens who experience anxiety also experience depression. Teens who are anxious often find ways of avoiding people or places that might cause them to feel uncomfortable, which can lead to isolation from friends and family. The isolation, in addition to the preoccupation with fears and worries, can leave young people feeling discouraged and sometimes depressed.
It can be challenging to support a teen experiencing anxiety. If you are worried that your child might be suffering with anxiety, it can be helpful to gently acknowledge some of your observations and ask them if they are having a hard time. Empathize with their struggle. It’s also important to express hopefulness that there are steps that they can take to overcome their worry and fear. Teens can overcome anxiety with proper support. Connecting your child to an experienced therapist could be a helpful first step.
Depending on your teen’s situation, there are a variety of routes we can take with their counselling. First sessions generally serve as consultations to get a better understanding of your teen’s unique situation. From there, we may work with your child over a handful of sessions or a longer period of time. We have found that counselling is a truly healing experience for many teens, and talking through their issues is a great way for them to reconnect to themselves and their families. Being seen, heard, known, and understood is extremely important for everyone – and no less for a teen navigating new emotions and experiences. Through our sessions, we will help your teen work through their emotions and build positive relationships.
Simply put, counselling works: It can help your teen feel better and lead to a positive shift within your family.
We welcome and encourage questions. Our FAQ page may be able to address some of these.
If you’re interested in learning more, please reach out to one of our Client Care Coordinators. They should help clear up questions you may have about finding a therapist that fits your teen’s needs and personality and how counselling works at the Toronto Counselling Centre for Teens. All calls are commitment-free. We can address any further questions or concerns and/or connect you to a therapist that can meet your needs.
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