As much as I would like to say things are the same as when I was a teenager, they are very different. Yes I got stressed when I was a teen. Yes I felt anxious sometimes when I was a teen. However, one of the main differences between teens now and when I was growing up is teens do not get the opportunity to switch off. Anxiety in teenagers existed when I grew up but not in the numbers I see today.
Here are some facts about anxiety in teenagers from the Beyond Blue:
One in six young Australians is currently experiencing an anxiety condition
One in four young Australians currently has a mental health condition
A quarter of young Australians say they are unhappy with their lives
Young people are most concerned about coping with stress, school or study problems and body image in that order
Scary facts I know. I have such a soft spot for teenagers and often I am the go-to person with one of my teenagers friends. I hate these statistics and worry for this generation and their future coping skills. To help parents spot signs of anxiety in teenagers, here is a list of symptoms to watch out for:
- Your child is constantly agitated, on edge and struggles to sit down and relax without worrying about something.
- Your child maybe easily distracted and is constantly forgetting simple things.
- Your child may be withdrawn socially, very shy or intentionally removing themselves from social situations they use to enjoy.
- Your child struggles with change, especially if the change (in their eyes) appears to be difficult.
- Your child may be struggling with sleep – either falling asleep or staying asleep. Lack of sleep only causes the anxiety to increase as a desperation creeps in every night worrying about how they will cope with limited sleep.
- Your child often expects the worst to happen, seeing life often in a negative view rather than seeing any positives.
- Your child may be sensitive to criticism and extremely self-conscious this may occur in a social situation.
- Your child can show behavioural signs of being obsessive compulsive.
- Your child procrastinates whenever possible, using different excuses like illness for not completing a task.
- Your child begins to show physical signs of anxiety such as headaches, stomach aches, nausea and heart palpitations
If your teenager is showing these signs for over two weeks, talk with your child and seek medical advice. Teenagers still need their parents (even if some do not like to admit it) and it’s a parents job to notice anxious behaviour and help make a change
Teenagers are still children and need their parents more than ever (and often they do not admit it out loud). Teenagers do not get the opportunity to switch off from life with social media screaming inside their heads 24 hours a day. Help our teenagers by being the first to notice if your child is struggling with signs of anxiety.
Have you noticed any signs of anxiety in your teenager?