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All teens experience some amount of anxiety at times. Anxiety is actually a normal reaction to stress, and sometimes it helps teens deal with tense or overwhelming situations. For many teens, things like public speaking, exams, important sporting competitions, or even going out on a date can cause feelings of apprehension and uneasiness. They may also experience an increase in heartbeat or excessive sweating. That’s how the brain responds to anxious feelings.
For some teens, however, anxiety can go beyond these typical symptoms to negatively affect friendships and family relationships, participation in extracurricular activities, and even their schoolwork. When feelings of anxiety interfere with normal daily living, the presence of an anxiety disorder should be considered. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, approximately 25% of 13- to 18-year-olds have an anxiety disorder, and just under 6% have a severe anxiety disorder.
Given that teens experience a wide variety of physical and emotional changes as they grow, an anxiety disorder can be difficult to spot. Many red flags may seem like usual teens struggles or be chalked up to hormones. Watch for these hidden signs of anxiety in your teens:
While some anxious teens express feelings of pervasive worry, others experience subtle
emotional changes such as:
Anxiety can negatively affect friendships. If your once social teen suddenly avoids his favorite activities or stops making plans with friends, think twice. You might notice your child:
Many of the physical complaints that can occur with an anxiety disorder mimic average teen complaints, which tend to increase as they get older. Pay attention to patterns. A couple of headaches here and there shouldn’t be a cause for concern, for example, but frequent headaches are a red flag. Watch for these common psychosomatic complaints:
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that teens aged 13 to 18 get 8 to 10 hours of sleep on a regular basis to promote optimal health. Pediatricians also recommend shutting down screens 30 minutes prior to bedtime, and removing all electronics from the bedroom.
It’s no big secret that homework demands, changing brain structure, extracurricular activities, and screen time can all cut into the sleep habits of teens. Therefore, it can be difficult to know whether fatigue is a product of anxiety or of a busy schedule. Watch for these red flags:
Given that anxiety can affect everything from sleep habits to eating habits to missing school due to physical issues, it should come as no surprise that poor academic performance can also result from untreated anxiety. School avoidance, missed days due to anxiety-related illness, and persistent worry can make it difficult for anxious teens to keep up with their workload. Watch for these changes in your teen:
Not all anxious teens experience panic attacks, and some experience mild symptoms of panic without enduring a full panic attack. The following symptoms are common among people with anxiety disorders:
If your teen appears to be struggling with anxiety that interferes with school, friendships, family relationships, or other areas of daily functioning, it’s important to get an evaluation from a licensed mental health practitioner.
Anxiety is treatable, and most teens can learn to cope with and manage their anxiety independently.
If you have answered yes to any of these Ask for help:
Don’t be afraid to ask for help from your friends, family, teachers or call us.
Please just reach out.
Remember that these feelings can be overcome!
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.
Friend/Family arguments, relationships, exams, sexual identity, and the loss of important people can seem impossible to deal with.
But with support from others - you can.
Just talking about your problems will make a huge difference, bottling them up will enhance them and make them a million times worse in your head.
It can be daunting wondering how you are going to tell someone how you feel.
You think they will judge you or say you are being silly.
You feel that no-one will understand.
This is not true.
Below is some advice on how to approach your loved ones, they will be far more understanding than you think,
Telling someone that you’re feeling suicidal is like talking about anything else serious, but it’s important that you prepare and time it correctly:
If you don’t think you can start the conversation face to face, write it down.
Sometimes this is the easiest way as your putting your thoughts to paper is more truthful, as you don’t forget what you want to say or are too embarrassed to.
When you’ve written it down make sure you hand it to your mum, dad, friend, teacher or chosen person, when they are not busy or pre-occupied.
Ask them to please read it & sit there while they do.
You will find that you will instantly feel better & it will feel like a weight has been lifted.
You have made the first & most difficult step in your recovery & it will get easier with every step you take.
Very few young people who commit suicide presents obvious signs, this is due to the natural behavior of teenagers making it difficult to spot ~ with silent suffering, their anxiety & feelings of hopelessness just build up & something inside them ‘snaps’ ~ at that moment it feels like death is their only escape.
These suicides can be prevented simply by knowing some of the warning signs, it may help you determine if a loved one is at risk for suicide, especially if the behavior is new, has increased, or seems related to a painful event, loss, or change.
If you or someone you know exhibits any of these signs, seek help immediately, it literally could save their life.
This is an ever-increasing problem in society.
It affects all ages & can ruin lives.
There are various types of bullying ~ Verbal / Social / Physical / Cyber.
Saying or writing mean/nasty things.
Verbal bullying includes:
Social bullying includes:
Involves physically hurting someone.
Physical bullying includes:
Are you being bullied?
If you can relate to any of the above statements, the likelihood is that you are being bullied, or know someone that is – please tell someone.
If you don’t feel like you can tell your parents, then tell a teacher, a friend or someone else you trust.
They are there to help.
Due to the increased use of technology in this day & age, cyber bullying has become a huge & ever increasing problem.
"Cyberbullying" is when a child or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed, or otherwise targeted by another using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies, or mobile phones.
Most this cyber bullying happens within social media sites – direct messaging or on group chats. The latter is a bigger problem as it entices others to become involved and makes the bullying more prevalent and wider spread.
This type of bullying is so dangerous as it can happen 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. The victim has no respite from the bullying & can be targeted at any time.
Why do people cyber bully?
When it comes to cyberbullying ~ anger, revenge, or frustration often motivates them.
Sometimes they do it for entertainment or because they are bored and have too much time on their hands.
Many do it for laughs or to get a reaction.
Some do it by accident, and either send a message to the wrong recipient or didn't think before they did something.
The Power-hungry do it to torment others and for their ego.
Revenge posts ~ someone may start out defending themselves from traditional bullying only to find that they enjoy being the tough guy or girl.
Mean girls/boys do it to re-enforce their social standing as the alpha male or female.
Some think they are righting a wrong because they are sticking up for someone else.
Regardless of the reason ~ cyber bullying is wrong & it destroys many lives.
Megan suffered at the hands of cyber bullies & they won.
If you’re being cyberbullied, here’s what you can do:
If you see that someone is being cyber bullied.
Don’t join in.
Don’t “LIKE” or share posts that are bullying someone.
Although you may feel pressure to join in as it’s what everyone else is doing, don’t be tempted.
Even if content isn’t targeting you, you can still report it to the social media site, or any adult that you trust.
If you feel comfortable and its safe for you to do so, then stand up and speak out telling people that its wrong.
Be the person in the group chat that speaks out against the bullying.
Reach out to the person being bullied.
Send them a private message letting them know that you don’t agree with what’s happening, that they don’t deserve to be treated like that, and that they’re not alone.
Offer your support either as a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on.
Encourage them to report the bullying and tell them you’ll support them when they do.
Few people will admit that they are bullies, some don’t even realise that their actions constitute bullying.
If you say or do something intentionally that hurts someone else’s feelings, then you are participating in bullying.
There are many reasons you may be acting this way.
Perhaps you are experiencing difficulties at home or in another environment that makes you emotionally fragile, or you could be witnessing violence at home or somewhere else.
Due to the situation, you are in, you may feel naturally hostile & aggressive.
You may think that the way you are treated by other people in those environments is the way you in turn should treat others.
You may feel like this behaviour is normal and acceptable ~ but it’s not.
You should not feel like this, there is help there for you too.
Please reach out and speak to someone ~ it could be a friend, a teacher, or your parents.
You can change, you just need to understand why you act the way you do & then you can start to make things better for yourself and in turn others.