The teenage years are characterized by intense change. Your child’s body is changing from a child to an adult, their brains are developing and their hormones are in a constant state of flux. This time period can also be marked with emotional mood swings and irritability, so it can be difficult to determine whether what your child is experiencing is normal or if it is something more. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that ¼ of all teenagers between the ages of 13-18 experience an anxiety disorder and 6% of teens have a severe anxiety disorder. General symptoms of anxiety can look very much like some normal teenage behavior, so how do you know if you should be concerned? Here are some signs of teen anxiety that might be difficult to recognize:
Common Signs of Teen Anxiety to Watch Out For
Changes to social activity: If your teenager seems to be withdrawn, and no longer wants to socialize with friends, spends more time than normal alone, and avoids activities that they normally enjoy, anxiety might be at the root of these changes.
Changes to sleep patterns: Even in the teenage years, pediatricians still recommend that kids this age get 8-10 hours of sleep each night. You may not know exactly how much sleep your teenager is getting each night but if it seems much more or much less than usual, you should take note.
Academic changes: If you notice a significant drop in your teenager’s grades or if he/she suddenly begins ignoring assignments, you may worry about the cause. Sudden drops in academic achievement is often linked to anxiety.
Physical complaints: Many common physical complaints can also be signs of depression. Headaches, stomach issues, changes in eating habits and fatigue are some of the common signs of anxiety but can also be quite normal for a teen.
Trusted North Carolina Teen Counseling Services
The common thread between all of these signs is that alone they may not seem troubling. But when these symptoms start to interfere with your teen’s everyday life, it is time to seek help. CBT Counseling Centers specializes in helping teens manage their anxiety and helping parents develop the tools they need to support them. Cognitive behavior therapy is a highly effective form of therapy that often does not require medication and can often produce favorable results. Our team offers free consultations and would be happy to discuss the concerns you have about your teen. Call CBT Counseling Centers today at 828-350-1177 for more information.