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For parents: Anxiety 101

anxiety, mentalhealth, parenting, teens, awareness

Anxiety is a normal part life; every human being is wired to experience anxiety. You may not like to hear this, but as we are wired to experience joy, happiness, and other comfortable emotions, we’re also wire to experience sadness, frustration, and anxiety- to name a few uncomfortable emotions. Your child is no exception to this fact. However, there is a difference in your child or teen learning to experience anxiety versus letting anxiety takes control of his or her behavior. Children and teens who suffer from an anxiety disorder experience excessive fear, nervousness, etc. that lead them to avoid places, people, and even activities that would generally make them happy. This may significantly narrow their academic, social, and family activities. According to Connolly & Bernstein, 2007, between four and fourteen million children in United States could be struggling with paralyzing levels of anxiety.

The Mighty blog breaks down things teens who struggling with anxiety wish their parents would know:

“Your support and understanding are everything to me.”
“Don’t be ashamed of me. I do the best I can.”
“I don’t always have control over my emotions or reactions. I try my best to stay in control, but it’s hard to constantly fight a battle I feel like I’m losing.”
“It doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent.”

Because anxiety can be paralyzing for your child or teen, it’s important for you to check whether his or her anxiety is taking a life of its own, pay attention to whether the anxiety is beyond a normal and passing uncomfortable emotion. Answering the suggested questionnaire below may help clarify the normalcy of your child or teen’s anxiety.  Anxiety shows up in so many forms: physical sensations such as nausea, trembling, shortness of breath, problematic thoughts related to bad things happening to others, reoccurring problematic thoughts, and behaviors including clinging, avoiding, or escaping from situations.

Quick advice: don’t wait until it’s too late for your kid or teen. Learn more now.

Click here to take an assessment as a parent trying to learn more