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How to Deal with an Anxiety Crisis in Adolescents and Teens

It is natural for adolescents and teens to experience some anxiety as a normal, temporary part of growth and development. However, too often, they experience long-lasting anxiety that interferes with their daily functioning. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental health disorders among American adolescents and begin the earliest, with an average onset of just six years old. The rates of anxiety have been consistently increasing over the past two decades and have spiked significantly since COVID-19 began.

Adolescents and teens have difficulty managing intense or challenging emotions. When they have anxiety on top of this, a crisis can develop an escalate quickly. At Beyond Healthcare in Toledo, Ohio, we are committed to helping youth overcome the impacts of mental health issues such as trauma, depression, and anxiety by providing the highest-quality mental health services to adolescents and teens ages 11 to 17 and their families. Contact our team at 833.698.0453 to learn more about how we can help your child and family.

Identifying the Symptoms of Anxiety in Adolescents and Teens

Numerous events and circumstances commonly cause anxiety in adolescents of various ages, such as unfamiliar people, new situations, challenging tasks, school performance, and peer relationships. However, if you notice an increase in persistent stress, fear, or worry, you might wonder if more is at play. Identifying anxiety symptoms in adolescents is critical in helping them manage an anxiety crisis.

Some of the symptoms of anxiety in adolescents typically include:

  • Excessive fear or worry, usually related to school, friends, family, and social activities
  • Worry about things before they happen
  • Extreme fear of making mistakes or being embarrassed
  • Nightmares or other sleep disturbances
  • Restlessness and fatigue
  • Irritability and inability to relax
  • Low confidence and self-esteem
  • Significant changes in appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • School refusal or getting in trouble at school

Many adolescents experiencing anxiety lack the cognitive understanding and verbal skills to express their feelings. Therefore, they frequently present with somatic complaints, including headaches, stomachaches, body aches, and pains that do not respond to treatment.

Tips for Dealing with an Anxiety Crisis in Adolescents

No parent enjoys seeing their adolescent in pain. Sometimes, parents can unknowingly worsen their adolescent’s anxiety in trying to protect them from their worries or fears. The best way to help adolescents manage their anxiety is not to shelter them from their fears but to teach them effective coping skills to deal with stress when it arises. Consider the following tips for dealing with your adolescent’s anxiety crisis:

  • Establish and stick to a set routine
  • Acknowledge the fear, do not dismiss it
  • Don’t avoid things just because they make your child anxious
  • Talk about their anxiety without using leading questions
  • Keep a journal of your child’s fears to identify patterns
  • Engage your child in brainstorming and problem-solving
  • Use humor
  • Model healthy ways of coping with anxiety

The best way to help your child learn to deal with an anxiety crisis is to seek mental health services from an anxiety treatment program for adolescents. Beyond Healthcare provides comprehensive outpatient mental health treatment for adolescents to help them learn the skills needed to overcome acute anxiety symptoms and manage them in the long term.

Reach out to Beyond Healthcare to Learn More About How to Deal with Anxiety in Adolescents

Adolescents and teens with anxiety disorders face challenges in daily life that impact their functioning. Untreated anxiety will worsen over time. Parents should acknowledge their teen’s anxiety, not try to shelter them from it. At Beyond Healthcare, we provide adolescents and teens with the tools they need to manage anxiety, such as:

  • Mindfulness and meditation
  • Yoga and movement therapy
  • Identifying triggers
  • Reframing negative thoughts
  • Breathing exercises
  • Behavior modification

Our outpatient mental health treatment programs allow adolescents and teens ages 11 to 17 to receive the same level of care offered in a residential treatment program with the benefit of returning home to the support of family on nights and weekends. If your teen’s anxiety is impacting their everyday life, Beyond Healthcare can help. Contact us using our secure online form or call 833.698.0453.