Anxiety is a very normal, and necessary human emotion. It tells us to
wake up - Pay Attention - STAY ALERT!!!
Anxiety describes the emotional experience we feel when our interpretation of physical observations (sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch) activates our sympathetic nervous system. This engages our fight-flight-or freeze stress responses.
At that time, we do our best to stay engaged (alert) and begin problem-solving to avoid potential danger. Once we no longer detect a threat or learn to cope with the potential threat, we calm down and return to our normal state of being.
Here's the thing though- when our usual coping strategies don't work- or we continue to stay in a state of hyperarousal even when there is no actual or perceived threat- it could mean the presence of a mental health condition.
Most people would likely assume that a continued state of alertness, or hyperarousal, would indicate that person has an anxiety disorder.
The one thing no one tells you about teen anxiety is that actually a feeling of prolonged anxiety, or what appears to be anxiety in teens, can actually be indicative of any number of mental health conditions.
The rates of teens diagnosed with anxiety conditions do continue to rise for both girls and boys (you can watch a brief video about this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ep5SFIleF8k).
That being said, as a teen therapist I have learned that teens typically overuse the word anxiety to describe any uncomfortable feeling they may be experiencing.
If your teen continues to talk about how anxious they feel all the time, and/or you notice any unexplainable mood or behavior changes, it may be worth talking to a teen therapist like myself to determine if counseling can help.
- If you know a teen local to Woodbridge, CT who is struggling with anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem, and you believe can benefit from group, or individual counseling – have the parents reach out to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can schedule a time to talk more.
- If you are a professional and have the family’s permission, you can fill out a referral form on their behalf here: mallorygrimste.com/referral
Want even more positive influences in your teen's life? Teen Girls Therapy Group is a weekly space where your teen girl can connect with others dealing with anxiety, depression, or low self-esteem. By talking and learning together, they learn to feel better about the relationships they have with themselves and others.
Apply for a spot now by calling 203-228-8971 or completing the contact form here.