Orlando teen anxiety counselors and therapists explain that anxiety and worry are something that most teenagers experience at some point in their life. As teens mature and grow, they begin to learn that life is not always predictable and that difficulties, catastrophes and heartbreak can happen to anyone, at any time. In a teen’s full and complicated life, it’s difficult for teens not to worry and become anxious when thinking about a long list of “what ifs”. The teenager’s anxiety can center on situations related to peer acceptance, personal abilities, school performance and relationship problems as well as their family and their future. While some worrying and anxiety is perfectly normal, anxiety counselors point out that when your teen’s anxiety and worry becomes uncontrollable, irrational or excessive, it may be time to seek professional help for your teen.
Additional warning signs include:
- Having unrealistic expectations for himself/herself
- Being excessively self-critical
- Being perfectionistic
- Having debilitating fears about future events
- Being extremely insecure
- Needing a great deal of constant reassurance
- Feeling that disaster is unavoidable and inevitable
- Believing that worrying about something can somehow prevent a disaster
Most teenagers with anxiety feel that their anxiety is caused by external sources. Situations, events, peers and family are typically perceived as the reason for their anxiety, when in fact, the anxiety is actually self generated by the teen’s perception of the situation and their resulting inner dialogue or self-talk. Typically, the teen talks to himself/herself in a negative way about something he or she is afraid will happen and then tries to mentally prepare for the worst-case outcome. The anxious teen plays this scenario over and over in his/her mind, trying to solve a problem that hasn’t even occurred yet. In
addition, the teen’s heart begins to race, muscles tighten, and breath becomes shallow. In an effort to reassure himself/herself, the teen thinks about the problem a great deal and tries to figure out how they can make absolutely sure that the bad thing will never happen, but instead finds that he/she just gets more and more anxious and worried.
At GroundWork Counseling in Orlando, our teen counselors and therapists in Orlando use cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to treat teens with anxiety. This method involves our therapists working with the teen to help them understand how the teen’s thoughts influence feelings and behaviors. The goal of CBT therapy is to teach the teen to change their unhealthy thought patterns that cause and maintain the teenager’s anxiety and replace these thoughts with healthier, more rational thoughts. With proper treatment, teens can learn that their thoughts are only symptoms of anxiety instead of dire messages about the future.
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