Anxiety is a difficult world to live in. It takes up a lot of space and mental energy due to repetitive worries and ruminating thoughts. Such thoughts feel real, and the body reacts as such. Creative Sky helps children and teens with anxiety by teaching them about the biology of anxiety and various coping mechanisms. Children who live with consistent anxiety can struggle with low self-esteem, anger issues, behavioural issues, learning issues, and emotion and body regulation struggles. Once anxiety becomes activated, it can feel like a great white shark is circling around us in open waters. We can tell our children that the perceived threat isn’t true, however it’s difficult to argue with worry. No wonder children with anxiety struggle across so many domains. Children with anxiety often feel helpless and hopeless. They tend to believe the “worried thoughts” will eventually come true, and they will always feel this way. Creative Sky helps children challenge anxiety in a very systematic way that aligns with their learning strengths. Children and teens are taught to recognize and challenge their anxious thoughts and body clues, and to talk back to their anxiety in a way that works for them (once they are ready). Creative Sky addresses the cognitive realm of anxiety (the thoughts that cause and keep anxiety alive), as well as the body regulation symptoms that follow. At Creative Sky, individuals can learn to recognize and modify this response, as well as the thoughts that coincide with it. This leads to lifelong learning and understanding as anxiety and stress are a part of our neurobiological wiring. The goal of therapy is to allow anxiety to take a seat in the back…rather than be the driver in the front.
What Are The Signs of Anxiety in Children or Teens
Are you suspecting that your child or teen has an anxiety disorder? The signs and symptoms of anxiety often include avoidance, excessive shyness, constant worry, or somatic complaints. Somatic complaints are when your child or teen experiences stomachaches or headaches due to stress or anxiety. If this is the case it is important to see your child’s doctor to rule out any concerns. Some signs and symptoms are harder to see and may be masked by various learnt coping mechanisms. Anxiety is a very normal emotion that everyone feels. At times, anxiety can be helpful and can serve a protective purpose. Anxiety becomes a concern when it causes distress and impacts your child’s ability to function in some way. This could be at home, in the community, or in the school. For example, if your child or teen is avoiding a situation that makes them feel anxious, is there a coping mechanism they have developed to address the problem? If your child is experiencing anxiety, a professional can help your teen or child develop new coping tools to improve well-being. Your child or teen will learn how to successfully cope with difficult emotions!
How Do You Help a Child or Teenager With Anxiety
When your child or teen is experiencing anxiety, there are various ways they may be coping with their feelings. Avoidance is a common strategy. Avoidance can be habit forming so it is important to help your child or teen learn to face their fears in a positive and safe manner. Engaging in safety behaviours is also a very common strategy for children and teens with anxiety. This is a coping strategy that works in the short term, however, it will not work to effectively cope with the underlying anxiety. With children and teens, you may also see significant distress or tantrums due to underlying anxiety. Often children will lash out or cry as their emotional thermometer is running on high. If you do suspect that your child or teen has anxiety, there are ways to support them that will help in the long run. Have patience! It takes time to develop new patterns. Though your child or teen’s behaviour can be very concerning or frustrating, it can be helpful to know that your child or teen isn’t acting out on purpose. If the concerns are pervasive, talk to a professional who can help develop a treatment plan that can be shared with all supportive adults. Anxiety can take your child hostage, a step by step treatment plan that your child is involved with can be a very effective approach. At Creative Sky Psychology, a strength-based laddering approach is used to help your child take steps towards ultimate success!
How Long Does Anxiety Last?
Anxiety can be brief and situational, or generalized and long lasting. If it is pervasive and long lasting, your child or teen may have an anxiety disorder. There are several types of Anxiety Disorders. Having a professional evaluate your child will help all supportive adults plan effective intervention. An anxiety disorder (such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder or Social Anxiety Disorder) means that your child or teen is significantly impacted by anxiety and it has been going on for many months. Everyone feels anxious at times. Even children who experience brief anxiety benefit from developing healthy coping strategies. This helps teens and children develop the skills for lifelong emotional regulation success!
How Common is Teenage Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in children and teens. It is estimated that one in five children will experience significant anxiety. Sadly, anxiety often goes unnoticed, as anxious children and teens may act “in” instead of “out”. When anxiety is untreated, it can lead to serious problems later in life. The excellent news is that anxiety is very treatable! A trained professional can help your child or teen address and manage their difficult thoughts and bodily symptoms that travel with anxiety. As your child or teen learns new ways to cope with anxiety provoking thoughts and situations, their confidence will begin to rise. They will learn how to manage adversity and take risks, rising to the potential within!