Anxiety in kids, teens, and young adults
When your head hits the pillow your mind starts racing. You have questions. You have worries that just do loops inside your brain. “Did I …” “How am I going to …” Or maybe you even wonder about things like why are there homeless people? Would I be ok if my parents were dead? Do my friend think I’m stupid or secretly hate me?
Parents are often witness to their child’s pain in this anxiety. They stay close and available to help, but wonder it they are actually helping at all. They might sleep next to their young child until they fall asleep at night or talk over and over about the same questions and worries with their pre-teens and teens. No matter how much they comfort or offer to help, things don’t seem to get better. Nothing seems to stop the constant anxiety and nobody can relax.
What if This is Forever?
Anxiety can take over your day and it can certainly consume the night. Maybe it feels better to constantly ask other people if it’s going to be ok – parents might continuously find themselves reassuring their kids and teens that things are fine. Or, maybe you’ve tried to feel better by isolating and avoiding other people? These things seam only to be feeding the anxiety – they aren’t working.
The good news is that through therapy, children and teens can feel better. You can feel better. We provide therapy specific to addressing this awful feeling; helping families and individuals understand why it is happening and what to do about it. Our therapist can support you in finding the best ways to address and decrease your or your child’s level of anxiety.
Why Doesn’t it Seem Like Anyone Else is Struggling This Way?
Sometimes it can seem like everyone else is doing fine. They don’t feel worried all of the time and they don’t understand you and what you are so worried about. But sometimes, too, it can seem like you are perfectly normal. Everyone around you worries just as much as you do. This can be really true for some families. No matter what though, if it’s that you are the only anxious person or you are surrounded by anxious people, nobody wants to be around your high level of anxiety.
Parents can struggle to support their child, either because they recognize themselves in their child’s panic and worry or because they can’t understand the way their brain is making sense of things and it’s painful to try so hard to comfort them without success. Let’s face it, sometimes anxiety grows and grows when other’s around us are struggling too.
We have worked with many parents who’ve come to us and said “I know what they are going through because I go through it too”. We’ve helped college students as they make the transition from living at home to living at college – worried about all of the things that could go wrong and being alone. On the flip side, we’ve helped young adults who have watched their friends leave and have had to rediscover a new friend group and a new purpose for the day. We’ve also supported teens and preteens manage the stresses and pressures they feel to succeed and manage friendships that are important and intense.
I’m Not Sure Therapy Will Help
Are you feeling this way because you think that talking about it is just going to make it worse? You’ve been avoiding the topics and feelings that scare you or that you are sure would scare your child. It’s better to protect them or to distract them with something else. Trying to stay distracted and avoid these feelings is the only thing that gets you through the day.
What is going to happen if you talk about it, if you put it out into the open and let your kids ask questions or if you admit you’ve been thinking about it? Many people have said in therapy that they are afraid of talking about the worries, the anxiety, out loud because it will take over everything. It’s just better to go through the day ignoring the feelings that come up. You don’t think anyone will benefit from hearing about the feelings. But that isn’t true.
Mental health therapy to address anxiety is the best way to feel better. Your anxiety about talking about the anxiety is creating a situation where there is no end to the struggle. Our therapists are skilled in identifying anxious thoughts and helping you or your child begin to identify them, to learn the feelings that are underneath, and begin to cope with and control your responses. Anxiety does not have to be in charge. You could be in charge. Families can learn to cope and trust each other’s responses, trust their child can and will be ok.
Why Should I Call You?
At UpliftME Attachment-Based Therapy we understand how anxiety can spread within a family. We can see how teens and young adults can carry anxiety with them into their school careers, their personal interests, and their own relationships.
Most importantly, we can see the struggle and the pain that this is causing you or your child. Therapists at UpliftME Attachment-Based Therapy will calmly join with you to begin to understand these tormenting thoughts and fears. We can patiently be a support and an anchor when it feels like things are spiraling out of control.