My Teenager Says They Have Anxiety. Help!

What is anxiety?

Anxiety is a word that is common in teenage conversation these days. Everyone has it at some level!

FAQ: My Teenager claims to have anxiety. What are they talking about? 


Our brains are amazing. When someone bursts into a room with a deadly weapon and has intentions of hurting you, your brain automatically goes into survival mode.
It is traditionally called “fight or flight”. Now it has expanded to “fight, flight, or freeze” mode. This is helpful when you are in danger! Adrenaline pumps through you and allows you to fight for your life or run away. The freeze element is a survival skill where your instinct is not to be noticed by the predator. 
Anxiety is when you feel as if your life is being threatened, but it isn’t. Helping a teenager understand what anxiety is can be difficult, especially if they are the type to be chronically anxious. 

What does anxiety feel like

When you are anxious, it may feel like 
  • sweaty palms, 
  • racing heart, 
  • diarrhea, 
  • nausea, 
  • or irritability. 
You could describe feeling 
  • fidgety, 
  • unsettled, 
  • or hyper vigilant. 
It can be extremely uncomfortable. It is a feeling of utter desperation to escape and desire to get back to feeling normal. 

What do panic attacks feel like

Panic attacks can be described as feeling
  • the room is closing in on you,
  • sick to your stomach,
  • you need to escape,
  • you cannot breath.
It may result in 
  • hyperventilating, 
  • clenched fists, 
  • yelling, or 
  • angry outbursts.
 Your brain is amazing! Let's get it in working order.

There is hope for your teen with anxiety

Anxiety is misplaced survival mode. When you are not in immediate danger, but enter a fight or flight mode it is called anxiety. If you teenager is struggling with feeling anxious, the best first step is connecting them with a counselor. You can find a therapist like me who specializes in working with teenagers

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