Anxiety is a serious issue with which many people struggle. While it’s difficult as an adult, it can be even more of a nightmare for a teenager. The average teenager is already going through a multitude of changes and can often feel like his or her life is spiraling out of control. Adding anxiety to that mix is a recipe for disaster. If you are trying to help a teenager deal with anxiety, there are a few steps you can take. While you certainly can’t provide a cure, you can become someone on whom the teenager relies.
First and foremost, it’s important that you don’t judge a teenager for being anxious. It’s easy to discount the problems of a younger person, but try to remember that the problems are nonetheless real to them. When a teenager isn’t taken seriously, he or she is more likely to turn away than to try to seek more help. No matter what you suspect the reason for the cause of anxiety is, you should make sure that the teen to whom you speak know that are you are not judging him or her.
In many cases, what a teenager really needs is someone who is willing to listen. Instead of trying to fix him or her, let the teen vent. Encourage communication and let the teen work through the problems verbally at his or her own pace. It can be difficult when you feel like you can see the solution, but don’t give into your instincts. When you try to take over the situation, you’re really just making the teen feel like he or she does not have control over what is going on.
Know When to Step Away
Finally, you should realize that there are some types of anxiety that need the help of a professional. If you don’t feel like you can help your teen, make sure to encourage him to talk to a therapist or counselor. His or her anxiety might be a condition that needs therapy or even medication to be brought under control. This certainly isn’t true in all cases, but it may be something you wish to consider.
Anxiety is something that can be brought under control. If you are close to a teen who suffers with anxiety, make yourself available to help. Even if you can be nothing more than a shoulder to cry on, you will still be providing a valuable resource.