Monday, July 6, 2015
Diagnosing Anxiety in Teenagers
Clinical child psychologist Dr. Beth Grosshans practiced in Newtown, Pennsylvania, for more than 20 years. In her book Beyond Time Out: From Chaos to Calm, Dr. Beth Grosshans addresses behavioral issues common in children, including unruliness and several types of anxiety.
As they grow, many teenagers experience short- or long-term anxiety. Symptoms may include insomnia, loss of appetite, mood swings, substance abuse, social avoidance or shyness, or developmental delays. Types of anxieties include separation anxiety, social anxiety, or general anxiety, and they may appear in conjunction with related behavioral concerns, such as an eating disorder or ADHD. The condition may be exacerbated by traumatic life events, the death or illness of a loved one, bullying, academic stress, and other environmental factors.
Parents may choose to consult with a professional if the level of anxiety is affecting the teenager’s daily life. Treatment options include cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Physicians frequently prescribe medication to control abnormal serotonin levels, which can contribute to anxiety, although some patients find that a cognitive therapy program is enough to treat the anxiety by itself.